Look out Fox News. The MAGAts are coming for you and they are boiling mad. For much of his presidency Donald Trump has been blowing hot and cold over Fox News. He would whine pitifully whenever they published a poll showing how much America despised him, or if they dared to interview a Democrat. The next moment he would post a half dozens videos of his favorite hosts dutifully praising him or maligning his critics.
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This schizophrenic dysfunction by Trump must have been confusing for his simple-minded but adoring cult followers. Trump was simultaneously directing them to watch Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, while ordering them to switch to Newsmax or OANN because “Fox News Sucks.” The mental toll of this contradictory guidance has resulted in an exodus of viewers from Fox News. For much of the post-election viewing, CNN has risen to the top of the cable news heap and Newsmax has tripled its audience.
Meanwhile, long time Fox News fanatics have been vowing never to watch the network again, with the notable exception of Tucker Carlson, the only one they still trust to articulate their exclusionary (i.e. racist) views. But Carlson’s immunity has been eradicated by a recent segment wherein he dared to ask a Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, for proof of her ludicrous and unfounded accusations of election fraud:
Tucker Carlson calls out Sidney Powell, saying he asked her for evidence to support her election fraud claims, but "she never sent us any evidence despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page."
"When we kept pressing she got angry and told us to stop contacting her." pic.twitter.com/IOlOdhp6MJ
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 20, 2020
Carlson has been getting some undeserved credit for taking on Powell after her hysterical press conference with Rudy Giuliani. The two of them floated some of the most ridiculous allegations of election “irregularities,” including fringe conspiracy theories about votes being tabulated in Germany and Spain with software made in Venezuela. No doubt they will eventually tie in George Soros and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Update: Powell has been thrown under the Trump bus due to her crazy talk, which isn’t really any crazier than anything Giuliani or the rest of these goofballs have said.
But Carlson’s request for proof was half hearted at best. He meekly asked her to come on his show and present evidence of her allegations, which she refused to do. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to push the very same baseless theories for which he faulted her. In fact, on his program the following night he went a step further. Carlson asserted that he and anonymous sources (which apparently Fox News now approves of) in the White House are in agreement about imaginary election fraud:
“Like us, they have concluded that this election was not fair. Like us, they are willing to believe any explanation for what happened. Like us, they have not seen any single piece of evidence showing that software changed votes. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It might have happened. It means they haven’t seen any evidence that it happened. And by ‘they’ we are including other members of Donald Trump’s own legal team.”
An update on our reporting on Sidney Powell’s voter fraud investigation. Watch. pic.twitter.com/ho6Dkv0IXf
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 21, 2020
The entirety of Carlson’s argument is that the absence of any evidence of fraud doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. By the same logic, the absence of any evidence that Carlson is not the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler doesn’t mean that he isn’t. He might be. There just isn’t any evidence of it (well, except for his arrogant demagoguery and noxious white supremacism). What Carlson wants his dimwitted viewers to believe is that anything, no matter how preposterous, can be true if there isn’t explicit evidence to refute it. By extension, he’s arguing that the absence of evidence of fraud is proof of fraud.
Carlson went on to say that he would consider it “great news” if evidence of election fraud emerged. He said that “no one would be more grateful for that than us.” He’s actually rooting for fraud. He’s virtually drooling at the thought of it. That’s because there is no other way for him to keep advocating for the election to be overturned and the votes of nearly 80 million people invalidated. His mission is to support Trump’s coup attempt and retain power at the expense of democracy.
So Carlson had a fleeting moment of rationality in asking for evidence of fraud. But his core state of smug and unprincipled self-interest remains in tact. As does his unflinching loyalty to Trumpism. And yet he is still the victim of glassy-eyed MAGAts who are always poised to betray anyone they think wanders too far from the reach of Dear Leader. Which, in the end, will be a good thing as their zealous adherence to the Trump cult dogma splinters their coalition and hangs former allies like Fox News out to dry.
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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.