In one instance, Murdoch messaged CEO Suzanne Scott (“Everything at stake here”) with seeming panic about the growing anger of the core viewership. Those Trump loyalists were enraged after the network accurately predicted on election night that Biden had won Arizona, a key battleground state. Fox’s ratings were sliding radically as Maga Nation moved toward smaller outlets that were even more unhinged from the facts.
In another example, the network’s most influential star, Tucker Carlson – who clearly knew that there was no significant election fraud – told colleague Sean Hannity that he wanted a Fox reporter fired after she tweeted a fact-check of Trump’s voting conspiracy theories.
And although Fox’s defense attorneys claim such examples are handpicked to create a false impression, the cherry harvest certainly is abundant. (They also insist that the network merely was engaging in free speech, protected by the first amendment and codified in longstanding case law.)
The violent assault on the US Capitol might never have happened without this propaganda in the service of profits. And the deep political divisions in the United States can be laid to an alarming degree at the feet of this single media organization, which is the most popular and richest of the cable news networks.