As Media Matters' Simon Maloy noted, the Fox Cycle is a pattern in which Fox News picks up and promotes a bogus and manufactured story from other conservative media, then attacks the media for not covering the story:
Fox News' embrace of Adams' accusations against the Department of Justice are in keeping with a pattern observed in previous instances in which a bogus story has jumped from the conservative fringe to the mainstream media:
1. Right-wing bloggers, talk radio hosts, and other conservative media outlets start promoting and distorting the story.
2. Fox News picks up the story and gives it heavy, one-sided coverage.
3. Fox News and conservative media attack the "liberal media" for ignoring the distorted story.
4. Mainstream media outlets eventually cover the story, echoing the right-wing distortions.
5. Fox News receives credit for promoting the story.
6. The story is later proven to be false or wildly misleading, long after damage is done.
The Fox Cycle was alive and well today on Fox News' America Live, where Mediaite senior editor Steve Krakauer said that some media outlets are starting to cover the New Black Panther Party story, and urged holdouts to follow Fox News' lead. Host Megyn Kelly, meanwhile, credited Fox News for pressuring others to cover the story, stating: "We dragged the media, kicking and screaming to it. We've dragged the mainstream media to this case." Watch:
As Media Matters has documented, the story has already proven to be dubious: Adams is a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department who has admitted he lacks first-hand knowledge of the events he is discussing, and his claims fall apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one defendant, while the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006.