On Murdoch’s New ‘Fox Nation’, Same Old Rogue’s Gallery
Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.
On November 27, Fox News launches Fox Nation, a 24/7 streaming service for the “Fox News superfan.” In addition to historical specials and apolitical cooking shows, the streaming service — which shares a name with a defunct Fox website — will provide unlimited right-wing misinformation to millions of homes across the United States. Many Fox Nation hosts are also on Fox News or Fox Business, where Media Matters has compiled their extensive records of bigotry, misinformation, and conspiracy theories.
Tomi Lahren: Lahren is a former host on One America News Network and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze who gained attention for attacking liberal activist “snowflakes” and for a winding, viral rant about President Barack Obama and “radical Islam.” Lahren was suspended by TheBlaze after she told The View that she supported Americans right to have legal access to abortion; she then washed up on Fox News as a contributor, mostly limited to appearances on Hannity and Fox & Friends. Here are some of Lahren’s most odious takes, which will likely multiply now that she is the face of Fox Nation.
- Lahren called Black Lives Matter “the new KKK” in a since-deleted tweet.
- Lahren claimed that the Black Entertainment Television network’s “definition of a humanitarian is someone who perpetuates a war on cops.”
- Lahren attacked NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a “whiny, indulgent, attention-seeking cry baby” who was simply “blaming white people for all of [his] problems.” Lahren later blamed Kaepernickand musician John Legend for deadly attacks on police officers.
- After activists planned “A Day Without Immigrants” protest to show the importance of immigrants in American daily life, Lahren ludicrously claimed that “a day without illegal immigrants means a safer America for us all, as illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population.” (They are not.)
- Lahren said that female activists planning an all-woman general strike were not “real women” because “real women don’t have to remind the world every single day that history once slighted us. Real women don’t wake up and skip work to march for abortions or paid contraceptives.” Lahren also said that she appreciated “a day without this nasty feminist BS masqueraded as women’s rights,” and claimed feminists use the obstacles women face as “an excuse to fall short.”
- Lahren called refugees “rape-ugees.”
- Lahren defended Trump’s Muslim ban by claiming that Europe has experienced “a fundamental transformation” due to its refugee policy of “bring them all in.”
- According to Lahren, “Modern-day feminism has to be the dumbest load of hypocritical crap ever masqueraded as an equality movement.”
- Lahren smeared feminism as “discrediting and insulting,” falsely claiming it simplifies women’s issues “into wanting free abortions or free birth control” and “using a false statistic like the 77 cents on the dollar bullshit.”
- Lahren lauded conservative women for “dress[ing] like women” as opposed to liberals who wear pant suits.
- Lahren complained that removals of Confederate statues were a leftist attempt “to erase history and to erase every shred of patriotism.”
- Lahren opined that she didn’t “think it’s right that every woman is just believed” about sexual assault.
- Lahren defended Trump’s “shithole countries” remark about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations, saying, “If they aren’t ‘shithole countries,’ why don’t their citizens stay there? Let’s be honest. Call it like it is.”
- Lahren claimed that allowing a migrant caravan into the U.S. would amount to “import[ing] poverty,” which “we cannot afford” to do because “we have enough of our own.”
- Lahren condemned the 2017 Women’s March as a “vulgar display of hate and bitterness” and “a giant temper tantrum clogging our streets and hurting our ears and eyes.”
- Lahren claimed modern-day feminism is less about “equal rights” and more about “man-bashing and demanding free things.”
- Lahren tweeted in defense of Trump’s inhumane separation of families at the border, writing that “we owe ILLEGAL immigrants NOTHING” and suggesting that family separation is just one of the “consequences” parents have to accept when they “drag [their] kids over here ILLEGALLY.”
- Lahren also said, “If you do not want to be separated, do not cross the border illegally. Follow our laws, follow the process. That’s the best way to ensure that your family stays together.”
- Lahren whitewashed Border Patrol’s history of abuse, calling the agents “humanitarians.”
- Lahren incorrectly characterized a college course to complain that teachers are “spending more time with their liberal indoctrination than they are actually teaching things that are very important, like math.”
- Lahren dismissed professor Christine Blasey Ford, who reported that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, writing, “Decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh come out just days before a vote….victim or opportunist?”
