Here is a list of Fox News and Sean Hannity’s dirty tricks that mask true news and pushes a false narrative. This list is self-evident, meaning anyone can sit down, watch Fox News for themselves, and decide if Fox News uses this list. There is legitimate reporting on Fox News, so I limit my list to Fox’s opinion/entertainment section: Fox &Friends, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.
Most of my list comes from the movie Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism. Outfoxed is a 2004 documentary directed by Robert Greenwald, which means of course that this film was made long before Donald Trump was elected President in 2016. If Outfoxed were to update their list to include what Sean Hannity is currently claiming in 2018, I think it would expand significantly.
I will begin my list with what Fox Hawk recently found to be journalistic ethical violations by Fox News, then the list continues with what the documentary asserts.(Fox Hawk)
#1 (from Fox Hawk) Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Fox News never acknowledges that James Comey, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe and Christopher Wray are all Republicans. In other words, all the FBI men investigating Donald Trump are Republicans, which directly refutes Sean Hannity’s claims that the Democrat-led ‘Deep State’ is fabricating the Russian Investigations.
In all my watching of Fox News, I have never heard anyone mention the Fact that Robert Mueller is a lifetime Republican. An easily verifiable fact, why wouldn’t any anchor bring that up?
The kicker is, the ‘token democrats’ appearing on Hannity and other shows to be an ‘opposing voice,’ these liberal guests don’t bring up the fact that Robert Mueller is a Republican. If I were appearing on Hannity, that would be the first thing I’d say.
This leads me to believe that there are rules (written or unwritten) that no one can say Mueller is a Republican on any Fox News shows. The same goes for James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe and Christopher Wray.
#2 (from Fox Hawk) Date Conflation: Fox News changes the dates of quotes aired on their programs to make them seem current, when they are really quite dated, in some cases a year or more. For a more thorough treatment about date conflation, see my article from two days ago.
#3 (from Outfoxed) Polling Problems: Polls supposedly reflect public opinion on a certain topic. As there are multiple national polls released each week, it would be easy to select polls that support Fox ideology, including polls that report on President Donald Trump’s approval rating. Misrepresenting poll numbers is a potential problem for any news network, cable or otherwise, and I don’t know enough about polls to analyze what Fox News puts out versus CNN or MSNBC, so I’ll leave this one alone for now.
#4 (from Outfoxed) News Reporting vs Commentary: Sean Hannity, along with others at Fox News, blends reporting and commentary. The line between reporting the verified facts and what Sean Hannity thinks is many times indistinguishable. The only times I have seen Sean Hannity morph into a reporter have been when national news breaks on his show. For example, when President Trump announced the second bombing of Syria recently, Mr. Hannity’s show was dedicated to just reporing on Syria.
#5 (from Outfoxed) Some people say: Question: if you are a commentator on Fox News and you want to assert your opinion as fact, what do you do? Answer: preface your statement with “Some people say…” Two other examples are: “My sources tell me,” and “A high-level government official informed me that…” The Some people say practice goes to the heart of Fox News’ original sin: sourcing. Having legitimate sources of information is a cornerstone of good journalism. Fox News threw that idea out the window a long time ago. At Fox News, sourcing only has to look real.
To end, here is one of my favorite quotes from Outfoxed. It illustrates to me why Fox News has been so successful:
People are easier to propagandize if they don’t realize they are being propagandized