There’s a Huge Battle Raging Inside Fox News — For a Shocking Reason
In a recent segment, The Young Turks rehashed a story from last week to point out that Fox News is still all about the money. This is because of reports over the past several months that advertisers were fleeing the news network. Reason? Because of the controversial statements made on it by Trump’s mouthpieces.
Fox News’ new CEO Suzanne Scott has reportedly warned producers to do everything they can about the hosts they have on their network. According to Politico, Scott held a meeting via video conference on June 22 where she read from a prepared script.
She apparently told Fox News producers and programming executives that they were responsible and that they had to protect the talent and the brand. People familiar with the meeting said that Scott referred to recent inflammatory statements Fox News host Laura Ingraham had made about child separation.
Because of it, Scott said that such statements should be scripted and reviewed in advance before going to air. The Fox News CEO went further to tell producers that they had to push back on hosts right at the moment that something incendiary is being said.
Rising voices against the network
Laura Ingraham is only one of many Fox News hosts who seems to have triggered Suzanne Scott to do something about them. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was also said to be the immediate reason for the meeting. On the day before, Lewandowski belittled a story of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who have been separated from a migrant family.
In another case, just a week before, Ann Coulter claimed: “child actors” were behind driving the sentiment expressed over child separation at the border. In both cases, hosts Sandra Smith and Steve Hilton who had them on as guests did nothing to challenge those statements.
Outside of the Fox News circle, multiple advertiser boycott campaigns have triggered many national advertisers to stop doing business with the network. The result is said to put the conservative news network in a delicate moment. Two prominent figures under the 21st Century Fox brand have also fired back and Fox News, a co-creator of “Modern Family,” Steve Levitan and Seth MacFarlane, creator, and star of “Family Guy” and “The Orville.” Both publicly expressed that they were either embarrassed or disgusted to be working for a company that was associated with the Fox News network.
While Fox News’ ratings might be up, the outrage against the network has been consistent. According to Nielsen numbers from June, Hannity’s program was ranked at number 6 while Ingraham’s is at number 19. Hannity himself has been at the center of making many inflammatory statements and a defiant Trump supporter. Hannity’s program is referred to as one of the targets of an advertiser boycott from last fall.
Growing Signs of Scott’s impact
Suzanne Scott has only been the CEO since May and one would expect that there would be internal pushback against her for her call to action. it’s not uncommon for senior network staffers to push back against a new CEO. The Harvard Business Review points to the issues senior executives have with newly appointed chief executives over them. Generally, newly appointed CEOs come in to stimulate a company’s financial growth.
But in Scott’s case, her appointment is a result of the fallout from the firing of Roger Ailes for sexual harassment allegations last year. Already being a familiar presence with the Fox News networks since 1996, a spokesperson for the networks appeared to have Scott’s back for her demands:
“As the CEO of the network, Suzanne Scott regularly leads executive and editorial meetings and she expects accountability from her senior staff, which is what all good leaders do.”
Politico also referred to another incident when a former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie told Democratic strategist Joel Payne who is black, that he was out of his “cotton-picking mind,” on Fox & Friends. The host Ed Henry later said:
“I want to make clear Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase. I was obviously offensive.”
Ed Henry’s disclaimer did not happen as immediately as Scott suggested in her meeting. The network did end up following through with Bossie’s suspension, however, which was originally reported by the Daily Beast.
related: Fox News Analyst Utterly Destroys Treasonous ‘Propaganda Machine’ With Epic Resignation Letter
We can say with utmost certainty that the Fox News network has essentially become President Trump’s news propaganda arm. This is crystal clear with so many former Trump team candidates on the network making inflammatory statements.
As the new CEO of the Fox networks, Scott definitely feels the need to act. But mostly because advertisers were pulling away causing the new network to take a financial hit. At the same time, according to one report by Forbes, Fox News had been lagging behind CNN on digital advertisers but said that they had recently closed the gap.
So, while Fox News drives the nation’s anger with incendiary guests and complacent hosts, Suzanne Scott’s effort to crackdown still makes Fox News just like any other network that’s protecting their bottom line. It could be that now, however, in the process, Scott could bring more civility to the brand and not let Trump-style hostility navigate the message anymore.
Here’s the segment by The Young Turks.