3 Former Fox Execs Regret Helping Build Murdoch’s ‘Disinformation Machine’: ‘Has Had Many Negative Impacts on Our Society’

Ken Solomon, Bill Reyner and Preston Padden write in a joint blog post that they “never envisioned, and would not knowingly have enabled, the disinformation machine”

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch (Credit: Getty Images)

Three former Fox executives expressed remorse Wednesday for helping build what they called Rupert Murdoch’s “disinformation machine,” saying that Fox News “has had many negative impacts on our society,” including the Jan. 6 insurrection on the capitol.

Ken Solomon, Bill Reyner and Preston Padden published a blog post torching what has become of Fox and lamenting their role in its conception. All three former execs took responsibility for “helping to give birth” to Fox’s broadcasting networks.

During their tenure at Fox in the 1990s, “we genuinely believed that the creation of a fourth competitive force in broadcast television was in the public interest,” the former executives said. “We all greatly admired Rupert Murdoch and his vision.”

However, Fox has evolved since their departure into a “disinformation machine” that none of them saw coming.

“In our opinion, the Fox News Channel has had many negative impacts on our society,” the blog continued, the “worst” being Fox’s on-air false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The three former executives lamented Fox’s blockbuster settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, highlighting that the lawsuit uncovered that the network knowingly repeated lies regarding the outcome of the presidential election.

“Fox did not appeal the decision but instead acknowledged it and paid nearly $800 million in damages to Dominion,” the executives wrote.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Preston consistently spoke to Murdoch regarding his thinking on the outcome. Through their conversations, “Murdoch made it very clear to Preston that he understood that the 2020 election had not been stolen.”

Meanwhile, “Fox continued to perpetuate the ‘Big Lie’ and promote the Jan 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally,” the former executives wrote.

“Many other veterans of the historic effort in the 1990s to break the strangle hold of the big three networks and to build a fourth competitive force in American television share our resentment that the reputation of the Fox brand we helped to build has been ruined by false news,” they concluded.