A longtime Fox News analyst has left the company — and he did not go quietly.
“Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed,” said Retired Col. Lt. Ralph Peters, according to a letter obtained by BuzzFeed.
Peters accused the network of “assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers,” per his letter.
“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,” Peters, a retired officer of the United States Army, wrote.
Peters once believed Fox had integrity while serving its conservative audience but has become “a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
He cited the network’s criticism and hosts who “dismiss the facts” regarding the FBI, the Justice Department, intelligence analysts and Robert Mueller.
“When prime-time hosts — who have never served our country in any capacity — dismiss facts and empirical reality … I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove,” Peters said.
Peters was a conservative analyst but had made his feelings on President Donald Trump known. He said in 2016 he would vote for Hillary Clinton — despite calling her “despicable” — to keep “Moscow’s man” out of the White House.
He concluded his letter with another dig at Trump: “As our president’s favorite world leader would say, ‘Das vidanya’” — Russian for “goodbye.”
Fox News responded in a statement, reported by the Hollywood Reporter, saying, “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. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programing.”
Peters is not the only Fox employee to bash the network’s coverage of the Trump-Russia scandal, but so far he’s the only one who’s left the network. CNN reported in October that several members of Fox were unhappy with the network’s reporting. Some called it “an embarrassment,” “absurd,” and “a huge disservice [that] further divides the country.” Someone called Fox “an extension of the White House.”
Around that time, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, as well as two Trump associates, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, were under fire. Manafort and Gates had been indicted for conspiracy against the U.S., and Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI.
“The revelations jolted through the news media, and Fox News — the highest rated network in the country — did cover it as its top story. But in contrast with CNN and MSNBC, which aired non-stop rolling coverage throughout the day, Fox News found plenty of time to cover other topics, like the NFL protests, North Korea, and tax reform,” CNN reported.
He was also a harsh critic of former President Barack Obama. He was suspended for two weeks in 2015 when he said of Trump’s predecessor, “This guy is such a total p*ssy, it is stunning.”