- Lahren claimed the MeToo movement is now about making “politically convenient allegations” to “ruin someone’s life.”
- Lahren told Fox & Friends viewers that “anyone who sits right of center, anyone who’s a Trump supporter, we’re all targets” of the left’s attacks, saying, “If you’re on the right, [you] should be concerned and in danger.”
- Lahren blended together her Islamophobia and transphobia in a tweet saying, “Pres Trump [is] dedicated to putting radical Muslims in graves whereas Pres Obama was dedicated to putting men in the ladies room.”
- Under a mistaken belief that Twitter was blocking the use of term “illegal alien,” Lahren tweeted: “ILLEGAL ALIEN. ILLEGAL ALIEN. ILLEGAL ALIEN. Americans come FIRST in our own country. Period. ILLEGAL ALIEN. ILLEGAL ALIEN. ILLEGAL ALIEN.”
- Lahren claimed Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance was an attempt to “advance the notion that black lives matter more.”
- Lahren attacked Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), calling him a “little nasty ginger” and “that little limp d–k.”
- In a since-deleted tweet, Lahren aired her transphobia out once again when she compared Kennedy’s appearance to “pre-Caitlyn Bruce Jenner.”
- After he criticized Trump, Lahren dismissed rapper Jay-Z for rapping about “bitches and sisters” and bragging about “selling crack.” Lahren said Jay-Z should “go back to rapping your filthy lyrics and celebrating your drug-dealing resume” instead of trying to “stir up resentment” with “some made-up [charges of] racism.”
- Lahren said that nobody should “get to come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language, and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice.”
- Lahren called CNN’s Ana Navarro “disgusting and vile” for highlighting first lady Melania Trump’s hypocritically leading an anti-bullying initiative without “any sense of shame for her husband’s use of the Presidency to bully others.”
- Lahren exploited the memory of 9/11 to attack kneeling NFL players, writing, “17 years ago Americans of all races, backgrounds, and political affiliations came together under the flag to comfort one another, hold our nation together and fight for our values as Americans. Today we have high-paid athletes who refuse to even stand to honor those values.”
- Lahren has argued that the Clintons have murdered people.
- Lahren is a climate denier, tweeting in 2015, “They call it ‘climate change,’ I call it weather,” and linking to a YouTube video of her spouting common denialist talking points.
- Lahren made an incredibly stupid comparison in 2017 when she wrote, “Lib logic: terrorism has nothing to do with Islam but fossil fuels and human activity will cause the climate apocalypse.”
Britt McHenry: McHenry is a former sports reporter who worked at ESPN, where her most notable impact was her 2015 suspension when a video of her berating and threatening a towing company employee went viral. After she was fired in a round of 2017 layoffs, McHenry claimed in a since-deleted tweet that ESPN fired her because she had “been openly conservative.” In 2018, she tweeted that ESPN fired her because she was white before also deleting that tweet. Earlier this year, McHenry was given a weekend show on FOX 5 DC, one of few local Fox stations owned and operated by the Fox News Channel. She has written for The Federalist and Fox News’ website, and has also appeared on Fox channels as a commentator. In July, the network directly hired her for Fox Nation.
McHenry’s smattering of opinion pieces are mostly focused on attacking Black athletes for protesting police brutality. She also tokenized a Black police officer defending white supremacists as evidence that “Blue lives do matter.” (McHenry’s column barely mentioned Heather Heyer, the anti-racist protester murdered by a white supremacist at the same rally.)
Tyrus: Tyrus (aka George Murdoch) is an actor, former bodyguard, and retired professional wrestler who is a Fox News contributor. He primarily appears on The Greg Gutfeld Show. Tyrus’ commentary has included a rambling screed against millennials, hailing Trump’s openly scandalous presidency as “transparent,” and arguing that schools should be walled off from the outside world to prevent mass shootings. Like Hume, Tyrus has also been sexist on air, telling a female Fox reporter that she’s “a cute lady and you shouldn’t be talking about wrestling.”
Rachel Campos-Duffy: Campos-Duffy is a Fox News contributor and frequent guest co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend. She is perhaps best known as a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco in 1994.) She is married to Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, formerly a cast member of the Boston edition of The Real World.
