A former employee of Fox News called the company a “propaganda outfit” that is determined to undermine the Obama administration and Democrats.
“I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up,” the employee, whose name was kept anonymous, told the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.
“They say one thing and do another,” the former employee said. “They insist on maintaining this charade, this façade, that they’re balanced or that they’re not right-wing extreme propagandist.”
“You have to work there for a while to understand the nods and the winks,” the former employee added. “And God help you if you don’t because sooner or later you’re going to get burned.”
The former employee’s comments did not come as a surprise to many critics of Fox News, who have long suggested the channel is biased in favor of conservatives. The 2004 documentary film “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” criticized the channel and its owner, Rupert Murdoch, for skewing its reporting of events to promote conservative viewpoints.
“Like any news channel there’s lot of room for non-news content,” the former employee continued. “The content that wasn’t ‘news,’ they didn’t care what we did with as long as it was amusing or quirky or entertaining; as along as it brought in eyeballs. But 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. There’s a conservative take on every story no matter what it is. So you either get told what it is or you better intuitively know what it is.”
Internal emails obtained by Media Matters also showed that a seemingly spontaneous response concerning the Obama campaign canceling an appearance on a local news station to have been scripted by Fox News’ producers,
In another e-mail obtained by the media watchdog, Fox News Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon told his staff to downplay the importance of climate science that showed the globe’s average temperature getting warmer.
Additional emails showed that Sammon asked his news department to refer to the public option as the “government run option” because polls showed the phrase “government option” was opposed by the public.
Perhaps not coincidentally, a poll gauging public trust in TV news found that PBS was the most trusted name in news, while trust in Fox News dropped significantly over the last year.
Photo by Rae Whitlock