All three major cable news outlets were quick to break into coverage Tuesday afternoon to announce the termination of FBI director James Comey by President Donald Trump. However, only Fox News initially reported Comey’s firing as a resignation.
The White House’s statement said Comey was “terminated and removed from office,” but in the initial moments of the reports, Fox News’ coverage featured “James Comey Resigns” in the lower third graphic of their broadcast. The graphic appeared onscreen for roughly a full minute, while Peter Schweizer, guest specialist on Tuesday’s episode of The Fox News Specialists and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large, said, “I think it was a good idea for him to resign,” before host Eric Bolling broke in with a correction that Comey had actually been terminated and the graphic was updated.
The graphic appears at the 33:00 minute mark in the video below.
CNN, on the other hand, broke the news during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and went to their senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, who announced, “The President of the United States has terminated the Director of the FBI, James Comey.”
— CNN (@CNN) May 9, 2017
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, meanwhile, reported, “James Comey is out at the FBI. Essentially a firing. The president apparently asked and received the recommendation of his resignation. Asked for it. It was a recommendation, we are being told, by the attorney general, Jeff Sessions.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 9, 2017
Fox News declined comment.