A Fox News Channel segment covering Friday’s White House press briefing ended abruptly after the start of a video clip depicting protests in Portland, Oregon.
According to Politico, the footage included vulgar language, including “F*** cops,” scrawled in graffiti on statues being targeted by the demonstrators.
“Some tough images there”
Similar obscenities were reportedly being shouted at police officers on the scene.
Fox News’ decision to cut away from the briefing was notable, since the network tends to cover such White House updates. Host Harris Faulkner addressed the situation when producers cut the feed.
“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,” she said. “Some tough images there, a lot of things that we didn’t anticipate to be shown in terms of some wording on the screen.”
The network later returned to its coverage of the briefing and Faulkner ended the hour with another statement about the earlier on-air incident.
“The White House press briefing is something that is important for us to carry for you, and so a heads-up at this time with videos like that are in the middle of the day, sometimes it’s helpful,” she said.
More than just graffiti
While Fox News generally does not broadcast profanity, as a cable network it is exempt from Federal Communications Commission rules about objectionable language during daytime hours when children could be watching.
Rival networks CNN and MSNBC were not airing the press briefing live, so the profanity did not present an issue for them.
While complaints about police misconduct amid protests nationwide have made plenty of headlines, President Donald Trump has pointed to Portland as evidence that a federal law enforcement presence is needed to restore order.
In addition to graffiti, violent demonstrators have reportedly thrown projectiles at officers and attempted to damage a federal courthouse in protests over the past two months. Three officers in Portland were possibly blinded when protesters pointed commercial-grade lasers at them, as reported by Forbes.
While White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s video of the civil unrest might have been too profane for Fox News, it provided a stark reminder of the disruption police are facing in this and other cities across the U.S.