Fox ‘alerts’ viewers of a story 24 hours old — while refusing to lead with BuzzFeed report

The “Fox News Alert” — the channel’s equivalent of breaking news alerts — have long been a fixture of the cable channel (along with its trademark sound effect and stinger), but did “America’s Newsroom” lead story Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 show the network has really lost touch with the true meaning of the word “alert”?

  • “America’s Newsroom” hit the air with an “alert” reporting the “breaking news” (as host Bill Hemmer put it) that Donald Trump has blocked Nancy Pelosi’s overseas trip.
  • However, that news is now almost 24 hours old — it was announced via an official White House letter sent to Pelosi and signed by Trump himself.
  • Meanwhile, the program ignored a “fresher” story about a BuzzFeed report that Trump allegedly directed his then attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress, as a lead (just like the show before it, “Fox & Friends,” which chose to lead with news of another “caravan”).
  • The BuzzFeed report was covered about three minutes into the show, when co-host Sandra Smith, as part of a debrief with Kevin Corke at the White House — and took the angle of asking for “reaction” on the story.
  • In fairness, this is not the first time Fox has used the “alert” branding for a rather stale story — and other networks are just as guilty as Fox for overusing the term “breaking news.”