On Monday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany delivered a press conference trumpeting the now familiar refrain that Democrats are stealing the 2020 election from its rightful victor President Donald Trump. That’s not that unusual. What is unusual is that Fox News cutting away from the broadcast so that host Neil Cavuto could make it clear that such claims are completely baseless.
McEnany said that Democrats are “welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting,” which was the line that sparked Cavuto’s broadcast interruption. Despite Trump and his allies’ numerous claims to the contrary, there is no evidence of any significant widespread voter fraud.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, I just think we have to be very clear,” Cavuto said, jumping in. “She’s charging that the other side is ‘welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting.’ Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”
“Maybe they do have something else to back that up,” Cavuto continued, “but that’s an explosive charge to make, that the other side is effectively rigging and cheating.” He said that if McEnancy produced evidence of her allegations than he would return to the White House’s press conference, but she never did.
Fox News cuts away from Kayleigh McEnany news conference after airing it for less than a minute.
Neil Cavuto: “I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this…She started saying right at the outset, [Democrats were] welcoming fraud, welcoming illegal voting. Not so fast.” pic.twitter.com/1jn5jC2r5E
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) November 9, 2020
The elephant in the room, of course, is that Fox News’ conservative bent has made for some more forgiving coverage than the President has received from other networks. Cavuto, however, has been one of the few Fox News talents to criticize Trump, from urging viewers to ignore Trump’s advice to take hydroxychloroquine to giving Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss a tough grilling over his plan to re-open schools in the middle of a pandemic. For this, Trump has frequently tweeted about Cavuto’s “very bad ratings” and suggested Fox fire him.
Different networks are going to spin news different ways and Fox News is hardly the only news source with some sort of bias, be it left or right. But there is a difference between offering a different perspective and offering “alternative facts,” and it takes a good pundit to know when their subject has crossed the line. Good on Cavuto for calling it here. Even the savviest viewers don’t always know who or what to trust in the upside down world that is D.C. talking heads, but anyone who can call out irresponsible talking points on their own side of the political divide warrants a lot more trust in the future.