There is a need for an honest, right-of-center, mainstream news outlet, but Fox News’ allegiance to Donald Trump hampers its ability to be that credible source.
The CNN segment was preceded by a video clip featuring the grandson of the man who shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, describing his grandfather as an avid Fox News consumer. While Costas believed we should pause before directly connecting the shooting to Fox News, he called out the network’s frequent recklessness and inescapable allegiance to Trump.
Bob Costas today being precisely on target – pic.twitter.com/RILcpyLQNS
— Mia Farrow 💙🏳️🌈 🌻 (@MiaFarrow) April 21, 2023
“If they had committed themselves to being a responsible, right of center, honest, journalistically credible operation, not only would that have been okay, it would have been a blessing,” Costas said of Fox News.
Costas acknowledged there are credible journalists at Fox News and people who make reasonable points, but the network largely remains a propaganda outfit.
“This is not a question of being conservative or being Republican. This is lunacy, they’ve descended into madness,” Costas said of the GOP. “People, whose only objective is their next appearance on Fox News, hold congressional seats and have sway within the party. They all live in fear of Trump. It’s a cult. It’s not a principle, it’s not a philosophy, it’s no longer a party so much as it is a cult.
“Some of them are just bat-bleep crazy, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world, but others are just so spineless and cowardly,” Costas continued. “And so, in fear of what turning on Trump and even acknowledging this madness would cause, that they bite their tongues, or they say things that they should know better or they don’t really believe in…and Fox News could have been a corrective to that if Fox News said, ‘We lean right, but this isn’t true. This is wrong.’ They not only made Trump their hero, but they vilified anyone who criticized him.”
A right-of-center news outlet can help keep innate bias in journalism honest, but instead of being that source, Fox News has thrived off a business model that serves an audience of people who are averse to facts.
“Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, they realized that resentment and anger and feeding people what they want to hear, rather than perhaps what credible journalism would lead one to believe they should be aware of, was the business model that worked,” Costas said on CNN Primetime.
Murdoch has admitted Fox News personalities endorsed lies about the 2020 presidential election being stolen. Earlier this week, Fox News paid out more than $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems in a settlement to avoid a defamation trial after they promoted 2020 election conspiracies. The settlement does not require Fox News to issue a public retraction or apology over the election falsehoods they spread.