The crazy fringes being Fox News, Fox & Friends, Arizona Republicans, and conservatives who believe in witches and demons. With a palette cleansing quote from Carl Sagan.
NY Times, David French, 26 Feb 2023: Why Fox News Lied to the Viewers It ‘Respects’
In the emails and texts highlighted in the Dominion filing, you see Fox News figures, including Sean Hannity and Suzanne Scott and Lachlan Murdoch, referring to the need to “respect” the audience. To be clear, by “respect” they didn’t mean “tell the truth” — an act of genuine respect. Instead they meant “represent.”
Representation can have its place. Fox’s deep connection with its conservative audience means that it can be ahead of the rest of the media on stories that affect red states and red culture.
But there is a difference between coming from a community and speaking for a community. In journalism, the former can be valuable, but the latter can be corrupt. It can result in audience capture (writing to please your audience, not challenge it) and in fear and timidity in reporting facts that contradict popular narratives. And in extreme instances — such as what we witnessed from Fox News after the 2020 presidential election — it can result in almost cartoonish villainy.
There are courageous reporters at Fox. We learned some of their names in the Dominion filing. They were the people who had the courage to tell the truth. But then there are the leaders, and the prime-time stars. Tough? Courageous? Hardly. When push comes to shove, they embody the possibly apocryphal remark of the French revolutionary Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” And follow them they did, straight into a morass of lies and conspiracy theories that should undermine Fox’s credibility for years to come.
We’ve already seen why Fox News won’t lose viewers (in the Amanda Marcotte piece I noted Tuesday). It’s not about truth, it’s about tribal identity.
Quite coincidentally, this quote from Carl Sagan turned up in my Facebook feed today.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
(from The Demon-Haunted World — my review)
Media Matters, 23 Feb 2023: After East Palestine train derailment, Fox News discovers the purpose of industry regulations after years of vilifying them
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade: “I’m stunned by it – that we have thousands of derailments” so “maybe the regulation needs to be there”
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade acknowledged on Thursday that federal regulations may be necessary to protect people and the environment, a rare admission on a network that has pushed for mass deregulation for decades. Kilmeade, who co-hosts Fox & Friends, made the comments while discussing the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment and its aftermath.
“I knew nothing about these derailment numbers,” Kilmeade said. “I’m stunned by it – that we have thousands of derailments all the time and how costly it is, and how they’re not kept up and maybe the regulation needs to be there.”
I suspect the Turkish government is realizing this about building regulations. Conservatives hate regulations, but the cost of enforcing regulations is far less than the cost of paying for the damage caused by not having them.
Washington Post, 22 Feb 2023: Arizona’s top prosecutor concealed records debunking election fraud claims, subtitled “Newly released documents show how Republican Mark Brnovich publicized an incomplete account of his office’s probe of the 2020 election in Maricopa County”
How some Republicans are like Fox News.
How some Republicans/conservatives are crazy loonies.
[Charlie] Kirk: Spells Cast By Witches Made Me “Super Sick”
Media Matters, 22 Feb 2023: Newsmax’s Benny Johnson: Georgia grand jury forewoman is “borderline demonic” and “demon-possessed”, subtitled “Johnson: ‘We’re fighting a spiritual battle between darkness and light'”
That’s him in the photo above.