Biden’s Criteria for White House Press Credentials Rules Out Fox News

After four years of Donald Trump, a childish and ignorant “president” who repeatedly maligned the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” it’s refreshing to see the White House actually demonstrate respect for the Fourth Estate as a critical partner in our democracy.

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Fox News, Joe Biden

Trump’s White House press office was a hostile work environment for journalists who strived to bring truthful information to the public. His press secretaries were more likely to bark ferociously at reporters than to provide honest answers to legitimate questions. And for much of his administration they didn’t hold any press briefings at all.

Joe Biden’s press office, on the other hand, is returning the media relations functions of the White House to its traditional role as a venue for communicating with the public. And that means taking questions from all interested parties and providing answers that advance the people’s right to know what their government is up to. But that doesn’t mean that they will be doormats or allow themselves to be exploited by alleged “news” operations that are nothing more than attack dogs for the radical right. As reported by Politico:

“White House officials promise a sea change from how the Trump White House interacted with the press. Biden’s team plans to lay out clear criteria for qualifying for a so-called ‘hard pass’ to access the grounds in consultation with the WHCA, officials told POLITICO. If current passholders in the media continue to meet the criteria determined together with the correspondents’ association, they will continue to have hard passes. […] But Biden’s aides also promised not to allow outlets to use the briefings to spread baseless conspiracies.”

“‘We expect reporters covering the White House to operate in good faith and tell their audience the truth, and this White House will do the same. We are moving forward with that mutual understanding,’ said T.J. Ducklo, the deputy White House press secretary. ‘Organizations or individuals who traffic in conspiracy theories, propaganda and lies to spread disinformation will not be tolerated, and we’ll work with the WHCA to decide how to handle those instances moving forward.'”

If the Biden Press team sticks to those principles, they will have to ban to Fox News from the White House Press Room. The ultra-conservative network has always been a fount of “conspiracy theories, propaganda and lies,” and they are determined to continue that stance going forward. Of course, Biden’s press office isn’t going to expel Fox News no matter how much it is deserved. But the specific articulation of what they find intolerable is an arrow shot at the heart of Fox’s destructive and deceptive defiling of journalism.

Fox News is already making programming changes that further minimize hard news in favor of more wingnut blather. What’s more, there are reports that Trump-fluffers are migrating from his team to Fox News. They include the perpetually wrong Larry Kudlow, and the shameless lie peddler Kayleigh McEnany (although Fox is refuting her claim of having been hired by the network).

These moves are not entirely surprising. Fox News has new competition from even more extremist right-wing spews channels like Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN). And Trump has been viciously attacking his former Fox Friends and ordering his cult disciples to switch channels to the competition. Consequently, Fox is acting out of pure terror as they have seen their ratings plunge ever since the election in November.

As welcome as it is to see Fox News flounder, it is concerning that they are turning up the fascismo to eleven in order to compete. And the channels that are eating up Fox’s audience are building an even more unhinged viewer base. All of them are singing from the same hymnal that Democrats are evil and the mainstream media is going soft on Biden. The latter is an especially entertaining hypocrisy considering how Fox News and the rest of the rightward ramblers have dealt with Trump for the past four years…

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Tucker Carlson Defends Your Right To Believe That Democrats Eat Babies

The founding mission of Fox News was to advance the ultra-conservative agenda of its owner, Rupert Murdoch, and the Republican Party he supported. But in recent years it has shifted to an even more radical disseminator of propaganda on behalf of Donald Trump. And that has not waned in the weeks since Trump got his clock cleaned by Joe Biden.

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Fox News, Tucker Carlson, QAnon

To the contrary, Fox News has actually made an even sharper turn to the right since the November election. They are devolving into paranoid whiners and elevating their most noxious Trump sycophants. And they have persisted in propagating Trump’s Big Lie of election fraud that resulted in the January 6th assault on Congress by Trump’s insurrectionists. It’s gotten so bad at Fox that even Rupert’s son, James, publicly denounced its “disinformation” and “toxic politics.”

No one on Fox News is more guilty of toxic, dishonest politics than Tucker Carlson. And on Monday night he seemed determined to prove that once and for all. Carlson aired a chilling monologue that he presented as an appeal for free speech and thought. And in a sick and twisted way, it was (video below).

Carlson’s segment sported a graphic that read “DEMS ARE TRYING TO CONTROL WHAT YOU BELIEVE,” although he never presented a single example of that. He began his demented dissertation on the dangers of censorship by sarcastically pronouncing that “The real threat is a forbidden idea, it’s something called QAnon.” Whereupon he played a video compilation of the media accurately condemning the conspiracy crackpottery of QAnon, a shadowy, dark web cabal of lunatics who believe that Democrats are sex-trafficking baby-eaters.

Carlson, however, has a different opinion. In his diseased mind he is protecting the freedom to malign public servants with bizarre and baseless accusations that would be preposterous in D- horror flick. To Carlson, the freedom to defame is a foundational American principle for which “the stakes could not be higher.”

Elaborating, Carlson said that “There’s a clear line between democracy and tyranny. Between self-government and dictatorship. And here’s what that line is: That line is your conscience.” He said that while government can tell people what to do, it cannot tell people what to think. “Once politicians attempt to tell you what to believe,” Carlson warned, “they are no longer politicians. They are, by definition, dictators. And if they succeed in controlling what you believe you are no longer a citizen. You are not a free man. You are a slave.”

Carlson clearly likes to imagine that he’s an intellectual thinker with profound insights. But it’s obvious that he’s teetering on the edge of clinical imbecility. Telling people what to believe is not a defining characteristic of dictatorships, that lean more toward force than belief. What Carlson is describing is a cult. Which is what Fox News viewers – including Carlson’s – are willing and pathetic members of.

Carlson’s tirade accused Democrats of having “joined the mob of censors and hysterics and Jacobin destroyers, all working on behalf of entrenched power, to take control of everything.” Never mind that he couldn’t cite any Democrats who espoused that alleged aspiration of tyranny. But then again, he doesn’t have to. Fox News lawyers actually argued successfully in court that Carlson cannot not be held liable for the lies he tells because he “cannot be understood to have been stating facts,” and that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”

In other words, No reasonable viewer would believe Carlson’s BS. That’s according to the Fox News lawyer speaking on Carlson’s behalf. The problem is that Carlson doesn’t have any reasonable viewers. So the cult disciples he’s disinforming on a nightly basis will blindly buy into whatever he says.

The same goes for the rest of the professional liars at Fox News. And as Carlson said above, “If they succeed in controlling what you believe you are no longer a citizen. You are not a free man. You are a slave.” Sadly, Fox News has been pretty successful at controlling what their audience believes. As has Donald Trump. Even sadder, they enjoy being slaves.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.