Court filings in a defamation case brought against Fox News Network by Dominion Voting Systems reveal that neither prominent network personalities nor top network executives believed Trump’s claims of voter fraud yet decided time and time again to spread those lies on air.
Not once, not twice, but for years.
Fox News will probably spin their perpetuation of false accusations and narratives as simply reporting on the allegations and/or rumors themselves. This idea dismisses the reality that despite being aware the information they were reporting was indeed false, they continued to report it as truth to their viewers.
Why would they do this? Because telling the factual truth would have impacted both their viewership and their overall bottom line.
It’s no secret to most that Fox News is less in the business of reporting news and more in the business of catering to what their viewers want to hear while also keeping themselves in Trump’s good graces.
The importance of accurate news reporting as a service to the public does not matter. Upholding the standards of professional journalistic ethics does not matter.
All that does matter is holding onto viewers by telling them exactly what they want to hear. No one at the network needs to believe it, they just need to sell it. It doesn’t even matter if there is verifiable proof that what they’re saying is wrong.
It seems there needs to be some culpability here.
Fox’s own published “Standards of Business Conduct” claims commitments to building a culture of trust, integrity and ethical behavior and of pursuing facts wherever they may lead.
Evidently, that means unless those facts lead to anything that may negatively impact their viewership or damage their value in the eyes of Donald Trump.
Fox News chose not to follow the facts to important relevant information, such as the fact that the 2020 election was one of the most secure in American history; or that Trump lost the 2020 election; or that there was indeed a large group of armed Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, resulting in multiple injuries, deaths, and destruction of government property.
Instead, they opted to report on inflammatory conspiracy theories, half-truths, outright lies, and general pro-Trump propaganda presented in a way that continued to allow their viewers to believe them and believe that any information to the contrary coming from other networks, sources and/or people must be fake.
Fox News has done a great disservice not only to their intentionally misinformed viewers, but to the entire country.
They’ve fueled the fires of fear and hate, contributed to the continuation—and even the widening—of our country’s divisions, further eroded trust and faith in our democratic system, and done it all while deflecting blame away from themselves and the Republican Party for, well, just about any and everything under the sun.
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