The Boyertown Area Times

Fox News scandal, cable news, and how gullible we all are

- Jeff Edelstein

You know what the difference is between Fox News and MSNBC and CNN?

Fox News got caught.

If you haven’t been following the situation, here’s it in a nutshell:

Fox News knew Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, but in an effort to keep viewers from switching over to Newsmax, the hosts peddled election conspiracy nonsense.

Now: I’m not here to discuss the election. If you think it was “stolen,” I’m not going to convince you otherwise. But a lawsuit, filed by Dominion, led to all sorts of juicy details as to what was going on at Fox in the days after the election, and it is disgusting.

It started election night, when Fox News called Arizona for Biden, becoming, in essence, the first network to call the election for Biden. This upset people at

Fox, notably Tucker Carlson, the man with the most punchable face in the history of the world.

Some texts from Carlson include these nuggets: “We worked really hard to build what we have. Those f ****** s are destroying our credibilit­y. It enrages me.” … “Do the executives understand how much credibilit­y and trust we’ve lost with our audience? We’re playing with fire, for real. … “An alternativ­e like newsmax could be devastatin­g to us.” It goes on.

A text message from his producer, Alex Pfeiffer, reads, “It’s a hard needle to thread, but I really think many on ‘our side’ are being reckless demagogues right now” to which Carlson replied, “”Of course they are. We’re not going to follow them.” Ha-ha.

Then there was a whole batch of messages about Sidney Powell, the wackadoo lawyer, who Carlson called a “nut” in a private message before going on air and saying, her points had “merit.”

It goes on and on, all the way to the top with Rupert Murdoch, who, in a deposition, admitted his hosts promoted the false narrative of the stolen election.

Basically, and without having to read between the lines, Fox News — ol’ fair and balanced — deliberate­ly spread election lies in an effort to keep viewers tuning in.


Now: Does MSNBC and CNN engage in the same behavior? Of course not! At least, not as far as we know. But we do know they lean left — even if they claim they don’t — so who’s to say what questionab­le stories they’ve promoted in an effort to keep eyeballs on the screen?

Honestly — and my bigger point here — is if you want actual news about what’s happening in our world, the last place you should probably go is the major cable news networks.

I’m writing this on a Wednesday morning. The following are the lead stories on each site.

Fox: “Lori Lightfoot torched by critics after Chicago voters kick controvers­ial mayor to the curb.”

CNN: “Ukraine: Russia is suffering immense losses in Bakhmut battle.”

MSNBC: “The real reason for DeSantis’ Disney district takeover.”

Now note this: Neither Fox or MSNBC makes mention, anywhere, on their home page about the war in Ukraine; Lightfoot merits a story on both MSNBC and CNN, but lower on the page, and DeSantis isn’t anywhere on CNN or Fox.

So to be clear: The biggest stories on CNN and MSNBC don’t appear anywhere on their competitor­s pages.

Cable news is broken. Honestly, when I want American news, I actually head to … the BBC.

Their U.S. (and Canada) home page on Wednesday? How the head of the FBI says COVID was the result of a lab leak. Which, not coincident­ally, doesn’t fit any of the narratives the big three American cable news networks have been pumping out over the last three years.

Bottom line? The Fox News scandal — and make no mistake, this is the single biggest media scandal of our lifetimes, a major news network purposeful lying to its audience — only highlights what we all probably know deep down, and that’s this: Cable news isn’t here to inform, it’s here to entertain, and we’re too gullible to know the difference.

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