Fox News did not cover Boulder presser during primetime after 7th mass shooting in 7 days in the US

The discrepancy in coverage sparked outrage online, with many upset by Fox's lapse in editorial judgment

By Jon Skolnik
March 23, 2021 2:58PM (UTC)
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Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

*Editor's Note: The headline has been updated to more accurately report that Fox News ignored the first press briefing following the deadly shooting in Boulder but, as originally reported, the network later mentioned the shooting to downplay gun violence during primetime.

As CNN and MSNBC covered the first press briefing about a deadly shooting that unfolded at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store on Monday, Fox News opted not to air anything about the massacre, instead focusing on President Biden's trouble walking up a set of stairs and complaining about the so-called "farce" of social distancing.

Ten people were killed on Monday afternoon when a gunman opened fire at King Soopers grocery store, according to authorities. Hundreds of police officers in the greater Denver area responded to the incident. SWAT officers, who escorted customers out of the premises, were also called to the scene. One of the first police officers to arrive on the scene, Eric Talley, 51, was killed, according to Police Chief Maris Herold. 

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As CNN and MSNBC aired the Boulder police's press conferences following the fatal incident, Fox News' programming left the shooting almost entirely unreported. As first reported by CNN's Oliver Darcy, during the press conference, Fox News anchor Sean Hannity played footage of Biden stumbling up the stairs of Air Force one last week. And even after it had been announced that ten people had lost their lives in the shooting, anchor Fox's Laura Ingraham nevertheless held an interview about the "farce" of social distancing. 

As more details of the shooting were revealed, Tucker Carlson ran trite stories like "THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR GIRLS' SPORTS" and "MIAMI VICE: DRUNK PARTYGOERS TRASH RESTAURANTS."

When Hannity eventually got around to covering the shooting during an interview with Dan Bongino, Rush Limbaugh's successor, later Monday night, the host launched into a diatribe about why the shooting demonstrates the need for a strong police force, especially after the protests last summer. 

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"'They're not riots,' we were told all summer to over 2,500 cops injured," Hannity said. "But these are the cops that go put themselves in harm's way. And in this case we lost one tonight."

"There's not a social worker on planet earth that would be dumb enough to that scenario," echoed Bongino, alluding Black Lives Matter actiists who called out the tendency of police officers to escalate mental health crises. "It's brave police officers that do that." 

The discrepancy in coverage sparked outrage online, with many commenting on Fox's complete lapse in editorial judgment. 

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"Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham completely ignored what happened in Boulder today," tweeted former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh.

"Fox showed its true colors Monday night," chimed Oliver Darcy, a senior media reporter at CNN.

"This is how Fox & Friends covered the Boulder mass shooting this morning," said Vox journalist Aaron Rupar, posting a video of Fox leading into the story by stressing that it was "on the minds of Colorado's [college] basketball team as they fell to Florida state."

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As CNN noted, Monday's mass shooting was the seventh in just the last seven days


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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Cnn Fox News Gun Violence Mass Shootings Right-wing News