Former Fox Executive Turns Against Company & Clowns On Trump

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Via The Daily Beast, a former Fox News executive shared a scathing take-down of the network this week, criticizing (among other issues) the platform that Fox has provided for former President Trump’s lie that last year’s presidential election was rigged. The former executive, Preston Padden, explained how he worked for Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch for seven years, but in the time since (Padden left in the late 1990s), Fox has turned starkly aside from what he knew. As Padden put it, “in recent years things have gone badly off the tracks at Fox News.”

In his new article, he directly tied Fox to serious, real-world problems, like the deaths of large numbers of Americans due to COVID-19. After all, the network repeatedly downplayed the virus and disparaged efforts to fight against it. Fox “(especially the leading prime-time opinion programming) has contributed substantially and directly to: the unnecessary deaths of many Americans by disparaging the wearing of life-saving COVID masks,” Padden noted, also blaming the network for “the unnecessary deaths of many Americans by fueling hesitation and doubt about the efficacy and safety of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines.” Figures like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) have promoted unsupported vaccine skepticism on Fox’s cornerstone programs, like Sunday Morning Futures with host Maria Bartiromo.

Meanwhile, Padden also characterized Fox as at least partly responsible for “former President Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from him by providing a continuous platform for wild and false claims about the election—claims refuted by more than 60 judges, Republican State election officials, recounts in numerous States and Trump’s own Attorney General.” Without Fox News, would Trump’s lies about last year’s presidential election have spread to the point of inspiring the deadly January riot at the Capitol? Hundreds of the former president’s supporters are now facing criminal charges after entering the Capitol in hopes of forcibly stopping Congress from formally certifying Biden’s presidential election victory. Fox played a central role in these circumstances.

As Padden woefully observed:

‘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… [A[ poll by SSRS in late April found that two-thirds of Republicans either believe or suspect that the election was stolen from Trump—60 percent saying there is “hard evidence” that the election was stolen. As noted above, this ridiculous notion has been thoroughly refuted. But millions of Americans believe these falsehoods because they have been drilled into their minds, night after night, by Fox News.’

Read Padden’s full remarks at this link.