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Fox repeatedly pushed the bogus claim that Target’s Pride Month collection included “tuck

Sep 07, 2023

For the second time in a month, the network has pushed a patently false story and has been caught lying on air

Written by Jack Winstanley & Audrey McCabe

Research contributions from Pete Tsipis

Published 06/01/23 11:55 AM EDT

Over the course of Fox News’ hours of coverage of the backlash against Target's Pride Month collection, network hosts and guests repeatedly parroted the false claim that the retailer was selling "tuck-friendly" or "tuck-’em" swimsuits for children, even after the story was clearly debunked.

The claim comes amid the ongoing pressure campaign against Target and other national brands that have observed Pride Month, partnered with LGBTQ+ influencers or organizations, or promoted diversity and inclusion measures internally. Between May 23 and the morning of May 30, Fox spent over 2 hours discussing Target's Pride collection, with several hosts expressing outrage that the retailer was supposedly exposing children to inclusive messaging and products. Target ultimately announced on May 24 that it would be removing some of its Pride Month displays and products.

Even though The Associated Press debunked the claim on May 25, determining that the swimsuit in question was marketed only to adults, several right-wing figures on Fox and other right-wing outlets continued to assert that Target was selling the gender-affirming swimsuit for children.

Fox's decision to air an easily debunked claim is part of a broader issue of poor journalistic standards at the media outlet. In May, Fox spent over an hour pushing an unfounded story about asylum-seekers displacing homeless veterans from a New York hotel before issuing a nonretraction. While Fox executives have defended the network's journalistic standards since its $787.5 million defamation settlement to Dominion Voting Systems, Fox has continued to push baseless right-wing hoaxes rather than factual news reporting.

While the network has aired at least two segments acknowledging that the swimsuit was intended for adults, Fox personalities and guests have continued to buoy the claim that Target was selling "tuck-friendly" swimsuits to children. Some of those who admit that the suits are for adults still claim that the visibility of the tags is "sexualizing" children, conveniently ignoring the other adult-focused products that Target also sells, like condoms and lingerie.

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