When The Daily Mail reported Tuesday that White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter had been accused of domestic abuse by both of his ex-wives, top administration officials stood by their colleague. “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement.
But by Wednesday, The Intercept published a detailed account of the abuse, complete with photos and additional on-the-record interviews with the women. The Washington Post and New York Times followed with their own stories. CNN and MSNBC covered it throughout the day. The White House backpedaled under the increasing pressure. And Porter, an aide tasked with monitoring the flow of paper to accused sexual predator and notoriously low-information President Donald Trump, resigned Wednesday afternoon.
If you were watching Fox News, though, you would have seen almost nothing about any of this.
According to the media monitor TVEyes, the pro-Trump cable channel barely touched the story after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed it in yesterday’s briefing. Outnumbered Overtime host Harris Faulkner mentioned Porter’s departure in the closing seconds of the 1 p.m. block. Dana Perino reported it in a 25-second clip during the 2 p.m. hour, and Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts—one of Fox’s supposed real journalists—beamed into Shephard Smith and Bret Baier’s shows to briefly relay the news.
Between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, however, Fox News didn’t mention Porter’s name once, per TVEyes. That period includes the station’s biggest shows, including its uber-popular primetime hours and its most influential program, Trump favorite Fox & Friends. Top White House aide Kellyanne Conway even appeared on Fox & Friends but was not asked anything about Porter.
The millions of people who watch these shows might come away from them not even knowing that Porter exists, let alone that White House officials may have been aware of his alleged abuse for months. Think of Fox’s erasure of Porter as another perk for Trump as he enjoys his “executive time.”