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Fox News Created the Audience Who it Now Says it Must "Respect" By Feeding Them a Diet of BS

One might expect that Fox News would be embarrassed by the recent revelations that it continued to air segments on Trump's stolen election fantasy despite knowing that they were false. But no, of course not; there is no shaming them. In the last few days, Fox broadcast Tucker Carlson's weird video mash-up meant to falsely portray the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol as a largely peaceful gathering of overly exuberant tourists.

Even Republicans felt that Carlson had gone too far in massaging the footage to appease his viewers. Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell condemned it at a news conference the day after it aired, but Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was even more critical calling Carlson's depiction “dangerous and disgusting.”

Romney: “The American people saw what happened on Jan. 6, they’ve seen the people that got injured, they saw the damage to the building. You can’t hide the truth by selectively picking a few minutes out of tapes and saying this is what went on. It’s so absurd, it’s nonsense.”

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina aptly described Carlson's depiction of the insurrection as "bullshit."

From the internal messages we learned of as part of a defamation suit against Fox News by Dominion Voter Systems, the executives and hosts at Fox don't view journalism as a search for the truth. Instead, they see the news as a commodity to be massaged and refined to satisfy the desires of their customers, the viewers. "Top executives at Fox News, as well as many of its most influential hosts, apparently doubted Trump’s claims that the election was stolen, but worried that telling that to Fox’s audience could damage the network’s business model. At one point, chairman Rupert Murdoch messaged Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, “Everything at stake here.”

For those who have followed Fox News over the years, the recent revelations aren't surprising. Since its inception, it's devolved from lean-Republican to becoming right-wing talk radio with pictures, and the rot has been cataloged by its small cadre of real journalists as they exited the network.

Illuminate: Longtime Fox News host Chris Wallace explained why he left in a recent New York Times interview.
New York Times: “I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox.”...
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Mr. Wallace said in his first extensive interview about his decision to leave. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”

The internal messages released as part of the defamation suit against Fox by Dominion Voter Systems clarify why Chris Wallace finally felt he had to leave the network, but they don't tell us the whole story. Sure, Fox executives worried about losing viewers if they exposed Trump's lies, but the larger question is how we got to a place in America where anyone would believe Trump or the insane conspiracy theories of his surrogates like Rudy Guilliani. The answer to that is the larger problem and Fox News and the right-wing media universe are largely to blame. They have cultivated an audience of conspiracy theorists constantly on the lookout for Antifa, the "deep state," and child-grooming climate scientists around every corner.

Illuminate: Chris Wallace and others have suggested that Fox News began its descent toward National Inquirer status with the election of Donald Trump and his efforts to undermine science, research, and objective truth. However, it's more accurate to postulate that Trump was only possible because of the work of talk radio and Fox News to create an alternative reality of lies, prejudice, and conspiracy theories in America. Trump and his acolytes like Ron DeSantis, MTG, and Lauren Boebert, couldn't exist within a political universe that values facts, evidence, and objective proof. Truth is their kryptonite, but it hardly exists at Fox.

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

#politics #FoxNews #culture

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