Fox News aired a bizarre 'live Tucker reaction' cam in the corner of the screen during Biden's prime-time speech
- Fox News aired a “live Tucker reaction” box onscreen during Biden’s Thursday prime-time speech.
- The box showed host Tucker Carlson’s facial reactions in real time.
- The move sparked memes, and reflects the network’s continued infusion of opinion into straight news.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Fox News added an unusual feature to its airing of President Joe Biden’s first prime-time speech on Thursday: real-time reactions of Tucker Carlson watching it.
Biden’s speech marked the passing of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, and announced a timeline for vaccinations that would make all Americans eligible by May 1.
It also marked a year since the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. In that time, more than 530,000 Americans have died from the virus.
The speech coincided with the beginning of Carlson’s 8 p.m. show. Fox News aired Biden’s delivery and included a “Live Tucker reaction” box in the lower right corner on the screen.
As Biden’s speech went on, the box showed Carlson maintaining a look of puzzlement, at times variously frowning and nodding throughout much of the address.
In one instance, when Biden said that anti-Asian abuse “is wrong, un-American and it must stop,” Carlson briefly raised his eyebrows, as can be seen in the clip tweeted here:
Toward the end of the speech, Fox News also included chyrons that said: BIDEN SPEECH NEARLY FINISHED; TUCKER WILL RESPOND,” and “BIDEN SHOULD BE FINISHED; TUCKER IS ON ANY MINUTE,” Mediaite reported.
The stunt spurred commentary and memes from across the political spectrum almost instantly.
The move reflects the network’s continued infusion of opinion into straight news as the long-dominant network sees a ratings dip.
Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corp, said last week that the network’s approach throughout the Biden administration would be “loyal opposition,” in the mold of MSNBC during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Fox’s emphasis on opinion was particularly marked in January when the straight-news anchor Martha McCallum was moved to an afternoon slot from 7 p.m., as Deadline reported.
It was widely seen as a demotion, and competition is now fierce for the vacated. slot, as Insider’s Claire Atkinson reported.
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