Eleven months ago a mob of anti-American, democracy hating subversives stormed the United States Congress with the intention of overturning the will of the people who voted in the 2020 presidential election. They were fueled by the flagrant falsehoods and inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and their Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News.
What occurred on January 6th, 2021, was a violent insurrection against America and its Constitution. The participants were the forward flank of an attempted coup by authoritarian forces led by Trump and his treasonous confederates. Now, nearly a year later, the lies and treachery have been documented by communications between Republican conspirators, boastful confessions by right-wing defectors, and hundreds of hours of contemporaneous video.
Fittingly, PolitiFact has announced that they have chosen “Lies About the Capitol insurrection“ as their annual “Lie of the Year.” The justifications supporting their decision were detailed in a lengthy article that included numerous references to those most responsible for the torrent of blatant and dangerous dishonesty. Not surprisingly, that turned out to be Donald Trump and Fox News hosts such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. In fact, Trump is a multi-year recipient of the dishonor. PolitiFact’s assessment noted that “In the days that followed” the insurrection, Trump, the GOP, and Fox News, among others, “offered a deluge of justifications, excuses and conspiracy theories,” such as…
- They said Jan. 6 was instigated by undercover left-wing activists who were part of antifa. That was proved false.
- They said the rioters hadn’t used force and one Republican congressman likened the events to “a normal tourist visit.” Video proved that wrong.
- They claimed the attack on the Capitol had nothing to do with race, even though white supremacists and far-right militia groups were among the most active participants, and many rioters wore racist t-shirts.
- They suggested the whole affair was staged by the government, a false flag operation. Others suggested it was entirely a peaceful protest. All of that was wrong.
- They said that the rioters were political prisoners and shouldn’t face serious charges. A host of federal judges and courts have held otherwise.
Among the most heinous misrepresentations of reality were Trump’s ludicrous claim that “Right from the start it was zero threat.” And then there was Tucker Carlson’s lie-riddled crocumentary “Patriot Purge,” that preposterously asserted that the insurrection was a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the FBI and other agents of the “Deep State.”
In addition to the tribute conferred on the insurrection liars by PolitiFact, they also had a “Lie of the Year” readers poll wherein a huge majority (75%) voted for Trump’s claim that he won the 2020 presidential election. Which is, of course, related to the lies about the insurrection because it was Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him that triggered the assault on Congress.
PolitiFact could just have easily chosen the lies that Trump won the election, or the lies about the COVID vaccine either not working or causing harm, for their “Lie of the Year.” Both of which are also attributable to deliberate dishonesty by Trump and Fox News. But PolitiFact chose the insurrection lies because “the attack was historically important,” and because “the events of Jan. 6 were widely broadcast…So efforts to downplay and deny what happened are an attempt to brazenly recast reality itself.”
In other words, Trump, Fox News, and the other liars were so despicable that they tried to pretend that the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812 didn’t happen. And they were so shameless that they tried to convince people not to believe their own eyes. Of course, that has been the modus operandi of Trump and Fox News all along. But what is truly disheartening is that, despite the abundant evidence, there is still a small but worrisome contingent of willfully ignorant believers.
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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.