Fox News championed hateful ideas and candidates that were on the ballot in 2017, and they lost resoundingly.
Fox News Channel, the quasi-official propaganda outlet of the conservative movement, was a big loser along with the Republican Party in Tuesday’s elections.
While Fox was not directly on the ballot, its candidates and ideas were, and voters in New Jersey and Virginia, and many other parts of the country, resoundingly rejected them.
Most noticeably, this took the form of regurgitating and promoting the racism of Ed Gillespie’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Fox has long beat the drum of anti-Latino racism, and was the swamp from which Donald Trump’s idea to build a border wall emerged.
During the election, Fox continued its racist campaign, highlighting stories about Latino criminals to whip up Republican base voters into an anti-immigrant frenzy.
The network also provided a safe space for Gillespie. He largely avoided the media, limiting his appearances almost exclusively to Fox because on Fox, his noxious racist campaign would not be challenged, but celebrated.
In addition to anti-immigrant, anti-Latino racism, Fox has also incubated the other racist notions that Gillespie’s campaign tried to use to motivate his base. The network compared pro-slavery Confederates to the heroes of 9/11 when the movement to take down monuments gained steam.
In one instance, Fox lied to its viewers and said a plaque honoring George Washington was being taken down, amplifying Gillespie’s pro-Confederate campaign message.
On election night, acting as the right-wing safe space, Fox could hardly bring itself to cover Gillespie’s crushing defeat. For one 100-minute stretch, the network ignored the biggest story in America, because its ideas and candidates were being humiliated.
To add insult to injury, the morning after the election, Fox hosts on Trump’s favorite show, “Fox & Friends,” followed the leader and threw Gillespie under the bus. He ran a campaign directly out of the Trump racism playbook — as former Trump strategist and Breitbart chief Steve Bannon said just days before the election — yet co-host Steve Doocy complained that he didn’t campaign enough with Trump.
It wasn’t just noxious racism promoted by Fox News that lost on election night.
The network has incubated and stoked the fires of anti-transgender beliefs for years. Tucker Carlson, the lead-off host in Fox’s primetime lineup, has hosted anti-transgender hate groups to bash the concept of equality and acceptance. Carlson has also accused transgender Americans of “faking.”
When bigoted Republican Del. Bob Marshall, self-identified as Virginia’s “chief homophobe,” ran a campaign of discrimination and hate against his transgender opponent, he was parroting what shows up on Fox News every day.
Democrat Danica Roem beat him — and Fox News by proxy — resoundingly, becoming the first openly transgender House delegate in Virginia’s history.
Fox was even rebuked in New Jersey.
In the past, Fox tried hard to hide the corruption of Gov. Chris Christie and the “Bridgegate” scandal. One of his underlings, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, tried to succeed him — and she was crushed by 13 percent.
The network will continue to spew lies and hatred. It will persist in its mission to pervert the national conversation in America, championing bigotry over unity.
But despite its claims to dominance and popular support, Fox News is a big loser, as it has been before.