Two longtime Fox News contributors very publicly quit the far right wing cable channel this weekend over “Patriot Purge,” a January 6 revisionism series created by the network’s star anchor, Tucker Carlson. But other veteran Fox News anchors internally were so outraged their concerns went all the way to the head of Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, who did nothing to stop its release and is reportedly refusing to comment.
Conservatives Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, the latter a staple on other news outlets as well, resigned in protest Sunday night. NPR reports the pair “pointed to a breaking point earlier this month: network star Tucker Carlson’s three-part series on the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol that relied on fabrications and conspiracy theories to exonerate the Trump supporters who participated in the attack.”
“It’s basically saying that the Biden regime is coming after half the country and this is the War on Terror 2.0,” Goldberg tells NPR. “It traffics in all manner of innuendo and conspiracy theories that I think legitimately could lead to violence. That for me, and for Steve, was the last straw.”
Goldberg’s and Hayes’ “resignations reflect larger tumult within Fox News over Carlson’s series ‘Patriot Purge’ and his increasingly strident stances, and over the network’s willingness to let its opinion stars make false, paranoid claims against President Biden, his administration and his supporters.”
But NPR also reports that Chris Wallace, the top anchor at Fox News for nearly two decades, and Bret Baier, another top Fox News anchor and the network’s chief political correspondent, were so outraged they “shared their objections with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and its president of news, Jay Wallace. Those objections rose to Lachlan Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation. Through a senior spokeswoman, Scott and Wallace declined comment. Murdoch did not return a request for comment through a spokesman.”
At HuffPost senior reporter Christopher Mathias says “Patriot Purge” is “the most nakedly fascist piece of propaganda Carlson has ever produced. And it comes at a dangerous moment: The insurrection is on its way to becoming as noble an enterprise as the Boston Tea Party for large parts of the American right.”
New: My look at how ‘Patriot Purge’ — Tucker Carlson’s most nakedly fascist piece of propaganda yet — fits into a larger ecosystem of Jan. 6 revisionism that could be setting the stage for political violence worse than the attack on the Capitol. https://t.co/F7SwmKzQne
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) November 16, 2021
“Carlson’s insurrection agitprop sparked a similar wave of warnings from many experts on fascism and misinformation,” Mathias adds. “Propaganda like this, they argued, could one day render the shocking events of Jan. 6 as a mere preview of the right-wing violence to come.”
Nicole Hemmer, author of “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics,” described “Patriot Purge” as “an overarching fantasy about the insurrection that goes like this: It was not an insurrection,” she wrote for CNN. “To the extent there was violence, it was stirred up by members of the government and left-wing agitators. All of it was orchestrated so that the full force of federal law enforcement could be unleashed against Trump supporters, marking them as enemies of the state.”
Goldberg and Hayes at their conservative website The Dispatch describe Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” as “a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions. And its message is clear: The U.S. government is targeting patriotic Americans in the same manner —and with the same tools—that it used to target al Qaeda.”
Earlier this month Rolling Stone said “Patriot Purge” is both “profoundly dishonest” and “profoundly dangerous.”
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