Fox never tried to put words in my mouth, nor was I told explicitly that I was taboo on Trump-Putin matters. I simply was no longer called on for topics central to my expertise. I was relegated to Groundhog Day analysis of North Korea and the Middle East, or to Russia-related news that didn’t touch the administration. Listening to political hacks with no knowledge of things Russian tell the vast Fox audience that the special counsel’s investigation was a “witch hunt,” while I could not respond, became too much to bear. There is indeed a witch hunt, and it’s led by Fox against Robert Mueller.
The cascade of revelations about the Russia-related crimes of Trump associates was dismissed, adamantly, as “fake news” by prime-time hosts who themselves generate fake news blithely.
Then there was Fox’s assault on our intelligence community — in which I had served, from the dirty-boots tactical level to strategic work in the Pentagon (with forays that stretched from Russia through Pakistan to Burma and Bolivia and elsewhere). Opportunities to explain how the system actually works, how stringent the safeguards are and that intelligence personnel are responsible public servants — sometimes heroes — dried up after an on-air confrontation shortly before Trump’s inauguration with a popular (and populist) host, Lou Dobbs.