It is not news and it sure ain’t journalism, yet the folks at Fox News have long pretended to deliver “fair and balanced” news and mime the moves of real journalists.
That pretense, though, has been shattered by the revelations in recently unsealed documents from the defamation suit brought against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems. The documents provide stunning proof that Fox hosts, such as Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity, promote falsehoods to their viewers while being fully aware that they are lies. They engage in this mendacity for fear that the cable giant’s ratings and stock price will suffer if they ever stop lying because they know their audience demands to be constantly fed all the fabrications that masquerade as truth in MAGA world.
In a deposition given by the founder and top executive of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, the international media mogul testified that, indeed, he was aware that his star commentators were endorsing the false 2020 election claims being pushed by President Donald Trump and his minions. Murdoch admitted that he could have called a halt to the frequent appearances of Trump propagandists Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, but he did not do it. Instead, he allowed Fox to give legitimacy to their bogus claims about a stolen election.
Internal texts and emails given over as evidence in the lawsuit confirm that just about everyone at Fox knew President Joe Biden won the election fair and square. They seriously considered making that fact clear to their viewers but decided against airing the truth because they worried that the Trump-loving core of their audience would be outraged and would switch to competing “news” channels that are even more right wing.
In text exchanges, Fox’s most popular host, the preppy provocateur Tucker Carlson, called for the firing of a staffer who had dared to fact check a statement by Trump, even as Carlson was privately calling out Trump attorney Powell for lying. The messages show that Carlson was not concerned about the truth, he was worried about the potential damage to his stock options if the truth were broadcast to his audience. Murdoch, himself, said it was not a matter of red or blue politics, it was all about “green.”
Murdoch and his amoral crew of hypocrites clearly are not in the news business. They are in the business of making gobs of money — “green” — any way they can, even if it devastates American democracy.
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