We have good reason to celebrate the intelligence and common sense of our friends in Britain. They have been suffering from Donald Trump’s reign from afar and have not been especially pleased. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, asked him not to visit. Massive protests were being organized to greet him should he come. And last June Trump himself told Prime Minister Theresa May that he wouldn’t come at all until she could promise a warm welcome. The fact that he still hasn’t been there should tell you something.
Now it’s being reported that the PR division of the Trump administration, Fox News, has been dumped in the U.K. The Guardian published the report Tuesday morning and Fox News confirmed it:
“[Fox] has decided to cease providing a feed of Fox News Channel in the UK,” said a spokeswoman for the company. “Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”
The failure of Fox News abroad is not as trivial a matter as they seek to make it. England is a nation that is closely aligned with the U.S. and deeply concerned about our policies and politics. The dearth of viewers has nothing to do with the “focus” of the network. The Brits are more likely repulsed by the obvious bias and propaganda. They have many other news sources, including several from the U.S., to find out what America is up to. CNN isn’t having any trouble attracting a British audience.
What’s more, Fox’s excuse that their programming is America-centric is an admission that it isn’t actually news. Honest journalism is the collection and reporting of facts that reflect reality. It is not impacted by geography. Reports on the war in Afghanistan, a hurricane in Texas, or trade relations with the EU, should be identical regardless of the place of publication. But Fox’s programs are littered with an extraneous spin that reeks of American superiority. How could anyone in Liverpool or Dublin listen to two minutes of Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson without retching?
Fox News may have another reason for ditching their British flank. Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, has been trying to acquire the sixty percent of Sky Broadcasting that they don’t already own. But there are regulators in the UK that have to approve the deal. At present it is under investigation by Ofcom to ascertain whether they meet broadcasting standards. And there is some question as to how that will come out. The Guardian reports that:
“In the past decade, Fox has notched up 22 breaches of its licence and Ofcom’s codes and rules. Of those, seven were against Fox News, with four last year including against a programme which featured a guest who said that Birmingham was a city ‘where non-Muslims just simply don’t go’.”
Add to that the hacking scandal a few years back where Murdoch’s newspapers were found to have illegally accessed the emails and cell phones of politicians, celebrities, and even a murdered schoolgirl. It’s that sort of behavior that caused Murdoch to temporarily suspend his acquisition aspirations. But he is now actively pursuing the matter again.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Having a “news” network that is notorious for lying and disparaging foreign nations, while disseminating White House propaganda, cannot be particularly helpful when trying to persuade British regulators to give it even more power. In the meantime, the UK will enjoy the relief of not having Fox News polluting their airwaves and insulting their viewers. America awaits its opportunity to enjoy such relief.