On Fox, Campos-Duffy has argued that Kavanaugh was a victim of racial and gender profiling, that “conservatives are the ones who really know what it feels like” to be targeted by “hate” after a serial bomber targeted a series of Democrats, and that LaVar Ball’s criticism of Trump was “an example of really bad parenting.” She defended Trump’s exploitation of a school shooting to attack the FBI, cited Frederick Douglass to call social justice causes as “Marxist causes,” hailed Vice President Mike Pence as “a man ahead of his time” for refusing to be alone around women other than his wife, defended a congressman’s physical assault of a journalist as “Montana justice,” and denounced 8-year-olds for kneeling during the national anthem, saying, “This is shameful.”
David Webb: Webb is a conservative talk radio host and a Fox contributor. He likened Black Democrats to slaves, blamed Democrats and Black Lives Matter for shootings of police officers, and claimed BLM is violent. He criticized Obama for hosting the rapper Common at a White House event, calling it part of “class and ethnic … warfare.” He also attacked Black liberals as racist, saying civil rights activist Al Sharpton is “someone who clearly is a racist” and that The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart is “the next generation of race pimp.”
Webb on Fox complained about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, saying she “used a moment at the Super Bowl, when you should leave politics out of it, when you should celebrate one of the greatest games ever played through the year, and she turns it into a political agenda.”
Eric Shawn: Shawn is a Fox News anchor and senior correspondent who has been with the network since it launched. He currently co-hosts America’s News Headquarters on weekends and is an occasional guest host of the weekday America’s Newsroom. Shawn was Fox’s point person for election fraud coverage in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, during which he supported suppressive voter ID laws and pushed the myth of widespread voter fraud, at one point hosting an hourlong special on it and creating an email tip line for voter fraud.
Sean Hannity: Fox host Sean Hannity serves as Trump’s chief media propagandist and pushes bizarre conspiracy theories against perceived enemies of the president. He is close friends with Trump; the two reportedly share a phone call on a nearly nightly basis, and some in the White House reportedly “refer to Hannity as the ‘shadow’ chief of staff.” Before his servility to Trump, Hannity spent years pushing the racist birther conspiracy theory against Obama and, in particular, gave Trump a platform to spread his views on it.
Hannity was a driving force behind the conspiracy theory about the killing of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. National shaming and a lawsuit from the Rich family forced Fox to retract its news reporting pushing the theory, and Hannity initially claimed that he was also done discussing Rich “for now.” But he returned to the conspiracy theory just one week later, and continued to reference it on air.
Hannity is also a climate change denier. One of his favorite tropes is trotting out his “chief meteorologist,” and fellow climate denier, Joe Bastardi during extreme weather events such as Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Florence. Bastardi’s role is to reassure Hannity’s audience that the extreme weather they’re witnessing is not connected to climate change –, despite science showing that global warming is increasing the size, strength, and intensity of hurricanes, among other extreme weather events.
Dana Perino: Perino is a former Republican official who joined Fox News in 2009 after serving as the last press secretary for President George W. Bush. She started at Fox as a frequent panelist, but eventually graduated to co-host duties on The Five and now also hosts her own midday show, The Daily Briefing.
Steve Doocy: Doocy is one of the original co-hosts of Fox & Friends. He remains at the network despite former co-host Gretchen Carlson accusing him of persistent gender-based harassment in her landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2008, Doocy took the lead in a segment about New York Times journalists who were critical of the network that featured cruelly altered photos in an effort to make them look disgusting. During the Obama administration, he repeatedly joked about torture on his show and justified death threats against Democratic lawmakers over Obamacare. He falsely claimed that NASA scientists faked temperature readings and suggested at least twice that many victims of natural disasters are “whining and complaining” and “begging for a handout.” Doocy also defended Trump’s birtherism on multiple occasions, and repeatedly pushed the racist conspiracy theory himself.
Ainsley Earhardt: Earhardt is a co-host of Fox & Friends who joined the network in 2007, originally in a recurring segment called “Ainsley Across America” on Sean Hannity’s show. Earhardt started as Fox & Friends co-host in March 2016, and has been a vocal Trump defender. She’s claimed that “you can’t even really blame an administration” for its family separation policy, falsely claimed that nobody cares about Trump’s hush money for adult film actor and director Stormy Daniels, and lied about a proposed Republican Obamacare replacement as “affordable” and covering “everyone.”
