Brian Stelter on Fox, Trump, and His New Book, “Network of Lies”

Title: Explosive Revelations Expose Fox News’ Hypocrisy and Internal Struggles

In a landmark defamation settlement, Dominion, the election tech company, dealt Fox News a massive blow of $787.5 million, making it the largest-known settlement in U.S. history. As a result, Fox was forced to disclose a trove of emails, personal texts, and memos from its producers, executives, and marquee talent, laying bare the network’s dirty laundry. The revelations exposed the astonishing hypocrisy at Fox, wherein it peddled the “big lie” of a stolen election while privately acknowledging its absurdity. This exposé, combined with the Jan. 6 investigation, has provided media critic Brian Stelter with a wealth of material for his new book, “Network of Lies,” which delves into the ideological war being waged within Fox.

Unearthing the Truth:
Stelter, a self-proclaimed “cable news nerd” and renowned media correspondent, seized the opportunity to analyze the depositions, text messages, and communications between White House aides and Fox producers. His goal was to piece together the hundreds of puzzle pieces and present a comprehensive picture of what was happening behind the scenes at Fox. With his expertise in tracking American media, Stelter’s meticulous report in “Network of Lies” exposes how the big lie was born and broadcasted to millions, while also providing an intimate view of the ideological battles within Fox, as narrated by its biggest stars.

The Fox Divide:
Stelter categorizes Fox hosts into two groups: those who understood the election wasn’t stolen and those who bought into the big lie. Maria Bartiromo stands out as an example of a host who genuinely believed Trump was the rightful winner. Her transformation from a professional business journalist on CNBC to a fervent Trump supporter showcases her unwavering loyalty. On the other end of the spectrum is Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary in the Bush administration, who became one of Fox’s truth tellers, exposing the Dominion conspiracy theory and Rudy Giuliani’s lies.

Rupert Murdoch‘s Influence:
One of the most notable revelations from the exposed correspondence was Rupert Murdoch’s directive to “make Trump a non-person” on the network. Initially, Fox seemed to follow this guidance, minimizing Trump’s presence throughout 2021. However, Tucker Carlson‘s persistent storytelling about the January 6 attack, suggesting a deep-state plot, eventually drew Trump back to the center of the party. This narrative shift overwhelmed Murdoch’s desire to sideline Trump, causing a shift in Fox’s coverage.

The Fall of Tucker Carlson:
Speculation has surrounded Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox. Stelter suggests that Carlson’s relationship with Lachlan Murdoch was far from what he portrayed, as the two rarely spoke. Additionally, Carlson’s on-air conspiracy theories caused rifts within the network and deterred advertisers. Ultimately, there were multiple reasons for his cancellation, culminating in a breakup that had been brewing for years.

Rupert Murdoch’s Semi-Retirement:
As Rupert Murdoch transitions into “semi-retirement,” he aims to empower his son, Lachlan Murdoch, as the future leader of the media empire. This strategic move ensures a smooth succession and avoids potential power struggles upon Rupert’s passing. However, Rupert will retain control through his voting power over the media companies.

Fox News’ Future:
Following the Dominion lawsuit, Fox has downsized its news division and parted ways with respected journalists. Stelter believes that the radicalization of Fox and the GOP are intertwined, with each reinforcing the other. As the Republican Party caters to the far-right base, Fox follows suit, potentially leading to a more extreme network in the future.

The Dominion lawsuit and Jan. 6 investigation have exposed Fox News’ hypocrisy and internal struggles. Brian Stelter’s book, “Network of Lies,” meticulously dissects the network’s role in perpetuating the big lie and offers an intimate view of the ideological battles fought within Fox. With Rupert Murdoch’s semi-retirement and the potential for a more extreme future, the landscape of Fox News remains uncertain.

Original Story at – 2023-11-16 21:36:12

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