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Two conservative Fox News commentators have resigned in protest of what they call a pattern of inflammatory and fabricated allegations by the network’s opinion hosts in support of former President Donald Trump.
In separate interviews with NPR, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg pointed to a breaking point earlier this month: Network star Tucker Carlson’s three-part series about the January 6 siege of the US Capitol that relied on fabrications and conspiracy theories. To exonerate Trump supporters who participated in the attack.
“It’s basically saying that the Biden regime is coming after half the country and that’s the War on Terror 2.0,” Goldberg told NPR. “It’s smuggling all kinds of insinuations and conspiracy theories that I think can legitimately lead to violence. For me and Steve that was the last straw.”
Hayes has been a close friend of Fox News political presenter Brett Baer since their undergraduate days at DePauw University. He and Goldberg were the mainstay of Bayer special report Since joining the network in 2009. Together, Hayes and Goldberg co-founded the conservative news site Send.
According to five people with first-hand knowledge, the resignations reflect greater turmoil within Fox News about Carlson’s series “The Patriot’s Purge” and its increasingly aggressive stance, and about the network’s willingness to allow opinion stars to make false and panicked allegations against President Biden and his administration. and his supporters.
Fox News reporters warned top network executives
Veteran figures on the Fox news side, including political anchors Brett Baer and Chris Wallace, have shared their objections with Fox News Media CEO Susan Scott and its news head, Jay Wallace. Those objections went up to Lachlan Murdoch, chairman and CEO of the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation. Through a prominent spokeswoman, Scott Wallace declined to comment. Murdoch did not respond to a request for comment through a spokesperson.
Goldberg says Fox news leaders assured him that, when Trump left Washington, D.C. after his defeat, the network would water down the incendiary comments and allegations.
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Instead, Goldberg says, the decision by Fox election analysts to be the first to predict Biden’s victory in Arizona on election night last November has prompted network stars, including Carlson, to show their devotion to Trump and his most determined fans. This has prompted Fox opinion stars to adopt increasingly untenable positions, Goldberg argues. (Fox News is currently facing Two billion dollar cases From voting technology companies alleging defamation by web hosts and guests who have endorsed Trump’s grand and false allegations of election fraud. Fox filed motions to dismiss both suits.)
Fox News also relinquished its politburo leaders, laid off a group of researchers and set up a new 7 p.m. opinion watch, shifting news anchor Martha McCallum from that time to a less conspicuous spot in the middle of the afternoon. 11 p.m. news anchor Shannon Brim was pushed into the middle of the night in favor of the opinion-driven Greg Gutfield comedy show. All of these moves have pushed the channel to more Trump-friendly content, even as its news programs have gently tried to correct the record of the 2020 election and the blockade.
“It was irresponsible to post that on the public airwaves.”
Carlson’s series about the Capitol Rebellion aired on Fox Nation’s paid streaming service in early November.
“They are beginning to fight a new enemy in a new war on terror,” Carlson warned his viewers in the first episode. “It is not, as you must understand, a metaphorical war, but an actual war, soldiers and paramilitary agencies going after American citizens.”
Promotional videos for the series aired on Fox News late in the week before loud alarm bells rang out across the network.
“I thought it was irresponsible to put that out into the public airwaves,” Hayes says.
“Trailer” [for the series] He gave people the impression that the US government was going after all the patriots – half the country with the word of one of the heroes in the article,” he says. And that the federal government was going to use the tools and tactics that it was going after al-Qaeda. This does not happen. this is not true.”
“It is a narrative that certainly contrasts with the massive body of legal documents accusing those involved on January 6, and the extensive reporting by a variety of media about what happened on January 6 at that time and in the aftermath, and in part contrasts with Fox News. private news and reports made by people on the news side.
Asked for comment on this story, Carlson said the two’s departure would “dramatically improve the channel”.
He also mocked the two men for denouncing them for putting forth conspiracy theories: “These are the only two people in the world who are still pretending that the Iraq war was a good idea,” Carlson wrote to NPR. “No one wants to see a comment that stupid.”
Carlson declined to comment on the objections of other prominent network journalists.
News programs distance themselves from the on-air Carlson series
Viewers could see prominent Fox journalists walking away from the Carlson series right after the promotional videos were first broadcast.
On the Friday before the release of “Patriot Berg,” Bayer aired a clip about the investigation into the insurgency Written by veteran national security reporter Jennifer Griffin. Featured interviews dismissed allegations of a so-called “false flag attack” – that is, violent left-wing activists like Antifa pretending to be Trump fans when they attacked the Capitol.
The day before the series was released, Wallace broadcast a day interview Fox News Sunday With Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, a major Trump Republican critic. She is one of only two Republican members of the House committee investigating the insurgency in Congress.
The film “Patriot Berg” relied on peddlers known for baseless plots, people who sought the company of white supremacists who were not cited as reliable sources by Fox’s coverage teams.
Goldberg said he and Hayes could no longer tolerate the wild allegations being aired, broadcast, and aired on Fox News..
“Being a Fox contributor is kind of a brass ring in conservative and right-wing circles, and I’ve been very well paid,” Goldberg says. “I’m not looking to be a martyr or beg for pity or any of that sort of thing. But it’s definitely a huge financial hit. It also cuts yourself off from a very large audience.”
“We don’t regret the decision. But we found it unfortunate that we had to make the decision,” he added.
Hayes and Goldberg were formerly senior editors at Weekly Standard and the national review, Straight. They recently joined forces to found the conservative anti-Trump website transmission. Hayes, the founding CEO and editor-in-chief, and Goldberg, its editor-in-chief, say the site aims to appeal to conservatives with fact-based commentary and news.
“We fired Send In part to exemplary behavior that we thought was increasingly missing on the right, particularly in conservative media,” Goldberg says. He says the e-magazine is “not beholden to a partisan agenda, nor is it looking to monetize dopamine results simply by angering people.” “.