Do you trust Fox News? | The Tylt

Do you trust Fox News?

Now famous for its right-leaning bias and close relationship with President Trump, Fox News remains the most popular cable news network in America. In March of 2019, the New Yorker joined the chorus of voices questioning whether or not Fox delivers more propaganda than news, with some critics are even labeling the network as "state TV." Others loyal to Fox say it provides a much-needed check on the anti-Trump mainstream media by offering an alternate point of view. Can Fox News be trusted?

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In March of 2019, the New Yorker published an extensive investigation on the origin and growth of Fox News. Jane Mayer frames her story with Rupert Murdoch, the Fox chairman's, original vision for the network, which he shared with Reed Hundt, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, in 1994: 

Unlike the three established networks, which vied for the same centrist viewers, his creation would follow the unapologetically lowbrow model of the tabloids that he published in Australia and England, and appeal to a narrow audience that would be entirely his. 

Critics say this creation grew into something never seen before in the U.S. According to Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, Fox News has evolved into a beast akin to "state TV." 

Fox is the most-watched cable news network in America and has hosted 42 interviews with Trump since he became president, while the other main television networks–excluding CNN, which Trump has deemed unequivocally as "fake news"–have been granted ten interviews combined. Hemmer argues that Fox: 

...acts as a force multiplier for Trump, solidifying his hold over the Republican Party and intensifying his support. “Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature,” she says. “It’s a radicalization model.” For both Trump and Fox, “fear is a business strategy—it keeps people watching.” 

In doing so, news has become second to political gain for Fox executives and TV personalities.

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According to one study from Research Intelligencer, Fox News ranks as one of the most trusted networks in America, along with the BBC and PBS. According to The Hill, 87 percent of Research Intelligencer's survey respondents claimed to trust Fox News, while other networks like CNN only earned the trust of 69 percent of respondents. 

As Mayer points out:

Fox’s defenders view such criticism as unfounded and politically biased. 

Fox maintains that as a news network, it is not inappropriately aligned with the president or his agenda. Despite the belief of some that the two are a unit: 

Fox’s public-relations department offers numerous examples of its reporters and talk-show hosts challenging the Administration. Chris Wallace, a tough-minded and ecumenical interviewer, recently grilled Stephen Miller, a senior Trump adviser, on the need for a border wall, given that virtually all drugs seized at the border are discovered at checkpoints.
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In early March 2019, the Democratic National Committee announced that Fox News would not be hosting any Democratic primary debates for the 2020 presidential election cycle, citing to a lack of confidence in the network after Mayer's piece in the New Yorker. The Washington Post's Paul Farhi reported on DNC Chairman Tom Perez's statement: 

"...Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates."

According to Mayer, a revolving door exists between the staff of the Trump Administration and Fox News, demonstrating obvious and extensive conflicts of interests from individuals like Sean Hannity and Bill Shine. 

Hannity reportedly speaks to Trump nightly and has been called by some the "shadow chief of staff" of the Trump administration. Although Hannity hosts an opinion-based show on Fox, he is a journalist, which means he has an obligation to report without bias. If Hannity has chief-of-staff-level of influence over the president, he cannot be trusted to do his job.    

Meanwhile, Bill Shine, an ex-Fox executive, served as the communications director for Trump until shortly after the publication of Mayer's article, when he resigned in order to shift focus to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. According to Mayer and the Hollywood Reporter, "Fox has been paying Shine millions of dollars since he joined the Administration," thus proving yet another conflict of interest.

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Some have come to Fox's defense in the face of the DNC's decision, saying that the committee is using recent news as an excuse to swerve the right-leaning network. According to this camp, the DNC should want to be featured on Fox News if it hopes to change the minds of some conservative voters. 

Although some might see Trump's support for Fox as concerning, the president has been consistent in honoring the network, even saying he would retaliate against the DNC's decision by refusing to attend general election debates hosted on "liberal" networks. The president has long touted Fox News as the only honest network around:

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Do you trust Fox News?
A festive crown for the winner
#FoxIsTrash
#FoxTellsTheTruth