Times are getting harder for the depraved purveyors of propaganda at Fox News. For months they have been literally rooting for the U.S. economy to take a dive. And the escalating catastrophe in Ukraine is exposing the fervent anti-American and brazenly pro-Putin attitudes of Fox’s most pompous pundits.
Unfortunately for Fox News, the economy hasn’t cooperated with their doomsday dreams. President Biden continues to preside over the strongest economic recovery in decades. And even diehard disinformation disseminators like Tucker Carlson have had to chill their Russian cheering as Putin’s war crimes become ever more evident. And with the worst of the COVID crisis appearing to wane, the pandemic deniers at Fox are running out of apocalypse stories to shove down the throats of their viewers.
That, however, hasn’t deterred Fox from ramping up their efforts to sow discord, fear, and heinous lies intended to rile up the ranks of the deplorables. It’s just made their efforts more preposterous. Among those who have noticed this descent into the depths of depravity is comedian Jon Stewart. In an episode of the “Sway” podcast for the New York Times, Stewart posed some serious questions for Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. And it’s especially fitting that a comedian like Stewart is expressing himself at a time when a former comedian in Ukraine – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – is demonstrating uncommon courage.
Jon Stewart began by pointedly asking why Murdoch was “trying to destroy the fabric of this country.” Then, noting the brick wall obstructionism of the Republican Party, Stewart observed that “for years it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi.” But Stewart was just getting started. He went on to question Murdoch’s motivation for foisting noxious provocateurs like Tucker Carlson on the public:
“I don’t know if it’s ideological or he just thinks, this is where the money is. But how somebody can in good conscience put a shithead like that on television every night to say those types of things? That’s where the responsibility lies in my mind.”
Stewart’s questions actually answer themselves with “all of the above.” For Murdoch it is very definitely ideological. He has been an ultra-right extremist for the whole of his adult life. And he has pushed his views on the most naïve in the TV flock via his media empire on at least three continents. Simultaneously, he has packaged his rancid conservatism to an undiscerning audience whose ignorance he both creates and exploits financially.
Finally, Murdoch, it is clear, has no conscience. So promoting a despicable cretin like Carlson doesn’t bother him a bit. Even though Carlson, as Stewart points out, is an admitted liar. Here he is admitting it…
“I lie if I’m really cornered or something. I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t — I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever.”
“I lie. If I’m really cornered or something, I lie…I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness — or whatever.” – Tucker Carlson pic.twitter.com/wn9s8ggi0P
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) January 29, 2022
Carlson “tries” not to lie on TV? He obviously isn’t trying very hard, because he does every night. Repeatedly. In fact, Carlson so notorious for his dishonesty that Fox News used it as a defense against defamation. They actually argued in court – successfully – that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”
In other words, Carlson is a known liar whose commentaries can be dismissed out of hand as the ravings of an unhinged “shithead,” as Stewart so poignantly put it. And yet, Carlson’s viewers still cling to his every lie. so what does that make them?
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