While the rest of the American news media reported on the indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, watchdogs noticed an entirely different focus on the conservative-leaning Fox News. Sure enough, the home of pro-Trump bullhorns like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson was busily discussing a cheeseburger emoji “controversy,” Hillary Clinton’s latest hits, and practically anything else they could scrounge up. And according to several employees who spoke with CNN, some of them had trouble holding back from quitting.
“I’m watching now and screaming,” a person described as a “Fox News personality” recalled, adding, “I want to quit.” Another described the network’s coverage of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign as a “blow to journalists at Fox who come in every day wanting to cover the news in a fair and objective way.” The newsroom side of the cable news channel, they added, evinced “many eye rolls” in response to outrageous claims by opinion programming, such as Hannity’s assertion that Mueller’s probe was nothing more than a “witch hunt.”
“It’s an embarrassment,” stated another employee. “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.” While none of the employees who opened up to CNN went on the record, it’s telling that some were described as “personalities” — after all, the term is primarily used for anchors and other individuals who regularly appear in-camera. And considering Chris Wallace, Shep Smith, and other personalities associated with the network’s editorial side have a history of speaking out against their opinion-leaning colleagues, it begs the question — who’s talking?