The Trouble City Forums

Full Version: Fox News - this is not satire
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Lou Dobbs might want to add some more options to that Trump leadership/coronavirus survey he was taking recently:

Quote:An employee for Fox Business Network has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The network announced the news Friday night, hours after announcing plans to scale back programming out of an abundance of caution over coronavirus concerns.

Many news organizations have taken precautions after employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Fox Business announced in a company-wide memo they will be “doing a deep cleaning of all areas affected” and mandating that this employee’s co-workers quarantine for two weeks.

David Asman, filling in for Lou Dobbs tonight, said the employee was a member of Dobbs’ team, so Dobbs and the rest of his team are in self-quarantine:

“We fully support that employee 100%, who we all wish a speedy recovery. Lou feels well, he has no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution, he and his team are taking the necessary precautions.”
Columnist Ben Smith asked the director of the Harvard Global Public Health Institute whether he believes people will die because of Fox’s coverage.

“Yes,” he said. “Some commentators in the right-wing media spread a very specific type of misinformation that I think has been very harmful.”

Quote:The chief executive of Fox News, Suzanne Scott, reacted swiftly to the threat of the coronavirus in late February: She ordered the bright, open new offices disinfected, installed hand sanitizer stations around the office and boldly canceled the company’s major ad sales event.

But her influence doesn’t extend to the most important part of Fox News: its programming in prime time.

There, for two crucial weeks in late February and early March, powerful Fox hosts talked about the “real” story of the coronavirus: It was a Democratic- and media-led plot against President Donald J. Trump. Hosts and guests, speaking to Fox’s predominately elderly audience, repeatedly played down the threat of what would soon become a deadly pandemic.

The person who could have stopped the flow of misinformation was Ms. Scott’s boss, Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of the Fox Corporation. But he wasn’t paying much attention. The 48-year-old heir to his family’s media fortune was focused instead on buying a streaming company called Tubi for $440 million, a person who has spoken to him said. The acquisition would drive “long-term growth,” he proudly announced in a news release on March 17.

That same day, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 5,600.

Critics sometimes compare Fox, in its loyalty to Trump, to “state TV,” but that description is off. State TV implies command and control. The most-watched news channel in America has become, since the fall of its powerful founder, Roger Ailes, much more like the Trump White House: a family business where it’s not entirely clear who is in charge.

Coronavirus has tested leaders across governments, communities and businesses. Some have risen to the challenge, others have disappointed.

Fox failed its viewers and the broader public in ways both revealing and potentially lethal. In particular, Lachlan Murdoch failed to pry its most important voices away from their embrace of the president’s early line: that the virus was not a big threat in the United States.

Mr. Murdoch is likable and handsome. But even his allies told me they no longer think he has the political savvy or the operational skills his job demands.

His father has urged him to develop a politically astute kitchen cabinet that he can rely on, and remains concerned that he hasn’t, according to two people who have spoken to the elder Mr. Murdoch. Lachlan has delegated much of the running of the company to Viet Dinh, a high-powered Republican lawyer without much experience in the media business, people who work with them said. Mr. Dinh earned more than $24 million in salary and stock last year as the company’s chief legal officer.

People close to Lachlan Murdoch describe him as a laid-back executive who doesn’t spend his days watching Fox and is sometimes surprised to learn of a controversy it has generated.

“People act like Fox is a virus — beyond our control,” said Bill Kristol, who worked for the Murdochs for 15 years and appeared on Fox until 2012. “There are people who run it, who have responsibility for it, and they could be held accountable.”

Through a spokesman, Steven Rubenstein, Lachlan Murdoch declined to comment on any aspect of his performance.

The Murdochs have always been hands-off leaders, and the peculiar challenge for generations of their public relations employees has been deciding whether to portray them as culpable or out-of-touch for various on-air debacles. But since the powerful Mr. Ailes was ousted amid a sexual harassment scandal in 2016, the network seems more and more like an asylum in the firm control of its inmates.

Soon after Lachlan Murdoch won an internal family struggle to take charge in 2018, he appointed Ms. Scott, who’d risen through the ranks, as chief executive of Fox News. It was good public relations: She was the first woman to run the company, which was reeling from the Ailes scandal. And she was a safe insider whom the Murdochs liked, even if she lacked a powerful profile inside and outside Fox.

The job, at that point, didn’t matter all that much. Mr. Trump had given the network’s prime-time hosts, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and others, unusual access and political relevance — not to mention huge ratings. The hosts, in turn, were far more responsive to him than to their nominal bosses, providing a platform for the president and his supporters to air their grievances about the rest of the media.

Ms. Scott, in turn, could focus on cleaning up a toxic workplace, managing the less-watched daytime programming and take credit for the ratings.

The arrangement seemed a happy one. But then, the coronavirus happened.

