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U.S. President Donald Trump faced a round of laughter from world leaders Tuesday afternoon at the United Nations General Assembly after boasting that his presidency “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” This hiccup didn’t bother Fox News, however, which promptly cut out the laughter on Twitter. And Fox News edits like this aren’t so uncommon.
During Trump’s UN speech to the assembly, Fox News uploaded two clips that circumvented the awkward moment. In the first clip, Fox cut off Trump’s speech as soon as he finished saying that the U.S. has accomplished more than any other presidential administration.
Three minutes later, Fox posted a second excerpt for viewers, this time beginning right after the uncomfortable moment had ended. This effectively cut out the entire moment, from world leaders snickering at Trump to the entire assembly bursting out in laughter. For Fox viewers checking their Twitter timelines during the event, it was almost as if the moment had never happened at all.
Fox's Twitter account clipped what Trump said immediately before AND immediately after the laughter.— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 25, 2018
The laughter appears in neither clip. https://t.co/ERLsut7DY2https://t.co/LFUUKuMA5m pic.twitter.com/1Kj5wO3e0Z
All but the highlighted part got tweeted out pic.twitter.com/liVYwOhxyN— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 25, 2018
It didn’t take long for Twitter to call out Fox for its bizarre decision to cut out the laughter.
Wait. Wouldn't a news organization show the whole thing? It's almost as if Fox is a propaganda machine rather than a news outlet.— Marky Mark Twain (@OldManRiver1800) September 25, 2018
@FoxNews truly is the most fake news.— Coretta (@elegantcoretta) September 25, 2018
At this point it would literally be shocking if they *didn't* edit out the laughs.— Bigly Lukewarm Hamberders (@GeeJustG) September 25, 2018
How is that not a journalistic scandal? https://t.co/8Fi1PpqezA— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) September 25, 2018
Many believe the decision represents a much larger problem with Fox’s cult of personality over Trump, even though his approval rating remains particularly low.
Want to see another example of state media? Look below. https://t.co/KY4GMsWwZI— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 25, 2018
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Have there been other Fox News edits?
Fox News edits are pretty alarming, but not surprising. Even though the soundbite dominated American news throughout the day, the network largely avoids extensive coverage on stories that paint the Trump administration in a negative light. After special counsel Robert Mueller filed charges against 13 Russian citizens and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering with the 2016 presidential election, Fox only dedicated 4 percent of its airtime to covering the story during its first 12 hours, Vox reports.
Likewise, after Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to felony charges and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received his own guilty verdict, Fox News similarly avoided covering the story beyond a cursory glance at the news.
“Fox’s pro-Trump shows acknowledge the news, yes, but they don’t give it the serious wall-to-wall coverage that it merits,” CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote. “Instead, the shows move on… to safer subjects like confederate statues and Dem ‘extremism’ and the VMAs.”
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.