It is a miraculous twist of fate that Fox News and Donald Trump found each other. They both have so much in common. Their shared commitment to telling flagrant lies in pursuit of an ultra right-wing agenda is the tie that binds them in an embrace of harmony and mutual devotion. And if you’re feeling a little nauseous right now, just wait.
One of the defining characteristics of modern conservatism is the determination to blame anything and everything, other than themselves, for their problems. Trump is a master at this pretense of victimhood. He is certain that there are clandestine “Deep State” conspirators embedded in the government who are out to get him. Or at least he pretends to believe that. And the media is in on the conspiracy with their constant negative (i.e. truthful) assessments of his disastrous presidency. Every utterance from Trump is either a declaration of unprecedented success for which he is solely responsible, or a historic failure that his enemies blame him for. And Fox News reports all of these things exactly as Trump imagines them.
On Friday, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer interviewed the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniels, in a segment that perfectly demonstrates the rightist paranoia. McDaniels falsely claimed that Republicans are being censored on social media. She is parroting the whining by many on the right who think that their own failures must be the work of secret foes undermining them from hidden bunkers.
In fact, many people and organizations (including News Corpse) have suffered audience declines recently due to new policies implemented by Facebook and other social media platforms ostensibly to curb fake news. These changes can be legitimately criticized as they are often most harmful to small publishers. But they are not being applied differently based on any political bias. However, that hasn’t stopped Fox News and the GOP from crying foul and feigning outrage. And this segment with the RNC Chair is a perfect example (video below):
McDanniels: “In the history of Facebook there have been instances where they have changed the trending topics. They’ve suppressed conservative viewpoints as we’ve recently seen with Diamond and Silk – that they suspended their account. And we just wanted to preemptively go to Facebook and say that we want assurances that you are not going to suppress conservative voices. That the Silicon Valley thought police is not going to determine what voices filter through on social media platforms.” […]
Hemmer: “Just for the audience, state the evidence as to why you think there is bias on these platforms. I saw one number that suggests a forty percent decline in traffic for conservative viewpoints. Where is the evidence for that, Ronna?”
McDanniels: “Well, Diamond and Silk this morning said that their viewership has gone way down since they were suspended. They have since been reinstated. […] We know that it’s a liberal place in Silicon Valley, that we don’t usually have the same mindset. And we want to make sure that we’re fair and neutral.”
Holy Shitake Mushroom. McDaniels is citing the loopiest Trump-fluffers on Fox News as her evidence of anti-conservative bias. And the only proof of the alleged bias is that Diamond & Silk say so. ThinkProgress did the research and discovered that the fruitcake duo’s Facebook interactions actually increased during the period they claim to have been censored. But they have been telling these lies for quite a while, and even got a surreal hearing before Congress to spin this bullshit.
So without putting a single fact on the table, McDaniels slanders the “Silicon Valley thought police” she imagines are suppressing her Constitutional rights. And Fox’s Hemmer helps her along with a completely unsupported claim that he “saw one number” that he said showed a significant decline for conservatives. And that is the totality of their argument that conservatives are being held down by the all-powerful liberals who control everything on the planet. To reiterate: it’s a number that Hemmer says he saw and wildly false claims by two yokels who can’t string together a coherent sentence. So I guess that settles it.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.