By January, Lachlan Murdoch knew the virus was coming. He’d been getting regular updates from the family’s political allies and journalists in his native Australia, an Australian News Corporation staff member told me. The Fox host he’s closest to, Mr. Carlson, had been a rare voice on the network urging Mr. Trump to act more urgently. Even Mr. Hannity had hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, early on his show and warned of the risks.

But as the crisis took hold, there were more than two weeks of statements like Laura Ingraham’s assertion on Feb. 27 that Democratic criticism was “more unsettling” than the virus and Mr. Hannity’s allegation on March 9 that political opponents were trying to “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.” Finally, after an obscure Fox Business host, Trish Regan, ranted that the coronavirus issue was “another attempt to impeach the president,” the network pivoted.

The damage Fox did appears likely to extend beyond the typical media hits and misses. I asked Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Public Health Institute, who appeared on Fox News recently, whether he believes people will die because of Fox’s coverage.

“Yes,” he said. “Some commentators in the right-wing media spread a very specific type of misinformation that I think has been very harmful.”

The communications chief at Fox News, Irena Briganti, said, “The cherry picking of clips from our opinion programs is the definition of politicizing this serious threat, as is irresponsibly attacking Fox News in the middle of a pandemic that has evolved considerably over the last few weeks.” She added, “Suzanne Scott’s exceptional leadership of Fox News Media throughout this crisis is unprecedented, and she is committed to both protecting our employees while keeping the audience informed 24/7 on all our platforms and providing an important public service.”

There are a lot of theories about what went wrong at Fox: that the network’s dug-in hostility toward climate science spilled over to medicine, or that its executives cared about ratings above all else. But interviews with 20 current and former Fox staff members and Murdoch family associates in recent days paint a different picture: The network is in thrall to the president and largely beyond the control of the family that owns it.

When Lachlan Murdoch started to hear complaints about the coronavirus coverage on Fox, a person who has spoken to him said, he mistook it for the usual partisan noise.

“Everyone saw it as part of the normal rough and tumble for all things Trump — everyone but Fox goes after him, Fox defends him,” this person said.

Now, Fox is consumed by internal finger-pointing.

Network executives are blaming Mr. Trump, their own powerful hosts or Meade Cooper, the executive vice president who theoretically runs prime time programming, people familiar with their conversations said. Ms. Scott’s internal critics say it’s telling that only the little-known Ms. Regan lost her show — while the stars remain untouchable. And Ms. Scott has been furiously, belatedly, trying to get hold of the programming, insisting that Fox & Friends — the show on which Jerry Falwell Jr. suggested that the North Koreans were to blame for the virus — now always have a doctor involved in the show.

The finger-pointing extends to the very top. Lachlan Murdoch never called Mr. Hannity, whom he had just signed to a new contract, about his coverage. The closest Fox executives have come to taking decisive action appears to be boasting, off the record of course, that they have taken decisive action. Their explanations collide almost comically. A person who spoke to Rupert Murdoch says that the 89-year-old chairman reached out to Mr. Hannity to tell him to take the virus “seriously.” But other executives said they had no knowledge of the call, and Mr. Hannity said in a statement that “this is absolutely false and never happened.”

One level down, Ms. Briganti has complained that Mr. Carlson is casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts, according to two people who heard directly of the conversations.

But little seems to have changed in the Fox ethos. Fox’s shift to more serious coverage of coronavirus followed Mr. Trump’s own, and the hosts are now embracing his new strategy for rallying their shared base. Along with trying to persuade their audience to be safe (particularly in the less-watched daytime programming), they’re sharing unproven positive health news. And they’re recapturing partisan momentum by picking a fight about race and political correctness, emphasizing the Chinese origins of the virus, with no apparent concern for inciting bias against Asians.

On Saturday night, Ms. Scott sent another memo to the company’s rattled staff: The fourth case of coronavirus had been reported in Fox News’s headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.

“We are continuing to take every necessary precaution and to follow every protocol which includes deep cleaning all surfaces these employees were in contact with, in addition to the daily sanitizing and disinfecting that has been performed multiple times a day throughout all areas of the building.”

