Fox Nefarious News — Right-Wing/Republican Media Have Worked Decades ‘So That Their Audiences Are Unwilling To Trust Outlets More Rooted In Reality’

March 8, 2023

Another round in the Fox News lying escapade which has now spanned decades.

In a rare action today, Joe Biden’s administration put a hard knock on Tucker Carlson and the obvious repugnant lies on the Jan. 6 insurrection — White House spokesperson Andrew Bates late this afternoon (CNN):

“We agree with the chief of the Capitol Police and the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented, violent attack on our Constitution and the rule of law – which cost police officers their lives. We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: That Tucker Carlson is not credible.”

Oops, Tucker’s people have been lying like forever:

And further on the archives of lying.
Greg Sargent dovetails the success of right-wing lying for so long at The Washington Post:

This is one of the most extraordinary scandals to ever buffet a major American network. But it also points to an even bigger story: The right wing media’s long war on the truth. For decades, conservative media outlets have expressly sought to build and capture an audience that would accept only their version of events, and would be cordoned off to place them beyond the reach of mainstream news sources entirely.

“Right wing media have been engaged in a 70-year project to ensure that their audiences only trust conservative news outlets,” Nicole Hemmer, who tells this story in “Messengers of the Right,” her excellent history of conservative media, told me. “They’ve worked to discredit other sources of more-objective information, so that their audiences are unwilling to trust outlets more rooted in reality.”


Hemmer traces the genesis of this broader ideological project to the late 1940s and early 1950s. At the time, she tells me, leading figures on the right made a concerted decision to “create their own media outlets” in the form of periodicals such as Human Events, while spreading “the message that all nonconservative media are deeply biased.”

This intensified during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, who turned Vice President Spiro Agnew loose to make snarling speeches attacking the television networks, which were growing in power. The Nixon administration promoted a 1971 book, “The News Twisters,” which “purported to be a statistical study” of media bias against Nixon, Hemmer says.

The influence of right-wing media intensified in the late 1980s with the explosion of talk radio. This capture of conservative audiences was aided, Hemmer notes, by the success of Rush Limbaugh and others who made the message about biased mainstream news “entertaining and profitable.”

Enter Fox News, which was founded in the mid-1990s and attained its commanding heights in the right-wing information ecosystem in the early 2000s. Behind Fox News’s “We report, you decide” slogan, Hemmer says, lurked its real message: “You should trust us, and not other outlets.”

That message worked, and the scandal is, in a way, the result of right-wing media’s grip on its audience. In late 2021, polling data showed that consumers of Fox News and other conservative media were overwhelmingly more likely to believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. This came after those sources relentlessly bombarded their viewers with that message.

But now the audience’s captivity to an alternate version of events is blowing back on Fox News. Over the years Fox News’s audience has rebelled over other things, Hemmer recounts, such as Hannity’s championing of immigration reform, which incited a backlash from his viewers.

Nothing, however, has compared to the current scandal. “It’s a pretty clarifying moment,” Hemmer told me. The network’s own personalities, she concluded, have now admitted that “we have to tell our audience not what happened, but what they want to hear, or we’re going to lose them.”

Maybe the curtain has been pulled back to expose the rot and shit located behind it. As the old saying goes, couldn’t happen to a more-shittier bunch of people.

And to cap it off, in the context of history and of CCTV footage, Tucker could also easily have stripped away reality, even from the dinosaurs being wiped out by a meteorite — an insightful observation from the always on-spot Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post this afternoon:

Next, we will observe footage that reveals Abraham Lincoln was mostly not assassinated — I have almost an hour of footage of him enjoying a theater performance without incident! And footage showing that for the overwhelming majority of his life, Elvis was alive. Next, lots of footage of the Hindenburg flying without a single problem! Makes you wonder who stood to gain by painting it as a disaster! We will be following this with footage of people eating lead paint and going “Mm, delicious!” and … absolutely nothing happening to them, as far as we can tell! Here is someone jumping out of a building using a MyPillow as a parachute and — it seems to be working, for the part of the footage that matters! Also, here is some footage of people counting ballots — when they were counting, Donald Trump was ahead, and I think that says it all.

And to close us out, lying in a pathological contextual non-get-rich-off-the-gullible-rubes aspect:

Lying like breathing, or not, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Deux Saltimbanques: l’Arlequin et Sa Compagne,’ found here.)

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