Last week, the fanatically rightist One America News Network (OAN) aired an abhorrent and inflammatory commentary by host Pearson Sharp. The segment was ostensibly about the 2020 election and the crackpot conspiracy theory that it was stolen from Donald Trump. That’s the position that OAN has been peddling for months, along with Trump.
Sharp’s crazed rant devolved into a grotesque advocacy of mass executions of those he asserts were trying to “carry out a coup against” Trump. He believes that the blatantly biased and utterly disreputable ballot “audit” in Arizona by the “Cyber Ninjas” will eventually result in conclusive proof of election fraud and the unmasking of anti-Trump “traitors.” Then he asks…
“What happens to them? Well, in the past, America had a very good solution for dealing with such traitors: Execution.”
Never mind that there isn’t a smidgen of evidence for any of Sharp’s maniacal allegations. His remarks were designed to incite the sort of wild-eyed hostility that produced Trump’s insurrection in Washington, D.C. on January 6th.
On Sunday Fox News sought to cover the OAN segment on their media-focused weekend program MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz. And it’s difficult to imagine how they could have done it worse. The entire piece (video below) ran over a chyron that read that OAN “Urges Execution Over Stolen Election,” as if the election having been “stolen” was an established fact. Meanwhile, Kurtz described OAN’s report saying that…
“One America News Host Pearson Sharp got pretty worked up over the unproven rigged election claims, saying, lots and lots of people worked to steal a victory from Donald Trump. So he would kill all the traitors who haven’t yet been identified somehow, let alone charged? Sharp says ‘Oh no,’ he wasn’t suggesting that thousands of people be executed, just pointing out the law.”
Let’s start off with Kurtz referring to “the unproven rigged election claims.” The assertions of election fraud, whether by OAN or Trump or anyone else, are not “unproven claims.” They are lies! In fact, they are the “Big Lie” that Trump and others have been peddling ever since his humiliating defeat to Joe Biden last November. To call them unproven claims implies that could be valid and eventually proved. No objective (or sane) person would assert that.
Moving on, Kurtz casually adopts Sharp’s use of the term “traitors” when there is nothing approaching reality to support that. What’s more, he seems to only be disturbed by the proposed execution of said traitors because they haven’t been identified or charged. Once again, he’s implying that there are people for whom such charges would be appropriate once identified. There aren’t. There are only public servants and election officials who have all been certified to have acted honestly and honorably by every analysis, including those done by Republicans.
Finally, Kurtz ends his critique by letting Sharp off the hook for his nauseating comments by repeating Sharp’s lame and totally disingenuous walk-back wherein he suggests he was only “pointing out the law.” A review of the video is all it takes to disabuse anyone of that feeble excuse. But Kurtz just lets it lie there unchallenged.
So this is how Fox News chose to cover what may be one of the most disgusting commentaries to ever appear on television. As such it says more about Fox News than it does about OAN, to whom Fox is trying desperately to prevent losing anymore viewers. Apparently Fox’s strategy is to go soft on OAN, and even emulate them, in order to retain the screwiest of their screwball audience.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.