Fox News’s Griffin makes headlines with Russia-Ukraine coverage
Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin has been leading the network’s coverage and analysis of the invasion of Ukraine — making headlines herself in the process.
Since Russia’s assault began last month, Griffin’s expertise in the foreign policy arena and reputation for providing no-spin reports has been on display as she covers diplomatic and military issues for Fox.
Among competitors, Griffin’s coverage stands out for a number of reasons.
Her experience reporting on Russia over a decades-long career in television news gives her unique insight into the history of the European geopolitical landscape and ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She also hasn’t shunned on-air fact checks of other commentators.
In one now widely-circulated exchange, Griffin forcefully pushed back on comments by a former military adviser to former President Trump just days after the first bombs landed in Ukraine.
The guest, retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, suggested on a Fox News weekend program, that the Ukrainian resistance to Putin’s forces was essentially a lost cause and that global military alliances could be to blame for Putin’s aggression.
“There were so many distortions in what he just said,” Griffin said of Macgregor moments after his appearance ended.
“To blame NATO membership for what we’ve seen Putin unleash and what we’ve seen from Putin himself he is talking in Tsarist words … what he just said was so distorted that I do feel that our audience needs to know the truth.”
Griffin has also not hesitated to throw cold water on those who have suggested the U.S. should get directly involved militarily in the conflict, with members of both parties worry would lead to World War III.
A week after the Macgregor exchange, Griffin shot down comments from retired U.S. Army brigadier general Don Bolduc, who said while appearing on the network it “boggled” his mind that U.S. forces had not gone “all in” on the conflict.
“To suggest that the U.S. would put indirect fire or special operations or CIA on the ground to give Putin any sort of excuse to broaden this conflict is extremely dangerous talk at a time like this,” Griffin said of Bolduc.
Griffin did not speak to The Hill for this story, though Fox in a statement said it was “incredibly proud of Jennifer Griffin and her stellar reporting as well as all of our journalists and talent covering this story across our platforms.”
Griffin’s nearly daily reports from the Pentagon since the invasion began have become a staple of the network’s coverage of the ongoing crisis. She has appeared on its various daytime talk shows, the network’s signature evening newscast and primetime opinion programs.
The veteran correspondent was asked last week about a Washington Post story that referred to her as a “lynchpin of Fox’s news division,” and detailed several instances of her pushing back on statements made by commentators on the network about the war.
“Now, I read this as you don’t want to get dragged into opinion debates,” host Howard Kurtz asked Griffin. “How do you see your role during this war?”
“My role is no different than it’s been since I joined Fox in 1996 in Moscow,” she responded.
“I cover the news. I’ve been part of the news division since those beginning days. I’m here to fact-check facts because I report on facts. And my job is to try and figure out the truth as best as I know it. I share those facts internally, so that our network can be more accurate. That’s what I’ve always done. There’s nothing different than what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years working at Fox.”
Griffin’s on-air takedown of Macgregor also won some notice because of Fox host Tucker Carlson’s nightly program. In the weeks ahead of the invasion, Carlson equivocated on why the U.S. would back Ukraine in a conflict with Russia — a stance that included a memorable interview with House Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who argued it was important for NATO and the U.S. to stand up to Moscow in Ukraine.
“I think you want your experts, in today’s media environment, to be passionate about what they know and what they feel about the facts,” Steve Krakauer, who authors a media newsletter with a conservative viewpoint, told the Associated Press of Griffin. “I want them to be in the story.”
Those who have worked with Griffin in a professional setting say they are not surprised at how she has handled covering the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe while navigating the changing media landscape in the process.
“The stakes are too high to allow falsehood and “distortions” to go unchecked or unchallenged in real time,” David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesperson said in a tweet on Saturday in regard to Fox’s coverage of the war in Ukraine. “[Griffin] is doing her job the right way.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.