With news about former President Trump’s indictment still breaking, the top story on Fox at the top of the 11 AM and noon hours was the arraignment of Joran van der Sloot for extorting the mother of Natalee Holloway. UPDATED
You may recall that Natalee Holloway went missing in Aruba in 2005. Fox News obsessed endlessly over the case of the attractive blonde's disappearance. It conveniently allowed the pundits to ignore other, bad-for-then-President Bush news, like his horrifically failed response to Hurricane Katrina.
Now, the case is helping the network distract from the bad-for-Trump news. Calling seven federal criminal charges "bad for Trump" is really an understatement. But the news isn’t just bad for Trump it’s shocking and sad for our country that a former president has been indicted. The Washington Post reports the charges include violating the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, lying to federal investigators and conspiracy. Trump faces the possibility of a decade or more in prison.
On top of that, CNN reported this morning, at 8:41 EDT, that it had obtained a transcript of an audio tape in which Trump admitted he possessed ‘secret information,’ i.e. a classified Pentagon document about attacking Iran, that he had not declassified and was still in his possession after he left the White House. In other words, a smoking gun that Trump possessed classified material he was not entitled to have.
Also, today, CNN reported that van der Sloot, who was one of the last people to be seen with the never-found Holloway, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of extortion and wire fraud in connection with a plot to sell information about the whereabouts of her remains in exchange for $250,000, in 2010. “The missing teen’s mother, Beth Holloway, wired $15,000 to a bank account van der Sloot held in the Netherlands and through an attorney gave him another $10,000 in person, the indictment states … but [van der Sloot] later admitted by email the information was ‘worthless,’ the indictment states,” CNN said.
Heartbreaking for the Holloway family, for sure, and newsworthy, yes, but more important than the Trump indictment? Only on Fox.
The video below includes the opening for The Faulkner Focus, which airs at 11 AM EDT. Fox's description of the show says it “brings you what you really need to know about the day's most important news stories, with top newsmakers, and insightful analysis.” To be fair, the show did cover the Trump indictment later, but not until 16 minutes into the hour. There was a brief news report after which substitute host Julie Banderas interviewed Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker. But first, she showcased comments from some of Trump’s Republican 2024 campaign rivals also defending him. I’ve also included in the clip the ending of the America’s Newsroom show, which teased the then-upcoming van der Sloot indictment.
After The Faulkner Focus the Outnumbered show airs at noon. Lo and behold, it, too, opened with the "breaking news" or the imminent arraignment of van der Sloot.
If Fox really thought Trump was the innocent victim of a runaway DOJ, that would be the top story on every show, probably non-stop. The fact that the most popular “news network” is again using the tragedy of Natalee Holloway to deflect from bad-for-GOP news – well, that’s another national tragedy, too.
You can see for yourself below, from the openings of the June 9, 2023 The Faulkner Focus and Outnumbered shows.
6/9/23 UPDATE: The Trump indictment has since been unsealed. No wonder Fox doesn't want to talk about it!