Earhardt has also criticized Jay-Z for “complaining about white privilege” even though “we had a Black president for eight years”; called history-making Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist “that transgender”; defended Kavanaugh by claiming that Ford “wasn’t sexually assaulted”; and suggested that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was the victim of “discrimination” when a restaurant denied her service. She has even made the patently absurd claim that Fox & Friends doesn’t give Trump “soft interviews.”
Brian Kilmeade: Kilmeade joined Fox News in 1997 and soon became a co-host of Fox & Friends, a position he still holds. Kilmeade has used racist rhetoric on air, from his comments about Americans not having “pure genes” because “we keep marrying other species and other ethnics,” to asking a Black colleague if she makes Kool-Aid with her peach cobbler. In early 2007, Kilmeade helped push the false claim that Obama was raised a Muslim and had attended a madrassa as a child, which he and his co-hosts later apologized for. He also made numerous bigoted anti-Muslim remarks on both Fox News and his radio show, suggesting that the U.S. military interrogate all of its Muslim service members and civilian employees to make sure that they’re not terrorists, defending profiling of Muslims, and falsely claiming “all terrorists are Muslims.” More recently, Kilmeade defended Trump’s family separation policy at the border, saying, “These aren’t our kids.”
Kilmeade has also habitually made sexist comments on air, referring to women as “babes, chicks,” and “skirts.” In 2012, he described the hiring process for his female co-workers: “We go into the Victoria’s Secret catalogue and we said, ‘Can any of these people talk?’”
Brit Hume: Hume served as ABC’s chief White House correspondent from 1989 to 1996. Since joining Fox in 1996 Hume has anchored Special Report and all of the network’s election coverage; he is now Fox News’ senior political analyst. Hume, who has argued that birtherism conspiracy theory isn’t racist and that “Obama enjoyed a certain protected status because he was African-American,” uses his Fox perch to push racist nonsense. He has claimed that Obama was using “well-bred Black children” to unfairly demonize police, that he “is aroused by these incidents where Blacks are killed by white police”, and that for Obama, “racism in America has a white face, never a black face.”
In addition to being one of Roger Ailes’ most die-hard defenders against sexual assault allegations, Hume has accused women of acting “hysterical” for worrying that a Trump Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, complained that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was “not necessarily attractive” during the first president debate, blamed “the deregulation of sex” for campus sexual assaults, dismissed a Trump sexual assault accuser because “she has sex on camera for $,” and claimed that Caitlyn Jenner wasn’t really “transgendered” because she hadn’t had “some sort of physical metamorphosis” that, he said, science requires for someone to “qualify” as trans.
Furthering exhibiting his tenuous grasp of science, Hume has promoted the thoroughly debunked “global cooling” trend. Hume also has argued that guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions “basically defeats the whole idea of insurance.”
Stuart Varney: Varney is an English immigrant who styles himself as a “refugee from socialism” and currently hosts Varney & Co. on Fox Business. Varney frequently attacks poor people while downplaying the hardships of poverty. He once even admitted that he was “frankly” being mean to the “so-called poor people” and claimed that the poor simply lack “the richness of spirit” to succeed. Varney also has a habit of saying that many government programs and Democratic policies to aid the poor and middle class are little more than vote-buying schemes, including the earned income tax credit, much of former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign platform, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) federal job guarantee plan, and especially food stamps.
Jeanine Pirro: Pirro is the host of Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine and is one of Trump’s favorite Fox News personalities. Pirro was a judge and district attorney in New York before she was hired by Fox in 2006. In 2016, Pirro joined other conservatives in blaming Obama for the murder of five Dallas police officers. Since Trump got elected, her name is often floated for senior government positions such as Supreme Court justice or U.S. attorney general, and she has accused the Department of Justice of “an anti-Trump conspiracy” that “is akin to treason.” During Kavanuagh’s nomination hearings, Pirro suggested that Ford may have been hypnotized by a therapist. She recently caused controversy by joining Trump on stage at one of his campaign rallies for the 2018 midterm elections and by pushing conspiracy theories about voter fraud in Florida.
