Hillary and Chelsea Clinton were blunt when speaking to Variety about the Clinton family’s impact on right-wing media.
“We were the reason that Fox News was created. Because Rupert Murdoch recognized a great market opportunity,” Chelsea said during her Variety Power of Women interview.
Both Clintons also spoke to the danger of the network when it comes to societal issues like climate change and COVID.
“Climate change illuminated where Fox News was willing to go and its destructive impact,” Chelsea said. “It’s not singularly about Fox News; it’s also about conservative and right-wing enterprises that sprung up during the 1990s and early 2000s. I’m 42, and when I was in junior high, two-thirds of Americans knew human activity is partly responsible for climate change. The right proved to themselves, ‘We can hit people with relentless misinformation and every night pipe into their homes to disbelieve scientists — what else could be possible?’ Today, with COVID, it’s the same playbook.”
Hillary added: “There’s an element to this which is quite frustrating, because they get away with it. The so-called mainstream media, even the so-called progressive media, is just not as relentless in rebutting, refuting and making clear that this is nothing but a play for profits at the cost of truth. It might have mattered if one of the other networks for 10 days said, ‘Do you know one of the very first people to get vaccinated in the U.K. in December 2020 was Rupert Murdoch? Did you know that Fox News requires all of their employees to be vaccinated?'”
She continued, “Tech companies, the rest of journalism, ordinary people with platforms, we haven’t done enough to point out the dangers, point out the falsehoods, point out the hypocrisy. There is a path to limit the damage they’ve done, but it requires leaders on the side of facts and evidence. We now have that with Biden, and he’s making slow progress in trying to open people’s minds and eyes to what reality actually is.”
Chelsea also spoke to the importance of working to refute right-wing media.
“It’s important to say that even though it is relentless and exhausting, we continue to get up every day and fake it till we make it, because we do believe the future of our country and our very world is at stake,” she said. “The fact that Fox News broadcasts some version of the great replacement theory on a regular basis and it doesn’t get a robust response from the rest of our media is really disturbing to me. The fact that you frequently see the ‘cabal’ of George Soros, my mom and President Obama, who seem to be their three favorite villains, and there isn’t a continued outcry about antisemitism, is really problematic to me.
Chelsea continued, “As a daughter, because I can’t turn off that part of my reality, the relentless, gruesome imagery of my mom being hung or burned at the stake — the fact that that was not answered and shifted aside opened the aperture for even more violent imagery and more violent language around every woman in politics today. I don’t know how we put that genie back in the bottle, but we have to do a better job.”