When Fox News was treated badly during the Obama administration, the rest of the media would quickly come to their defense with unqualified support for the free press. And as an expression of their gratitude, Fox News has made sure to viciously slander their media colleagues at every opportunity. They are fulfilling their role as the State TV division of Donald Trump’s White House, where the media is considered to be “the enemy of the American people.”
On Friday Brian Flood, a Fox News media reporter, did an analysis of old tweets by his counterpart at CNN, Oliver Darcy. The story was intended to reveal some sort of hypocrisy on Darcy’s part for being critical of CNN prior to joining them, but then failing to be critical of his new employer.
Really? Fox News is surprised that an employee of CNN isn’t bashing his own network? In a perfect world every media critic would hold all reporting to the same standards for ethics and professionalism. But for Fox News to lash out at Darcy for this reason is laughable. Fox is the most insulated pseudo-news enterprise ever created. Not only will they never criticize their own reporting, they won’t even correct or apologize for blatant errors of fact.
The examples Flood sited of Darcy’s criticisms of CNN were not exactly blistering They included a critique of Kathy Griffin appearing in a bra on the New Year’s Eve telecast. And mocking CNN’s use of a “Breaking News” banner that’s nearly a permanent fixture on the screen (which Fox News does as well). And a comment on CNN’s website that chided the network for posting a flurry of pro-Clinton stories. Would Flood have preferred that Darcy approved of that partisanship?
In addition to the awkward spectacle of Fox News complaining about a CNN reporter criticizing CNN, Flood also flagrantly misrepresented a tweet wherein Darcy allegedly accused CNN of letting “people just make stuff up on the airwaves.” In fact, the tweet wasn’t a hit on CNN, but was chastising a pro-Trump shill who was a guest on the network. And the charge that Darcy doesn’t criticize CNN now is also untrue. A quick search turned up this example wherein Darcy took CNN to task for taking Trump out of context. When CNN was reached for a response to Flood’s story, they said:
“Oliver was critical of CNN before, just as he is now. CNN is a place where opinions and ideas are valued. And we encourage staff to share their thoughts about the organization – both positive and critical. While this might seem like an exotic concept to you, we’d headline it ‘Media Reporter Does Job.’ This is a nothing story.”
However, if Fox News thinks it’s relevant to take old, negative comments from a network correspondent and insist that they have some significance today, then they had better look in the proverbial mirror. Fox’s newest star host in primetime is Tucker Carlson. But there was a time when Carlson had a less than flattering opinion of Fox News. In fact, he called them “a mean, sick group of people.” That’s a far worse, and far more personal assault than mocking a “Breaking News” chyron.
Perhaps even more troubling than what a current Foxie said long ago, is what former Foxies are saying right now. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was Fox’s military strategist for many years. He recently quit the network saying that he was “ashamed” to be associated with it, and that it has become “a propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” He also called Carlson a Nazi apologist. I’m waiting for Fox’s searing article on those commentaries by people associated with Fox News.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.