It looks like the you-know-what is finally hitting the proverbial fan for Fox News.
Ask just about anyone in this country, short of the far-Right, what the worst “news” outlet they can think of is, and I’m betting at least 95 percent of them will tell you Fox News, without missing a beat.
Fox and its band of talking heads — think Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham — have been one of if not the number one proponent of misinformation and blatant lies since the moment Donald Trump announced his candidacy from that golden escalator back in 2016. And those of us over here on the side with a shred of common sense to our names have been forced to side and watch, helplessly, as the network played an immeasurable role in filling this nation with hate, lies, and vitriols. Those memes that constantly going around containing directions to block Fox News from your grandparents’ TVs weren’t just funny jokes — but rather a clear sign of our desperation to staunch the bleeding of misinformation and dangerous rhetoric.
But finally, after 6-plus long, hard years, it looks like Fox News may soon be forced to pay for its sins.
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Nandini Jammi, the head of Check My Ads, took to social media with this bombshell announcement:
THIS IS HUGE. pic.twitter.com/9F3HguLf8k
— Nandini Jammi (@nandoodles) July 21, 2022
You may be thinking, “So what? We’ve known all along that Fox News is full of shit.” While that’s certainly true, this new rating is probably a much bigger deal than you may realize.
Newsguard may not be a household name, but it is a highly influential player in the adtech industry. They solve a very important problem for ad exchanges: they give them access to a ratings library of 7000+ media outlets on a scale of 0-100 that tell them whether a media outlet is disinformation or not.
The product, known as BrandGuard, is a godsend for ad exchange executives who are under pressure to keep hate and disinfo outlets out of their networks, but don’t want to deal with the public (and potentially political) fallout of making those decisions themselves. A Newsguard partnership gives them something neutral and objective to point at. After all, the company is staffed by trained journalists and insists that their ratings process is ‘apolitical.'”
This means that Fox News is facing down the very real possibility of losing a metric ton of its advertisers, and when the advertisers go, so does the money. While we don’t have a cold, hard number for the potential revenue loss, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s going to be massive, depending on the number of advertisers that end up jumping the Fox ship when the dust settles.
Of course, in true Right-wing fashion, Fox has responded to the detrimental downgrading, pretty much pulling a page from the Trump playbook and stopping just short of literally calling it a witch hunt. According to new reporting from CNN’s Oliver Darcy, the network blamed the new rating on a management and editorial team that relies “heavily on left-leaning sourcing to attempt to silence diversity of thought in the media.”
Fox News is responding to NewsGuard downgrading its site to red by accusing the company’s management and editorial teams of relying “heavily on left-leaning sourcing to attempt to silence diversity of thought in the media.” pic.twitter.com/J9Qk3F5DNY
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 21, 2022
Frankly, I don’t think their excuses here are going to go very far in keeping the electricity on.
Featured image via screen capture