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Monday, December 09, 2019

Herschel Walker

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Fox News heavily promoted the U.S. Senate candidacy of former football star Herschel Walker from its earliest stages, despite Walker’s seeming lack of qualifications and well-known personal history that included multiple reports of domestic violence. Now, the network has been almost silent on the biggest story of the race so far, after The Daily Beast reported Monday night that Walker had paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009, despite his current hardline anti-abortion stance.

Walker appeared Monday night to address the reporting with Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity, a longtime Trump adviser and perhaps Walker’s earliest and most prominent endorser on the network. The interview went badly, as Walker failed to refute that he had sent a $700 check and a get-well card to the unnamed woman, who said it was to reimburse her total expenses from receiving an abortion. (The woman also provided The Daily Beast with a $575 receipt from a clinic for the procedure.)

Tuesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends featured only a short news headline delivered by Fox & Friends First co-host Carley Shimkus, lasting a little over 30 seconds. This paltry coverage was despite the fact that the show’s co-host Brian Kilmeade has personally boosted Walker’s campaign with puff pieces featuring the candidate, and could be seen on the couch with his co-hosts following Shimkus’ news reading. None of the Fox & Friends co-hosts had anything to say about the story.

Fox’s next program, America's Newsroom, also offered the story nothing more than a single headline read despite purporting to be one of the network's “straight news” daytime programs. In addition, Fox News chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel highlighted some of the tweets by one of Walker’s children, right-wing social media personality Christian Walker, who called out his father both for womanizing and for having threatened to kill his family.

Emanuel effectively let Herschel Walker get the last word in, however, by citing a tweet in which the candidate “says he loves his son, no matter what.” Emanuel failed to note, however, that Christian Walker had already responded to that message by citing his father’s failure to raise multiple children he is now known to have conceived.

Christian Walker had deleted his rebuttal Monday night, but it was captured in screen grabs by multiple journalists, including HuffPost senior politics reporter Igor Bobic.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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