Tom Shillue: Shillue is currently a contributor on Fox News and radio host on Fox News Radio. He hosted the now-defunct Fox show Red Eye and formerly had a career in comedy, which culminated in a stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Since joining Fox in 2015, Shillue has demanded that a “drunk on rights” Black Lives Matter movement needs to be shut down and claimed that “everything was fine” prior to the MeToo movement.
Todd Starnes: Starnes joined Fox News in 2006, almost three years after he was fired from the Baptist Press for misrepresenting quotes in a profile of then-U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. His media career has been broadly focused on how LGBTQ people are debasing America and on how religious values — Christian ones specifically — are under attack. Starnes has also compared those who oppose the Confederate flag in public spaces to ISIS and its idea of “cultural cleansing,” and advocated for violence against anti-Kavanaugh protesters who were predominantly women, calling them “screaming animals.”
Jesse Watters: Watters is a co-host on Fox’s talk show The Five and also has his own weekend show Watters’ World. He began working for O’Reilly a year after he joined Fox, and eventually became his trollish minion on The O’Reilly Factor. He produced a mocking, dehumanizing segment on New York’s homeless population; starred in an incredibly racist segment shot in Chinatown, New York, that drew nationwide scorn; and violated a liberal reporter’s privacy by trailing her and filming her on vacation. Watters has c lied about harassment and violence at Trump rallies, encouraged the president’s authoritarian impulses, and made excuses for Trump’s racism. He is also a climate denier who claimed that “No one is dying from climate change.” Watters also claims that global warming cannot be happening because it snows.
Pete Hegseth: Hegseth is a co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend and a U.S. Army National Guard veteran who initially served at a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before being deployed to combat duty in Iraq and later a training role in Afghanistan. After serving in the military, Hegseth headed a Koch-funded veteran super PAC, but left amid allegations he’d wasted a third of the PAC’s funds on lavish Christmas parties and reimbursements for himself. Hegseth finally joined Fox News in 2014, where he eventually became a Trump favorite. Hegseth frequently echoes the president’s attacks on the media and his climate denial. Hegseth has repeatedly been floated as a possible secretary of Veterans Affairs, and he has advised the president and VA secretary on policy.
Greg Gutfeld: Gutfeld has worked as an editor at several magazines, including Men’s Health and the U.K. edition of Maxim. He was a HuffPost contributor from shortly after its inception to 2008, and he began hosting Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld on Fox News in 2007. Two years later, Gutfeld caused international controversy on Red Eye by mocking Canadian contributions to counterterrorism a few days after four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Despite this, he was promoted in 2011 to co-hosting The Five and eventually replaced Red Eye with his own wide-ranging weekend program, The Greg Gutfeld Show. During his time on The Five, Gutfeld has called for anti-abortion violence, comparing abortion to slavery and saying “if you are pro-life and you believe it is murder, you should be willing to fight” and “start a war” over it. Gutfeld has also denied the scientific consensus on global warming and claimed that “the facts about the high temperatures … is all B.S.”
Bill Bennett: Bennett, once a Democrat, joined the Republican Party in 1986 after he started serving as the U.S. secretary of Education in President Ronald Reagan’s second term. Bennett then directed the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush.CNN hired him in 2006. When Jeff Zucker became the network’s president in 2013, Bennett was terminated and eventually wound up as a Fox News contributor. At Fox, Bennett engages in and defends blatant misogyny. Bennett also has a record of making racist, anti-Muslim comments and engaging in bizarre climate denialism.
Katie Pavlich: Pavlich is an editor at the right-wing website Townhall, a Fox News contributor, and occasional guest host of Fox & Friends and Outnumbered. Pavlich, also a former National Review Washington fellow, first gained attention in 2013 for her conspiratorial and sometimes falsehood-ridden coverage of Operation Fast and Furious, a botched attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to crack down on gun trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico. While the incompetence of some low-level ATF officials caused the ATF to lose track of firearms they hoped to trace to high-level Mexican drug cartel leaders, Pavlich wrote a book making the baseless allegation that the failed gun trafficking sting was actually an attempt by attorney general Eric Holder and other high-level DOJ officials (acting on behalf of President Obama) to create a pretext for more restrictive gun laws in the U.S.
