Fox contributor Lauren Ashburn complained that "it's just not fair" for critics to hold Fox News accountable for any misinformation and biased commentary made on-air by the network's paid hosts and contributors, suggesting the network shouldn't be held responsible for a recent conspiracy theory about the timing of Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala's capture, which originated on Fox.
Fox News is a platform that reaches almost everyone in the United States. They need to be responsible for who they bring on and what the effects of what they say. Saying we’re not responsible for what our guests and contributors say is such a cop out. That reasoning might work for Reddit, but Fox News as a platform provides legitimacy to the views it espouses to those who find the network credible. If they had any sense of responsibility they would fact-check what is said on the air, no matter who says it, and issue prompt clarifications when a guest or contributor says something misleading. As someone who listens to NPR, I cannot tell you how often I have heard them interrupt a conversation to issue a correction or clarification for something that had been said earlier in the program. If Fox News is going to adopt the attitude of anything goes on our network, then it is impossible to trust anything said on the channel. If they are not going to differentiate between conspiracy theories and legitimate allegations, nothing they say can be trusted. To someone who watches their network, their guests and contributors ARE the newscasters. Fox cannot have it both ways: if you bring these crack pots onto your channel, you cannot complain that they siphon off the credibility of the network—this is who you chose to represent you. If you look like a tabloid, sound like a tabloid, and read like a tabloid, it is perfectly fair for people to call you a tabloid. Have a sense of responsibility.