Speed Reads

Fox and Frenemies

As Rupert Murdoch's media empire adopts the Trump line on Russia, some Fox News employees grumble

Prominent U.S. media organizations controlled by Rupert Murdoch have recently uniformly adopted the White House argument that it is Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, not President Trump's circle, that need a federal investigation, and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is compromised or overzealous and should resign. Even The Wall Street Journal is on board. But none of the Murdoch properties has been as conspicuous, or as casual about blurring the line between news and opinion, as Fox News.

As America tackles Russian meddling in its democracy, "the agreement on the basic facts in the mainstream news media does not extend to Rupert Murdoch's media empire and other important parts of the conservative media," says New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg. "The collective coverage from the Journal editorial page, the New York Post, and Fox News — not including the straight-ahead coverage by the likes of Shepard Smith and Bret Baier — was testament to the Murdoch empire's ability to make its own journalistic weather."

Well, some Fox News employees are ready for a season change, or at least an umbrella, CNN's Oliver Darcy reports. "I'm watching now and screaming," a Fox News personality texted CNN while watching Fox News' coverage of the arrest of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. "I want to quit." A senior Fox News employee said there were "many eye rolls" in the newsroom Monday, adding, "Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House."

"It's an embarrassment," another Fox News employee told CNN. "Frankly, there are shows on our network that are backing the president at all costs, and it's that short term strategy that undermines the good work being done by others." A Fox News spokesperson told CNN that the network covered the Manafort news accurately and fairly on both the news and opinion side. You can read more Fox News employees arguing otherwise at CNNMoney.