Fox News personalities exhibit political and ideological leanings not often seen among professional news organizations, evidenced by their associations, memberships and financial and logistic support of political organizations.
Credibility Heuristic They invoke this heuristic when discussing themselves and others on their shows by calling themselves candid, smart, tough and trusted – branding other so-called biased news networks as using spin and pundits as newsmakers.
1. It’s a satire
Fox News’ actual journalists — such as Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, who had previous journalistic careers before joining the network — often feel there is an inherent tension between themselves as journalists — such as Shepard Smith or Chris Wallace — who first and foremost consider themselves reporters (even if they agree or accept Fox’s conservative editorial stance), versus talk show hosts and entertainers like Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly who serve as entertainment on their shows.
These Fox News hosts are often met with distaste at Fox News headquarters and some current and former journalistic peers who see them as susceptible to pressure from powerful right-wing figures and corporate bosses.
Last November, Fox host Tucker Carlson was sued under oath by two election technology companies who asserted that Fox hosts had defamed them by airing falsehoods about vote rigging and seeking damages against Fox and its hosts. The lawsuit demanded monetary reparations.
2. It’s a parody
Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News revealed in its legal brief an antidemocratic bias throughout. Not one reporter or editor goes rogue; rather it is all of them together that do this work inexorably.
Fox had long fed its audience’s extreme biases and fears of the other side, so when Trump declared the election stolen it was no secret Fox would respond by affirming the Big Lie to appease their fanatic base and make financial profit off it despite knowing it was false – yet their strategy may end up costing more than anticipated based on documents released as part of Dominion case.
3. It’s a gimmick
Dominion’s legal brief makes one thing clear: Fox News is no news channel – it is instead an instrument used by an indefatigable billionaire to spread lies that aim to deceive viewers.
Fox has become increasingly radicalized and reinforced its viewers’ most hostile biases for financial gain. From characterizing Joe Biden as an “pedophile communist” to alleging election fraud robbed Donald Trump of victory, Fox hosts frequently spread lies without regard for truthfulness.
Fox used its disinformation strategy during the final night of election fraud hearings to prevent its audience from hearing evidence that proves these allegations are baseless, fearing that hearing such truth might alter people’s minds and turn away from Fox news altogether – an approach which may seem detrimental, but is actually good business practice.
4. It’s a distraction
Rupert Murdoch and other Fox News executives knew that Fox hosts were endorsing President Trump’s claims of election fraud to boost ratings, according to depositions taken during Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox. Now depositions from this lawsuit provide evidence to back this up.
Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo all promoted false claims of voting machines being rigged in favor of Joe Biden despite evidence from voting-machine company Smartmatic that indicated such claims were baseless.
This caused Fox’s ratings to plummet, leading many viewers to switch over to rival conservative news sources like Newsmax instead of Fox. Emails and memos released as part of Dominion lawsuit demonstrate Fox executives were acutely aware of this shift, fearing it could jeopardize the network’s FCC license as a news network.
5. It’s a lie
Fox News may resemble a journalistic enterprise; however, that’s far from being the case. Had it been, any journalist caught intentionally lying to their audiences would be fired immediately from employment; famous examples include Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass.
Texts released through the Dominion lawsuit reveal how Fox News employees regularly disregard truth in pursuit of profits and viewership, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity who knew that their report about insurrectionists storming Capitol was false.
But Fox News viewers are being misled as well; these lies are damaging their families, friendships and communities – damage which no amount of money can repair.