FOX News has always been a bit of a joke to media insiders. In past columns, I’ve called it the worst network in history. The current moniker is state TV, because it parrots the government line, like some Third World dictator’s mouthpiece. I also call it GOPR, because it functions as the Republican Party’s public relations arm.
But last week FOX News fembot Ainsley Earhardt confirmed all our worst fears with this statement. She defended President Donald Trump’s assault on the free press by saying:
“He’s saying if you don’t want to be called the enemy, then get the story right, be accurate and report the story the way I want it reported.”
That is the very definition of state TV, which tells the story the way the dictator wants it to be told. And it’s the polar opposite of what real news should be.
Earhardt’s statement reminds me of the James Carville adage, “When a politician tells the truth it’s called a gaffe.” But her Freudian slip is an indicator of the true mission of FOX News, which is to support the Republican cause. The problem is many Average Joes don’t know that. Since the network appears on the cable line up alongside CNN, and features beauty-queen like anchors who wear short skirts, they lap it up.
But FOX News functions like a bizarro world news station. Its mission is not to give people accurate, unbalanced information enabling them to make smart decisions. Its job is to get people to believe the Republican line, even if it’s not true. That’s propaganda.
Take Earhardt’s recent comment about immigration. In an interview, she repeated Trump’s line about immigrants failing to show up for court hearings. This fits into his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Earhardt recently said only 2 percent of immigrants show up for asylum hearings. But the Hollywood Reporter stated that Justice Department data showed that “89 percent of asylum-seekers and 72 percent of all immigrants showed up for their scheduled hearings.”
Rep. Luis V.Guitterez condemned Earhardt’s fact-free comment in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“False statements about immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees are the building blocks of the anti-immigration movement in this country which now grips the White House, Fox News, Breitbart News and the dark right conspiracy web,” he said.
This shows that Earhardt and FOX don’t care about getting the story accurate, they only care about making Trump look good. In their world, black is white, and up is down, if it fits their political agenda. I tend to believe the opposite of whatever they say.
It’s bad enough we live in a world where the president doesn’t tell the truth, but now he’s supported by a 24-hour network that backs up his lies. It’s no wonder that Trump supporters are so detached from reality if they rely on FOX News for information. When Trump supporters say the president has built the wall and give him an 80 percent positive rating, you can thank FOX News for it.
Former White House counselor John Dean offered this insightful remark about the power of FOX News to reshape reality.
“Nixon might have survived if he had Fox News and the conservative media that exists today,” said Dean in a Rolling Stone interview.
If Earhardt worked at a real news outlet she would have been fired or suspended for her comment on reporting the news the way the president wants it done. But she doesn’t — she works at FOX News where getting it right isn’t the name of the game.