The costs finally outweighed the incentives
As astounding a figure that settlement amount in the defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems is, $787.5 million still comes up plenty short for all the egregious displays of journalistic malpractice Fox has broadcasted in its perverse take on voting fraud during the 2020 Election. A People vs Fox news lawsuit would certainly sink that ship for all the carnage it has wreaked on Democratic principals. Not only did Fox stoke and enflame divisiveness, it sowed the malice for which disunion and civil war became palpable in many instances.
Laden in that malice is incentive. Fox’s June 2022 quarter end revenue was $3.03 billion which was up 5% from $2.89 billion from the year prior, most of which derives from ad sales, which grew 7% from stronger pricing and higher rating at Fox News. But Fox has a penchant for settling lawsuits brought against their affiliate companies. For instance one of their enterprises, News America Marketing saw it settling $900 million in a single case ranging from fraud, sexual harassment, and political payoffs. Tucker Carlson’s ouster is just par for the course. Remember Bill O’Reilly’s termination? This is Rupert Murdoch’s modus operandi and the pattern is all too clear to see…like a fox indeed.
The strawmen that really make fake news…well Fox News are the bait that Fox places on the end of their lines like Carlson, Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs to reel in their nightly catch. And what a haul it became with all the misrepresentations and falshoods spewing over its airwaves often trickling over other media networks to no lesser extent. Whether they quote the words of others out of context, or oversimplify really complex arguments, they found an audience that primarily relied on the typical train of thought in whiteness and its grievances.
We know now how incredibly or incredulously effective these tactics are. The January 6 insurrection is by far a remarkable result of a major contributing factor to what journalistic malpractice can produce. And like a fox, Fox has reaped the benefits.
That the company shares the name of an animal that is often depicted in our folklore as mischievous, cunning, and villainous is as coincidental as it is appropos. Among the litter at Fox is Rupert Murdoch’s son…