Fox News gets a lot of flack (and rightfully so) for essentially spending the last two decades serving as the media arm for the Republican Party. Since the “election” of Donald Trump, the network has managed to make a fool out of itself even more than normal by morphing a majority of their broadcast lineup into the “president’s” own version of state-run media.
That said, there are still some credible journalists who work for the network. Individuals like Shep Smith and Chris Wallace, as well as a few others, clearly seem to care about credibility and traditional journalistic standards, unlike most of their colleagues such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.
As reported by CNN:
“I’m watching now and screaming,” one Fox News personality said in a text message to CNN as the person watched their network’s coverage. “I want to quit.”
“It is another blow to journalists at Fox who come in every day wanting to cover the news in a fair and objective way,” one senior Fox News employee told CNN of their outlet’s coverage, adding that there were “many eye rolls” in the newsroom over how the news was covered.
The person said, “Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House.”
Additionally, Fox News aired segments that questioned Mueller’s credibility and many were framed around how Trump and his allies were responding to the news. On Fox News’ homepage, the lead story at one point was focused on Trump slamming the indictment. Another lead story cited Manafort’s lawyer, and asked, “Mueller’s ‘ridiculous’ claims?”
“This kind of coverage does the viewer a huge disservice and further divides the country,” one Fox News personality told CNN.
“That segment on Outnumbered [questioning Mueller’s integrity] was absurd and deserves all the scorn it can get,” a Fox News employee told CNN, referring to the network’s noontime talk show.
The person added that it was “laughable seeing Hannity and [Laura] Ingraham,” two Fox News opinion hosts who are openly supportive of Trump, “tripping over themselves saying [Mueller’s team has] found nothing thus far.”
“It’s an embarrassment,” another Fox News employee echoed to CNN. “Frankly, there are shows on our network that are backing the President at all costs, and it’s that short term strategy that undermines the good work being done by others.”
Some of the people who contacted CNN also specifically called out Hannity for calling Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
Meanwhile, CNN reported that a Fox News spokesperson told them that the “network covered the breaking news accurately and fairly both in news and opinion programming.” Yeah, ok.
Obviously these employees spoke out under the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to make such comments and would likely be fired, or disciplined in some way, if their identities were to be made public. In that sense, privately saying “I want to quit” doesn’t carry a whole hell of a lot of weight when you’re still choosing to collect a paycheck from the network.
That said, this story is proof that there’s an underlying issue at Fox News where the few credible journalists working at the network, even some of the more conservative ones who still care about journalistic credibility, are growing increasingly frustrated with the way Trump’s been covered. As one person called it, Fox News seems more like an “extension of the Trump White House” rather than a supposed news network.
I’ve never been a fan of Fox News, but I have watched and followed plenty of what goes on over at America’s most-watched conservative entertainment network. Even with the issues I’ve had with their reporting in the past, I’ve never seen anything like I have since Trump was “elected.” For the first time in my life I feel like I understand how it must feel to live in a dictatorship where the media is controlled by the government.
Not only does Trump frequently run to Fox News for softball “interviews” where his long list of lies goes completely unchallenged, but most of the network has gone out of its way to provide multiple distractions, and has even parroted much of Trump’s own propaganda, to deflect away from the extensive list of scandals and controversies that are constantly swirling around the his administration. It’s become a morning tradition for Trump to wake up, watch Fox & Friends, then tweet out various stories they’re covering that, of course, are favorable to him. While I’m not going to say Fox News’ morning show is directly coordinating with him, it does seem like they’re now tailoring their broadcast specifically to pander to Trump so that he can retweet what they’re saying.
This report from CNN reinforces what I’ve known for a while now. Once Trump’s out of office, and maybe even before, there’s not going to be any shortage of people writing tell-all books about what went on in his administration, at Fox News, and even within the GOP, itself.
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