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Two longtime conservative Fox News commentators have resigned in protest at what they call a pattern of arson and trumped-up claims made by the network’s opinion-makers in support of former President Donald Trump.
In separate interviews with NPR earlier this month, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg pointed to a breaking point: Network star Tucker Carlson’s three-part series about the siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, which was based on inventions and conspiracy theories to relieve the Trump supporters who were involved in the attack.
“It basically means that the Biden regime is coming halfway through the country and this is the War on Terror 2.0,” Goldberg told NPR. “It’s about all sorts of innuendos and conspiracy theories that I think could legitimately lead to violence. That was the last straw for me and Steve. ”
Hayes has been a close friend of Fox News’ political host Bret Baier since college at DePauw University; both he and Goldberg were the main pillars of Baiers Special report since joining the network in 2009. Together, Hayes and Goldberg founded the conservative news site The shipping.
According to five people with direct knowledge, the resignations reflect greater turmoil within Fox News about Carlson’s Patriot Purge series and his increasingly harsh attitudes, as well as the network’s willingness to make false, paranoid claims against President Biden, his administration, by its opinion stars let and his supporters.
Senior Fox News journalists warned network managers
Veterans on Fox’s news site, including political presenters Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, shared their objections with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and News President Jay Wallace. These objections were raised by Lachlan Murdoch, chairman and CEO of the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation. Through a senior spokeswoman, Scott and Wallace declined to comment. Murdoch did not return a request for comment by a spokesman.
Goldberg says he was assured by Fox newsmen that if Trump left Washington DC after his defeat, the network would shut down inflammatory comments and allegations.
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Instead, Goldberg says, the decision by election analysts at Fox to be the first to predict that Biden would win on election night in Arizona last November led the stations’ stars, including Carlson, to show their commitment to Trump and his die-hard fans demonstrate. And that has resulted in Fox opinion stars taking increasingly untenable positions, argues Goldberg. (Fox News is currently facing two billion dollar lawsuits from electoral technology companies alleging that they were defamed by network hosts and guests who backed Trump’s grandiose and bogus claims of electoral fraud.)
Fox News has also dumped the heads of its Politburo, sacked a number of researchers, and set up a new public opinion hour at 7 p.m., which news anchor Martha MacCallum moved from that time to a less visible afternoon afternoon. All of these moves resulted in even more Trump-friendly content, despite the fact that his newscasts cautiously sought to correct the record in the 2020 election and siege.
“It was irresponsible to bring that into the public airwaves”
Carlson’s series on the Capitol Rising aired on Fox’s paid streaming service Fox Nation in late October.
“You have begun fighting a new enemy in a new war on terror,” Carlson warned his viewers on the first episode. “Not, you should understand, a metaphorical war, but an actual war in which soldiers and paramilitary organizations hunt down American citizens.”
The series’ promotional videos that aired on Fox News late that week before loud alarm bells went off across the network.
“I found it irresponsible to bring that out in public,” says Hayes.
“The trailer [for the series] basically gave people the impression that the US government is after all patriots – half the country, as one of the protagonists in the play says that it used to be al-Qaeda. And that doesn’t happen. That is not true.”
“That narrative certainly contradicts the vast collection of legal documents indicting those who committed on the 6th Fox News’ own news site and the coverage people did on the news site,” he said.
Solicited for comment on the story, Carlson says that the two of them leave “will make the channel a huge improvement”.
He also made fun of the two men for denouncing him for submitting conspiracy theories: “These are two of the few people in the world who still pretend the Iraq war is a good idea,” wrote Carlson NPR. “I think her exit will improve the channel a lot. Nobody wants to see such stupid comments.”
Carlson declined to comment on the objections of other prominent journalists on the network.
News broadcasts distance themselves from Carlson’s series on the air
Viewers could see the prominent Fox journalists distance themselves from Carlson’s series immediately after the promotional videos first aired.
On the Friday before Patriot Purge was released, Baier aired a report by veteran national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin about the insurrection investigation. In the featured interviews, allegations of a so-called “false flag attack” were rejected – that is, violent left-wing activists like the Antifa posed as Trump fans when they attacked the Capitol.
The day before the series started, Wallace broadcast an interview Fox News Sunday with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of Trump’s top Republican critics. She is one of only two GOP members of the House committee investigating the uprising in Congress.
“Patriot Purge” relied on well-known peddlers of unfounded conspiracies, people seeking the company of white racists who were not allowed to appear as credible sources by Fox’s reporting teams.
Goldberg said he and Hayes could no longer tolerate the wild claims that were broadcast, broadcast and streamed on Fox News.
“Working at Fox is kind of a brass ring in conservative and right-wing circles, and I’ve been well compensated,” says Goldberg. “I don’t want to be a martyr or ask for pity or anything like that. But it is certainly a significant financial success. And it cuts you off from a very large audience, too.”
“We don’t regret the decision. But we found it regrettable that we had to make the decision.”
Hayes and Goldberg used to be top editors at Weekly standard and the National review, or you recently teamed up to create the conservative anti-Trump site The shipping. Hayes, the outlet’s founding CEO and editor, and Goldberg, its editor-in-chief, say the website is designed to appeal to conservatives with commentary and news based right on the facts.
“We started The shipping Partly to model behavior that we thought was increasingly missed on the right, especially in conservative media, “says Goldberg. He says the online magazine is” not committed to, or pretended to be, a partisan agenda “Monetize dopamine hits simply by making people angry”.