Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill lost her bid for a third term on Tuesday to Republican challenger Josh Hawley, the state’s current attorney general.
In the aftermath, McCaskill lashed out at Fox News, placing blame on the network for swaying rural voters, and calling it a “state-owned news channel.”
What are the details?
McCaskill told The New York Times after her loss, “The further you get from the metropolitan areas, the more powerful Donald Trump is and the more allegiance there is to whatever he says and does.”
She then recalled to the Times that during her last campaign, she noticed Fox News invariably being aired on television when visiting restaurants all over rural Missouri.
“It’s time we all quit dancing around what is now a state-owned news channel,” McCaskill said of the network.
McCaskill’s rival, Hawley, was heavily endorsed by President Trump, who campaigned several times for the Republican candidate in different parts of the state.
Hawley repeatedly pointed to McCaskill’s “no” vote against confirming U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the race, and accused McCaskill of being out of step with Missourians.
McCaskill also had a litany of scandals crop up over the past year, including being busted for using her private plane on a supposed RV tour through the state; her husband’s haul of $131 million in federal subsidies during her tenure in the Senate; and police reports exposing past domestic abuse allegations against her spouse by his ex-wife.
Hawley won the race by nearly 6 points.
Does she have a point?
Several Fox News pundits do have close ties to the Trump administration, and with the president himself.
On the eve of the midterm elections, Trump attended a rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in an effort to further rally his base for Hawley. He was joined on stage not only by Cape native Rush Limbaugh, but Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Judge Jeanine Pirro.
At the event, Trump went on to praise several Fox News personalities for their coverage, according to the Times, including hosts Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade.
In May 2017, CNN President Jeff Zucker denied having any agenda, and said that his network’s aim was to seek the truth. He then added, “Certainly in primetime and in the morning, Fox is state-run TV and is extolling the line out of the White House.”
Then in November 2017, CNN host Brian Stelter also called Fox News a “state-run media” during an interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. In response, Conway said, “Stop being so jealous of Fox News, Brian, and their ratings. It would help if you drop the jealousy a little bit about Fox News.”
Indeed, on election night Tuesday, Fox News beat out all broadcast and cable news networks in the ratings, The Washington Times reported. According to Nielsen, Fox News has been the top cable news network for nearly 17 years running.