FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims That Fox News Isn’t Covering The Mueller Hearings

Aislinn Murphy | Assistant Managing Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims that Fox News will not air coverage of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress.

“FOX NEWS CENSORSHIP OF MUELLER,” reads the caption.

Verdict: False

Fox News coverage began at 8 a.m. Wednesday and will continue into primetime. The network started airing promos for it days before the testimony.

Fact Check:

Mueller agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees in back-to-back hearings Wednesday on the Russia investigation.

In a 448-page report, which Mueller submitted to Attorney General William Barr in March, the special counsel detailed the findings of his nearly two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It did not establish that President Donald Trump coordinated or conspired with the Russian government, but left open the question of whether the president obstructed justice.

A viral image falsely alleged in a post that Fox News would not broadcast Mueller’s testimony about the report, despite Fox News advertising that it would.

When reached for comment, Fox News pointed to a promotion that ran in the days leading up to the coverage. Its website also prominently features a box in the upper corner of the homepage that links to the live stream.

According a press release published Monday, Fox News’ coverage would start around 8 a.m. with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum co-anchoring. The network’s primetime lineup would then follow up that coverage with analysis in the evening.

The claim originated with a tweet posted by MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance. This tweet, which has since been deleted, read, “Fox isn’t showing Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. Trump is afraid of what will happen if his base gets to hear Mueller’s testimony for themselves.”

A day later, GOP strategist Rick Wilson made a similar claim on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” hosted by Nicolle Wallace.

Both subsequently issued corrections on Twitter, with Vance saying, “I’ve deleted an earlier tweet I intended ironically, but that some took as factual regarding Fox news coverage of Mueller’s testimony.”

Wilson tweeted on Monday, “I stand corrected: Fox apparently will cover the Mueller hearings. The MAGA Javerts were all aflutter.”

Other well-known Twitter users perpetuated the viral claim, including author Stephen King and Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus.

Aislinn Murphy

Assistant Managing Editor