Pavlich has said that “lots of the time” women “have 20 seconds to make a decision” as to whether they will be sexually assaulted. Pavlich also said that “police aren’t shooting innocent Black men. And when they do, they’re held accountable for it.”
Laura Ingraham: Laura Ingraham is a Fox News prime-time host and a right-wing talk radio personality. Ingraham began her media career by outing gay students at Dartmouth College, and since then has held a variety of media jobs, including two failed stints hosting a TV show and a longtime gig as a Fox News contributor. In 2017 Fox gave her a prime-time slot with The Ingraham Angle.
Ingraham uses her platform to spread overtly white nationalist rhetoric (she has also retweeted neo-Nazis), target professional athletes with racist dog whistles, and bully school shooting survivors.. Her racist and bullying style has led advertisers to flee from her program. Ingraham is also a reliable source of anti-abortion misinformation, including her claim the United States would become “an abortion magnet” if it allowed undocumented minors access to abortion. On her radio program, Ingraham has peddled even more racism, excused sexual assault, and trafficked in climate change conspiracies. She’s virulently anti-immigrant, opining on her radio show that deported people should be shot if they attempt to re-enter America, and that reaction to the Trump administration’s separation of families at the border “is hilarious.”
Raymond Arroyo: Arroyo is a long-time host on the Catholic Eternal World Television Network and a regular guest on Laura Ingraham’s radio and TV shows. Since then, Arroyo’s most notable Fox moments have been mocking sexual assault survivors as a “horde” throwing a “temper tantrum” and falling out of his chair while attempting to take a selfie.
Steve Hilton: Hilton, a former adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron, has been a Fox host since 2017 with his own show, The Last Revolution. Upon joining Fox, Hilton quit the crowdfunding website Crowdpac after Democratic clients complained.. Hilton styles himself as a populist, and praised Trump’s attacks on current Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan. Hilton called climate activists “the biggest threat to the environment today.” He also argued that the desegregation of public schools, reaffirming Black Americans’ constitutional rights to equal treatment under the law, should have been “on the ballot” instead of decided by the Supreme Court.
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery: Kennedy is a libertarian former MTV VJ and correspondent for MTV News who currently co-hosts Fox News’ Outnumbered and Fox Business’ Kennedy. Aside from repeating libertarian pablum like “taxation is theft” and “there really shouldn’t be public schools,” Kennedy made her mark on Fox by attacking Obamacare, calling it “immoral” and comparing people who received health care under it to heroin addicts. She also commented that after the San Bernardino shooting, “everyone” on the New York City subway “looked like a terrorist to me,” and claimed that it’s “anti-scientific” to ban climate denialism from being taught in public schools. She also claimed that people — many of them asylum seekers — were joining the migrant caravan from Central America headed to the U.S. southern border because they had a fear of missing out.
Marie Harf: Harf is a co-host of Outnumbered and a Fox News Radio show with Guy Benson. She is a veteran of Obama’s re-election campaign who later worked as a spokesperson for the CIA and the State Department and an adviser to then-Secretary of State John Kerry. She joined Fox in 2017 as the liberal foil to conservative-stacked panels, where she occasionally finds success in debunking Fox News talking points.
Guy Benson: Benson is an editor at Townhall, a Fox News Radio host, a Fox News contributor, and a regular #OneLuckyGuy on Outnumbered. During the 2016 Republican primaries he opposed Trump but quickly changed his tune after the election. Benson has repeatedly attacked Planned Parenthood, calling it an “abortion machine” and describing its former President Cecile Richards as the “radical chief abortion lobbyist.” Following a fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, Benson accused the organization of “butchery” and decried Democrats’ calls for Republicans to stop baseless probes of Planned Parenthood. During the 2017 special election for an Alabama Senate seat, Benson repeatedly misrepresented Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’ position on abortion. Recently, Benson defended Kavanaugh against reports of sexual assault, saying, “I don’t know how it would be remotely just to derail the nomination.”
