Fox News personality Laura Ingraham was widely mocked following her remarks Thursday night about Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a leading anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist who has mounted a longshot run for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination.
During her prime-time show, Ingraham referred to Kennedy Jr. as "popular" and claimed he was "polling so well." However, the on-screen graphic that appeared at the same time told a different story.
As Ingraham praised Kennedy's supposed polling strength, a graphic displayed onscreen showed Kennedy polling at just 14 percentage points, a significant contrast to President Joe Biden's 71 points in the same poll.
You can watch the segment in the video below.
Michael Steele, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, was among those taken aback by Ingraham's remarks. He pointed out the stark difference between Biden's 71-point lead and Kennedy's 14 points in a tweet, highlighting the misleading nature of Ingraham's portrayal.
Steele also drew a comparison with Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis, who is trailing former President Donald Trump by around 30 percentage points in the Republican 2024 race. Despite this substantial gap, Ingraham's claim about Kennedy being "popular" and "polling well" seemed unfounded.
"Umm, Biden is up by 57pts. SOOO [Laura Ingraham] Trump up by 28pts (47%-19%) must be crapping his pants at how well [Ron DeSantis] is polling."
"Talk about being smart if you did some "self-reflection"; or just reading the numbers on the screen."You can see his tweet below.
The discrepancies between Ingraham's commentary and the factual data on screen led to speculation about the intentions behind her statements. Critics suggested that Ingraham's portrayal of Kennedy's popularity is both misleading and exaggerated.
Many have mocked Ingraham and criticized Fox News as a result.
As Ingraham sought to portray Kennedy Jr.'s resonance among Democrats as much more noteworthy than it actually is, Fox's rival network CNN called him out over his racially charged and antisemitic comments about COVID-19.
During CNN's coverage, a fact check countered Kennedy Jr.'s claim he is not "anti-vax." Dana Bash devoted a segment to Kennedy's appearance on Inside Politics, pointing out instances of his "denial and deflection."
The most brutal yet accurate graphic onscreen during Bash's segment read:
"RFK Jr. DENIES HE SAID THINGS HE SAID."
It was a straightforward reminder of Kennedy Jr.'s attempts to backtrack on his own inflammatory, false statements.
Bash herself said believing Kennedy Jr.'s claims that he "never spread hate requires ignoring his own words."