A lot of people who work for Fox absolutely loathe Fox News. I have friends who work there who roll their eyes when the subject comes up; who are repelled by Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.
Most of them won’t say so publicly. They can’t afford to lose their jobs.
If you’re rich and powerful enough, you can go public. Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy,” “The Orville”) singled out Carlson when he said, “It’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company."
“Modern Family” creator/executive producer Steve Levitan tweeted that Fox News’ “support of the NRA, conspiracy theories and Trump’s lies gets harder to swallow every day as I drive onto that lot to make a show about inclusion,” adding that he intended to cut ties to the Fox studio after the sitcom ends.
(Fortunately for Levitan, Disney is about to complete its purchase of the studio.)
Certainly, nobody thinks that just because they work at Fox, these guys support Fox News.
Fox Entertainment’s new CEO, Charlie Collier, acknowledged it’s “a key issue for a lot of people,” and insisted he appreciates and respects “those who speak up about it.” But he doesn’t feel responsible for what the folks on the “Fox & Friends” couch say.
“The bottom line is that the news division and the entertainment division are run completely separately,” said Collier, the former AMC president who moved to Fox three months ago. And in that time, “I’ve yet to be asked for my editorial perspective on the news division, and I’ve yet to call anybody in New York and ask them for their editorial perspective on the entertainment division.”
The Trump-loving, fact-starved, right-wing rhetoric on the Fox New Channel has always been at odds with the largely liberal programming on the broadcast network. “The Simpsons” has been mocking the Fox News Channel for decades.
Why does any of this matter? Because there are still some in Utah who fundamentally misunderstand KSTU-Channel 13′s relationship with Fox News. The station is slammed for the right-wing excesses of the Fox News Channel — and when The Salt Lake Tribune announced a content-sharing partnership with Fox 13, we were slammed for getting into bed with Sean Hannity and his ilk.
Fox News does not program or make editorial decisions for Channel 13. KSTU is an affiliate of the Fox broadcast network, not the Fox News Channel.
Yes, the network airs “Fox News Sunday,” and Fox News produces coverage of special events like the State of the Union that air on the broadcast network. And Fox 13 uses some Fox News segments in its local newscasts. But that’s about it.
By the way, FOX 13 also uses segments produced by — gasp! — CNN.
KSTU is owned by Tribune Broadcasting, which is in the process of being sold to Nexstar Media Group, which already owns KTVX-Channel.4. Under FCC regulations, Nexstar can’t own both and — while it has not been confirmed — it’s believed that FOX 13 will be sold. And among the possible buyers is Fox.
But even if that happens, Fox News won't have any more input into FOX 13's newscasts than it does now. Which is — none at all.
I’m not arguing that news coverage by either The Tribune or FOX 13 is perfect. We deserve our share of criticism. But not for anything the Fox News Channel does.