Few rises and falls have been as tumultuous as the last decade of Fox News. At the beginning of President Obama’s term, they quickly became the top cable news network for ratings and used their status to foment trivial non-news into scandals, all the way to flat out manufacturing stories. During the Trump presidency, a rash of scandals and viewers seeking out CNN and MSNBC caused the network’s ratings to plummet and they’re still in freefall. Now, the network has a much bigger problem on their hands in the form of a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Dominion for spreading lies about election fraud.
With floundering ratings, they desperately need a win – so at the latest White House press conference on Friday, their correspondent Peter Doocy did what he could to manufacture a scandal on one of right-wing media’s favorite subjects. He tried to make it look like Fox News was being excluded by the president during media events. The only problem is that he didn’t have much of a case.
So sparse was the evidence in fact, that he was pretty much debunked when Press Secretary Jen Psaki called on him, and she let him know it, with the words: “We’re here having a conversation, aren’t we?” Doocy couldn’t really do much except admit that she was right, but Psaki wasn’t finished. She then brought up the fact that not only has she taken his questions in the briefing room at each event, but so has President Biden since he took office.
At the end, all Doocy could do was feebly bring up the list of reporters the president was given, something that pretty much every president has used in the history of press conferences, and Psaki reminded him that she’d be on Fox News Sunday at the end of the week. Not only are Fox’s producers without any of the sensationalist nonsense that fueled their brand in the past, they don’t even look prepared when they’re trying to get the basic story.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making