Employees on Sunday were exchanging panicked texts about whether they should go to work on Monday. But one person who surely wasn’t exposed inside Sixth Avenue was Lachlan Murdoch. He hasn’t been seen in the company’s New York headquarters for weeks.
Damn it all, I suppose we have to boycott Tubi now?
There's no threat too big that Fox can't control the narrative for its viewers:
Fox fires Trish Regan, who called coronavirus a liberal impeachment scam -

Bye dummy.
But Hannity ain't going nowhere.
Well, he IS Vice-President.
Regan will be the next press secretary or something.
"Regan? Same name as Reagan, who was a president, which is terrific and a thing we all love to see."
Wow, Judge Jeanine is really drunk tonight:

Quote:Judge Jeanine missed the first segment of her show tonight because of “technical difficulties” and then hosted the rest of it in this condition

Video at the link.
Oh dear, they couldnt even be bothered to fix her hair.
Let's see if we can get them to drink fish tank cleaner instead of whatever swill Republicans drink.
Apparently Jeanine Pirro polished off a whole box of wine before her show last night -
According to Fox insiders Gabriel Sherman knows, the network is worried legal action could be taken because of its coronavirus misinformation:

Quote:SHERMAN: Yea. I mean, this is the question, what's more pernicious or deceptive about Sinclair is that their local newscasts are not labeled as a Sinclair channel. You don't know that it has a right-wing ideology behind the owners of the local news station, so you're absorbing it as if it's just straight network news. I just want to get back to the Fox of it all real quick. When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus and The New York Times reported days ago that the Murdoch family was privately taking the coronavirus seriously. The Murdochs, of course, own Fox News. So, they were taken personal steps to protect themselves while anchors like Trish Regan and Sean Hannity were telling viewers that it's a hoax and putting themselves in potentially mortal danger. So I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. 

REID: Interesting. It will be interesting to see how long they let Dr. Oz keep going on and on and on with the things that he's been saying on that network given what you just said.
Oh please oh please oh please...
The batshittery is strong with this one:

Quote:Fox News contributor Sara Carter deleted a tweet Monday pushing a conspiracy theory that the media is exaggerating how overloaded hospitals in the United States are by the coronavirus.

Carter tweeted out the hashtag “#filmyourhospital,” which suggests Twitter users investigate whether their hospitals are actually overloaded by the pandemic, as facilities like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens are hammered by Covid-19.

“Interesting, for sure…I’ll be watching #FilmYourHospital closely. Who else has posted video? @toddstarnes did a video as well. @DeAnna4Congress did you call the hospital to ask what was happening inside and how bad a caseload the physicians were dealing w/ coronavirus? Curious,” Carter tweeted.

Carter did not respond to a request for comment from Mediaite.

Her tweet was not the first instance of Carter floating the baseless theory. On Fox News Sunday night, the contributor appeared on The Next Revolution With Steve Hilton and floated the nuts idea:

“And unfortunately, that’s not happening. You can see it on Twitter, Steve. People are saying, ‘Film your hospital,’ people are driving by their hospitals and they’re not seeing — in the ones that I’m seeing —  they’re not seeing anybody in the parking lots. They’re not seeing anybody drive up. So, people are wondering what’s going inside the hospital. How many people are actually in the hospitals that are suffering from coronavirus, how many ventilators, are the ICUs really being filled, how full are they, what’s happening in my home town? So people have questions and they need answers. And that’s very important. And we should be questioning the numbers all over the world, we should be questioning the stats, and we should be hearing from all doctors. And that’s not saying that what’s happening right now isn’t serious and very real.”

Hilton, the Fox News host, replied,  “Exactly. And we’ve got to leave it there, but I mean, the point is it’s precisely because it’s so serious that we’ve got to have good information to support those heroic doctors and nurses and everything they are doing, and make sure we get everything right. So there we are. Great points all around.”

Meanwhile, Fox News primetime host Laura Ingraham was forced by Twitter to delete a tweet the platform determined had violated its “misleading information policy” during the coronavirus crisis.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Mediaite that the tweet was “taken down.”
The conspiracy theory is that Big Health Care is trying to... Hurt Trump?!? Their biggest defender from having to provide basic affordable health care?

Or that every individual health care worker across the country is a big whiny baby, so desperate for attention that they'd risk their reputation and career for attention?

I remember the Good Ol' Days, when dumb ass conspiracy theories at least had to have a motive.
We're long past the point of conspiracy theories having to offer any sort of even apparently internally-consistent rationale. At this point in our history, they are officially nothing but the fallback mechanism for people unwilling to cope with the refusal of objective reality to conform to what they want it to be. I weep for the days when tinfoil-hattery was the domain of paranoid schizophrenics desperately attempting to construct a rational explanation for the experiences inflicted on them by their own disordered brains trying to filter a meaningful signal out of the chaotic noise of their fucked-up personal lives, I tell you.
I say this with complete sincerity: I believe regularly watching Fox News is a sign of mental illness. Like, it should be on every checklist.

I don't believe it's possible for a healthy mind to voluntarily expose itself to that much insanity.

I think of the three family members I'm reasonably certain watch, and two suffer from serious depression with lifelong addiction problems, and the third is convinced the world is ending and the solution is a remote cabin stuffed to the ceiling with guns.

