Longtime Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg has announced his decision to leave the network in protest over primetime personality Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 documentary series, and joining him in that departure is fellow conservative commentator Stephen Hayes, according to the New York Times.
Both Goldberg and Hayes have made regular appearances on Fox News going all the way back to 2009, and though their brand of conservatism has frequently tilted more to the moderate side of things, the stand they are taking over Carlson’s film, Patriot Purge, still comes as something of a surprise.
The duo penned a lengthy of explanation of the move on their news and opinion website “The Dispatch,” saying, “[Carlson’s] special – which ran on Fox’s subscription service earlier this month and was promoted on Fox News – is presented in the style of an exposé, a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism.”
Goldberg and Hayes continued, “In reality, it is a collection if incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions.”
Lamenting what they view as broader problems at the network, the pair wrote, “Over the past five years, some of Fox’s top opinion hosts amplified the false claims and bizarre narratives of Donald Trump or offered up their own in his service. In this sense, the release of Patriot Purge wasn’t just an isolated incident, it was merely the most egregious example of a longstanding trend.”
The men did not cast universal scorn upon everyone at their former network home, opinion that “the news side of Fox routinely does what it is supposed to do. It reports the truth,” adding, “there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis.”
The did, however, cast aspersions on Carlson directly and on the theories presented in Patriot Purge, saying, “If a person with such a platform shares such information loud enough and long enough, there are Americans who will believe — and act upon — it.”
According to The Hill, an executive for the network indicated that its management had no plans of entering into new contracts with either Goldberg or Hayes once their current ones expired in 2022, and the Times also noted that Carlson deemed the contributors’ decision to exist “great news.”
Though Goldberg and Hayes have long been familiar faces and regular fixtures on the television screens of millions of Americans for years, their blatant hostility to the beliefs of countless of their weeknight viewers suggests that their presence may not be missed all that much.