CNN’s Jim Acosta said Fox News has intensified its coverage of “cockamamie made-up nonsense” since the 2020 election in an effort to win back viewers, create outrage and boost ratings.
In a conversation on Mediaite’s “The Interview” posted this week, the CNN anchor spoke about the aftermath of Fox News’ election night decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden. The call, which turned out to be accurate, incurred the wrath of then-President Donald Trump.
Two executives involved in that decision were out at Fox News soon afterward. Nonetheless, the network saw a dip in ratings after the election, and Trump repeatedly directed his supporters toward far-right alternatives OAN and Newsmax. (All three major cable news channels have seen significant ratings declines in 2021 compared to 2020, but Fox News has topped MSNBC and CNN in key ratings categories.)
Acosta said the network had a moment of opportunity there to “come back to the real world” but instead it became “more Fox-like and more Trumpian.”
“What they’ve decided to do since then is double down on being what I call the bullshit factory,” Acosta said. “They churn out segments that gin up outrage that they know is going to piss off their viewers and so on. Even if it’s cockamamie made-up nonsense. And they do it for the simple reason of attracting viewers, and ginning up the ratings.”
In Acosta’s view, it’s necessary to cover the network’s transgressions in order to hold its employees and guests accountable.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, and my attitude is we have to talk about it, we have to cover it,” he said. “Do we need to do it every hour of every day? No, we don’t. But if Trump or his lackeys go on Fox and they spew this nonsense about the election and they’re not fact-checked in real time, then they’re operating as propagandists. And they’re doing a bad thing for this country.”
Acosta often reports on Fox News during his weekend anchor slot and recently accused it of being “obsessed with cancel culture” and generating “faux outrage” while silencing anyone who won’t propagate Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
Listen to Mediaite’s full interview with Acosta here.
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