I don't know if Rupert Murdoch intended to build a network designed to exploit widespread mental illness, but here we are.
I think you're confusing cause with effect. This kind of thing is undoubtedly attractive to people who are already off-kilter (again, because it offers a lens through which a chaotic and sometimes straight-up incomprehensible world appears to have a twisted sort of order to it,) but much worse, on a societal level, is that it makes basically normal (or at least more-or-less stable) people crazy, at least with prolonged exposure.
The relationship between Fox News and its regular viewers is not dissimilar from that of an abusive spouse and their victim. The whole "you can't believe anything anyone else says because I'm the only one telling you the truth" bit fits that relationship perfectly. It's incredibly damaging and one-sided.
Yeah, pretty much.
I don't think we're disagreeing, really.

I would just characterize the pre-Fox-News-viewer as "functional", rather than mentally healthy. In the example above, the person who seeks out and stays with abusive partners is mentally unwell even when they're not in a relationship.

In my own examples, my three family members were all unwell long before they started watching. It changed their focus, but the underlying depression was always there.

I find it similar to alcoholism in that you can take away the harmful outside influence, but if you don't address the underlying mental problem that caused the person to self-medicate with that influence in the first place, they'll simply go back to it, or find another to replace it. (In what is likely not a coincidence, two of the three have had substance abuse problems, while the third used to be morbidly obese)

I guess I'm saying we need Fox News Rehab.
They have cult deprogramming, so sure. It's basically cult think applied to mass media.
Tucker is not happy that Twitter is rightly deleting conservative misinformation regarding the pandemic.

He's also slyly trying to protect Fox from its bullshit coverage on the pandemic and the dangerous stuff said from various commentators:

Quote:Fox News’ Tucker Carlson took a moment Tuesday night to decry “censorship” on social media over coronavirus.

In the past few days, Twitter has taken down tweets from public figures like Rudy Giuliani about hydroxychloroquine, for violating Twitter rules on coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter (and Facebook) also removed posts from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for similar reasons after he questioned the need for a quarantine.

Carlson said Bolsonaro “could be completely wrong about that, might also be completely right, we don’t know,” before saying, “Big tech does not believe you should be allowed to think about this.”

“Twitter is censoring comments that say unapproved things about hydroxychloroquine, the antimalaria drug that has shown some promise,” he continued. “Is the drug known for certain to be effective? No it’s not. But some doctors and researchers on the front lines think it works and they are treating patients with it right now. The FDA just approved it. Yet because the media are partisan and stupid, their position is hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work and could never work and if you disagree with that will make you shut up.”

And he even speculated to viewers that it may not stop there:

“It’s just too tempting to use a crisis to achieve your political objectives. Soon they’ll be telling you that Fox News, not China, caused this pandemic. In fact, many are saying that now. How long before they start claiming that in the name of public health, Fox News must be suppressed? Paranoid? Okay, you watch. That’ll happen.”
I've been saying Fox News should be suppressed for years!
Tin-foil hatty . . . but is Kushner behind the right's obsession with Hydroxychloroquine (fun word to spell) in social media? I mean, what the fuck else is he doing?
Hannity tried being nice for a few seconds, but it was just too difficult:

Quote:Fox News host Sean Hannity put politics aside for several seconds when he wished CNN anchor Chris Cuomo prayers for his recovery from the coronavirus, and only took a minor detour to slam Cuomo’s brother — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — as an incompetent ingrate.

The media world poured out its heart Tuesday when Chris announced he had contracted COVID-19, but Hannity’s tribute was truly special.

On Tuesday night’s edition of Hannity, it was Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera who brought up the sad news, offering “a shout out to my brother, Chris Cuomo.”

“I hope you do well, brother,” Rivera said. “I hope for all of us these chilling estimates today, they got to me — 100,000 to 200,000 dead Americans in the coming weeks. I mean, it’s such an awesome blow. We have all got to pull together. We have got to follow the social distancing. We will wash our hands, et cetera.”

“Well, let me echo this,” Hannity said. “Listen, Chris Cuomo was our colleague for a long time. Chris is a great guy. Like, wonderful person.”

Hannity then took a brief turn, saying, “And, by the way, my political differences with his brother and the fact that he lacked total preparedness, and screaming at the president, I need 30,000 this — I’m like, how about some appreciation? It’s nothing to do with — that’s politics.”

“On a personal level, we’re praying for Chris. We’re praying for his family. And everyone else that gets this,” Hannity added.
Hannity's a day-old shitstain, through and through.
There was some truth telling on Fox earlier, which led to some awkwardness:

Quote:How to ensure you don't get follow-up questions on Fox, apparently.

Video at the link.
Great response to that segment:

Quote:Sooner than later they'll have to limit all medical commentary to Drs. Oz and Nick Riviera.

It is pretty surprising that a real doctor was allowed on the network.