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Blogger Heather Digby Parton tweeted a perpetual truth last week: "I didn't think Fox could go any lower. I was wrong."
Rupert Murdoch's propaganda network dove towards new depths recently when its most-watched host, Tucker Carlson, openly promoted white supremacy conspiracies, and the entire Fox News staff tried to cover up the raging Matt Gaetz sex scandal. In the process, Fox News again confirmed it has no business being allowed in the White House press briefing room, where legitimate news outlets are given the opportunity to pose questions.
Fox News isn't a newsgathering organization, therefore it does not need White House access. Giving them prestigious 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. press passes just delays the much-needed Beltway discussion that’s needed about the crooked network and its place in our political culture.
It's clear the Biden White House doesn't want to pick a fight with Fox News right now, which would inflame the entire Republican Party and the billion-dollar right-wing media industry. Not when Democrats are dealing with a country still reeling from a deadly health crisis and millions of out work. And having Fox News in the briefing room does help brandish the image that the Biden team is willing to engage with the other side, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki often does, patiently unplugging Fox News correspondents' attempted gotcha questions.
That's the politics of the situation — the optics. But the reality is that Fox News continues to be a deliberate cancer on this country, and any attempts to help legitimize it — by pretending it deserves to be alongside CNN in the White House briefing room — is not only wrong, it's dangerous.
In fact, it's deadly. We know that from the pandemic and watching Fox churn out lies about the Covid-19 virus for more than a year — raising doubts about wearing masks, about the seriousness of the pandemic, and suggesting viewers not get the vaccine. There's little question the network killed thousands by airing dangerous lies about a public health crisis, and pushing blatant disinformation about how the pandemic is a "Deep State" creation.
Now comes Carlson's proud, rancid embrace of the "great replacement theory" — the bogus claim that Democrats want to allow tens of millions of undocumented migrants into America so the party can replace the U.S. white population with people of color who, somehow in Carlson's addled mind, would immediately be given the right to vote. "The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate," he announced. It's a zero-sum view of immigration and is designed to threaten the existence of frightened whites, portraying them as under the attack from a tidal wave of deliberate immigration from "Third World" invaders.
The racist theory "has informed the ideology of mass shooters in El Paso, Christchurch and Pittsburgh," noted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who last week called for Carlson to be fired.
Not surprisingly, white supremacists cheered Carlson's declaration. Recall that, "You will not replace us" chants rang out in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when Nazi supporters marched in the streets.
Then there's Fox News' truly shocking attempt to erase the Matt Gaetz story. Make no mistake, it's been a company-wide effort. Here's the number of "Matt Gaetz" mentions since March 31, when the stunning sex-trafficking scandal first broke, according to TVeyes, a 24/7 monitoring service:
Fox News: 43
The Gaetz non-coverage represents one of the great, deliberate media cover-ups in modern times. It was expected that Fox News would slow play the scandal, since it was not only embarrassing to the GOP and a high-profile Trump ally, but the network itself. Fox News worked tirelessly to make Gaetz a Republican star. Since 2017, he had appeared on Fox News an astounding 300-plus times, according to Media Matters. But the idea that Fox News would effectively order its newsroom for two weeks to boycott one of the biggest political stories of the year, often not addressing the scandal for days on end, has been truly remarkable, even for a cable channel that has no discernible journalistic guidelines.
This isn't everyday gaslighting — a Fox News attempt to erase reality. This is gastorching.
Meanwhile, this year the network jettisoned it's 7 p.m. "news" slot and is in the process of handing it over to hosts who echo lies for a living, like Maria Bartiromo, who hosted the 7 p.m. show and quickly told viewers that Antifa had dressed up like Trump supporters and staged the murderous insurrection on January 6. More recently, Fox turned over its 11 p.m. "news" slot to the professionally unfunny Greg Gutfeld, who simply regurgitates right-wing talking points while people are paid to laugh nearby.
It's blindingly obvious that Fox News has no business presenting itself as a legitimate player inside the White House briefing room. The network makes no effort to be a serious enterprise, yet keeps receiving the benefits and privileges of being one.
💻 GOOD STUFF:
It’s the dog that won’t hunt, even though Republicans have been trying for three years.
From The Guardians’ “The Scandal That Wasn’t: Republicans Deflated as Nation Shrugs at Hunter Biden Revelations”:
Rightwing efforts to demonize Hunter have been further blunted by a crisis in their own ranks. The memoir played second fiddle to almost daily revelations about Matt Gaetz, a fiercely pro-Trump Republican congressman, reportedly under investigation over allegations of a relationship with an underage girl and payments for sex with women recruited online. Many observers find Gaetz a less sympathetic figure than Hunter.
🎙 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK
Jon Batiste, “I Need You”
Pure, infectious R&B joy is what Batiste delivers here, with a tip of the hat to the past. A great way to start the week.
We done a lot of living
We working overtime
Don't need another million
You got that gold mine
I love the way you're livin' (Hey)
'Cause you're so genuine (Genuine)