Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has written an editorial in The Washington Post further explaining why Fox News’ pro-Trump propaganda gave him “no choice but to leave.”
Although I give Peters props for standing up and speaking out against Fox – not an easy thing for such a conservative – his first paragraph, in which he says “You could measure the decline of Fox News” by the looks and attire of the guests in the green room, may make you want to stop reading. Don’t do it. Peters goes on to provide an incisive, well-written account of just how Fox and its “after-dinner demagogues” have worked to undermine the Russia investigation in service to Trump:
As early as the fall of 2016, and especially as doubts mounted about the new Trump administration’s national security vulnerabilities, I increasingly was blocked from speaking on the issues about which I could offer real expertise: Russian affairs and our intelligence community. I did not hide my views at Fox and, as word spread that I would not unswervingly support President Trump and, worse, that I believed an investigation into Russian interference was essential to our national security, I was excluded from segments that touched on Vladimir Putin’s possible influence on an American president, his campaign or his administration.
I was the one person on the Fox payroll who, trained in Russian studies and the Russian language, had been face to face with Russian intelligence officers in the Kremlin and in far-flung provinces. I have traveled widely in and written extensively about the region. Yet I could only rarely and briefly comment on the paramount security question of our time: whether Putin and his security services ensnared the man who would become our president. Trump’s behavior patterns and evident weaknesses (financial entanglements, lack of self-control and sense of sexual entitlement) would have made him an ideal blackmail target — and the Russian security apparatus plays a long game.↓ Story continues below ↓
As indictments piled up, though, I could not even discuss the mechanics of how the Russians work on either Fox News or Fox Business.
Fox never tried to put words in my mouth, nor was I told explicitly that I was taboo on Trump-Putin matters. I simply was no longer called on for topics central to my expertise. I was relegated to Groundhog Day analysis of North Korea and the Middle East, or to Russia-related news that didn’t touch the administration. Listening to political hacks with no knowledge of things Russian tell the vast Fox audience that the special counsel’s investigation was a “witch hunt,” while I could not respond, became too much to bear. There is indeed a witch hunt, and it’s led by Fox against Robert Mueller.
Whatever you think of Peters, there is simply no excuse for a supposed “news” network not to call on its own Russia expert for a discussion on that subject. Fox gave a typical denial to The Post: “There is no truth to the notion that Ralph Peters was ‘blocked’ from appearing on the network to talk about the major headlines, including discussing Russia, North Korea and even gun control recently. In fact, he appeared across both networks multiple times in just the past three weeks.” Notice that Fox never said Peters discussed the Russia investigation nor Trump's relationship to Putin.
Even if you hate Peters, read the entire editorial and decide for yourself about its merits.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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