I asked a simple question in a column for the Tampa Bay Times in 2021: Why is Fox News still broadcast worldwide on the American Forces Network? My position, simply put, was that Fox News has commentary that tells lies to its conservative viewers to keep them watching. I felt that known misinformation should not be rebroadcast by an organ of our government, the U.S. Department of Defense.
The question is more urgent than ever. Now, even Fox patriarch Rupert Murdoch has admitted in a deposition in the $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit that some Fox hosts “were endorsing” the Big Lie told by Donald Trump that he had been cheated out of the White House. In other words, it’s no longer just my opinion.
In their own texts, some of Fox’s best-known employees such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham showed they knew the truth but didn’t say so on air, according to a legal filing by Dominion. “This filing argues a fire hose of direct evidence of knowing falsity,” law professor RonNell Andersen Jones told the New York Times.
It no longer matters to me if Dominion wins its case in court, although I hope they do. The truth is now out there. No amount of weasel-wording on the part of Rupert Murdoch, his spin-meisters and in-house counsels can change this.
Once again, I will repeat my question of last year: Why is Fox News still broadcast on the American Forces Network to our military personnel overseas, especially knowing what we know now? Our citizens in uniform deserve better. They should not be treated as suckers.
Where is Congress on this issue? Where is the outrage on both sides of the aisle? Taxpayers shouldn’t be underwriting this. In fact, there should be harsh penalties for lying to the American people for mere profit. Democracies operate best with the availability of open, honest and verifiable information for all citizens. I believe that Fox News acted against the interests of our republic.
Robert Bruce Adolph is a former senior Army Special Forces soldier and United Nations security chief. In May 2022, he served as mission leader for a multinational team in support of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Ukraine. Learn more at robertbruceadolph.com.