A Washington Post media columnist faced a tremendous pushback for suggesting Fox News might have rededicated itself to the premise implied in its name instead of stoking trivial outrages.
Media critic Margaret Sullivan wrote that she had hoped, for a brief moment after Donald Trump lost the election, that the conservative network might focus on the news half of its titular promise, but she admitted Fox News has gone the opposite direction.
"The clear purpose — the only purpose — is to stoke outrage and division among viewers who may think they're getting meaningful news content," Sullivan wrote.
"From a ratings perspective, it's working," she added. "After that shaky moment, Fox again rules the cable-news roost. But, as always with the way Fox spreads its toxic ugliness, there is a real downside — if not to its bottom line, then to the way Americans function, or don't function, as citizens."
Readers were surprised that Sullivan could have hoped for anything different.
@Sulliview @sree @FoxNews Call it by its real name Fox Entertainment and file under Fiction. Cable news companies… https://t.co/9iThAttuna— ElsieSisu (@ElsieSisu) 1623840133.0
@Sulliview FN was built expressly to promulgate culture wars material. It was never going to dig into real news; th… https://t.co/LSP2YFWYOj— aka Steve the Half-Pfizered (@aka Steve the Half-Pfizered) 1623847052.0
@Sulliview @BrandyZadrozny @FoxNews It is scary their ability to indoctrinate their talking points into many American’s daily language— EW (@EW) 1623845274.0
@JRTurgeon13 @Sulliview @MollyJongFast @FoxNews And rather than leaning away from crazy, they’re going to go full t… https://t.co/bH0XlaDQn3— NeedBirds (@NeedBirds) 1623844658.0
@szorowitz @Sulliview @MaxBoot @FoxNews They’re both in it for the greed, power and white supremacy.— Booshkabean (@Booshkabean) 1623843290.0
@GirlsDwt @Sulliview @brianstelter @FoxNews Crossed the line, jumped the shark, lost their minds …— Archemoros (@Archemoros) 1623845368.0
@maners_amanda @Sulliview @FoxNews Wallace will stay IMO - he doesn’t have a platform on Fox cable (his show is bro… https://t.co/kaT55bCVGj— Correct Question 💧 (@Correct Question 💧) 1623847292.0