Tucker Carlson: Carlson is cable news’ leading white supremacist. After failing upward through a hosting gig on CNN’s Crossfire and later MSNBC, Carlson founded The Daily Caller and washed up as a Fox News host. After co-hosting Fox & Friends Weekend, Carlson was eventually rewarded with his own primetime show. Tucker Carlson Tonight is a geyser of white nationalist and supremacist rhetoric, as is Carlson’s former publication The Daily Caller, which has published at least half a dozen writers with white nationalist ties over the last few years. Carlson dismissed an incident of a female teacher sexually harassing a male student, saying, “There’s no victim here,” and claimed that reporting statutory rape is “whiny.” Carlson frequently targets the transgender community; he once invited a trans guest on his program and accused members of the trans community of “faking” their identities, and he denied that the trans community even exists. He is also cozy with extreme anti-LGBTQ groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the American College of Pediatricians. Carlson also repeatedly promotes abortion stigma and anti-abortion misinformation on his show, including about the discredited Center for Medical Progress’ videos. Anti-abortion movement leaders regularly appear on Carlson’s program to push their talking points. He also dabbles in climate denial, calling the scientific consensus on climate change “a species of religion …”
In 2003 Carlson railed against Fox News, saying that “it’s hard to imagine” that he could ever work for them. When asked about Fox hosts using “a blowhard, black-and-white approach that strictly follows a partisan line,” Carlson replied: “Well, what I think the problem is in general and, not just with Fox, but the genre, is that it encourages you to use a straw man … We really try to be above that.” He added: “I don’t like partisanship because it abets lying. And I think you burn out fast when you demagogue.”
Chris Stirewalt: Stirewalt is a politics editor, formerly for the Washington Examiner and currently for Fox News. During the 2016 election, he was one of Fox’s most prominent proponents of the fantasy about a supposed Trump pivot. Since the full onset of the Trump era, Stirewalt has argued that all fact-checking is “subjective” and likened questions about Trump’s mental capacity to the racist anti-Obama birther conspiracy theory.
Andrew Napolitano: Napolitano, a libertarian and former New Jersey state judge, is Fox’s senior judicial analyst. Napolitano was previously a frequent guest on Glenn Beck’s Fox show, which he occasionally guested hosted. He also had his own show, Freedom Watch, on Fox Business. During this time, Napolitano ranted on air that the Federal Communications Commission, environmental and labor laws, and even the 17th Amendment were unconstitutional. In 2010, he revealed himself to be a 9/11 truther when he pushed a conspiracy theory about the collapse of 7 World Trade Center. In 2015, he attacked Pope Francis for speaking out about climate change. During Trump’s presidency, he’s been a regular supporter of the president’s attacks on the Trump/Russia probe and career federal employees, even getting temporarily suspended for a false claim that Obama “went outside the chain of command” to demand British intelligence officials spy on Trump.
Maria Bartiromo: Bartiromo is a longtime cable business news host, first with CNBC, now with Fox Business. She spent the early Obama administration days lying about Democratic economic policies and taking pro-big business positions. She defended Roger Ailes from sexual harassment accusations in 2016 that eventually resulted in him being ousted as president and CEO of Fox News. She’s been a reliable supporter of Trump since the election, even conducting an absurdly softball interview with the president.
Mark Fuhrman: Fuhrman is famous for being the racist Los Angeles police detective who botched the O.J. Simpson murder trial by allegedly planting evidence and by repeated use of the N-word. He works at Fox as a forensic and crime scene expert and typically contributes commentary on Black people protesting or suffering from violence and defends police officers accused of misconduct.
Paul Gigot: Gigot is the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor and host of Fox News’ weekend Journal Editorial Report, where he discusses news stories with other Journal employees, mostly opinion writers. Gigot was implicated in the 2012 Journal scandal about the paper’s failure to disclose that many of its op-ed writers were advisers to the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and that one columnist, Karl Rove, had ties to political organizations trying to defeat Obama and other Democratic candidates in the upcoming elections. During his tenure at the Journal, he gave climate deniers a regular platform to peddle their misinformation. He was also an Iraq war booster.
Evlondo Cooper, Timothy Johnson, Brennan Suen, and Julie Tulbert also contributed research.
Header image by Melissa Joskow / Media Matters