Democrats and corporate media outlets such as CNN are lobbying for right-leaning news outlets such as Fox News to be pulled from the air following a mob riot at the Capitol on Wednesday.
CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter recently called for action in his newsletter, claiming that “dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories” such as Fox News need to be de-platformed. “We regularly discuss what the Big Tech companies have done to poison the public conversation by providing large platforms to bad-faith actors who lie, mislead, and promote conspiracy theories,” Stelter wrote. “But what about TV companies that provide platforms to networks such as Newsmax, One America News — and, yes, Fox News?”
In addition to declaring that these conservative outlets spread “lies,” denying that President Donald Trump “lost an honest and fair election,” Stelter also amplified the concerns of a Democrat politician, who claimed that “Fox and Newsmax, both delivered to my home by your company, are complicit.” Stelter said New Jersey state Assemblyman Paul Moriarty texted an executive at Comcast on Thursday questioning the decision of TV providers to host conservative media.
“What are you going to do???” Moriarty texted. “You feed this garbage, lies and all.”
“Moriarty was referring to the fact that Comcast’s cable brand, Xfinity, provides a platform to right-wing cable networks that have for weeks been disseminating disinformation about the November election results to audiences of millions,” Stelter explained.
CNN echoed Stelter’s call-to-action by re-publishing his newsletter with the same headline on the business portion of its website.
“Analysis: TV providers should not escape scrutiny for distributing disinformation,” the headline states.
The Washington Post also ran multiple columns on Friday that shifted some of the blame for Wednesday’s riot on conservative media.
“This would never have happened if Fox ‘News,’ OAN, Newsmax, Mark Levin, the Daily Wire and all the rest had not been spreading poisonous lies to allege that the election was stolen,” one article by Max Boot read.
This would never have happened if Fox “News,” OAN, Newsmax, Mark Levin, Daily Wire, & all the rest had not been spreading poisonous lies about the election.
This would never have happened if 100+ House members and 13 senators had not endorsed those lies. https://t.co/MmnRKYJdtg
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 7, 2021
“The pro-Trump media world peddled the lies that fueled the Capitol mob. Fox News led the way,” read the headline to another WaPo column.
Since this is an especially good day for calling out the names of those to blame, here are a few more, from the leadership of Fox News: Rupert Murdoch. Lachlan Murdoch. Suzanne Scott … My column, on the pro-Trump media that brought us to this hellscape https://t.co/ZQzacgtawJ
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) January 7, 2021
These points, echoed on Twitter by columnists, pundits, and other elites intertwined with the corporate media, are eerily similar to the celebration of Facebook and Twitter’s censorship of Trump.
Fox News is a clear and present danger to democracy. No one should pretend otherwise. https://t.co/e3GDCkmqjM
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) January 7, 2021
I want to say to WSJ ed page, Fox News, talk radio: You own this. You instigated crazy conspiracy theories, stirred resentment, encouraged the mob. You all need to think about how to make amends.
— Jennifer 'Punish Domestic Terrorists' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) January 6, 2021
To be clear: Fox News, OANN, the far-right echo chamber incited a lot of what we're seeing today.
But the rest of us in the so-called mainstream or liberal media need to accept that, for far too long, we weren't clear-eyed about the nature of the threat that Trump/Trumpism posed
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 6, 2021
Fox News repeatedly and through various channels suggesting that perhaps today was the left's fault.
Fox News and conservative media are unquestionably part of why today unfolded as it did. https://t.co/PFAH1Ja9xx
— Philip Bump (@pbump) January 7, 2021
this is correct. Fox News bears an awful lot of responsibility for this https://t.co/j64eJlVEet
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 6, 2021
“Anyone who celebrates the ‘de-platforming’ of the sitting President from social media — likely the most extreme thing which has happened over the past day — is a naked authoritarian who craves the punitive authority of tech companies to carrying out their political bidding,” Michael Tracey wrote on Twitter.
Anyone who celebrates the "de-platforming" of the sitting President from social media — likely the most extreme thing which has happened over the past day — is a naked authoritarian who craves the punitive authority of tech companies to carrying out their political bidding
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 7, 2021
These cautionary words, however, were not heeded by some who cheered on the big tech companies’ efforts to shut down Trump’s accounts and even called for further, permanent suspension.
“Facebook and Twitter Finally Locked Donald Trump’s Accounts. Will They Ban Him Permanently?” an article in Time magazine questioned.
Just ban him already. Don't air his dangerous video during a coup where he says he loves the insurrectionists and lies about the election results. Do the right thing https://t.co/8ioEtt2MGJ
— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) January 6, 2021
The American Republic is under attack. @jack Are you an American company or not? Decide right now. Shut down Trump’s account. he is using your platform to incite attacks against the country. The Capitol of the United States has fallen. Trump incited Insurrectionists have fired https://t.co/folC3zxZ7z
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) January 6, 2021