NYT's Charles Blow Describes the 'Horror of Being Governed by Fox & Friends'

April 9th, 2018 4:00 PM

The mainstream media’s contempt for “Trump’s favorite network” Fox News, and especially the morning show Fox & Friends, continues apace. A particularly virulent and condescending example is Charles Blow’s Monday column for the New York Times, “Horror of Being Governed by ‘Fox & Friends.’” Better to be governed by the Times, apparently.

First Blow issued a mea culpa for deigning to have once associated with the show.

During the early days of the Obama administration, I did a few appearances on “Fox & Friends.”

The conversations were predictably shallow, tilted and exploitive. The hosts had a particular knack for asking the idiotic with chipper earnestness, spewing venom through simpering smiles. There was, I felt, maleficence at work with a pretense of positivity.

I knew well that I was swimming in a shallow intellectual pool, and yet I told myself that I was doing yeoman’s work, doing my small part to try and correct misinformation and to reach those lost in Fox’s fog.


I never saw the show as anything more than a carnival, a propaganda tool for conservatives. I would never have thought that the show’s hosts would emerge as the most influential in American media, as the website Mediaite dubbed them.

This show, with its kindergarten-level intellectual capacity, moved from parroting conservative policies to constructing presidential priorities. “Fox & Friends” has essentially become Donald Trump’s daily briefing.


In fact, Trump had tweeted about the show roughly twice as often as about the stock market and roughly three times more often than about the border wall.

Trump’s Fox fixation isn’t benign or inconsequential -- because, like him, the network has an aversion to the truth.

Blow thinks he’s backing his prejudice up with facts:

According to PunditFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times and The Poynter Institute that checks the accuracy of claims made by pundits, of the statements on Fox that have been fact-checked, only 10 percent were rated true, while a full 60 percent were rated either mostly false, false or “pants on fire,” the worst possible rating.

His column came complete with a chart, “Fox and Falsehoods.”

In a way, America is being governed by the dimmest of wits on the most unscrupulous of networks. The very thought of it is horror-inducing.

But Blow’s source PunditFact, a project of the liberal “fact-checker” PolitiFact, is hardly a nonpartisan bastion.

Running the numbers shows that Fox News is an obsession at the PunditFact project, with Fox News personalities and guest pundits a subject of 169 ratings, with NBC next at 145, ABC next with 96, CNN (the other 24-hour news station) at 79, and CBS only 11.

The project invariably rates the blathering from Times leftist Paul Krugman “True,” and statements from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh “False.” So there’s little surprise the field is tilted from the start against Fox News. Yet even by those same slanted criteria NBC and CBS were judged mostly false, false or “pants on fire 41% and 45% respectively. ABC was 35% and CNN (again, the other 24-hour news station) at only 27%.

NewsBusters' Tim Graham showed how CNN, which Blow regularly appears on, fires Fox & Friends worthy softball questions at liberal media barons, like Blow’s own executive editor, the TimesDean Baquet.