Fox Nation vs. Reality: Paranoid Gun Nuts Go Wild

The Second Amendment Solutions crowd has been spoiling for a fight with the Obama administration for years. The President nearly outsmarted them in his first term with a wily strategy of doing nothing about guns except for loosening restrictions in federal parks.

However, that tactic did not fool these Bravehearts. They knew that the real plot was to lay low until the second term and then confiscate anything with a trigger. At least that’s the theory of sweaty-palmed freaks like NRA boss Wayne LaPierre and gun rights evangelist John Snyder. This week on Fox News Snyder weaved a tale of firearms confiscation that would drive Ted Nugent into the fetal position under his bed. And of course, Fox Nation published it as their top headline:

Fox Nation Guns

The inquiry in the headline as to whether Obama is bypassing congress on guns is based on – well, nothing at all. There have been no statements from the White House, no bills drafted in Congress, no leaked memos, not even any Capital whispers or pillow talk. This entire wannabe controversy was hatched by Snyder and his assertion that he has confidential sources who have revealed the plot to him. He told Shannon Bream on Fox News that…

“There is a move by the gun grabbers in congress to try to ban semi-automatic firearms or certain semi-automatic firearms, but they probably will not get very far with this proposal because there simply is not public support for it. So the gun grabbers probably would then rely on their boy in the White House to use executive order in this way to try to ban them to keep law-abiding citizens to be able to obtain these firearms for legitimate purposes.”

Snyder could not offer a single shred of evidence that any of that was true. Although I’m sure he was sincere about his racist characterization of the President as the “boy in the White House.” It’s one thing for some goon on the InterTubes to make wildly unsupported claims about conspiracies to violate the Constitution, but for Fox News to invite him on the air for a “serious” discussion is irresponsible and a breach of journalistic ethics. Therefore, it was the perfect story for Fox. And Bream was all too happy to shed any facade of reportorial dignity when she closed the interview by saying…

“Well the White House each time this gun issue has come up has said that the President and the White House have no intention at all of depriving Americans of their second amendment rights, but we know that there’s also a U.N. treaty that the U.S. has now evolved in negotiating and hammering out that would also deal with gun rights so we’ll keep a close eye on what you’ve tagged and on that treaty as well.”

Apparently it wasn’t enough to give a platform to a nutjob spewing inane conspiracy theories, Bream had to sweeten the pot by connecting it to another paranoid plot that is also patently untrue. When all is said and done, it is curious why anyone would care much about this. Because even without their guns, right-wingers have plenty of firepower they are able to aim at the President. Later the same day, Fox Nation posted this article featuring Sure-Shot Cheney:

Fox Nation Cheney

For some reason, the emotionally stunted editors at Fox can’t seem to reference Obama without there being some horrific and bloody threat to his life injected into it.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell Still Stomping Fox News

This is beginning to be something of a trend. Last week MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell crushed their Fox News competition – again. The week-long average for Maddow in the 25-54 demographic was 378,000, vs. Sean Hannity’s 352,000. O’Donnell bested Greta Van Susteren 359,000 to 245,000.

MSNBC Stomping Fox News

The Ed Show continues to lag behind his network companions, but perhaps he should be cut some slack because he is also airing opposite the highest rated program on cable news, The O’Reilly Factor. Even so, MSNBC’s primetime lineup managed to beat Fox News outright on two nights (Wednesday and Thursday).

The frequency with which MSNBC is topping Fox dispels any notion that this is an anomaly. In fact, from election day through November 30, Maddow and O’Donnell beat Hannity and Van Susteren by 13% and 20% respectively. The full primetime averages for this period for Fox and MSNBC are separated by only 2% with O’Reilly lifting Fox barely into the lead.

Fox News can no longer boast that they are the runaway leader in cable news. Before long they may not be the leader at all. Their audience may be tiring of being lied to and they might not appreciate the filters that Fox has put between them and the real world. There can be only so many times that someone can discover that what they thought they knew for sure was not even close to correct. And people who get their news from Fox have been in that situation too many times already.

Even Fox News executives recognize that by building a bubble of misinformation they alienate their viewers and destroy their credibility (what little they have). Consequently, Fox CEO Roger Ailes has thrown a rug over two of his top contributors, Karl Rove and Dick Morris. Producers must now get prior permission before booking them. Not that that alone would change much, because Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and the rest of the Fox menagerie will still be honking feverishly at perceived enemies and invented scandals.

In the coming months there may be some dramatic shifts in the cable news arena. Fox’s wobbly leadership will continue to be challenged by MSNBC’s post-election burst of energy. And CNN will likely being putting pressure on both when their new president takes the helm in late January. At this point, I wouldn’t place any bets because literally anything can happen. Who would have predicted a year ago that a lesbian Rhodes scholar (Maddow) would be knocking out the boob tube’s biggest boob (Hannity)?

[Update:] Jealously rears its ugly head. In retaliation for having the audacity to get better ratings than Hannity, Fox is now bashing Maddow for getting a Grammy nomination for the spoken word reading of her book, Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military Power. And the tone of Fox’s attack is typically juvenile as they resort to calling her “Rachel Madd-Cow.”

Fox Nation Maddow

Seriously, how old are these people? Or is this just the only level of discourse they think their audience can comprehend?