ECLECTIC RANT: Fox News is here to entertain you, not to inform you

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 27, 2018 - 01:00:00 PM

Fox News is not, and never has been, a legitimate news network. They began as a project by right-wing propagandist Rupert Murdoch and Republican media strategist Roger Ailes (1940 – 2017) to spread disinformation and promote GOP politicians. (Ailes, as you may remember, resigned in 2016 from Fox News amid allegations of sexual misconduct.) 

Ailes, the late Fox News chairman and CEO, once confessed that his network, despite its name, is not actually in the news business, stating: “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.” In short, Ailes regarded channels that are plainly entertainment and sports as Fox News competition, not other news outlets. 

Now Fox News provides Trump and the GOP with a television channel to distribute their “alternative facts” to entertain their loyal followers. To further this symbiosis, Trump looks to Fox News personnel for his staff and advice. 

For example, National Security Adviser John Bolton is a former Fox News talking head; state department member Heather Nauert is a former Fox News anchor; communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp and Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh are former Fox commentators; and, of course, on-air personalities Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are favorites of the president, who also speaks to them privately. And this month the former Fox News executive Bill Shine, who was pushed out over his handling of sexual harassment scandals at the network, was named the White House deputy chief of staff for communications. 

How do we distinguish real news from fake news, speculation, and rumor mongering that seem to proliferate our lives? Perhaps we should start by heeding Ailes’ advice and look to Fox News only for entertainment, if that’s your idea of entertainment, but look to MSNBC or CNN or other reputable news outlets for actual news.