A few years ago Fox News dropped their long-time slogan that falsely declared that they were “Fair & Balanced.” Having been founded by an ultra-rightist newspaper baron (Rupert Murdoch) and a Republican media consultant (Roger Ailes), it was never true. It only served to imply that every other news source was unfair and imbalanced.
That’s the modus operandi of a cult, wherein members are admonished that the cult is the only source of truth and that everyone else is lying. Fox News replaced their slogan with “Real News, Real Honest Opinion.” Which was equally false. And the extent of their brazen and deliberate dishonesty was recently revealed in a motion filed by Dominion Voting systems as part of their $1.6 defamation lawsuit against Fox. The motion cited numerous instances of Fox News hosts and executives saying in private that they didn’t believe the election fraud lies that they were reporting on air as facts.
The revelations in the Dominion motion were widely reported by virtually every news outlet. Except, of course, for Fox “News”. And on Sunday it was revealed why. Howard Kurtz, the network’s alleged media analyst, confessed on his program that his bosses had forbidden him to discuss the matter…
“Some of you have been asking why I’m not covering the Dominion Voting Machines lawsuit against Fox involving the unproven claims of election fraud in 2020, and it’s absolutely a fair question. I believe I should be covering it. It’s a major media story, given my role here at Fox. But the company has decided that as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now. I strongly disagree with that decision, but as an employee, I have to abide by it. And if that changes, I’ll let you know.”
Fox News won’t cover their Dominion lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/HIZw8PWH50
— PatriotTakes ?? (@patriottakes) February 26, 2023
It is not uncommon, when a company is the subject of a lawsuit, for it to order its employees to refrain from making any public statement about the case, for fear of them disclosing something detrimental. However, when it is a media company it poses a unique dilemma, because they have a professional and ethical obligation to report the news. In this case, Kurtz could easily have reported on the existence of the lawsuit without prejudicing it in any way. And his statement affirms that it is “a major media story,” and that his audience is interested in it.
Nevertheless, Fox News has imposed a total ban on reporting anything about the case. Clearly they are censoring themselves to avoid the embarrassment of having their viewers learn the truth about their purposeful lying. Fox surely doesn’t want them to know that their most popular hosts, such as Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, discussed among themselves that Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 presidential election being “rigged and stolen” from him, was a wholly fabricated fiction.
Since Fox News banned Kurtz from reporting on the Dominion case, it’s fair to assume that they imposed the same blackout on the rest of their hosts, contributors, and guests. That muzzling of their own “reporters” is, in itself, news. However, Kurtz is wrong when he says that “as an employee, I have to abide by it.” Actually, he has several other options.
First of all, he could ignore this infringement on free speech and report on the case anyway. Secondly, he could argue with his superiors and organize his peers to get the restraint lifted. Thirdly, he could resign in protest and retain some measure of integrity. He could also offer to anonymously tell what he knows to other media, or even to the Dominion lawyers.
All of those options, however, would require that Kurtz have some dignity and respect for journalistic ethics. So it’s no wonder why he chose to simply obey his bosses and shut his mouth. Suppressing real news that Fox finds uncomfortable is their standard operating procedure. It’s why they didn’t air live a single minute of the hearings by the House Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection that Trump incited, despite the high ratings the hearings received on MSNBC and CNN.
Finally, in addition to gagging Kurtz, Fox also refused to air an ad by MoveOn that featured the words of their own hosts and executives. So Fox is not only rejecting journalistic ethics, they are even refusing revenue for advertising. And if they are turning down cold, hard, cash, you know they are scared witless.
Fox News REFUSED to air our ad which quotes emails & texts from its hosts showing they intentionally presented false allegations about election fraud to keep ratings & profits up.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) February 27, 2023
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