The Bigger Question Behind the Fox News Debacle

From a Jeff Greenfield column on headlined “The Bigger Question Behind the Fox News Debacle”:

As Oscar Wilde might have put it, it would take a heart of stone not to enjoy the massive facepalm that should be today’s semi-official Fox News emoji.

Thanks to a flood of texts and emails that became public last week, we learned that key members of the Fox News team — from owner Rupert Murdoch on down — knew that former President Donald Trump’s “rigged election” assertions about the 2020 race were flatly false, but that saying so was driving away viewers, with potentially disastrous results. (“The stock price is down,” Tucker Carlson wailed.) To protect its turf, one executive warned, it was critical to “respect our audience” — which meant giving voice to the conspiracy theories and, with rare exceptions, letting those theories go unchallenged.