While Fox News’ television division has always been a propaganda machine for the Republican Party catering to conservative extremes but the website is usually more reserved. Until now.
In an effort to dethrone Breitbart as the ‘go-to’ website for conservatives, Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch hired Noah Kotch over the summer and poured resources into the digital division to make it competitive with even more slant, including pro-Trump propaganda that relies on false and misleading headlines.
“The approach has gone much more the way the prime-time programming works, where it feels more agenda or opinion driven, or combative,” a former Fox staffer said.
Indeed, POLITICO reports:
[M]ultiple former staffers reached by POLITICO pointed to a persistent focus on Hillary Clinton and alleged flaws in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, with lead stories blaring headlines like “FUSION COLLUSION” and “HILLARY’S SLUSH FUND.”
During the day on Monday, for instance, the website provided full coverage of the Amtrak derailment in Washington state, but by evening, while most other news outlets were still focused on the deadly crash, Foxnews.com had flipped to a lead headline that read: “JUMPING THE GUN? Holder, liberal activists gear up for Mueller firing with protest plans.”
And last week, when Trump visited the FBI headquarters to deliver a speech, the lead headline on the site asked if he was entering, “ENEMY TERRITORY.”
Former staff members also described an ideological slant in the framing of stories that they don’t believe existed before Trump, or the hiring of Kotch in June.
Of course, Kotch flatly denies that the website is doing anything different, apparently using the Trump strategy that repeating a lie enough times will somehow make it real.
Rather than be a straight news site in the vein of real newsmen like Shep Smith of Chris Wallace, FoxNews.com is adopting the Sean Hannity style. In other words, just make shit up in support of Trump.
The new direction was even described by media researcher Jonathan Albright as Fox News has “gone a little Breitbart” compared to what they were doing in 2016.
FoxNews.com has not only taken to attacking the FBI; they’ve been using Trump’s lingo such as referring to Kim Jong-un as “Rocketman.” The website also refused to thoroughly cover Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama, choosing instead to bury it as if it never happened, which drew heavy criticism at the time.
The website’s obsession with Hillary Clinton has been of particular note because not only is she not the president or in the government anymore, most news outlets have rarely mentioned her, focusing instead on Trump and the current regime. But Kotch laughably claimed that “I don’t think we stand out in terms of the amount of coverage that’s being given to her,” which would be news to Sean Hannity, who rants about her nearly every night as if she’s some kind of boogeyman.
With this move, Fox News has abandoned the last shred of journalistic integrity they may have had. It’s clear that the network intends to cater to conservative conspiracy theories and propaganda designed to discredit Democrats and American institutions while propping up Trump.
And that’s bad news for this country if we were hoping sanity would prevail.
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