Retired army officer Ralph Peters and a contributor at Fox News wrote a scathing email to the network explaining why he chose not to renew his contract as its “strategic analyst.”
“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,” he wrote in the email that was leaked to Buzzfeed News.
He added that the network had downgraded itself from being an “outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
Peters, who was briefly suspended from appearing on the network in 2015 for calling former President Barack Obama a “total p—y,” did not stop there. He went after the network for trying to defame special counsel Robert Mueller, who according to Peters was “a model public servant and genuine war hero.”
He also said he is “ashamed” of being a part of a network that openly propagates Russia’s agenda by decrying the alleged influence it had on the 2016 election.
“As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the ‘nothing-burger’ has been covered with Russian dressing all along,” he said.
Peters, in the midst of his rant, did not forget to mention some exceptions at the network and in its sibling channel, Fox Business. He gave Fox Business a thumbs-up for not stooping to the kind of biased reporting that according to him, Fox News was doing at present.
“I deeply respect the hard-news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment. These are some of the best men and women in the business,” he added.
He ended his mail with a touch of sarcastic humor, saying, “as our president’s favorite world leader would say, ‘Das vidanya.'”
Fox News replied in a statement 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 primetime hosts and all of our opinion programming.”
Peters told the Washington Post he does not agree with Fox News’ criticism of his email. “It just makes no sense. If I wanted attention, I would have stayed on Fox News and spoke to a few million people a day. I have no intention of seeking other TV news opportunities. I am not a great-looking guy, I have a high-pitched voice, and I smack my lips. To what end am I looking for attention?”
Peters was known for speaking his mind, even if that meant going against some of the notions propagated by the Trump administration. For example, when the president put forward the idea for holding a military parade, the former Fox News contributor disagreed with the plan.
“I served in the military for almost 22 years, enlisted man and officer. Let me tell you: I value our tradition of civilian control of the military. . . . I don’t like the image of heavy weapons parading through our streets and the streets of American cities. . . . We would throw the training schedules out the window,” he said at the time.