Fox News Insider Admits They Make Things Up
By: Steve - February 12, 2011 - 9:00am
Now the question is this: will O'Reilly report this story, and the answer is....of course not, because he is a dishonest, biased, corrupt, fraud of a pretend journalist.
Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider was quick with a response: "I don't think people would believe it's as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up."
But it's true, a former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about the Fox News cable network.
That Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.
And I quote:
"It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats," says the source. "They're a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news."
And that is coming from a person who works at the Fox News Network. But the big story here is not that Fox News leans right. Everyone knows they push a conservative-friendly version of the news. Everyone who's been paying attention has known that since the channel's inception more than a decade ago.
The real story, and the real danger posed by the cable outlet, is that over time Fox News stopped simply leaning to the right and instead became an open and active political player, sort of one-part character assassin and one-part propagandist. And that the operation thrives on fabrications and falsehoods.
And I quote:
"They say one thing and do another. They insist on maintaining this charade, this fašade, that they're balanced or that they're not right-wing extreme propagandist," says the source.
The source recalls how Fox News changed over time:
But it's all a well-orchestrated lie, according this insider. It's a lie that permeates the entire Fox News culture and one that staffers and producers have to learn quickly in order to survive professionally.
"You have to work there for a while to understand the nods and the winks," says the source. "And God help you if you don't because sooner or later you're going to get burned."
Like any news channel there's lot of room for non-news content. The content that wasn't 'news,' they didn't care what we did with as long as it was amusing or quirky or entertaining; as along as it brought in eyeballs.
But anything-anything--that was a news story you had to understand what the spin should be on it. If it was a big enough story it was explained to you in the morning [editorial] meeting. If it wasn't explained, it was up to you to know the conservative take on it.
There's a conservative take on every story no matter what it is. So you either get told what it is or you better intuitively know what it is.
When you first get in they tell you we're a bit of a counterpart to the screaming left wing lib media. So automatically you have to buy into the idea that the other media is howling left-wing. Don't even start arguing that or you won't even last your first day.
So it's clear to everyone with a working brain that Fox News has become a misleading, partisan outlet. But here's what the source stresses: Fox News is designed to mislead its viewers and designed to engage in a purely political enterprise.
For the first few years it was let's take the conservative take on things. And then after a few years it evolved into, well it's not just the conservative take on things, we're going to take the Republican take on things which is not necessarily in lock step with the conservative point of view.
And then two, three, five years into that it was, we're taking the Bush line on things, which was different than the GOP. We were a Stalin-esque mouthpiece. It was just what Bush says goes on our channel. And by that point it was just totally dangerous.
Hopefully most people understand how dangerous it is for a media outfit to be a straight, unfiltered mouthpiece for an unchecked president.
In 2010, all sorts of evidence tumbled out to confirm that fact, like the recently leaked emails from inside Fox News, in which a top editor instructed his newsroom staffers (not just the opinion show hosts) to slant the news when reporting on key stories such as climate change and health care reform.
Meanwhile, Media Matters revealed that during the 2009-2010 election cycle, dozens of Fox News personalities endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances.
And in terms of free TV airtime that Fox News handed over to GOP hopefuls, Media Matters calculated the channel essentially donated $55 million worth of airtime to Republican presidential hopefuls last year who also collect Fox News paychecks.
So, is Fox News a legitimate news outlet? The source laughs at the suggestion, and thinks much of the public, along with the Beltway press corps, has been duped by Murdoch's marketing campaign over the years.
"People assume you need a license to call yourself a news channel. You don't. So because they call themselves Fox News, a lot of the people give them a pass."
The source continued with this:
"I don't think people understand that it's goal is to prop up and support Republicans and the GOP and to knock down Democrats. People tend think that stuff that's on TV is real, especially under the guise of news. You'd think that people would wise up, but they don't."
The Fox insider admits to being perplexed in late 2009 when the Obama White House called out Murdoch's operation as not being a legitimate new source, only to have major Beltway media players rush to the aid of Fox News and admonish the White House for daring to criticize the cable channel.
"That blew me away," says the source, who stressed that the White House's critique of Fox News "happens to be true."
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