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Fox News defended an on-air programming decision after facing criticism for cutting away from a live White House press briefing.
Viewers immediately reacted Friday as Fox News host Harris Faulkner announced that network “management” had decided to break away from the White House daily briefing a moment after press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared a video on the violence and rioting in Portland, Oregon.
Here’s the video pic.twitter.com/yfRma6RZ41
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 24, 2020
“I have a short video because I want it to be real, what is happening right now in Portland,” McEnany told reporters during Friday’s briefing before a compilation of clips highlighted the violence and protests.
Graffiti that read “F— cops” appeared in the video along with scenes of rioting and one where a woman was shown in a graphic exchange with police officers.
“I hope someone kills your whole f—ing family,” the woman told Portland officers. “I hope someone burns down your whole precinct with all y’all inside. Can’t wait to see it.”
“As you can see, that is anything but a peaceful protest,” McEnany said as the video ended and Fox News cut back to Faulkner in the studio.
“All right, we were not expecting that video, and our management here at Fox News has decided we will pull away from that at this time,” the Fox News anchor informed viewers.
After a brief time, the live presentation of the press conference continued when McEnany responded to questions from reporters. But viewers took to social media to slam the move by the network.
Who is “management”?, @HARRISFAULKNER? That was ridiculous. These anarchists are blinding our men and women in uniform and @foxnews thinks their audience can’t handle that video? Is this @Nickelodeon or news?
— Bryan Eure (@JBryanEure) July 24, 2020
But they have no problem showing George Floyd die 1000 times
— Justinian🇺🇸 (@justin_ZILLA) July 24, 2020
Fox News should not be censoring what is really taking place. Shame on them!
— Miss Tyree (@MissTyree8) July 24, 2020
Disturbing on ALL levels. The video and that Fox decided to leave the press conference. The public needs and deserves to see the footage!!!😠❤️🇺🇲❤️🇺🇲
— Peggy Artz (@pebby16) July 24, 2020
Journalist Andy Ngo, who has been reporting for weeks on the rioting leftists, tweeted that “video from my reporting and others on the #PortlandRiots were shown at the White House press conference today. Some of the content is so extreme that Fox News cuts away.”
Fox News later issued a statement about its decision.
“Fox News was not provided with any advance warning that a video using profanity would air during this afternoon’s White House press briefing,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “Once it aired, Fox News made the decision it was inappropriate for a daytime audience and temporarily dropped out of coverage.”
How nice of Fox to decided what I should and shouldn’t see
— A mattew (@amy_matti) July 24, 2020
Later in the on-air segment, Faulkner addressed what happened.
“I want to address a decision that was made by Fox News management a few minutes ago as we pulled away from the video that we were not told would air and how it would be edited with some things on screen that we wanted a heads up about,” she said.
“That is part and full of what went on there [in Portland]. But I can’t go on without addressing that,” Faulkner added.
Harris Faulkner defends Fox’s decision to leave the briefing after McEnany showed video of Portland violence, saying it was b/c there was a “video that we were not told would air and how it would be edited with some things on screen that we might have wanted a heads up about.” pic.twitter.com/ysbyOfmxV1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 24, 2020
“We’re approaching the top of the hour. The White House press briefing is something that is important for us to carry for you, and so a heads up at those times with videos like that in the middle of the day sometimes is helpful,” she added.
If we don’t get this out there, it will never be seen. This is basically all Twitter is good for, so let’s do it. https://t.co/cyJ3ncxod3
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 25, 2020
Though Fox News took a lot of heat for cutting away from the briefing, many Twitter users defended its decision.
I think they cut away because of the content, abusive and foul and language. FCC and all 🤷♂️
— MikeLimaBravo (@MikeLimaBravo1) July 24, 2020
When the girl or guy idk wtf that is starts saying I hope they kill your whole family they kinda have to. For the younger audience’s sake, but it shouldn’t be forgotten man. They’re running wild with no law, unless you go to stop them, then you’re charged with some random crime
— Schubes (@Schubes5) July 24, 2020
It may have been the F bomb in the footage that went out live on air that scared them.
— Johnny Lago (@JohnnyLago1) July 25, 2020
To be fair to Fox, they didn’t choose to cut away until that last cut where the woman was saying F you, etc. The video actually was aired in its entirety.
— IWannaGoFast!! (@dbf752) July 24, 2020
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