Who Is Ralph Peters? The Fox News Commentator Left The Network Because It's A "Propaganda Machine"
On Tuesday, a longtime Fox News commentator left the network for good and, as Buzzfeed News reported, his email announcing the departure did not hold back. Now former Fox commentator, Ralph Peters, is a retired Army officer who worked at the network for around 10 years. And though he's held conservative viewpoints that go hand-in-hand with Fox, he absolutely ripped the outlet apart for supposedly serving as a "propaganda machine" for the Trump administration.
According to the Washington Post, Peters regularly appeared on both Fox News and Fox Business during his nearly decade long tenure working for the media outlet. In addition to his work at Fox, he also writes regularly for a variety of American newspapers and publishes fiction spy novels under the name "Owen Perry."
In an email he sent to colleagues announcing his exit from his role at Fox, Buzzfeed reported, Peters expressed what appeared to be profound frustration with the network, saying:
... Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to 'support and defend the Constitution,' and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed ... Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration ...
However, while Peters had strong criticism for the media outlet, he also offered some compliments, particularly for his colleagues at Fox Business Network. As Peters put it,
I do not apply the above criticisms in full to Fox Business, where numerous hosts retain a respect for facts and maintain a measure of integrity (nor is every host at Fox News a propaganda mouthpiece -- some have shown courage). I have enjoyed and valued my relationship with Fox Business, and I will miss a number of hosts and staff members ... Also, I deeply respect the hard-news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment.
According to the Washington Post, Peters said that he had not planned on his email becoming public and that he was not seeking to "grandstand" about his points of contention with Fox. However, as the Post described, he also offered no apologies.
In a statement, Fox News responded to Peters, saying, "Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated prime-time hosts and all of our opinion programing.”
On Twitter, some were pointing out what they perceive as the irony of Peters quitting Fox News due to the type of information it chooses to convey. That's because Peters himself often made quite controversial remarks about former President Obama during his tenure at the network. Nick Jack Pappas, a writer and comedian, for instance, described this irony in a tweet. As Pappas put it, "Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a man who called then sitting President Obama a 'total p*ssy' who had been 'date raped' by Vladimir Putin, quit Fox News because their opinions have become just too extreme for him."
The Washington Post also described the often-harsh language Peters had for the 44th president of the United States. The Post's article similarly shared the comments Peters had made about Obama and Putin. Furthermore, though, it reflected on the strong language the commentator had used to decry Obama's Syria strategy. As the paper reported, on the Bill O’Reilly Show in 2015, Peters called Obama's strategy “inept, ineffective and cowardly,” and characterized the former president as a “terrified little man in a great big job he can’t do.”
Overall, Peters' comments have certainly garnered a lot of attention. For one, because they present an exceedingly blunt critique of his former workplace. And secondly, some perceive them to be ironic in light of Peters' past on-air commentary. Many will likely be closely watching to see what Peters chooses to pursue as his post-Fox professional endeavor.