Media critic faces pushback for expecting anything but 'propaganda' from Fox News
Fox News host Tucker Carlson (Fox News/screen grab)

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.