January 26, 2020

CNN's Oliver Darcy, who has the unenviable task of regularly monitoring what's going on in the right wing echo chamber, joined Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter for a panel segment discussing how the impeachment hearings were covered -- or more accurately, not covered -- during Fox News prime time this week.

Darcy made a very good point that can't be repeated often enough about Fox in general: Even the anchors on there who pretend to be "straight news" reporters are regularly pushing right wing propaganda and skewing the news for Trump and Republicans.

STELTER: Oliver, you study this right wing ecosystem for a living. It does seem that the wall is just getting stronger and stronger. The Fox firewall is holding very strongly.

DARCY: Yes, and they're trying to inoculate their audience from the arguments from the Democrats, which the audience is not used to hearing, right? They're used to hearing Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity giving them the comfort food that they want and so this week in prime time, the one opportunity perhaps that the audience would see these arguments made by someone like Adam Schiff. They didn't get to see it because they were inoculated by the Fox audience in prime time.

STELTER: Yes, the afternoon hearings, the trial coverage, was shown live on Fox News, but then Fox would cut away --

DARCY: But I want to point out too that in the afternoon, when they had the “news” anchors on supposedly, right, they brought out Andy McCarthy. They didn't bring on Judge Napolitano, the top legal analyst at Fox News, who happens to be very critical of the president's position and wrote this week that there's enough evidence to support his removal. They did not bring him on. They brought on Andy McCarthy, sympathetic who is very sympathetic to Trump's case.

And if you look even further, Martha MacCallum for instance this week, she's a top news anchor at Fox. She did a segment on Hunter Biden's paternity case, instead of airing the Senate impeachment trial. Bret Baier had on this week Peter Schweitzer who has pushed discredited theories about Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden on to promote his new book.

And so it's not just the Fox News opinion hosts who are skewing the news towards Trump, it's also the fox news, you know, anchors, the people that boast about they give it to you straight who are happening to skew the news towards Trump.

STELTER: They're tilting the playing field in that way.

DARCY: 100 percent.

Darcy was much more delicate than I will be, but the general point he was making is that . They lie to their viewers day in and day out. They tell outright lies. They lie by omission. They lie by putting on Fox "Democrats" who are paid to spew right wing talking points, or who only sheepishly rebut the talking points from the other guests on panels where they're regularly outnumbered by right wing liars. They spread fear and hatred and promote racism and do their best to divide us and make us hate our neighbors.

And they're not "news." They're propaganda and the other networks need to quit dancing around just how dangerous they've become. Segments like this one are a step in the right direction, but there aren't nearly enough of them, and there are way too many segments on CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets praising many of the hosts on Fox as supposedly unbiased reporters. They're not.

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