Confession time. I enjoyed All Star Wrestling. First, on television, and then, downtown, from cheap seats at Denver’s Auditorium Arena. I thought it was real. Until I got closer. And grew up.

Further confession time. Fox News was once my favorite national TV network. I was invited to analyze JonBenet, Columbine, the Oklahoma City Bombing trial, the Kobe Bryant case, Ward Churchill and the Aurora theater massacre.

Fox provided me with my biggest platform. Live TV beamed everywhere. Shows repeated twice each evening. Few things focus one’s mind like that red light coming on and suddenly speaking with Bill O’Reilly, or Sean Hannity, or my old pal, Geraldo — with millions watching.

After O’Reilly’s primetime dominance ended ignominiously, Tucker Carlson held the prized time slot for five years — until Monday. Did Donald Trump cause that? Were text messages too honest? Was it the $787.5 million paid to Dominion? Is much worse to come?

Carlson’s female producer has alleged misogyny and bigotry. As if we didn’t know. Abby Grossberg’s truthful testimony offers a gift to plaintiffs suing Fox News, especially if Carlson is now hostile to his old bosses.

Will Carlson keep performing for the world’s richest mobster, Vladimir Putin? He could have a primetime slot at Russia Today, like the late Larry King.

Networks are unnecessary anymore. Fox is a tiny part of the evolving media ecosphere. Few things capture everybody’s attention nowadays. 

It was different in late 1996 when Fox was born in October. That November, I lost my spirited race for Denver DA. Late that December, JonBenet died violently.

JonBenet’s parents famously appeared on CNN with Larry King. Fox tried to keep up. At the end of 1997, O’Reilly ranked JonBenet his No. 2 story of the year, and I was once again his guest. 

Calls from Fox News producers like Rob Monaco and Jesse Watters excited me. It meant primetime with millions watching. John Kasich was a frequent fill-in host. Geraldo had a weekend show.

Some people asked if I got paid. I’d often deadpan back, “Yes. $5,000 an episode.” I’d observe their reaction, and then tell them I was joking, which I was. Would such payments have influenced my commentary? I hope not.

Are the Murdochs truly done with Trump now? Time will tell. Regardless, we now have proof Fox is fraudulent and cannot be trusted. 

Rupert Murdoch is an evil man. Exploiting the news and celebrities made him rich. Trump knew and exploited that. As a bonafide television star, Trump dominated cable news television in the runup to his presidency. 

Elsewhere on Fox, pro wrestling still sells big. Vince and Linda McMahon are head honchos of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), pro wrestling’s dominant brand. Trump and the McMahons go way back, and once staged their Battle of the Billionaires at Wrestlemania 23.

Pro wrestlers sometimes get violent to convince a publicly doubting journalist their sport is real. Andy Kaufmann and John Stossel both learned that hard lesson.

Fans at pro wrestling sometimes get out of hand. They are egged on by hucksters like Lindell, Hannity and Mark Levin who pump up the drama, and pretend fake fights are real. 

Wrestling is a fake sport, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is real, and extraordinarily violent. Barred for many years as too brutal, full combat fighting was nursed along for decades by its owner and promoter, Dana White

When UFC had nowhere to perform, Trump brought fights to Atlantic City. There is loyalty there. UFC has a competitive legitimacy WWE never had. You can bet on UFC in Colorado.

Russian heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich won his fight as a slight underdog last Saturday night in Las Vegas. Russian fighters (especially from Dagestan) excel. Authoritarian regimes love UFC. Hmmm

Putinism and Trumpism are violent. American politics seems to have moved from fake fighting to real fighting. The WWE and UFC actually merged earlier this April under the common ownership of a company called Endeavor, publicly traded and run by Ari Emanuel. This could get good.

But Fox News will remain bad. Reform would take much more than firing Tucker Carlson. Fox News is now a confessed and proven accomplice to Trump’s Big Lie

Fox’s best hope is to hold on and stall until Trump is president again and hope for legislation and Supreme Court justices that can absolve them of future liabilities. 

But in the meantime, those of us opposed to fake news can ask Fox News be eliminated from our cable packages. 

The Daily Sun-Up podcast | More episodes

It’s disgusting we must pay for this toxic television product, and at such a high rate. This No Fox Fee link takes you to impactful places where you can inform your cable provider you don’t want fake news or Fox anymore.

The stakes are so high now. Insurrectionist MAGA remains deeply embedded at Fox News, UFC and most tragically, the GOP. Trump is deified by crowds craving ultimate violence.

JonBenet’s violent victimization was real. People flocked to that story. It felt like we were trying to find the truth. I believed Fox News was a journalistic enterprise. I’ve grown up since then. 

Fox News does violence to the truth. Let’s try to stop them. 

Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun and an active Colorado trial lawyer with Craig Silverman Law, LLC. He also hosts The Craig Silverman Show podcast.

The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to (Learn more about how to submit a column.)

Follow Colorado Sun Opinion on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Special to The Colorado Sun Email: Twitter: @craigscolorado