The timeline below shows the smoothed number of daily mentions of the Lincoln Project since November 2019 across television news. MSNBC has relentlessly covered the organization, mentioning it a total of 1,076 times to date, followed by Fox with 241 and CNN with 163. Yet something strange happens a few days after January 11 and then again after January 31: MSNBC beguns to phase out any mention of it from their coverage, while Fox News ramps up its coverage. It turns out that these two dates are significant. The first is the date that sexual harassment allegations against the Lincoln Project's cofounder John Weaver were published by the American Conservative and the second is when the New York Times republished them.
Remarkably, even after the American Conservative published the allegations, MSNBC continued to interview the group and use its commentary onair without any apparent acknowledgement of the allegations against its cofounder. It quietly began reducing its coverage, but only after the Times republished the allegations did it begin to entirely phase it out.
Since those allegations were published, CNN has not mentioned them a single time, MSNBC has mentioned them just once, while Fox News has mentioned them 66 times and counting. These results once again remind us about the parallel media universes in which we live, in which the Lincoln Project was regularly mentioned on MSNBC until its cofounder was mired in sexual harassment allegations, then quietly pivoted away without saying hardly a word, while Fox News took up the mantle, leaving MSNBC viewers to remember the organization, while Fox News viewers learn about the allegations. Moreover, even after the allegations were published, MSNBC continued interviewing the group, only taking broader action after the Times' publication, reminding us how major stories can be entirely ignored.