Ralph Peters, a former Fox News contributor who quit the job in March, has called the network “a destructive propaganda machine.” In his first interview since he left Fox, Peters described the channel as doing a “doing a great, grave disservice” to the United States, The New York Times reports.
“With the rise of Donald Trump, Fox did become a destructive propaganda machine,” Mr. Peters said in an interview with CNN. “And I don’t do propaganda for anyone.”
Peters is a retired lieutenant colonel who served in the US Army. He used to provide his military insight and perspective on issues for Fox for 10 years before his departure. According to the NYT, during his stint as a contributor, he was a staunch defender of the network, calling it a “legitimate conservative bulwark in the news media and an outlet for libertarian opinions.”
But it looks like the election of President Donald Trump changed his mind. Peters has asserted that he feels that the 2016 election sent the network further right. He seems particularly disturbed that Fox News anchors and commentators have been parroting conspiracy theories popularised on the internet. Ideas about the existence of “the deep state” have been regularly spouted by popular Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity, Peters added during the interview before continuing to criticize Hannity and co. for their “attacks” against U.S. institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department.
“I suspect Sean Hannity really believes it,” he said. “The others are smarter. They know what they’re doing. It’s bewildering to me. I mean, I wanted to just cry out and say: ‘How can you do this? How can you lie to our country?'”
As The Daily Beast notes, Peters also slammed Fox News for leading a “witch-hunt” against special prosecutor Robert Mueller. He insisted that the network is doing so to boost their ratings and revenue
Ralph Peter isn’t the only former Fox News on-air employee. Alisyn Camerota, a former Fox News anchor who now works at CNN, said that she felt the journalistic standards and ethics at Fox are questionable.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) June 7, 2018
“I too was upset about the blurring of the lines between propaganda and journalism,” Ms. Camerota said after one of the soundbites from Peters’ interviews. “I don’t know whether the viewers know the difference between the prime time hosts and the great reporters there.”
Peters left his gig at Fox in something of a dramatic fashion. He wrote an in-depth email to his co-workers in which he detailed his motivations for cutting ties with the news organization. In the email, he said that he was “ashamed” to be connected to Fox News, Buzzfeed reports. He also called the network a propaganda mouthpiece for a “destructive and ethically ruinous administration” and went on to pen an opinion piece for The Washington Post, a news outlet that has routinely run stories that expose the interior workings of the Trump administration. The piece was called “Why I Left Fox News,” and in it, Peters describes the conservative media house as a ship where “the best sailors were driven overboard by the rodents.”
Editor’s note: A Fox News spokesperson reached out to the Inquisitr with the following statement.
“Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programing.”