Fox News drew criticism for referring to Democratic President Joe Biden as a "wannabe dictator."
The claim appeared in a chyron—the text that appears at the bottom of the screen—during the show Fox News Tonight hosted by Brian Kilmeade. The show aired images of both Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump side by side.
The segment came after Trump was arraigned following the decision by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to formally charge him for committing federal crimes. The agency investigated his mishandling and hiding classified documents he possessed after leaving office and impeding the government's attempts to retrieve them.
The full chyron read:
“WANNABE DICTATOR SPEAKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE AFTER HAVING HIS POLITICAL RIVAL ARRESTED”
You can see it below.
The chyron prominently labeled Biden as a "wannabe dictator," creating a provocative visual representation that immediately drew attention. The juxtaposition of the images suggested a false narrative that Biden had orchestrated the arrest of his political rival.
For instance, just last week House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made the false claim Biden ordered Trump's arrest himself only to be called out by a Democratic colleague who charged he was "intentionally misleading the public" in the wake of the indictment.
Fox News faced backlash for the controversial chyron and Kilmeade's comments, which were perceived as perpetuating false narratives. Critics argued labeling Biden a "wannabe dictator" was unfounded and inflammatory.
The network was accused of employing sensationalist tactics to influence public opinion while ignoring criminal activity.
More than a few people reminded Fox which President fomented an insurrection.
Trump's indictment, issued in Miami's Federal District Court, marks the first instance of a former President facing federal charges.
This places the nation in an unprecedented situation, given that Trump also currently leads the pack as the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
This indictment, which was presented by the office of special counsel Jack Smith, comes just over two months after local prosecutors in New York filed over 30 felony charges against Trump. These charges were related to a case involving a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.
Furthermore, Trump remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by Smith's office, focusing on his extensive endeavors to cling to power following his electoral defeat in 2020. Additionally, authorities from the district attorney's office in Fulton County, Georgia, are scrutinizing him for potential interference in the election.