The brazenness with which Republicans lie is often an astonishing display of depraved dishonesty. There appears to be no bar too low for them to slither under when it comes to misrepresenting reality. As George Orwell wrote in “1984”: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.” The Cult of Trump could now add to that “Fox is news” and “Trump won!”
Not that any more evidence is necessary to prove the point, but Trump toady, and CEO of Trump’s failing Twitter clone TRUTH Social, Devin Nunes, visited with Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News’ Media Buzz. During a segment about the decision by Fox News not air the House Select Committee hearings on the January 6th insurrection, Nunes unloaded a spectacularly false assertion about the television ratings for the telecast in the following exchange:
Kurtz: Let’s talk about the January 6th hearing Thursday night, primetime. You say it was totally partisan, and you could certainly make that case given that every member is anti-Trump. But let’s go beyond that. Does that mean the media shouldn’t cover it much? Does it mean they should dismiss videotaped depositions from the likes of Bill Barr, Jason Miller, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump?
Nunes: The way that I view it, Howie, is I think we have numbers now that are in, and you covered this. To put this in primetime, the numbers were way down. So I don’t understand how these big corporations – I know it was spread across some 20 different networks – when you compare Fox News which did not air that live, I mean just destroyed CNN and MSNBC in the ratings, right?
Kurtz: Networks like MSNBC did very well covering this hearing, Obviously, it would appeal to the liberal viewers of that network.
First of all, it’s important to note that Kurtz’s question improperly argued that the Committee is partisan because “every member is anti-Trump.” In fact, the Committee is bipartisan, by definition, because it includes members of both parties. There just happens to be bipartisan agreement that Trump is a liar who incited the storming of the Capitol.
More to the point, the claim by Nunes that Fox News “just destroyed CNN and MSNBC in the ratings” is flagrantly false. MSNBC far exceeded their usual audience, averaging 4.1 million viewers during the hearings. Fox News came in second with only 3 million, which is what they get on any ordinary night. So the same cult viewers tuned in to Fox just as they have been programmed to do.
What’s more, Nunes says that the numbers were “way down” for the hearings. Actually, they were far higher than anything these news networks have achieved in many years. More than 20 million people watched live, and even more millions watched via streaming, or delayed on DVRs or recasts. It was nearly twice the audience of game three of the NBA Finals.
For his part, Kurtz meekly replied that “MSNBC did very well,” dismissing the fact that they won their time period and beat Fox News. He also belittled the ratings win as the result of MSNBC’s “appeal to the liberal viewers,” ignoring the rest of the TV audience across many networks. And furthermore, Kurtz has no idea what the ideological make up of the audience was. Many conservatives and other non-liberals likely tuned in specifically because Fox wasn’t airing it.
Finally, in addition to lying through his teeth, Nunes didn’t even come close to answering Kurtz’s question, which was whether or not the media should cover the hearings. Obviously Fox News doesn’t want to cover them because, in addition to revealing that they have been lying about Trump and the insurrection for the past year and half, their audience would also see that their biggest stars were accomplices to Trump’s crimes.
You have to wonder why Nunes was interviewed on this program in the first place. He is not a member of Congress. He runs a Trump business enterprise/scam. And on that website people who posted the truth about the January 6th insurrection were banned. Kurtz never bothered to ask Nunes about that.
Trump also weighed in on the ratings for the hearings and, true to form, he attempted to gaslight his dimwitted cult disciples by claiming that the ratings were “really BAD…far lower than anticipated.” Which, as someone who worked on TV for fourteen years, he knows isn’t true, or he’s even more stupid than we thought. He also called the hearings a “Witch Hunt” because – well, everything he doesn’t like either a witch hunt or a hoax, isn’t it?
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