After declaring President Obama's July 24 address on the economy to be the "same old speech," Fox News immediately pivoted back to what the president described as "phony scandals," despite Fox's already extensive coverage and the lack of any new developments. Fox's scandal driven focus remained, even though the economy is chief among the concerns of most Americans.
On the July 25 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade played a short clip of President Obama's economic address while the on-screen graphic described it as the "same old speech." After the clip, in which the president accused conservatives of "taking their eye off the ball" by focusing on "this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals," Kilmeade pivoted away from any discussion on the economy and directly back to those "phony scandals," asking Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), "Do you think, Senator Burr, it's the right tack to call them phony scandals?"
Fox News' attempt to hijack the conversation about the economy -- which most Americans consider a top priority -- and steer discourse back into the realm of Fox News fantasy scandals is unsurprising given its long history of moving from manufactured scandal to manufactured scandal. When facts come out and the scandal collapses, the network ignores the facts until it can find a new manufactured scandal with which it can attack the Obama administration. If the new scandal collapses, it's back to square one.
Fox's focus on "phony scandals" crowds out good economic news -- news which Fox often struggles to cover correctly. Fox was the only network to cut away early from the president's speech -- after a commercial break, they came back instead to the announcement of the name of the new British prince.