Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump, and the Battle for American Democracy
Fox News paid almost a billion dollars in legal settlements to bury the contents of this “essential…grinding, momentum-building” (The New York Times) account of the network’s blatant attempts to manipulate the truth, mislead the public, and influence our elections—from the New York Times bestselling author of Hoax.
The ongoing criminal trials of Donald Trump are also a trial for the nation he once led. We are undergoing a stress test of American democracy, the rule of law, and the very notion of a shared political reality. Can we achieve accountability for premeditated assaults on democracy and what forms should accountability take?
In Network of Lies, New York Times bestselling author Brian Stelter answers these questions by weaving together private texts, unpublished emails, depositions, and other primary sources to tell the chilling story of Trump’s alleged conspiracy to steal the 2020 election, and the right-wing media’s mission to put him back in office in 2024.
Trump couldn’t have convinced millions of Americans of the Big Lie without Fox News. From the moment Joe Biden became president-elect in 2020, Fox hosts fueled a fire of misinformation and violence by spreading Trump’s tales of election fraud and suppressing the truth. Come January, Sean Hannity insisted Trump needed to stop listening to “crazy people” who swore he could stay in power, but it was too late—thousands of Trump’s deluded followers had stormed the Capitol and Trump operatives had breached Dominion Voting Systems’ voting machines in Georgia.
Now, the 2020 lies are at the center of numerous indictments and his reelection campaign, but Trump is not the only one under fire. The once-untouchable Rupert Murdoch has been held accountable. Dominion’s legal war, chronicled in-depth for the first time here, revealed that the ninety-two-year-old Fox chairman knew Trump’s lies were dangerous but he allowed the lies to fill Fox’s airwaves because, as his “pain sponge” Suzanne Scott admitted, telling the truth was “bad for business.”
Network of Lies goes inside the chat rooms, board rooms, and court rooms where the pro-Trump media’s greed and selfishness were exposed. Featuring Stelter’s “thorough and damning” (The New York Times) investigative prowess and direct quotations so shocking they read like fiction, Network of Lies is the definitive origin story of Trump’s attempt to tear down the guardrails of American democracy, and an urgent plea to learn from past mistakes as we head into 2024’s pivotal presidential election.
Praise for Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump, and the Battle for American Democracy
"Essential….[a] grinding, momentum-building account, from an inside-Fox-News perspective, of the conspiracy to steal the 2020 presidential election, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit and Tucker Carlson’s defenestration…Network of Lies reads like one of Bob Woodward’s mightier books.”
—Dwight Garner, New York Times Book Review
"A readable and engrossing deep dive into the rightwing juggernaut paid for by the Murdochs and built by the late, disgraced Roger Ailes."
"An essential read."
—Alex Wagner, Alex Wagner Tonight
Select Praise for Hoax
"A thorough and damning exploration of the incestuous relationship between Trump and his favorite channel."
—New York Times
"A Rosetta Stone for stuff about this presidency that doesn’t otherwise make sense to normal humans"
—Rachel Maddow, author of #1 New York Times bestseller BLOWOUT and host of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show
"Stelter’s critique goes beyond salacious tidbits about extramarital affairs (though there are plenty of those) to expose a collusion that threatens the pillars of our democracy."
"A rare look inside the profoundly influential cable news network and...a disturbing inside portrait of how it came to enable Trump’s disastrous presidency."
"Stelter's account gives a sense that […] there's no one really in control — that Hannity, Carlson, Ingraham and the “Fox & Friends” morning team can essentially do what they want."
"[Stelter] chronicles the symbiotic relationship between [Trump] and Rupert Murdoch’s most famous product …Hoax is amply documented."
"A deep, dispiriting dive into the nefarious intersection of politics, conspiracy, lies, and money as served up by Donald Trump and Fox News."
—Kirkus (starred review)