Chris Stirwalt, a former Fox News politics editor, in quotes from his new book in The New York Times Sunday, accused the network of spreading paranoia and hatred.

Stirwalt says he was fired by Fox News after appearing on-air to defend the network’s decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. It was a pivotal moment on election night that angered former President Donald Trump, who tried unsuccessfully to get the usually supportive network to back the call.

A network representative told Insider in January 2021 that Stirwalt had split the company with him as part of the restructuring process.

In his memoir, The Times said, Stirwalt alleged that the network was instrumental in radicalizing America’s right, accusing it of spreading “black-helicopter-level paranoia and hatred”.

In the book, he says that during Trump’s tenure, the network fed viewers what they wanted to hear, fueling the fire of criticism from Republicans following the Arizona call.

“Even in the four years since the last presidential election, Fox viewers had become accustomed to flattery and less inclined to hear news that challenged their expectations,” he writes. “I served green beans to spectators who had been spoon-fed ice cream for years, a terrible blow to their system.”

In the book, he holds particular criticism for Tucker Carlson, who has often been the network’s top-rated host, and has long promoted conspiracy theories and pushed white nationalist talk.

“Carlson is rich and famous,” writes Stirwalt. “Yet he regularly raves about ‘big, legacy media outlets.’ Guests denounce ‘corporate media’ on his show and call Fox CEO Carlson ‘brave’ for discussing controversial topics. Still, no one even laughs.”

He adds, “It doesn’t take any kind of journalistic courage to bring out what your audience wants to hear, night after night.”

He says that contrary to popular belief, Fox News promoted the prospects of Republican candidates in elections not because it was necessary that they win, but because it boosts ratings and increases profits.

A Fox News spokesperson pushed back against his claims in a statement to Insider, saying that “Chris Stirwalt’s quest for relevance knows no bounds.” She disputed that her departure from the network was linked to the Arizona call, and said Arnon Mishkin, the head of the decisions desk during the 2020 election, would also cover the mid-November term.

Since splitting from Fox News, Stirwalt has openly criticized the network, and in June testified before the House committee investigating the January 6 riots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *