Fox News has received more criticism than ever before.
In the days and weeks following the 2020 presidential election, the right-wing media behemoth operated with little regard for accuracy, as shown by a large number of recently disclosed texts and emails. The letter claims that Fox News’ most senior executives and well-known figures chose against disclosing what they believed to be the election’s facts because they feared doing so would turn off their viewers and lead to the extremely successful firm going bankrupt.
The remarks were made in a stunning court document that was made public on Thursday as part of a $1.6 billion lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News. The document shows the network’s executives and talk show hosts privately refuting allegations that the 2020 election was rigged, which have been made by former President Donald Trump’s camp and his supporters.
Yet, even privately admitting that the issue was true, the network still allowed the lies to dominate its air, largely because management and hosts were afraid that revealing its sizable audience the reality would make them stop tuning in.
After the election, a furious Trump slammed Fox News and urged his supporters to go to Newsmax, a more niche right-wing talk station that was overflowing with election denial.
Given that Arizona was a crucial swing state for Joe Biden to win the presidency, Trump was furious because Fox News was the first network to predict his victory. And he couldn’t stand that Biden had been crowned the victor of the presidential race by the network, which had done so correctly.
The audience of Fox News turned against the network in the days and weeks following the announcement of the presidential race by listening to Trump. While Newsmax had a substantial increase in viewers, Fox News saw some audience declines.
Fox News anchors and executives were in a panic in the background. The rise of Newsmax, according to Fox News President Jay Wallace, was “troubling,” and he advised the network to go into battle.
The chairman of Fox Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, sent an email to Suzanne Scott, the head of Fox News, warning her that Newsmax needed to be “watched.” She was reminded that “all is on the line” by Murdoch, who added that he didn’t “want to anger Trump further.”
The communications provide additional proof that Fox News failed to uphold its basic journalistic duty to report the news impartially and without fear or favor to viewers. Instead, by slanting the news, the right-wing talk program designed its coverage to appeal to its audience—a demographic that was purposefully being misled by Trump and his campaign advisers—by distorting the news.
According to a statement Tucker Carlson sent to Laura Ingraham, “Our viewers are decent people, and they accept the charges of election fraud.”
After the election was declared a week later, Sean Hannity said of Carlson and Ingraham, “In one week and one debate they ruined a brand that took 25 years to establish, and the harm is immeasurable.”
“It’s vandalism,” said Carlson.
Then, Hannity talked about the possible harm that a rival may cause Fox News, calling it a potentially “severe problem.”
That might occur, Carlson said.
The hosts were furious when their colleague, White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich, tweeted a simple fact check of Trump’s election lies because they were so concerned about Newsmax’s surge.
Carlson requested to have her fired from Hannity. “Seriously, why the hell not?” I’m surprised. It must cease right away, like right now. It is seriously harming the business. The share price is declining. No humor here.
Hannity asserted that Scott and he had already spoken about the circumstances. The next two of his employees to face criticism from him were the Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto and the former Fox News presenter Chris Wallace, both of whom had attacked Trump.
Hannity declared, “I’m three strikes.” Wallace had a stupid debate. catastrophe on election night. And now this nonsense? Nope. not going to work. Is Cavuto on the list?
Programming choices also seemed to be influenced by a concern that Fox News’ viewership might permanently leave the network. “Many viewers were disappointed that we didn’t address electoral fraud tonight,” Carlson producer Alex Pfeiffer told the host in the days following the election. Our viewers are now only interested in it.
In addition to calling the choice a “mistake,” Carlson remarked, “I detest this s**t.”
Fox executives were so concerned that their audience would boycott the network that Scott, the network president, even made a move to speak with Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, a well-known Fox News sponsor and election conspiracy theorist.
Executives at Fox News “exchanged concerned emails about alienating him” when Lindell went on Newsmax and blasted the network, the lawsuit claimed. A handwritten note and a gift were later sent to him by Scott, according to the lawsuit.
Fox News stated in a statement released late Thursday night that the court filing consisted of selective excerpts that lacked context.
The core of this case still revolves around freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan, the network said. “There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about those rights,” it added.
Concerning Fox News
Fox News is a cable news channel based in the United States, owned by the Fox Corporation. It was launched in 1996 and has since become one of the most widely watched news channels in the country.
Fox News is known for its conservative-leaning coverage of news and politics, with many of its commentators and anchors expressing views that align with the Republican Party. The network’s prime-time lineup features popular shows such as “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Hannity,” and “The Ingraham Angle,” which often take a critical stance toward progressive policies and politicians.
However, Fox News has faced criticism over the years for its biased reporting and for promoting conspiracy theories. Some commentators on the network have been accused of spreading misinformation and propaganda, particularly concerning the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the controversy, Fox News remains a popular source of news and commentary for many Americans, particularly those who identify as conservative or right-leaning.