Washington Post, March 7, 2019
...What Fox News has become is destructive. To state the obvious: Democracy, if it’s going to function, needs to be based on a shared set of facts, and the news media’s role is to seek out and deliver those facts.
Most news organizations take that seriously, though they may flounder badly at times. When they do, they generally try to correct themselves — that’s why you see editor’s notes, lengthy corrections, on-air acknowledgments, suspensions and even firings of errant newspeople.
Not at Fox News.
The rule at Fox is to stonewall outside inquiries and to close ranks around its rainmakers.
And, of course, to double down on its mission, described aptly by my colleague Greg Sargent: “Fox News is fundamentally in the business of spreading disinformation, as opposed to conservative reportage.” And that disinformation “is plainly about deceiving millions into believing that core functionings of our government — whether law enforcement or congressional oversight — no longer have any legitimacy.”
Sometimes, as with Hannity’s rally appearance or the Rich reporting, there will be a passing acknowledgment that standards haven’t been met.
But we never know what those standards might be. Unlike most news organizations, Fox News doesn’t seem to have a department in charge of ethics and standards, and it certainly doesn’t publish its guidelines as some do.
So, yes, Fox News can continue to function as something close to Trump TV. It can go on spreading disinformation.
But everyone ought to see it for what it is: Not a normal news organization with inevitable screw-ups, flaws and commercial interests, which sometimes fail to serve the public interest.
But a shameless propaganda outfit, which makes billions of dollars a year as it chips away at the core democratic values we ought to hold dear: truth, accountability and the rule of law.
Despite the skills of a few journalists who should have long ago left the network in protest, Fox News has become an American plague. ...
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