Fox News defended a programming decision they made on-air after facing criticism for cutting away from a live White House press briefing.
Viewers immediately reacted Friday as Fox News host Harris Faulkner announced that network “management” had decided to break away from the White House daily briefing a moment after press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared a video on the violence and rioting in Portland, Oregon.
“I have a short video because I want it to be real, what is happening right now in Portland,” McEnany told reporters during Friday’s briefing before a compilation of clips highlighted the violence and protests.
Graffiti that read “F— cops” appeared in the video along with scenes of rioting and one where a woman was shown in a graphic exchange with police officers.
“I hope someone kills your whole f—ing family,” the woman told Portland officers. “I hope someone burns down your whole precinct with all y’all inside. Can’t wait to see it.”
“As you can see, that is anything but a peaceful protest,” McEnany said as the video ended and Fox News cut back to Faulkner in the studio.
“All right, we were not expecting that video, and our management here at Fox News has decided we will pull away from that at this time,” the Fox News anchor informed viewers.
After a brief time, the live presentation of the press conference continued when McEnany responded to questions from reporters. But viewers took to social media to slam the move by the network.
Fox News later issued a statement about its decision.
“Fox News was not provided with any advance warning that a video using profanity would air during this afternoon’s White House press briefing,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “Once it aired, Fox News made the decision it was inappropriate for a daytime audience and temporarily dropped out of coverage.”
Later in the segment, Faulkner addressed what happened.
“I want to address a decision that was made by Fox News management a few minutes ago as we pulled away from the video that we were not told would air and how it would be edited with some things on screen that we wanted a heads up about,” she said.
“That is part and full of what went on there [in Portland]. But I can’t go on without addressing that,” Faulkner added.
“We’re approaching the top of the hour. The White House press briefing is something that is important for us to carry for you, and so a heads up at those times with videos like that in the middle of the day sometimes is helpful,” she added.
Though Fox News took a lot of heat for cutting away from the briefing, many Twitter users defended its decision.