Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt said Wednesday he considers the mainstream media's coverage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) investigation in relation to the validity of the Steele dossier to be the "darkest moment in American journalism history."
Hurt told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that the media has always leaned left, historically out of a "reverence" for government institutions, but that recent events have changed all of that.
"This is something entirely different," he said. "I would say that this Steele dossier coverage is the darkest moment in American journalism history. It is devastating."
The dossier name references Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent who compiled the unverified and often salacious claims about President Trump that collectively became the pretext for the FISA warrant application to surveil a member of the then-real estate mogul's campaign team.
"These are people who are not pursuing the truth," Hurt said of the media. "They're pursuing an agenda. They have gone from being useful -- even willing idiots, to being part of the machine that is trying to prop up a massive, ungovernable system that is the government."
Hurt, the opinion editor of The Washington Times, said the chief reason the media thought they were reporting known facts about Trump and the dossier was that the reporters so revered their government sources that they did not engage in the basic process of verifying their sources' information.
He characterized them as "throne sniffers" who are more concerned with keeping their powerful acquaintances and sources close than getting their facts straight.
"They will do anything they can to prop them up and destroy anybody that gets in their path that undermines or threatens that power that they have reached some proximity to. And it is terrifying," he said.
"When I got into this business, if you went to an editor and hadn't challenged your sources on every story, you were going to get your butt kicked. None of this happens anymore."