FOX News lies. A lot. FOX News lies about climate change, about the pandemic, and about elections and democracy.
But while freedom of speech guarantees FOX News the right to say hateful, dangerous, untrue things – freedom of the press does not require us to pay them for the privilege. But that’s exactly what happens right now. FOX is the second most expensive channel on your cable subscription, after ESPN, whether you watch it or not. And they’re the only so-called news network that relies primarily on cable subscriptions for income, not advertising.
That’s why FOX News can lie about things as obvious as climate change, or as dangerous as the pandemic. They don’t care who lives or dies, and they’re not accountable for what they say — unless we band together and demand the cable companies deplatform FOX, the same way they already deplatformed OneAmerica, or that Facebook and Twitter Deplatformed Donald Trump.
More than 60% of FOX viewers are older than 65, and the most in need of the lifesaving vaccines. But research shows 60% of FOX News’ vaccine coverage over the summer included anti-vax claims. FOX hosts have claimed that mask mandates are “tyranny,” and Tucker Carlson told his audience that kids wearing masks is “child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”
On Climate, it’s more of the same. Even the “newsiest” show on FOX News aired climate denial in 88% of their climate segments since 2009. And in addition to providing a platform for lies and denial, FOX hosts actively attack the truth of climate chaos, and the solutions we know can work.
And in the face of rising fascism, FOX News has been integral to spreading fear and misinformation about the 2020 election. Polling shows 82% of FOX viewers believe the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. And even on the day of the deadly January 6 insurrection, FOX News hosts downplayed the violence and blamed ‘Antifa’ on air, while privately and frantically texting Trump’s team, begging him to stop it. Insurrectionists arrested for violence at the capitol on January 6 are even using disinformation as a defense – claiming that they can’t be held accountable because they were lied to by FOX News first!
Everyone knows FOX is dangerous and corrupt, and media companies large and small are already taking action: Google has permanently banned Fox News host Dan Bongino for Covid misinformation. Twitter permanently deplatformed Trump. Facebook permanently banned Alex Jones and his InfoWars disinformation conspiracy content. And DirecTV just announced it will permanently drop the right-wing conspiracy spewing disinformation and lies of the One America Network.
What’s more, FOX News is trying to extort cable companies into paying them even more money right now — because if they can’t force cable subscribers to pay more, they can’t keep making record profits even while advertisers desert them in droves. FOX News is vulnerable right now, and all we have to do is refuse to give them a raise!