More Democrats are declaring an all-out 'information war' against 'lying' Fox News: columnist
Over the years, many Democrats have complained about Fox News and its sister channel Fox Business but nonetheless been willing to be interviewed by some Fox hosts. Fox News has long had a hard news division and an opinion division, and even if Democrats avoided bombastic opinion hosts like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, they were willing to be interviewed by people who worked in the hard news division in the past — including Chris Wallace (now with CNN) and Shepard Smith (who spent 23 years at Fox News before a two-year stint at CNBC).
Democratic candidates who made Fox News and Fox Business appearances reasoned that if they were going to increase their chances of winning, it made sense to talk to Wallace, Smith and others who had a lot of Republican viewers. Now-President Joe Biden was interviewed by Wallace during his 2020 campaign, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (an independent who caucuses with Democrats) appeared at a Fox News townhall moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum that year. Wallace moderated one of the two Biden/Donald Trump debates of 2020.
But in a March 2 column, liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent emphasizes that in light of the damning evidence in Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Democrats are more aggressively calling out the right-wing cable news outlet.
READ MORE:Dominion's damning revelations underscore the 'full corruption of Fox News': former Reagan speechwriter
Dominion is suing Fox News for promoting the false, totally debunked claim that the company's voting equipment was used to help Biden steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump. E-mails and text messages presented as evidence by Dominion show Carlson, Hannity and others privately acknowledging that claims of a stolen election were lies — yet they wouldn't say that on the air.
"For years," Sargent observes, "Democrats have been deeply conflicted about Fox News. At times, they've shunned the network as an irredeemable source of disinformation, boycotting it or banning it from covering Democratic presidential primary debates. But such efforts have been temporary: They have tended to resume appearing on the network and have reverted to treating it as more or less a news channel, albeit a hostile one."
The columnist continues, "Now, however, it's becoming clear that interacting with Fox News as a news outlet in any sense is no longer an option for Democrats. In light of the news that network personalities knowingly deceived viewers about the 2020 election for cynical pecuniary purposes, Democrats plainly have to take on Fox News in a new way. And some of them know it."
Sargent goes on to note that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) took an "aggressive posture" when they sent a letter to Fox News' Rupert Murdoch demanding that Carlson and others recant, on the air, the election lies they promoted. The columnist argues that Democrats are fighting an "information war" against the far right and need to act like it.
READ MORE: Dominion filing is 'absolute nightmare fuel' for Fox News' lawyers: legal expert
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) is encouraging fellow Democrats to forcefully call out Fox News for its "deliberate lying as a means to get ratings."
Murphy told Sargent, "I don’t think we’ve ever had a moment like this, where a major news network has been exposed as deliberately deluding its viewers or readers. This is a seminal moment in the history of mass media. And we need to treat it that way."
READ MORE: 'They certainly deserve it': GOP strategist hopes Fox News defamation suit ends in favor of Dominion
Read Greg Sargent’s full Washington Post column at this link (subscription required)
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