60 Minutes ran its highly anticipated interview with Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who says she had an affair with Donald Trump, on Sunday night.
Daniels’ prime-time interview marked the second time in less than a week that a woman who claims to have accepted a hush payment to stay quiet about an affair with Trump told her story on national TV, following Karen McDougal’s interview on CNN last Thursday.
Daniels alleged that years after her affair with the future president ended, she was physically threatened to stop talking about Trump. Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says he has “no doubt” that someone close to Trump was responsible for the threat.
During Sunday’s interview, Daniels provided other details about her relationship with Trump. She said that the future president — who married Melania the year before Daniels says their affair began — did not use protection when they had sex. She also said he told Daniels that she reminded him of his daughter Ivanka. Before the night was through, Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, released a statement demanding Daniels retract statements she never actually made on air.
But if you missed the interview and tuned into Trump’s favorite TV show on Monday morning to get up to speed, you might have missed all of that.
Monday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends completely buried the Daniels story. Her name was only mentioned five times throughout the show, and each occurred during the show’s brief news updates. Her name was not mentioned a single time by any of the show’s hosts.
By contrast, Hillary Clinton was mentioned nine times. The show devoted an entire segment to analyzing how recent comments from Clinton could impact a U.S. Senate race in Missouri.
When Fox & Friends wasn’t pretending that Clinton is president, the show was gunsplaining to the thousands of students who turned out across the country on Saturday for anti-gun violence protests. The show featured a segment of Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips walking around Washington, D.C. on Saturday asking student demonstrators if they could answer specific of questions about guns or the Constitution — the implication being that since some of them couldn’t, they are too ignorant to be taken seriously.
Host Brian Kilmeade went as far as to lecture school shooting survivors about how they should respond to gun violence.
“The instinct should be security. ‘Why was I gunned down? Nobody was shooting back for me.’ But there’s not that sentiment,” he said.
Fox News has tried to downplay Daniels across the network’s programming.
In the hours following news of Daniels’ lawsuit to nullify an nondisclosure agreement surrounding her alleged affair with Trump breaking on March 6, network personalities employed a variety of tactics to avoid substantive discussion of her story — including changing the topic to Monica Lewinsky, smearing Daniels as just seeking “money and adulation,” and framing the story as a distraction from more important news.