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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.


Anonymous Fox News employees expressed to CNN their level of discomfort at Fox’s embarrassing coverage of the indictments of two senior Trump campaign staffers and a guilty plea by a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser.

Early on October 30, news broke that a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with people linked to the Russian government and that former Trump campaign officials Rick Gates and Paul Manafort had been indicted and surrendered themselves to the Justice Department. In response, Fox News anchors and personalities attempted to downplay the developments and even claimed the news was bad for the Democrats.

Fox’s morning show, Fox & Friends, was on-air when the news broke, but the show devoted significantly less time to the story than its competitors and instead ran stories about Halloween candy, purported liberal media bias, and cheeseburger emojis. Fox’s new host Laura Ingraham called the arrests a “nothingburger,” host Sean Hannity said the guilty plea was insignificant because “I never heard of the guy,” and reporter James* Rosen lied about the time frame of Manafort’s indictment to claim it was “well before” Manafort’s association with the Trump campaign (Rosen later corrected his report). Tucker Carlson focused on the brother of Clinton associate John Podesta and displayed a chyron stating, “Russia Hysteria Backfires On Democrats” was displayed on the screen.

CNN spoke with Fox News sources for its report who expressed embarrassment at their networks’ coverage, with one Fox News personality saying, “I want to quit,” and another saying Fox’s coverage “does the viewer a disservice and further divides the country.” From the October 31 CNN article:

Some employees at Fox News were left embarrassed and humiliated by their network’s coverage of the latest revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling, according to conversations CNN had with several individuals placed throughout the network.

“I’m watching now and screaming,” one Fox News personality said in a text message to CNN as the person watched their network’s coverage. “I want to quit.”

“It is another blow to journalists at Fox who come in every day wanting to cover the news in a fair and objective way,” one senior Fox News employee told CNN of their outlet’s coverage, adding that there were “many eye rolls” in the newsroom over how the news was covered.


Fox News journalists took significant issue with their network’s opinion hosts, who deflected from the news and, in Sean Hannity’s case, characterized Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” a term Trump used on Sunday in a angry tweet to describe the probe.

“That segment on Outnumbered [questioning Mueller’s integrity] was absurd and deserves all the scorn it can get,” a Fox News employee told CNN, referring to the network’s noontime talk show.

The person added that it was “laughable seeing Hannity and [Laura] Ingraham,” two Fox News opinion hosts who are openly supportive of Trump, “tripping over themselves saying [Mueller’s team has] found nothing thus far.”

*name corrected

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters


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9 responses to “Fox News Employees Revolt Over Russia Coverage”

  1. dbtheonly says:

    Scripts playing hell with me again.

    Fox is in the tank for Trump and the Republicans. As Perry White said, “Water, wet”. Anyone, particularly anyone who has gone to J School, should not be surprised.

    • dtgraham says:

      You must be a Firefox fan. The National Memo causes more problems for search engines than any website that I’ve ever seen…by far. It comes at you in different ways with Google and MS Edge but with Firefox, it results in hanging scripts. One thing that might help you is to type the command “about:config” (no apostrophes) in the title bar at the very top (not in the middle home page). Go past the warranty screen by clicking on “accept the risk”. This will take you to a preference name screen where you want to scroll down to dom.max_script_run_time. Double click on it and increase the integer value to at least 20. You’ll probably find it pre-set to 10.

  2. bobnstuff says:

    Maybe it’s time for a Russian probe into Fox News. Their coverage sure sounds like the very thing the online leaders were talking about yesterday. News designed to divide the nation.

    • FireBaron says:

      But that’s been Faux News goal since the Clintons arrived in Washington.

      • bobnstuff says:

        Fascists have have been around for a long time and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they get their own network. It would be interesting to see what would come up if Fox was looked at closely.

  3. 1standlastword says:

    I sit here in utter amazement as to why the FCC hasn’t received complaints from the congressional Democrats to fine/ censure FOX for being complicit through the coverage of their Opinion Show Hosts Hannity and Ingham for aiding and abetting the Russian plot to undermine our democracy. This is another area where congressional democrats are asleep at the wheel and not protecting our democracy!

  4. FOX is determined to have someone look closer into its dealings. This shady outfit presents the same shallow and propaganda themes as RT, which alone merits a look into whether any of them are on Putin’s payroll.

  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth says:

    FOX is determined to have someone look closer into its dealings. This shady outfit presents the same shallow and propaganda themes as the Kremlin media outlet “RT”, which merits a look into whether any of them are on Putin’s payroll.

  6. Johnny five says:

    Do you realize how stupid you losers sound. You give me a good laugh every day.

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