This week America learned that Fox News executives and hosts knowingly deceived their viewers about election fraud in support of Donald Trump and his “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged and stolen” from him. The revelations came with the release of depositions from the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News.
The testimony in those depositions affirmed that Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch, as well as hosts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, etc., knew very well that there was no truth to their “reporting” of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. While they were lying to their viewers, they were discussing privately among themselves about the “crazy” and “idiotic” assertions that Trump had actually won.
Most rational media observers already knew that Fox News has never been a news network. They were created as a right-wing propaganda organ by Murdoch and Roger Ailes. However, this may be the first time that we have principles at Fox admitting that they are lying propagandists, and we have it in their own words. Not surprisingly, Trump is very upset by these developments…
In the wake of these scandalous disclosures, Democratic leaders in Congress are going on record with their objections to the confirmation of Fox’s purposeful dishonesty. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries made their positions clear in a letter to Murdoch, demanding that the network “stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior.” The letter pressed Murdoch saying that…
“As noted in your deposition released yesterday Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other Fox News personalities knowingly, repeatedly, and dangerously endorsed and promoted the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election [and that] network hosts continue to promote, spew, and perpetuate election conspiracy theories to this day.”
The letter noted that Fox’s hosts continue “to peddle election denialism to the American people.” This is the sort of pernicious pulp fiction employed by Trump that incited the January 6th insurrection in Washington, D.C., as well as numerous other subsequent acts domestic terrorism by the radical right. Schumer and Jeffries recognized the impending threat saying that…
“This sets a dangerous precedent that ignores basic journalistic fact-checking principles and public accountability. This is even more alarming after Speaker McCarthy is reportedly allowing Tucker Carlson to review highly sensitive security camera footage of the events surrounding the violent January 6 insurrection.
“We demand that you direct Tucker Carlson and other hosts on your network to stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior.”
The letter goes on to warn that the dishonesty of Fox News “weakens faith in our democracy and hurts our country in countless other ways.” And it closes by insisting that Murdoch take action to repair the damage he and his network have caused…
“Fox News executives and all other hosts on your network have a clear choice. You can continue a pattern of lying to your viewers and risking democracy or move beyond this damaging chapter in your company’s history by siding with the truth and reporting the facts. We ask that you make sure Fox News ceases disseminating the Big Lie and other election conspiracy theories on your network.”
Schumer and Jeffries are saying all the right things. Unfortunately, it would be naïve to expect Murdoch, or anyone else at Fox News, to cooperate or to concede wrongdoing. They have established that they are more interested in disseminating conservative propaganda and profiting off of deceiving their audience, than in telling the truth or acting in the best interests of the country. That would require some sense of ethics. Plus, they are terrified of Donald Trump and his glassy-eyed cult followers.
In fact, they are so frightened that that they have forbidden the matter of the Dominion lawsuit to even be mentioned on the air. Which is just another way that they can keep their viewers ignorant and riled up by phony trivialities.
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