Former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt criticizes the network in new book excerpts.  
He accuses the network of fomenting “black-helicopter-level paranoia and hatred” among viewers.
Stirewalt says he was fired after defending the projection Joe Biden would win Arizona in 2020. 

Former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt accused the network of stoking paranoia and hatred in extracts of his new book in The New York Times Sunday. 

Stirewalt says he was fired by Fox News after appearing on-air to defend the network’s decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. It was a key moment on election night that enraged former President Donald Trump, who tried, unsuccessfully, to get the usually adamantly supportive network to retract the call. 

A network representative told Insider in January 2021 that Stirewalt had parted company with them as part of a restructuring process. 

In his memoir, said The Times, Stirewalt alleged the network is playing a key role in the radicalization of the US right, accusing it of spreading “black-helicopter-level paranoia and hatred.”

In the book, he says that during Trump’s term in office, the network fed viewers what they wanted to hear, provoking the firestorm of criticism he encountered from Republicans after the Arizona call. 

“Even in the four years since the previous presidential election, Fox viewers had become even more accustomed to flattery and less willing to hear news that challenged their expectations,” he writes. “Me serving up green beans to viewers who had been spoon-fed ice cream sundaes for years came as a terrible shock to their systems.”

In the book, he reserves special criticism for Tucker Carlson, who has frequently been the network’s top-rated host, and has long stoked conspiracy theories and has pushed white nationalist talking points. 

“Carlson is rich and famous,” Stirewalt writes. “Yet he regularly rails about the ‘big, legacy media outlets.’ Guests denounce the ‘corporate media’ on his show and Fox’s CEO calls Carlson ‘brave’ for discussing controversial topics. Yet somehow, nobody even giggles.”

He adds, “It does not take any kind of journalistic courage to pump out night after night exactly what your audience wants to hear.”

He says that contrary to popular belief, Fox News did not hype the prospects of Republican candidates in elections because it necessarily wanted them to win, but because it boosts ratings and increases profits. 

A Fox News spokesperson in a statement to Insider pushed back against his claims, and said that “Chris Stirewalt’s quest for relevance knows no bounds.” She disputed that his departure from the network was connected to the Arizona call, and said that Arnon Mishkin, the head of the Decision Desk during the 2020 election, would also be covering the November midterms. 

Since partings ways with Fox News, Stirewalt has openly criticized the network, and testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot in June. 


Read the original article on Business Insider
Generated by Feedzy