Some months back, I posted an article that called out Fox News and the manner in which it distorts and twists news and the essential elements of truth required for a reasoned and rational debate on national politics.

In fact, I even called them out as a threat to national security.

What has transpired since in the form of the Coronavirus has thrust them front and center back into the Press Room of the White House and the living rooms of the USA.

Freedom and its defense requires individual responsibility, knowingly mis-informing people and thereby endangering their health as well as, by extension, their liberty is contrary to everything that the principles of the news world should espouse.

Freedom also allows people to make decisions and that applies as much to economic choices as well as those impacting peoples choices on lifestyle, politics, religious beliefs, whatever. And with those choices can come great power because today money talks and -nowhere is that truer than in the US.

Fox News charges cable networks to carry its charges way above industry may not watch it but you could still be subsidizing it. They are already hurting from an exodus of main platform sponsors, would be a real shame to hit them in another revenue stream.

So here is a guide to ending that indirect subsidy and maybe even finding your way to quitting cable completely.

Ilene to the LEFT 🇺🇸 (@ilenes57)
If you have cable you are paying for Fox Snooze whether you watch it or not!

Here is my original article, stay safe and have a peaceful weekend, America!

How a key component of the US's Mainstream media became a national security threat

Amidst  all of the internal bickering and the international tension that has characterized recent months, the act of 'normalizing nonsense', of  nullifying the impact and import of news items as they break, to the  point that they lose their relevance has resulted in some startling  public pronouncements being essentially ignored.

One such item was  the finding, released jointly but separately from the US Congress's  House Judiciary Committee as part of the impeachment charges against the  incumbent President, Donald J. Trump, and in the US Justice Department's Inspector General's report in to  the FBI's handling of its investigation into the aforementioned  individual's election campaign, that Fox News now poses a threat to the  national security of the United States.

Whilst the former focused  on the so-called 'Ukraine Perfect Call' where the President attempted to  extort the President of a foreign power to look for information for him  to use against a domestic political opponent (namely Joe Biden as a  potential candidate in the 2020 General Election in the USA), the latter  related to the FBI's investigation into the dealings of the Trump  campaign with various Russia related or connected parties and attempts  by same to influence the electoral outcome (presumably to gain leverage  for Russia in the post election Trump-led administration).

The  results were unequivocal to most external observers. However, these  were obscured or hidden from large sections of the US population (well  those that watch news coverage) by Fox News which has a substantial  following of heavily Trump/Republican leaning viewers, sometimes  characterized in broad terms as the 'Base', the 30% of eligible voters  who went for Trump in 2016 and have shown little desire to abandon him  or re-evaluate their perception of him.

Fox  routinely devotes large swathes of its news coverage and current affairs programming to pretty blatantly mis-portraying the actual contents of  the various reports that have come forth from the various (and growing)  investigations into the conduct and behaviour of P45 from before and  since his inauguration..

On the night back in  December when the IG's report dropped, one of Fox News's leading lights,  and to an outsider, a somewhat embarrassingly Trumpian sycophant, Sean  Hannity stated "Everything we said, everything we reported, everything  we told you was dead-on-center accurate. It is all there in black and white, it's all there." only it wasn't!

In fact,  the mere fact that the IG found no political bias in the FBI's  investigation of Trump and Russia in 2016 was de facto proof of the  power of the 'deep state' according to Lou Dobbs on Fox Business. So  basically, even if you accepted the report's findings at face value,  permission was provided for these to be disregarded by the viewer due to  some sort of master conspiracy.

Many political  commentators in the US, including many on the 'Right', are seriously  concerned about the state of discourse and argument given the fashion in  which mainstream media are being manipulated for the commercial and political agendas of their owners and those they support. John Harwood,  one of Washington's most respected conservative voices, summed up Fox's  approach as "Lunacy" but this is potentially damaging lunacy of a seriously worrying and calculated fashion.

The  alternate reality constructed and portrayed by Fox News makes it  difficult, if not impossible, to have the reasoned and measured  political discussions necessary for a healthy, vibrant and functioning  democracy. 'Alternative facts', in the infamous words of White House  spokesperson, Kellyann Conway, conveniently obscure the truth.  Narratives that run in parallel and competition to generally reported  (and accepted) global news are recited and refined, often in open conjunction with the President, White House and surrogates (see the  evolution of the justification for the killing of Iranian General  Soliemani). The sense of 'righteous indignation' and 'taking the moral  high ground' promoted by Fox fundamentally challenges any notion of a  level playing field or recognition of a 'fair' debate and contest.

And  all the while, Russia, China and others look on with barely concealed  glee as the USA spins itself into a Foxhole of it's own apparent  volition especially as the Presidential elections approach,

Fox  News is forcing its viewers to question the notion of political  opposition. 'Every Democrat is evil and every person who disagrees with  President Trump is an enemy of the state.' Writer Gabe Sherman, who  authored a history of Fox News, commented recently that "For 20+ years  Fox News (and rightwing talk radio) has told GOP voters that Democrats  are evil. As lawless as Trump is, Republicans believe Dems are worse.  That's the power of propaganda." while Daniel Patrick Moynihan  proclaimed that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his  own facts." Fox effectively pronounces that there is but one correct opinion and it is that of the incumbent, P45.

The  truly scary aspect of all of the above has been the apparent ease with  which it has been exported to neighbouring, and supposedly mature,  Western democracies...the UK with it's own 'Britain Trump' (P45's words,  not mine) and his Brexit shitshow replete with alternative facts,  bare-faced lies and disparaging narratives is sad but clear evidence of  that, which I, as a Brit abroad deeply regret!

Commenting  on another country's politics is never easy but when it affects those outwith that country in a serious and palpable fashion then I think the  line has been crossed and all bets are off...Fox with their constant  climate denial and questioning of scientifically determined empirical  evidence are doing that right now.

Please...they  need to be stopped...for all our sakes! But you don't need to take my word for this, ask the US House of Representatives or the US DoJ's  Inspector General (amongst many, many others!). For further  background on Fox News's decendancy, watch 'The Loudest Voice'.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessary those of the publication.

Share this post