Media

Fox News was toxic long before Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 movie

By Damon Linker The Week

Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, center-right pundits and co-founders of The Dispatch, have been getting some good press for quitting their longstanding gigs as talking heads on Fox News. The occasion of their protest is Patriot Purge, a revisionist and conspiracy-laden documentary about the Jan. 6 insurrection spearheaded by primetime Fox host Tucker Carlson. Hayes and Goldberg had hoped the cable news network would moderate its stances now that former President Donald Trump is out of office, but Carlson’s decision to blame the FBI for the violence on Capitol Hill last January showed those hopes were misplaced. So, they concluded, resignation was the only acceptable option.

Distancing oneself from Carlson is definitely a good idea. But I’m not sure this move quite makes Hayes and Goldberg into either heroes (as many anti-Trump figures on the center-right and center-left would have it) or villains (as frequent Fox News contributor and Carlson guest Glenn Greenwald implies). That’s because the resignations will do nothing at all to change Fox News’ politically toxic business model, with which Hayes and Goldberg have been perfectly content to play along over the past decade and a half, participating in Fox’s enormous damage to our political culture in the process.

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