Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan on Thursday unleashed a brutal takedown of Fox News after reading an explosive report from the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer claiming that it spiked a story on President Donald Trump’s hush money payments during the 2016 presidential election to politically benefit him.
In her column, Sullivan makes the case that Fox is more than a news network with a conservative slant, but is rather a propaganda outlet whose aim is to poison American discourse with misinformation.
“What Fox News has become is destructive,” she writes. “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.”
Although she offered some praise for Fox News personalities such as Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, she said the vast majority of the network’s programming is designed simply to peddle falsehoods and promote a hard-right agenda.
“Everyone ought to see it for what it is: Not a normal news organization with inevitable screw-ups… 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,” she concludes. “Despite the skills of a few journalists who should have long ago left the network in protest, Fox News has become an American plague.”