Peters is the second Fox News associate to criticize the channel for incorrect reporting
Why do people at Fox News keep doing my job for me? On Tuesday, March 20, 2017, BuzzFeed reported this headline:
An “Ashamed” Fox News Commentator Just Quit The “Propaganda Machine”
It seems that retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and Fox News contributor Ralph Peters has had enough with Fox News’ propaganda machine, and he wants to let people know about it.
This last Monday (3/20/2018), Mr. Peters resigned from his job at Fox News, but not before pulling the pin on a truth grenade on his way out the door. In a final email to colleagues at Fox, Ralph Peters told his peers what he really thought.
I could summarize the email, or put important parts in quotes, but I would not be doing justice to Mr. Peters’ message. Here is the text of his email in full:
On March 1st, I informed Fox that I would not renew my contract. The purpose of this message to all of you is twofold:
First, I must thank each of you for the cooperation and support you’ve shown me over the years. Those working off-camera, the bookers and producers, don’t often get the recognition you deserve, but I want you to know that I have always appreciated the challenges you face and the skill with which you master them.
Second, I feel compelled to explain why I have to leave. Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to “support and defend the Constitution,” and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed.
In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts–who have never served our country in any capacity–dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller–all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations– I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.
As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the “nothing-burger” has been covered with Russian dressing all along. And by the way: As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things.. The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow.
I do not apply the above criticisms in full to Fox Business, where numerous hosts retain a respect for facts and maintain a measure of integrity (nor is every host at Fox News a propaganda mouthpiece–some have shown courage). I have enjoyed and valued my relationship with Fox Business, and I will miss a number of hosts and staff members. You’re the grown-ups.
Also, I deeply respect the hard-news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment. These are some of the best men and women in the business..
So, to all of you: Thanks, and, as our president’s favorite world leader would say, “Das vidanya.”
This resignation and rebuke is the second time someone at Fox News has criticized fellow hosts. Of course, on March 15, 2018, Fox Hawk published an article detailing how Shepard Smith, after debunking Sean Hannity’s Uranium One/Hillary Clinton conspiracy on his Fox News broadcast, gave an interview in which he called the prime-time anchors on Fox “strictly entertainment.”
We see a similar reproach in Mr. Peters’ email: “When prime-time hosts–who have never served our country in any capacity–dismiss facts and empirical reality…” Again, the theme of Fox’s prime time hosts purposefully manipulating facts to support their narrative. Their mirror investigation (#mirrorinvestigation).
Ralph Peters goes to great lengths to point out in his email that there are many legitimate reporters on Fox News and Fox Business, and he respects all of them. Except for Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham. Especially Sean Hannity. He is Fox News’ opinion section. The lies Mr. Hannity reports are what he wishes were true. Unfortunately, the facts do not line up with Sean Hannity’s reporting.
I believe there will be others at Fox News who will distance themselves from Hannity, if for no other reason than fear of contamination, that viewers will begin to think Sean Hannity’s fictional reporting represents everybody’s opinion at Fox News.
It does not.