Second in a series on the relationship between Fox News and mainstream media outlets. (See the rest: Part 1. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.)

So much of the garbage that surfaces on the airwaves of Fox News would remain just garbage-on-Fox News if not for the Twitter reach of President Trump. A prime example popped up Monday, as Trump tweeted:

Credit goes to Trump for accurately quoting the Fox personality. There was more, however. The context was a typically active segment from the Fox News afternoon roundtable program “The Five.” Co-host Greg Gutfeld and his co-panelists chewed over the New York Times’ Brett M. Kavanaugh story from the weekend. As noted here, the newspaper omitted a critical detail crucial to understanding the credibility of a new sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh from his days as a Yale student. It was a towering error.


Gutfeld, a curmudgeon of vast brow-furrowing ability, teed off on the Times. “How many stories did they get away with because nobody was paying attention? I would say almost all of the stories the New York Times has done are inaccurate and wrong. That’s how I see it — they’re all wrong. . . . They get it all wrong,” said Gutfeld, referring to his own experience being covered by the Times.

Bolding inserted to highlight a fact of contemporary America: The Times never gets away with something because nobody is paying attention. It is the most scrutinized publication in the United States, as Monday’s events amply demonstrated. Fox News is organized, in fact, to annotate and amplify every last misstep of the Times.

If Gutfeld is serious about his assessment of the Times, though, surely he and his co-hosts on “The Five” should henceforth refrain from relying on Times reporting as they jabber about the day’s news. If the Times is really as bankrupt as Gutfeld suggests, then why did . . .

  • Fox News host Katie Pavlich, on the Sept. 12 edition of “The Five,” cite a Times news-breaking story by Adam Goldman about the possible indictment of former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe?
  • Fox News host Dana Perino, on the Aug. 12 edition of “The Five,” say, “So there was a report today, I think it was the New York Times, saying that there were improprieties with how Epstein was dealing with his money years ago but he never reported it”? That story, bylined by four reporters, was headlined, “Jeffrey Epstein’s Opaque Finances Could Become Focal Point for Investigators.”
  • Perino, on the July 15 edition of “The Five,” cite a widely read column by Times columnist Maureen Dowd on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s friction with the so-called “Squad”?
  • Gutfeld, on the July 11 edition of “The Five,” cite a Times story about parenting kids obsessed with cellphones? “According to the New York Times, which is like saying according to ugly fat pants, families are hiring screen time coaches to help pry smartphones away from their kids. These screen-free parenting coaches offer advice that boils down to: Go outside and kick a ball. That advice cost hundred of dollars, so it’s no wonder it’s a trend among rich parents who still read the Times, because only Times readers would actually pay for advice that a Fox host would give you for free.”
  • Fox News host Dagen McDowell, on the July 10 edition of “The Five,” cite a Times story about how journalistic persistence kept the Epstein story alive?
  • Fox News host Jesse Watters, on the July 8 edition of “The Five,” cite a Times story on the Pelosi-Squad tensions?
  • Watters, on the July 1 edition of “The Five,” cite a “great piece” by Times columnist Bret Stephens?
  • Perino, on the June 19 edition of “The Five,” cite a Times editorial in a discussion on government gridlock? Her reference included the classic partisan adverb: “Even the New York Times editorial page last week begged the Democrats to do the right thing and vote for this emergency money that the executive branch has asked for because they don’t have enough resources to take care of people properly.” Italics added.
  • Perino, on the May 14 edition of “The Five,” cite a news-breaking story by the Times on a deal under which Donald Trump Jr. would return for a “time-limited private interview with senators in the coming weeks”?

The list of examples goes on. Gutfeld’s outburst is just another example of the Fox News Mainstream Media Citation Hypocrisy Syndrome, in which the network’s stars appreciate the credibility of news outlets like the New York Times when it suits their arguments, only to snipe at their credibility when it doesn’t.

The Erik Wemple Blog addressed this very disconnect in a post earlier this month on host Tucker Carlson’s sneering attempt to both credit and discredit The Post in the same breath. We’ve decided that the relationship between Fox News and mainstream outlets — depend on them for material while seeking to destroy them — is worthy of sustained interest and exploration. Therefore, we’re calling this a series — a retroactive series starting with the Carlson-Post piece. Much more to come.

Read more in Wemple’s series on the relationship between Fox News and the mainstream media: