Lying for Lucre: Fox’s Fake News Fiasco

Thanks to a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems, the nation and world are peeling back the covers on the shocking lies perpetrated by Fox’s top commentators. And how ironic is it that these are the very people who baselessly accused other networks of “fake news” for reporting there was no evidence whatsoever that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

In a nutshell — and boy did it hold a lot of nuts — Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, the cheerleading outfit for Trump’s circus —  all lied through their teeth about the stolen election. And why did they do it? For the most basic of reasons. They did it for the money because they feared if they told Trump supporters the truth, they’d lose their viewing audience.

As far as journalism goes, you can’t get much more unethical than repeating what you know to be outright lies as truth. In that regard, the record is absolutely clear thanks to the discovery of the texts and emails between Fox’s on-air personalities, the management, and even Rupert Murdoch, who owns the network, and admitted he and his employees knew Trump was wrong, that there was no stolen election, and what they reported were lies.

It’s not a matter of who knew what and when did they know it, it’s straight out lying to millions of people who really wanted Trump to win the presidential election he lost by 8 million votes. While most of the mainstream media knew Fox was reporting “fake news” the network itself was busy accusing the nation’s long-standing media outlets of record of doing exactly that.

Nor, while Trump was busy wrapping himself in the flag, did those oh-so-sincere pundits and their over-the-top support for the losing candidate in public hold the same opinion of the Great Grifter in private.

The Washington Post has perhaps the most extensive coverage of Fox’s perfidy in an article that specifically quotes the texts Fox’s deceptive pundits sent internally. “I hate him passionately” wrote Tucker Carlson. “We are very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights.” How’s that for coming from the same guy who then went on air to facetiously support the stolen election lie?

Or how about this one to Carlson from Fox Senior Executive Producer Justin Wells: “Sidney Powell and Rudy [Giuliani] are fucking liars.” Takes one to know one I guess. Add to that Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, who was censured last week by a Colorado Court and admitted she lied about the election. As reported: “Ellis signed a stipulation stating that several comments she made about the 2020 election violated professional ethics rules barring reckless, knowing or intentional misrepresentations by attorneys, according to documents posted by Colorado’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.”

It’s astounding that Carlson and his fellow Fox Fake News pundits knew the truth, but failed to tell their viewers. As one of Carlson’s texts revealed when speaking about their fear of Trump: “What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.” He followed with “He’s a demonic force, a destroyer. But he’s not going to destroy us. I’ve been thinking about this every day for four years.”

That Fox News viewers were blatantly lied to is an historic scandal. But the divisions those lies stoked in Americans are the real tragedy. And now Carlson is on to lying about the attempted J6 insurrection. Bottom line: Fox News IS Fake News — and now, beyond a doubt, the entire world knows it.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.