Fox News has some shit going on right now, with its CEO and its top pundit Bill O’Reilly recently ousted due to sexual harassment charges, onetime face-of-the-network Megyn Kelly on her way to a new show at NBC, a brand new racial-discrimination class-action lawsuit, and now rumblings from its premiere strong-chinned blowhard Sean Hannity that a conspiracy is afoot within the building itself. These latest rumors are actually an interesting change of pace, seemingly laying the blame on internal warmongering rather than some sort of liberal conspiracy. Maybe there’s just a Soros plant somewhere high up the chain of command.
Or perhaps, alternately, this is the long-overdue crumbling of a TV empire built on seething contempt for both its audience, which it considers slack-jawed yokels capable of only titillation and outrage, as well as everyone who isn’t its audience, which it considers a threat to America. For years, Fox News has made its name on dog-whistle racism and sexism, cloaked under the veneer of tradition and conservatism, its various pundits pining for simpler and more honest times while winking at the audience with the same “America for Americans” ethno-nationalism of someone like Richard Spencer. You don’t really need much more proof of this than the fact that these same honest, good, hard-working, traditional men and women were still willing to line up behind Donald Trump—an openly racist and misogynist grifter with no political experience or acumen—merely because of the fact that he was openly racist and misogynist. This guy actually came out and said it all; he didn’t apologize. Those PC police couldn’t scare him away!
Occasionally, though, the veneer has cracked over the years, as a new video from New York captures. What’s fun watching this isn’t just these broadcasters’ sheer, unbridled contempt for Americans who don’t happen to be white. It’s the attempted recovery, the way they pull their masks back on quickly, or grimace at the camera, as if to say, “Oops! That one slipped!” Good thing that our president has an almost symbiotic relationship with the network, gaining most of his worldview from it even as he terrifyingly influences the world they’re remarking upon. It’ll be interesting to watch what Fox News transforms into as its hideous inner workings are exposed; here’s betting they double-down on it, which might not be such a bad thing. If they offer Donald Trump a gig, he’d probably take it. After all, he hates his current day-job.