Fox News took the unusual step of cutting away from a White House briefing led by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday after she played video which contained profanity and depicted violence at a recent protest in Portland, Oregon, as Breitbart reported.
Although the cable news station is not required by the Federal Communications Commission to abide by language rules that apply to some other networks, Fox News generally does not air segments containing such language during daytime hours when children might be watching.
“We were not expecting that video, and our management here at Fox News has decided we will pull away from that at this time,” anchor Harris Faulkner said as the video showing graffitti on statues saying “F— police” and protesters yelling the same epithets began to play.
Later, Fox News issued a statement about its decision to cut away from the briefing: “FOX News was not provided with any advance warning that a video using profanity would air during this afternoon’s White House press briefing. Once it aired, FOX News made the decision it was inappropriate for a daytime audience and temporarily dropped out of coverage.”
The network returned to the briefing when McEnany began to take questions from the press after the video had finished playing.
Conservative freelance journalist Andy Ngo later tweeted about the footage, some of which was his own.
Video from my reporting and others on the #PortlandRiots were shown at the White House press conference today. Some of the content is so extreme that Fox News cuts away. #antifa #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/B1nVDtXjE8
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 24, 2020
Many mainstream journalists have contended that the riots in Portland and other cities across the country have been primarily peaceful, so the footage was used in an attempt to demonstrate that this has not been the case and that federal intervention to quell the unrest was entirely justified.
Pictures tell a thousand words
McEnany used the video in part to address the furor over President Donald Trump’s decision to send federal law enforcement agents to Portland to help tamp down the violence there and protect federal property that has been under attack.
After describing scenes of demonstrators throwing fireworks at buildings and police, blinding several officers with commercial-grade lasers, and shooting another with a pellet gun, McEnany said, “These are not the actions of so-called peaceful protesters, and the Trump administration will not stand by and allow anarchy in our streets. Law and order will prevail.”
Once the video had been played, McEnany said, “As you can see, that is anything but a peaceful protest. And this President will always stand on the side of law and order.”
And that is what they call a mic drop. Well done, Ms. McEnany, well done.