Since it’s inception, the mission of Fox News has been to advance the propaganda and lies of the Republican Party and its ultra-rightist agenda. Their management, editors, and program hosts are all chosen for, and devoted to that mission. And in recent years their extremist political evangelism has fervently pledged to the Cult of Donald Trump.
Leading the wingnut evangelical crusade at Fox News is their top-rated host, Tucker Carlson. His program has become the most popular media destination for America’s white supremacists, misogynists, homophobes, and many other hate groups.
On Monday’s episode of Carlson’s hate-fest, he joined the conservative media’s embrace of Elon Musk’s Twitter nothingburger that purported to reveal an ingrained bias in favor of Democrats and then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Suffice to say that the entire alleged “bombshell” was a spectacular dud that produced nothing but rank speculation, fabrication, and the disturbing doxing of private Twitter communications and staff.
Nevertheless, Fox News and Carlson were determined to further brainwash their audience with flagrant falsehoods. And apparently aware that their deceits were too obvious to disguise, they endeavored to frame lies as truths. Carlson literally defined falsehoods as facts. And not even “alternative facts” as previously dubbed by his Fox News colleague, and Trump toady, Kellyanne Conway. Carlson confabulated that…
“Misinformation is a new word. It’s been around the intel world for a long time but it’s never been used in common conversation until recently. The distinction between misinformation and lying is that misinformation can be true. It doesn’t have to be untrue to be censored. It used to be truth is a defense. If you’re telling the truth, you can say it. Not anymore. With mis- and disinformation, if I don’t like it, if I’m in power, I can censor you.”
"Misinformation is a new word. … The distinction between misinformation and lying is that misinformation can be true." pic.twitter.com/eYzadS2d2w
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) December 6, 2022
For the record, misinformation cannot be true. It is, by definition, untrue. If it were true there would be nothing amiss in it. And only in the perverse world of Carlson and Fox News could such a ludicrous contention be made or taken seriously. But then again, it was Carlson who was actually defended in a defamation lawsuit by his own Fox News lawyers who told the court that “no reasonable person” would believe anything he said.
In the same program, Carlson elaborated on his adoption of the Musk Twitter files non-scandal. He complained about Twitter’s decisions to moderate the content on their platform in order to prevent Russia from spreading propaganda that was intended to benefit Trump and to sow distrust of American elections. Never mind that Musk’s pathetic exposé failed to reveal any wrongdoing or bias. Carlson was outraged at what consumed his imagination, or at least what he wanted to consume the imaginations of his viewers. He huffed that…
“Twitter did this with the help of the FBI committing censorship on behalf of one candidate while working to hurt the other candidate. It is hard to imagine a more brazen attack on our democracy than this. This is not how our system is supposed to work. In fact, it’s illegal. What Twitter did is in violation of the First Amendment, as well as established campaign finance law. They never declared those contributions to the Biden campaign. That’s a crime.”
Tucker: It is hard to imagine a more brazen attack on our democracy than this… pic.twitter.com/rIxVLyFRQg
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 6, 2022
First of all, Twitter didn’t do anything with the FBI. The internal messages that Musk published proved that all of the decisions about what disinformation to suppress were made solely by Twitter “safety and trust” staff. No government entity or personnel were involved, other than to flag tweets that potentially violated Twitter’s rules. And those came from both Democrats and Republicans. Also, at the time, Biden wasn’t president. It all took place during Trump’s administration with his appointees heading the FBI and the Justice Department.
Yet Carlson thinks that there was something nefarious going on for which he found it “hard to imagine a more brazen attack on our democracy.” Really? More brazen than the attempt to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021? More brazen than trying to undermine the election for two years and install the loser as dictator? More brazen than calling for the “termination” of the Constitution.
Carlson also appears to have no idea what the First Amendment says. It is a constraint on government from imposing censorship. It has no authority over private individuals or businesses, such as Twitter.
Finally, Carlson really needs to think twice before bringing up in-kind contributions to political campaigns. Because if that were a concept that were upheld, Fox News would have have to declare billions of dollars in donations that it made to Trump and other GOP candidates for the past quarter century.
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