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The Fox "News" Lie

A new report released Monday by Media Matters For America found that not a single day went by in the first four months of 2019 when the "hard news" arm of Fox News didn't lie to its audience.

Fox has long assured viewers and advertisers that the network's news and opinion wings are fundamentally different. But, as Media Matters president Angelo Carusone explained in a statement, that isn't really based in fact.

"Fox News likes to tout the 'hard news' side of its operation, setting up a false distinction between its right-wing prime-time hosts and its news anchors," said Carusone. "The network pushes this fictional division as a defense against those who flag the propaganda, lies, conspiracy theories, and bigotry pervading the network."

Rather, as Carusone's team found, the channel's news anchors spread similar misinformation as its more opinionated prime-time hosts such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson.

"Both the 'news' side and the 'opinion' side are cogs in the same propaganda machine," Carusone said. "And both spread lies and misinformation daily with the same motive."

The report is a direct response to the network's efforts to push back against a Media Matters-led boycott targeting the network. Fox argues that the differences between its two arms should assauge advertisers enough to buy commercials during daytime news segments even if they don't like the controversial and counterfactual programming on the nighttime opinion shows.

"Quarantining your ads to only a small subset of programs will not insulate your brand from public rebuke when Fox News' next controversy strikes," said Carusone. "The network as a whole is the problem, not merely a few prime-time hosts."

The report:

The Fox "News" Lie by on Scribd

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

Without drawing a false equivalence, MSNBC is not exactly journalistically honest in its programming either. Fox, though, takes its propaganda techniques to another level and, especially at night, essentially functions as state TV. In fact, Sean Hannity is a confidante and advisor to the president.

At the same time, I'm not entirely comfortable with the notion of boycotting media entities based on their content. In this case, it's probably justified as a way to hold accountable companies enabling state TV and the despicable nature of this particular administration, but as a general rule, it upholds in a way a notion that advertisers be allowed - nay, encouraged - to influence content. There is already too much sponsor-pleasing in the television business.



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Posted on May 13, 2019


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