In contrast to CNN and MSNBC, Fox did not air live coverage of the proceedings in the House showing the final vote. Prior to its passage, the channel showed some of the proceedings for a few minutes, accompanied by one on-screen chyron reading, “HOUSE VOTES ON BIDEN’S PORK-FILLED BILL.”
The network also chose not to air the press conference that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered after the legislation’s passage.
Fox’s first mention of the bill’s passage, which is widely considered to be a major early achievement for Biden, came in passing.
Before cutting to a commercial break, host Sandra Smith said that the network was “getting word” it had passed. Her co-host John Roberts commented, “$1.9 trillion going out the back door.”
Fox did offer additional coverage of the passage of the bill throughout the rest of the day, but it was clear that it was not a top programming priority for the channel. Instead, the network largely prioritized other stories more palatable to its audience.
On its website, the story was given more coverage, but framed in a way desirable to its conservative readership.
“PARTISAN MONSTER PASSED,” the top headline said, with a sub-headline reading, “House Democrats jam through massive $1.9T COVID bill without single GOP vote, headed to Biden’s desk.”
The coronavirus relief bill will send $1,400 checks to Americans and extend unemployment benefits, among other things.
Biden is expected to embark on a media blitz over the coming weeks to sell the bill to the public. The first stop on that blitz will be a prime time address to the American people on Thursday night.