Former News Corp VP Quit Because Fox News Had A Bad ‘Relationship With Facts’
Former News Corp vice president Joseph Azam spoke on Sunday about a “significant change in tone” that occurred at Fox News, and said that a change in the “relationship with facts” in the organization led to his departure with the company.
In an interview with Brian Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Azam said he noticed a disturbing shift at Fox coming about “in the run up to the [2016 presidential] election.”
A difference of opinion hadn’t bothered Azam in the past, but the change in what Fox News hosts were saying, particularly on the opinion side of things, concerned him, according to reporting from Mediaite.
“I’m a big believer in the marketplace of ideas, and I was fine working with and for people who had very different values and opinions than I did, but I noticed a significant shift in the ferociousness, and frankly, in the relationship with facts, particularly on the Fox side,” he said.
My earlier NPR interview with Azam here: https://t.co/H5OzMFPYT2
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) April 7, 2019
The change was hard for Azam to ignore. “[I]t became very profitable to kind of fall in line with some of the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and I was affected by that,” he added.
Azam made similar comments during an NPR interview in March when he said that he was “fundamentally bothered” by the direction Fox was moving in during the campaign.
“Scaring people. Demonizing immigrants. Creating, like, a fervor — or an anxiety about what was happening in our country,” Azam said of the network’s messaging at that time.
Azam, who is Muslim and whose family emigrated to the U.S. from war-torn Afghanistan decades ago during the Soviet invasion of the country, had previously taken pundits at Fox to task for their vitriolic commentaries. When Fox host Tucker Carlson asked on Twitter how America benefits from “having tons of people from failing countries come here,” Azam responded with a tweet of his own.
“If you come upstairs to where all the executives who run your company sit and find me I can tell you, Tucker,” he wrote.