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Veterans group asks Pentagon to stop airing Fox News on military bases

There's legitimate reason for U.S. military officials to cease airing the network, which is known to spread anti-democratic propaganda, in its facilities.


The progressive veterans advocacy group VoteVets is out with a new ad that calls for military bases to stop airing Fox News given its tendency to push disinformation.

“The most valuable weapon to the enemy is disinformation," a narrator says in the ad. "That’s why the Pentagon spends hundreds of millions of dollars training our troops to resist it. Yet, at the same time, the U.S. military uses taxpayer-funded facilities to broadcast disinformation on military bases, knowingly letting false propaganda infiltrate the ranks."

The ad specifically references Fox News prime-time hosts Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, each of whom was accused in recent court filings of knowingly spreading Donald Trump's false claims of 2020 election fraud.

The hosts “have open access to spread their conspiracy theories to U.S. troops,” the ad states. “And now we know they knew they were lies — just to boost their ratings.” 

According to the ad, "the lies help violent extremist groups recruit service members and veterans to turn on their oaths" — a fact I’ve covered previously on The ReidOut Blog. 

For more on the potential for extremists to lure military members, check out my post from last year on a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing about the current and former members of the armed forces who participated in the Jan. 6 riot.  

As then-committee Chair Mark Takano, a Democrat from California, said at the time:

These groups value the leadership skills, combat experience and the weapons training that veterans possess. Having veterans among their ranks also gives these groups an air of credibility. It allows them to project a false appearance of patriotism and duty that belies their true anti-government views, and racial, ethnic and religious hatred.

Marcus Childress, a former staffer on the House Jan. 6 committee, also referenced the threat extremist disinformation poses to national security. Childress, who previously served in the Air Force, explained during a panel at Georgetown University last month why so many veterans showed up at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“A lot of these individuals felt that they had served their country and sacrificed — which they had — for their country in certain ways,” Childress said. But they were manipulated by a “strong leader who made them feel needed," he added.

Suffice it to say, there’s ample reason for military officials to reconsider their stance on Fox News. The bipartisan efforts to curtail TikTok’s influence in the United States suggest federal officials have no problem targeting media companies deemed dangerous over their ability to manipulate and misinform.

Fox News embodies that exact same problem. I suspect there are some people in the military who look to the network as a source of information. That's an issue that needs to be addressed. And it begins with military officials acknowledging Fox News for what it's largely shown itself to be: a propaganda network.