As we know from last week’s filing by Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation suit against Fox News, that network’s hosts knew Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims were bullshit but allowed mendacious kooks like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani to lie on air because it was good for business.
The network has never been a legitimate news organization, but the court filing, which includes texts from Rupert Murdoch, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others, removes all doubt about its motivations.* The Fox bigwigs knew the election fraud claims were bullshit, but they demanded that the network air them anyway because they were terrified of losing audience share: (NY Mag)
The most distraught figure was Carlson. “Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience?” he texted his producer. “We’re playing with fire, for real … an alternative like Newsmax could be devastating to us…”
Carlson pointed Hannity to a tweet by Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich, which fact-checked a tweet by Trump that mentioned Dominion voting conspiracy theories. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” she wrote.
“Please get her fired,” Carlson texted Hannity and Ingraham. “Seriously … What the fuck? I’m actually shocked. It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”
I’ve been saying for years that I don’t think any Democrat should go on that network, ever, no matter how fun it is to watch Pete Buttigieg pants the hapless Fox News hosts. I also believe the White House should remove the Murdoch propaganda outlet’s press credentials, even if it’s amusing to see press secretaries flummox the Doocy nepo baby.
The clips we see look satisfying, but that’s not what Fox News viewers are seeing. Also, treating Fox News like a legitimate outlet allows it to sell ads while it actively works to undermine democracy, not just here but worldwide. This latest GOP-Fox News project should be the last fucking straw: (WaPo)
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has exclusively provided a massive trove of U.S. Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has downplayed the deadly violence that occurred that day and claimed it was a “false flag” operation.
McCarthy has declined to comment on the unprecedented move, but Carlson said Monday night on his program that his producers have been granted “unfettered” access to security video when hundreds of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral college win. Five people died as a result of the attack, and 140 members of law enforcement were injured as the mob used flagpoles, bear spray, baseball bats and other weapons to bludgeon police.
“So there’s about 44,000 hours, and we have — you may have read today — been granted access to that. … We believe we have secured the right to see whatever we want to see. We’ve been there about a week. Our producers, some of our smartest producers, have been looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story we’ve been told for more than two years. We think already in some ways that it does contradict that story.”
Carlson lies to his viewers’ faces and is a Putin enthusiast, and yet he gets exclusive access to footage? Fuck that noise; this is intolerable and possibly a national security risk since the footage may contain images of non-public areas of the Capitol Building. I’m not sure who technically owns that footage, but I doubt it’s Kevin McCarthy, and it’s beyond outrageous that Tucker Carlson’s goons should get “exclusive” access to it.
Maybe these two news items — the Dominion filing with Fox News figures’ texts and McCarthy’s cooperation with Carlson — make this a good time for the Democratic Party and the White House to tell Americans the truth about Fox News with one voice. Would Fox News cry and scream about it? Yes. Would moronic MSM figures treat this as a breach of decorum? Probably. It doesn’t matter.
We need to stop playing along with the fiction that Fox News is a legitimate network or that its propagandists have a legitimate role to play in our democratic processes. It isn’t, and they don’t — in fact, they actively degrade those processes. Enough.
*From what I understand, this ironclad proof doesn’t mean Dominion will prevail in its lawsuit because sometimes the law is an ass. But it’s all there in plain English.