After Donald Trump was evicted from the White House by 81 million American voters, there were some who speculated that Fox News might moderate their fetishistic, ultra-partisan, pro-Trump evangelism, and sprinkle a few facts among their rightist propaganda. And there was a time when that sort of naivete would have been considered cute.
It’s been more than a year and Fox News has done nothing but accelerate their rabid conservatism. Since Trump became, as Biden calls him, the “defeated former president,” Fox News has done stories by Tucker Carlson asserting that Trump’s January 6th insurrection was a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the FBI; viciously and falsely attacking the women of MSNBC; and comparing America’s foremost infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to the sadistic Nazi, Josef Mengele.
That’s a small sampling of the fringe, right-wing radicalism that is the mainstay of Fox’s programming. And among the worst offenders is former Bill O’Reilly flunky, and current Trump-fluffer, Jesse Watters, who has been a co-host of Fox’s The Five, as well as the host of his own Saturday show, Watters’ World.’ He built his reputation at Fox by being a stalker/ambush “reporter.” And he suffered no repercussions for having an affair with a much younger subordinate, who he later left his wife and children for.
Now Fox has promoted Watters to a primetime weekday slot. Watters’ new show will fit in nicely with his primetime confederates Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, whose complicity with Trump’s criminal administration have recently been exposed.
What’s particularly nauseating about this promotion is that it appears to be a reward for what Watters said last month at the Turning Point USA conference. Watters directed the Trump cultists in the audience to seek out Dr. Fauci in public and, when they find him, to confront him aggressively saying…
“Now you go in with the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush…deadly. Because with an ambush he doesn’t see it coming. […] BOOM! He is dead. He is dead.””
Those remarks resulted in widespread disgust from reputable journalists and concerned medical professionals, many of whom called for his immediate termination. The danger posed by crafting violent metaphors is real. There are zealots who will, and have, acted them out. But for Fox News it is cause for tribute and career enhancement. And it represents precisely the sort of ethical vacancy that Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch want their company to stand for.
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