Longtime Fox News commentator Ralph Peters left the network Tuesday, and in an email to colleagues called the channel a “propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” He added that he is “ashamed” to have been associated with it.

Peters regularly appeared on Fox News and Fox Business Network for nearly a decade. He was formerly a lieutenant colonel in the Army, serving in infantry and military intelligence units in Southeast and Central Asia, Russia, Burma (now Myanmar) and Pakistan.

His farewell email, published by Buzzfeed, reads:

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.

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. When prime-time hosts—who have never served our country in any capacity—dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller—all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations—I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Peters said he never intended for the farewell email to be made public but felt the need to speak up because he believes Fox’s hosts are “hurting the country.”

“It’s not complicated,” he continued. “It may sound corny to say I took an oath as an officer, but it’s true. I just feel for their selfish reasons, they’re doing damage to the country.”

Fox issued a reply to Peters, stating: “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.”

Peters replied: “If I’m seeking attention why the [expletive] did I just quit Fox and the chance to speak to millions every day?”

Many Twitter users have pointed out the irony of Peters quitting Fox News based on its content, given that he himself has made many controversial and questionable remarks. One example is calling President Barack Obama a “total pussy” on the air in 2015 at Fox Business Network, a comment for which he was briefly suspended. He also called Obama’s Syria strategy “inept, ineffective, and cowardly” and described the then-president as a “terrified little man in a great big job he can’t do.”


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