In spite of its slogan Fair & Balanced, the Murdoch-owned station has long been derided for its alleged right-wing bias and unrelenting penchant for sensationalism.
But even longstanding critics of the network will be taken aback by its latest faux pas, in which editors aired remarks texted in by one Fox viewer who labelled the next president of the US a "magic negro".
The racist slur has been bandied around right-wing circles in America since 2007, when Republican commentator Rush Limbaugh broadcast a song called Barack the Magic Negro on his influential radio show.
Taken from a promotional CD dubbed We Hate the USA, the track - sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon - was one of many crude melodies lampooning the alleged anti-American bias of liberal Democrats.
But until now even Fox's staunchly right-wing commentators - including the likes of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly - had avoided repeating the derogatory phrase, sharing concerns voiced by the Republican Party that the lyrics would expose it to allegations of racial intolerance.
That ended yesterday, however, when the channel's news ticker aired the following message from one misguided reveller: "HAPPY NEW YEAR AND LET'S HOPE THE MAGIC NEGRO DOES A GOOD JOB. LOVE JEN AND JOHN C."
Fox News made no mention of the incident on its website, but screenshots of the slip-up have been circulating widely in the blogosphere. Many commentators are holding it up as proof that Fox News is a racist network.
riverScrap.com does not subscribe to that view, but it does find it deeply disturbing that - with probably tens of thousands of well-wishing messages being texted in - the Fox News editors managed to pick one that would so blatantly cause serious offence.
The blunder is also likely to dismay right-wing conservatives in the GOP. The party had struggled to ensure race did not become a factor in the November 2008 election, fearing it would help sway the vote in Democrats' favour.
It even endorsed a series of newspaper adverts in which photos of Mr Obama and Republican nominee John McCain had been altered to reverse their racial appearances, encouraging voters to look beyond skin colour and focus on economic and foreign policy issues instead.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word 'negro' has "dropped out of fashion" since the 1960s and is now "regarded as old-fashioned or even offensive in both British and US English".