自特朗普于 2015 年宣布候选资格以来，现任美国总统与福克斯新闻之间的关系一直密切。
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Rupert Murdoch is famous for always wanting to back a winner. So, amid the frenzied atmosphere of the vote count, when his Fox News network started to refer to Donald Trump’s “unfounded fraud claims” with regard to the election, it was clear his chances of retaining the presidency were diminishing by the minute.
The network doubled down on this more recently when presenter Neil Cavuto cut away from a statement by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, exclaiming: “Whoa, whoa, whoa – I just think we have to be very clear. She’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this.”
This extends to the coronavirus pandemic, in which parts of the network have served as platform for Trump to spread misinformation regarding the dangers posed by a virus that has killed more than 230,000 Americans. Some of its coverage has even come in for criticism from Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has advised six US presidents.
This may even have helped create a less informed public – the very antithesis of the First Amendment’s vision of an “informed populace”. A 2012 study found that Fox News viewers were less informed even than those who watched no news at all.
Misinforming, or not taking enough care properly to inform the public, undermines the objective of press freedom and represents a disturbing subversion of First Amendment principles.
That parts of Fox News have been willing to challenge Trump in recent days may provide hope that, in a moment of existential importance for the country, some journalists at the network are taking their First Amendment obligations seriously.