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Fox News raised eyebrows on Monday with a chyron blasting President Joe Biden as a “wannabe dictator” who had his political opponent arrested.
The New York Times’ chief White House correspondent Peter Baker tweeted, “Fox refers to Biden and ‘wannabe dictator,’” and shared a screenshot of the chyron — which read in full, “Wannabe Dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested.”
Fox refers to Biden as "wannabe dictator." pic.twitter.com/aXXxw5YaAP
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) June 14, 2023
The chyron ran just hours after former President Donald Trump was arraigned in Miami on multiple federal charges regarding his handling of classified documents since his exit from the White House in January 2021.
Some immediately criticized the network, suggesting that it was a calculated move to mitigate continued fallout from the recent Dominion lawsuit and bring back audience members who might still be angry over the recent ouster of popular host Tucker Carlson.
The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols tweeted, “Stop asking us about the 787 billion and why we fired Carlson, we’re really on your side, so please buy more pillows.”
David Corn, MSNBC analyst and Mother Jones’ D.C. Bureau chief, added, “Fox fired Carlson but hasn’t changed its business model: peddling far-right propaganda and stoking paranoia to make a profit.”
Conservatives, on the other hand, appeared to simply accept the chyron as an accurate assessment of the situation.
“And they would be correct,” Army Ranger veteran and author Sean Parnell replied.
And they would be correct. https://t.co/DhUg7m7sRI
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) June 14, 2023
Abigail Marone, communications director for Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), asked, “Where’s the lie?”
“Fact Check: True,” Jeff Carlson added.
“Peter, I’m no Fox apologist. But be honest, is he not?” Rich Baris asked. “He’s not one yet, because he’s not gotten away with it yet. But if he does, is he not a dictator?”
When The New York Times’ Ken Bensinger asked the network for clarification, however, the company responded simply: “The chyron was taken down immediately and was addressed.”
I wrote Fox News last night asking for comment on it airing an alert last night calling president Biden a "wannabe dictator." The company just responded with the following statement and zero additional explanation:
“The chyron was taken down immediately and was addressed.” pic.twitter.com/ihWX8TzN2a
— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) June 14, 2023