Pete Riehm
Et tu, Fox News?
By Pete Riehm
May 4, 2023

A cable news powerhouse for a quarter century, Fox News portrayed itself as the only reliable news source for conservative Americans. Until the last few years, they dominated that space because there were few if any alternatives. They garnered the largest market share of cable news by attracting a vast following of loyal conservative viewers, but this relationship has become increasingly strained particularly since the 2020 election. A few weeks ago, the unexpected departure of Weekend Fox News host Dan Bongino disappointed and puzzled Fox viewers, but quickly on the heels of Bongino, the abrupt firing of Tucker Carlson, the host of Fox’s best rated show, disturbed and shocked them. With no explanation, it just didn’t make any sense. So what’s really going on?

Over 2,000 years ago, Roman Emperor Julius Caesar enjoyed tremendous popularity not just as a military hero but as a man of the people. He was so popular the Roman Senate appointed him “Dictator for Life.” They valued his military success expanding the Roman Republic, but they were annoyed and troubled by his deference to the people and irreverence to the establishment aristocrats in the Roman Senate. Julius Caesar was a threat to the status quo, the entrenched families holding power in Rome. He had no problem publicly and vociferously opposing the Roman establishment. They also feared he was diluting their power by extending citizenship to the inhabitants of Gaul and establishing new senators from outside Italy.

If Rome’s ruling elite were to preserve their power, Julius Caesar had to go. Although he was dictator, he made accommodations with his enemies rather than persecute them, so he thought he had gained friends. His so-called friends claimed they had to protect the republic, but they were protecting their individual influence and seeking vengeance for Julius Caesar’s lack of respect for their personal authority. To his surprise, his friends Brutus and Cassius orchestrated his assassination on the Senate floor where dozens of Roman Senators stabbed him to death. As Brutus inserted his dagger, Julius Caesar reportedly said, “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?)

Tucker Carlson is also a man of the people. He sincerely strives to bring the truth to the people and hold those in power accountable without hesitation or regard to position. Tucker had far and away the highest ratings in all cable news because the people trusted him. So what happened that would make Fox News unceremoniously dump the guy most responsible for their number one rating?

Amid a plethora of speculation, some wonder: did Tucker Carlson get too close to the truth? Uncompromising in his questioning, he was fearless interviewing the powerful. He was relentless in his pursuit of the COVID19 fraud perpetrated by Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, but perhaps it was his bold exposé of the fantastic lie of insurrection on January 6, 2021. He showed Capitol Hill video that completely undermined the utterly false narrative pushed by the Democrat Media Complex and the federal government. Tucker Carlson frightened the establishment and threatened Washington’s ruling elite, so he had to go!

Cable news personalities come and go, but why has Tucker Carlson’s pink slip so angered and bewildered so many Fox News viewers? There is an unsettling realization that Fox News has not just betrayed Tucker Carlson, but they betrayed their devoted fans. Perhaps, they have been betraying conservatives for quite some time.

Fox News sold themselves as “fair and balanced.” With most cable news spewing extreme leftist propaganda, conservatives had no options, so they thought they had found a safe home for news. They believed Fox News contributors were not muzzled and free to pursue the truth, but the ouster of Carlson and Bongino belie that apparently gross assumption.

Carlson recently lamented the “uni-party” in Washington that makes us believe there is genuine debate of ideas, but somehow the results are always the same. Government power or tyranny increases and liberty decreases. He pointed to the constant silly bickering in government and media, while the consequential challenges like profligate spending, open borders, a weakened vulnerable defense, and grave international threats go unresolved.

Suddenly, a sick sinking feeling is setting in on Fox News viewers that they have been deceived. Apparently, Fox News is no different than professional wrestling. With a cast of contrived antagonists and protagonists, the results are already forgone. Exploiting a veneer of patriotism, Fox News gives conservatives just enough to vent, but never lets them get to the truth and diverts them from advancing the conservative agenda.

The deception at Fox News is subtle. They will question gruesome mutilation of children for the militant transgender movement, but they coyly play the preposterous pronoun game and avoid the ravages of gender dysmorphia. Except for Carlson, they will question the ridiculous January 6th congressional inquisition, but they will not cover the brazen lies about insurrection promoted by the federal government.

Disarming conservative viewers, Fox News produces a quality product with affable on-air personalities that come across as trustworthy, but long-time viewers are coming to a repulsive epiphany that Fox News, like Anheuser-Busch, does not really respect or share conservative values. Fox didn’t just stab Carlson in the back, they have been stabbing conservatives in the back by pretending to be conservative solely to restrain the conservative movement.

Like the uni-party, Fox News is just another manifestation of the mainstream corporate media that is dedicated to the establishment. Carlson was a truth teller, so the ruling elite are trying to sideline him at least through the 2024 election.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).

Pete Riehm is a conservative activist and columnist in south Alabama. Email him at or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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