Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Former Fox Staff Member: "Stuff Is Just Made Up"

A former Fox News employee told Media Matters that the organization is the propaganda arm of the Republican party under the guise of a news network. According to the source, one has to propagate the right-wing party line; Fox cultivates a defensive corporate culture; Fox actively campaigns for Republicans:

Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider...was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”

Indeed, a former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed...that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.

"...anything—anything--that was a news story you had to understand what the spin should be on it. If it was a big enough story it was explained to you in the morning [editorial] meeting. If it wasn’t explained, it was up to you to know the conservative take on it...

"...You always have to seem to be under siege. You always have to seem like your values are under attack. The brain trust just knew instinctively which stories to do, like the War on Christmas.”

...It’s clear that Fox News has become a misleading, partisan outlet. But here’s what the source stresses: Fox News is designed to mislead its viewers and designed to engage in a purely political enterprise.

In 2010, all sorts of evidence tumbled out to confirm that fact, like the recently leaked emails from inside Fox News, in which a top editor instructed his newsroom staffers (not just the opinion show hosts) to slant the news when reporting on key stories such as climate change and health care reform.

Meanwhile, Media Matters revealed that during the 2009-2010 election cycle, dozens of Fox News personalities endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances. And in terms of free TV airtime that Fox News handed over to GOP hopefuls, Media Matters calculated the channel essentially donated $55 million worth of airtime to Republican presidential hopefuls last year who also collect Fox News paychecks.


Michael The Molar Maven said...

I remember a few years ago when Tim Russert hosted a debate between Bill O'Reilly and Paul Krugman - a debate in which Krugman, despite facts on his side, allowed himself to be "bullied" by O'Reilly. Krugman brought up a point about Fox news. He said (loosely quoted from an unreliable memory), "...if you picture in your mind a backroom where the higher-ups at Fox decided the best way to portray its political spin, you would be right..." (I put it in quotations to show that these are not my words. The accuracy could be questions; the message, definitely not.) O'Reilly barely denied Krugman's claim. So why does any of this surprise you. Fair and balanced indeed!

Jeff Tone said...

Doesn't surprise me at all. I just thought that it was significant that a Fox insider confirmed it.