Fox News To Add ‘For Entertainment Purposes Only' Disclaimer

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Fox News will begin airing a disclaimer later this month, declaring that its programming is “for entertainment purposes only,” according to sources close to the cable channel.

Several individuals inside Fox Entertainment Group, Fox News Channel’s parent company, say the decision was made in order to shield the network from possible legal liabilities.

The disclaimer, which will start airing on the network by mid-April, will appear during program openings in small text at the bottom of the screen at the same time as the show’s title.

roger ailes
Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes has agreed to a proposal to add a "for entertainment purposes only" disclaimer on Fox programming, sources say. (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)

One source said the network’s legal team had been asking CEO Roger Ailes for years to include the disclaimer, but their request was rejected until Hulk Hogan’s successful invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker. That legal action resulted in the website shutting down and selling off its assets.

“Thanks to that, the Fox lawyers had their day,” one source told The Huffington Post Canada, on condition of anonymity. “They pushed and pushed and eventually they got what they wanted.”

Another source at Fox said they were “furious” with Ailes’ decision.

“This is basically censorship. They are trying to damage FNC’s credibility. This is basically a bunch of rich left-coast elitists pulling one over on the network. And these guys are getting paid good money by Fox.”

The source suggested the channel will reverse the policy after “an uproar from our viewers.”

hulk hogan
Ex-pro wrestler Hulk Hogan's successful lawsuit against Gawker convinced Fox CEO Rogers Ailes to add a disclaimer to Fox programs, sources say. (Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Critics of FNC’s coverage have long maintained the network distorts or omits facts in order to present a conservative view of the world, and that it has disproportionately supported Republicans in its election donations.

Some have noted that Ailes himself has at times suggested that Fox News is in the entertainment, not news, business.

Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he does not consider the other basic cable news channels — CNN and MSNBC — to be Fox’s competitors.

“We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,” he said.

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