Fox News contributor quits, slams network as 'propaganda machine' for Trump

A Fox News contributor has quit the network, blasting the channel as a “propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration” in an email announcing his departure. 

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters announced that he was quitting Fox News as a strategic analyst on Tuesday in a fiery email to colleagues, BuzzFeed News reported.

"Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed," Peters wrote.

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“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 said.

“In my view, 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,” Peters continued.

The former contributor wrote that he was “appalled” by network hosts who had previously criticized former President Obama for his handling of Russian President Vladimir Putin for now advancing “Putin's agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign.”

He added that his criticisms of Fox News did not apply to sister channel Fox Business, “where numerous hosts retain a respect for facts and maintain a measure of integrity.”

“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,” Fox News said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programing.”

Trump is a frequent viewer of Fox News and often highlights the network and its hosts on Twitter.

Peters, 65, was suspended by the network for two weeks in December 2015 for using a profanity on the air against then-President Obama during an interview with anchor Stuart Varney on Fox Business.

"Look, Mr. President, we're not afraid — we're angry, we're pissed off, we're furious!" Peters said on "Varney & Company," a program that airs in the mid-morning. "We want you to react, we want you to do something. You're afraid. I mean, this guy is such a total p---y, it's stunning."

Varney reprimanded Peters for resorting to "language like that" on live television, which made it on to the air without being bleeped.

"I can tell you are super angry, and I asked you what your reaction was, but I've got to call you … you can't use language like that on the program, OK?"  Varney told him.

"I'm sorry," Peters muttered back.

Later in the interview, Peters apologized but still stood by his sentiment.

"Yes, Stuart, I do apologize for giving into my anger … but I feel the American people understand where I'm coming from on this," Peters said. "My choice of words was incorrect, but my sentiment, I think, is shared by many."