Dictators simply cannot tate dicks unless it has a compliant press, or can delegitimize the 4th Estate. [See: Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, Chavez, et al.] Emperor Trump didn’t start this. He just exploited what 20 years of propaganda — 15 years as the highest rated cable news channel — had already created. The Fox “News” Fake Filosophy™ has always been, “We’re the only ones telling you the truth.” The rest is “fake media.”
Sound familiar? Fox “News” has put the liar in familiar since inception. Now it has a Demagogue both emulating the station and and manufacturing his own alternative facts, which are then parroted by the Fox “News” Channel. In a very long article (well worth your time), Conservative David Frum (yes, that David Frum) says in The Atlantic, How to Build an Autocracy:
Discipline within the congressional ranks will be strictly enforced not only by the party leadership and party donors, but also by the overwhelming influence of Fox News. Trump versus Clinton was not 2016’s only contest between an overbearing man and a restrained woman. Just such a contest was waged at Fox, between Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly. In both cases, the early indicators seemed to favor the women. Yet in the end it was the men who won, Hannity even more decisively than Trump. Hannity’s show, which became an unapologetic infomercial for Trump, pulled into first place on the network in mid-October. Kelly’s show tumbled to fifth place, behind even The Five, a roundtable program that airs at 5 p.m. Kelly landed on her feet, of course, but Fox learned its lesson: Trump sells; critical coverage does not. Since the election, the network has awarded Kelly’s former 9 p.m. time slot to Tucker Carlson, who is positioning himself as a Trump enthusiast in the Hannity mold.
From the point of view of the typical Republican member of Congress, Fox remains all-powerful: the single most important source of visibility and affirmation with the voters whom a Republican politician cares about.
FAKE FOREIGN FACTS: This week Fox tweeted out the fake fact that the Canadian Trump-supporting domestic terrorist suspect in Quebec City was a Moroccan. [To be fair: A very early report suggested as much.] While Fox dropped that contention, it never deleted the original post, nor corrected the initial impression. Cleverly avoiding the issue allowed its brain-dead followers to continue to believe that. After a demand from the office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Fox issued a correction, deleted the original post, and apologized. But, take a look at this sleight of hand:
“FoxNews.com initially corrected the misreported information with a tweet and an update to the story on Monday,” managing director Refet Kaplan told the BBC.
Fox.com is *not* where the egregious mistake was allowed to remain and fester. That was on Twitter. And — until the apology — subsequent tweets did not correct the misinformation, but side-stepped the name and nationality of the lone suspect, in order that the original tweet could remain believable to its xenophobic viewers.
FAKES & FRIENDS: This Wednesday’s Fox & Friends was Fox “News” encapsulated: First they called all criticism of the new Emperor, TDS: Trump Derangement Syndrome. Then they attacked Amy Shumer for having defended “distant cousin” Chuck Shumer’s tears, wondering when she was finally moving to Canada. Defending Trump, they dragged out washed up celebrity Chuck Woolery, then pre-attacked Hollywood liberals for opposing SCOTUS pick Gorsuch before any had. While Hollywood liberals are bad, later in the week they devoted segment after segment to play a very long clip of Matthew McConaughey telling people to fall in line under Emperor Trump.
Doocy and Shimkus are of course mistaken. The biblical account clearly finds an angel in Matthew 2:13 telling Joseph to “Arise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt and stay there,” because Herod wants the baby dead. It’s the very definition of having to seek political asylum, and it’s a view confirmed by a vast majority of scholars and sources, not least including the Catholic Church itself. The trouble is that this view aired unchecked on an influential show, passed off as a correction of the facts by its rather dismissive hosts.
It’s not the first time that Fox presenters have attempted to challenge conventional wisdom on the bible and its contents. According to The Kelly File presenter Megyn Kelly in 2013, “Jesus was white”, and this was part of his verifiable historicity. Although Kelly later confessed that this fact is “far from settled”, the damage of such an unqualified outburst had already been done. Plenty of other voices joined in to support her original statement, in the face of overwhelming evidence that as a Middle Eastern man, Jesus would have been Middle Eastern.
We know that F&F is part of Emperor Trump’s morning routine because he tweets their suggestions soon after they make one. Despite that seal of approval, they’re not above using electronic trickery to make it seem as if they can make the Emperor do whatever they want:
They only admitted they created fake news in the 6AM hour, the least viewed, where they often stick corrections. But, they ran the footage all morning.
On a recent edition of Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host spent some time debating with a guest who felt President Trump’s immigration ban was a bad idea. When it comes to allowing Syrians into the country, Carlson had a bottom-line litmus test: “What’s in it for America?” he asked. The guest was taken aback, and rightly so: Since when do people lawfully entering America have to prove what dollar amount they’re going to contribute to the economy?
But that’s the way it goes on Tucker Carlson Tonight, which has replaced The Kelly File and which, along with its lead-in, The O’Reilly Factor, gives Fox News a nightly one-two punch of pro-Trump rhetoric. (Fox’s third prime-time hour, Hannity, packs no punch: it’s a nightly, gummy smooch — a prissy peck on President Trump’s cheek.)
[…] Like other Fox hosts, he books obscure liberals and lefties onto his card to lose, and rare is the episode that doesn’t include at least one patsy. University of Connecticut professor of sociology Matthew Hughey stepped into Carlson’s electronic stump grinder recently to defend his thesis that Trump and Trump supporters are heteronormative, white male supremacists, a position for which there isn’t a fraction of a constituency among Fox viewers. Alex Mohajer, a Huffington Post contributor, wrote that Clinton is the rightfully elected president of the United States. For his pains, he got a Carlson dunking.
Expect more of the same when Bill O’Reilly interviews Emperor Trump during Sunday’s Superbowl. The football interview with a POTUS is traditional. So is O’Reilly’s ass-licking of Trump, for that matter.
FOX BYTES: Wall Street Journal Reporters Concerned About Paper’s Softer Trump Coverage • Rudy Giuliani Reveals He Helped Make Trump’s Muslim Ban Look Like It Wasn’t A Muslim Ban • Fox’s The Five Hosts On Those Affected By Trump’s Muslim Ban: “They Don’t Have Rights” • Alex Gibney confirms documentary about former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes • While CNN And MSNBC Were Reporting On #MuslimBan Protests, Guess What Fox News Aired? • Fox’s Brit Hume More Concerned With Traffic Created By Protests Than People Being Detained
FULL DISCLOSURE: Headly Westerfield, owner of the Not Now Silly Newsroom, and genial host of Fox Follies and Fallacies, is Canadian. He’s waiting for Emperor Trump to declare him an undesirable and have him deported . . . or incarcerated.