A retired Army lieutenant colonel and Fox News contributor quit the network Tuesday, accusing it of fueling paranoia among its audience and serving as a “propaganda machine” for the Trump administration.
Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a “strategic analyst” at Fox News, made the comments in an email to colleagues announcing that he had not renewed his contract, obtained by BuzzFeed.
“Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to ‘support and defend the Constitution,’ and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed,” Mr. Peters reportedly wrote.
“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,” he continued. “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,” he added.
Mr. Peters made an exception for Fox Business and “the hard-news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment.”
Fox News issued a statement slamming Mr. Peters as attention-seeking.
“Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention,” the network said. “We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programming.”
Mr. Peters did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment.