Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stormy Daniels on Sunday night was the most-watched episode of “60 Minutes” in a decade. Twenty-two million people tuned in to hear Daniels describe an evening in 2006 during which she says she and Donald Trump were physically intimate. It was compelling television, boosted through two weeks of strategic teases from Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti. It was the sort of cultural moment — at least in the world of politics — that spilled over onto other news networks.
Some other news networks.
In the run-up to the interview and in the hours afterward, CNN (Cooper’s normal network home) and MSNBC spent a large chunk of airtime discussing Daniels, at least as measured by the percentage of 15-second segments tracked by the Internet Archive’s archive of news captioning that included the word “Stormy.”
Fox … less so.
We noted last week that Fox News had given much less airtime to the Stormy Daniels story than its competitors had, and the aftermath of the “60 Minutes” interview was no different.
Why didn’t Fox discuss Daniels on its programming Monday? Well, it was busy discussing another woman: Hillary Clinton. While CNN and MSNBC spent little time mentioning the former secretary of state (or at least her first name), Fox mentioned her regularly.
It’s not that Fox didn’t mention Daniels at all. But it mentioned the two women at about the same rates Monday — after Daniels was on a television program that more people watched than the Grammys. Clinton, to our knowledge, was not on such a program.
In the past month, that discrepancy has been wider.
CNN and MSNBC talked about Daniels.
Fox News talked about Clinton.
Monday was one of the few days when the balance of Clinton-to-Daniels coverage on Fox was close to even. If even coverage of the two at this moment was warranted.
Fox News is the most trusted network among Republicans, according to polling from Suffolk University. Republicans, according to CNN-SRSS polling released Monday, are more likely to believe President Trump than believe the women, like Daniels, who say they had relationships with him.
Overall, 63 percent of Americans believe the women. Republicans are twice as likely as the population on the whole to believe Trump.