Although Fox was forced to pay $787.5 million for its repeated lies about Dominion voting machines, and its depositions revealed the depth of the network’s depravity, it appears the only lesson it learned is to avoid using the names of corporations and individuals within the content of its lies. Sure, the network’s lawyers made a statement acknowledging that it told “some” lies about Dominion. But, in the next breath, they referred to the network’s commitment to “journalistic excellence.”
Journalistic excellence? Riiight!
It’s clear that $787.5 million lesson will have absolutely no effect on the network’s longstanding estrangement with truth. Fox will never reveal the depth of its lies to its viewers who will remain blissfully ignorant in their silo of misinformation. And even though it’s facing a $2.7 billion lawsuit based on its lies about Smartmatic, another maker of voting systems, Fox pundits and hosts will undoubtedly double down on their lying ways.
Even after the dismissal of the network’s most prolific and most anti-American liar, Tucker Carlson, the network is highly unlikely to suddenly resort to actual journalism and truth.
It simply can’t afford to.
After years of railing against our government, Democrats, immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, gun safety, history, education, and science, Fox has created an audience that thrives on absurd lies, hate, and anger. That audience of faux patriots absolutely cannot tolerate being told the truth, especially if it means revealing the depravity of Trump and his legion of fascist followers. If the network doesn’t continue its lying ways, its audience will almost certainly abandon it for OAN or Newsmax.
So, Fox will find another entertaining liar to replace Tucker Carlson as it did following the firings of Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck. It will continue to pander to the most extreme amongst us. It will help perpetuate QAnon myths. It will continue to deny the severity of the climate crisis. It will continue to create scapegoats for our problems and redirect blame from the greedy to the most marginalized portions of our population. It will spawn even more gun deaths.
And, when it is sued again, as it almost certainly will be, it will simply tap into its massive bank account to pay for any consequences. That is now part of the Fox business model – just the cost of doing business.
Never mind that the network is almost singlehandedly responsible for the ongoing threat to our democracy. To Fox, ratings and profits are far more important.