When America is suffering through a presidency that has achieved the rare milestone of having told more than 10,000 lies since it began, it may not be an earth-shattering revelation that this president’s media mouthpiece traffics just as flagrantly in deliberate falsehoods. But, sadly, that’s what we are enduring in the era of Donald Trump and Fox News.
The latest example of this occurred on Saturday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, Trump’s favorite morning show. and a significant source of data for his executive decision making. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes raised the subject of the 2020 race for the White House and sought to reveal some financial statistics that they thought would help boost Trump’s prospects in the upcoming election. Their typically partisan and shallow discussion resulted in this exchange.
Jedediah Bila: In 2020, donations for the first quarter in 2019 – Gillibrand, $1,271,135. Kamala Harris, $3,661,680. And third is President Trump at $1,473,830.
Ed Henry: So he’s number two for female donations.
Bila: Right. These are women donations. So everyone that’s out there on the left making the talking point that women are anti-Trump, or Trump is anti-woman, have to remember that the chief issue that drives women to the polls is the same thing that drives everyone to polls. And that is jobs and the economy.
Pete Hegseth: Also, a lot of women, they are our culture warriors. They see what is happening in our schools, in our churches and elsewhere, and they look at this President’s willingness to focus on patriotism.
Let’s set aside Hegseth’s tangential and condescending remarks and the fact that Trump is a notorious abuser of women. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that Fox News got everything about their story horribly wrong. To begin with, the data Fox was citing was from the campaign finance research website, Open Secrets. However, the Open Secrets report was about the “gender distribution” of the donations. In other words, it was studying the percentage of the donations that were from women, not the total receipts. And that’s how the table they posted was sorted.
So contrary to Fox’s claim, Trump was not the second biggest recipient of donations from women. He was not even close. The study they were citing actually just noted that he ranked third in the percentage of female donors. All it took was a glance to see that Trump was actually sixth in terms of total female donations. And that’s despite the fact that many of the female donors were divided among four Democratic women (Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren) who were less well known than the current president. Trump’s total take from women even ranked lower than Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker.
It took a prodigious amount of ignorance, carelessness, and/or dishonesty for the Foxies to screw up this simple story so badly. But those are “skills” that they work on every day. Don’t expect Fox News to acknowledge this error, or to offer a retraction or apology. They knew what they were doing and they’re proud of their efforts to mislead their already pitifully ill-informed audience. It’s what they were created to do.