Ex-Fox News insider shreds Rupert Murdoch for drilling harmful lies into viewers' minds
CEO and founder of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch (AFP)

A former Fox News insider laments what the conservative network has become.

Veteran media executive Preston Padden had high praise for his former boss Rupert Murdoch in a new column for The Daily Beast, but he said the Fox News mogul had wrecked whatever legacy he may have deserved for his business success by allowing the network to drift into malignant misinformation.

"In recent years things have gone badly off the tracks at Fox News," Padden writes.

Padden blamed the network's broadcasters for the deaths of many Americans from coronavirus and the Jan. 6 insurrection with their continued lies about pandemic safety measures and Donald Trump's election loss, and he said the damage done to the United States was incalculable.

"Fox News has caused many millions of Americans — most of them Republicans (as my wife and I were for 50 years) — to believe things that simply are not true," he writes. "For example, Yahoo News reports that 73 percent of Republicans blame 'left-wing protesters' for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Of course, that is ludicrous. All one has to do is look at the pictures or videos of the attack to see that the violent mob was comprised of Trump supporters."

Another poll found two-thirds of Republicans believe Trump's lies about the election being stolen from him.

"This ridiculous notion has been thoroughly refuted," Padden writes. "But millions of Americans believe these falsehoods because they have been drilled into their minds, night after night, by Fox News."

Padden said he doesn't believe those falsehoods about Trump's loss and the pandemic reflect Murdoch's views, and he claimed he's tried to make the elderly mogul try to understand the harm his network is inflicting.

"Over the past nine months I have tried, with increasing bluntness, to get Rupert to understand the real damage that Fox News is doing to America," Padden writes. "I failed, and it was arrogant and naïve to ever have thought that I could succeed. I am at a loss to understand why he will not change course. I can only guess that the destructive editorial policy of Fox News is driven by a deep-seated vein of anti-establishment/contrarian thinking in Rupert that, at age 90, is not going to change."