Fox News analyst quits, rips network as a “propaganda machine” in letter to colleagues

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on Fox News.
Source: Fox News
Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on Fox News.

A Fox News analyst quit in a scathing letter that accused the network of degenerating into "a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration."

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a strategic analyst for Fox News, said he was leaving the network and laid out his reasoning in a fiery letter to colleagues, obtained by BuzzFeed News.

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"Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers," Peters wrote. "Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed."

He went on:

In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts — who have never served our country in any capacity — dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller — all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of "deep-state" machinations — I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.

Peters continued in that vein before signing off: "As our president's favorite world leader would say, 'Das vidanya'" — Russian for "goodbye."

Fox News responded to Peters's letter in a statement, saying he was "entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he's choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention."

Before his angry departure, Peters, a retired US Army officer, was a fairly reliable conservative voice on foreign policy, and he had been extremely critical of the Obama administration. He did not hold backon Obama's US response in Syria; he called the president a "pussy" on air (and was temporarily suspended for it) and described Secretary of State John Kerry as "as fierce as a chocolate eclair."

That said, Peters was never a Trump fan. He told Fox Business in November 2016 he would vote for Hillary Clinton in the election — even though she was "despicable," "corrupt," and "greedy" — because "it's a vote against Donald Trump. I don't want Moscow's man in the White House."

Anti-Trump views weren't entirely uncommon on Fox News during the campaign. But since Trump's election, the network has moved closer and closer to the White House line — too much so, it seems, for even some of its own reliably conservative commentators.