5 thoughts on “Congressional GOP and Rupert Murdoch Outlets Are Worse Than Trump (2)

  1. To begin, I want to comment on David Frum’s Atlantic post today. First, in describing the results DeSantis wants from the Trump indictments, Frum captures, in my view, the position of the more “responsible” Republicans have taken in the Trump era:

    Trump is indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and thereby banished from public life.
    You champion Trump every step of the way, acting as his fiercest and loudest ally.
    To your pretend regret, your Trump advocacy fails to shield Trump from the law.
    Trump is removed from the path to office; you inherit all of Trump’s supporters.

    Frum, correctly in my view, then explains the problem with the approach:

    But here’s the intractable collective-action problem: These plans depend on the non-Trump political actors performing just convincingly enough that their audience is deceived, but not so convincingly that their audience is mobilized to actually do something inconvenient about it. That undesirable something might be some kind of mass protest or even violence. Or possibly it would take the form of conservative voters losing faith in the system and withdrawing from voting and political participation altogether.

    This describes the Republican and Conservative media’s approach to Trump. Here’s a good example from Speaker McCarthy yesterday, reacting to the indictment involving espionage and mishandling of classified documents.

    It is actually unconscionable–and reprehensible–for McCarthy to say all of this, implying that Biden, not an independent DOJ and grand jury of citizens appropriately indicting Trump, who really hasn’t done anything to warrant the indictment. And it’s not just McCarthy, but the second ranking GOP member of the House:

    I can only assume that Republicans like McCarthy and Scalise believe accusations of “weaponizing the DOJ” hasn’t lead to an intolerable level of violence or lack of trust in important institutions like the DOJ, FBI, media, or electoral system. That is, this rhetoric will deceive MAGA voters and keep them in the GOP fold, without leading to (an intolerable level of) violence or undermining of faith in these important institutions. (Actually, I’m having doubts if they actually value the public’s trust in the DOJ, FBI, electoral system, and the media.)

    To close, I want to mention this really good metaphor that Trump uses to describe the GOP’s situation:

    The conservative world in the age of Trump has coiled itself into a labyrinth of lies: lies about Trump’s victimhood, lies about Trump’s popularity, lies about Trump’s election outcomes, lies about Trump’s mental acuity and physical strength. The architects of the labyrinth presumed that they could always, if necessary, find an exit—and that their keys could someday turn the exit’s locks. Instead, they have found themselves as lost and trapped in the labyrinth as the deceived people they lured into it.

    As a result, they have failed to take each opportunity to escape: the first impeachment, the November 2020 defeat, the January 6 crimes, the second impeachment, the end of the administration, the 2022 wipeout of swing-state election-denying candidates, the first indictment, and now this second indictment.

    Along the way, these architects have taught tens of millions of Republican voters and conservative believers to regard the labyrinth of lies as their proper political home. Why escape at all? Escape to where? The ironic outcome of all this is that the deceived followers now block the exits for the deceptive leaders.


    Context: This was up for 27 seconds. That’s not a long time, but still: Does Rupert Murdoch believe this is a legitimate opinion, and does he think it’s responsible to post this. That they took it down immediately suggests he doesn’t. What’s the consequence of the person who decided to post this in the first place?

  2. A former Fox executive now argues Murdoch is unfit to own TV stations from NPR

    Preston Padden joined the Fox broadcast network a few years after its launch and helped founder Rupert Murdoch make it viable….Now, a generation later,… Padden has joined a small band of highly vocal critics objecting to Fox’s effort to seek renewal for its station in Philadelphia, called Fox 29.

    Although I think Murdoch and those who work for him should at least be pariahs, using the FCC to deny him a station seems problematic.

    I would want to know if this happened in the past, and under what circumstances. The article does touch on this:

    The FCC declined to comment. However, Gigi Sohn, the longtime broadcast policy analyst, says she found renewals rejected in the late 1960s for overt racism, in 1975 for radio stations improperly used to promote a candidate, and another three radio licenses turned down in 1980 over character issues of the owner.

    “Under the FCC’s Character Policy, lying to the government is about the worst sin a broadcast licensee can commit,” Sohn tells NPR in an emailed comment. “While Fox did not technically lie to the government, it lied to the American people in a way that had a serious negative impact on our entire democracy. I’d argue that this is worse than lying to the government.”

    Sohn’s argument is compelling. Also, if the FCC rejected a radio station renewels because the stations were used to inappropriately promote a candidate, I think you could make a case that Murdoch does something similar–not just promoting, but protecting and even advising a candidate.

  3. Former AG Bill Barr, like Mike Pence, is a paradox. On one hand, his shooting down of Trump’s lies regarding the cases against him (or most of them, anyway) is really important for our democracy and rule of law. And that’s one of the reasons he deserves to be listed as one of the Republicans doing something patriotic.

    But the fact that he’s considering voting for Trump also makes him deserving to be in this threat thread as well.

    Here is mentioning this in the clip below. I didn’t watch the entire segment, but how he can say the things he does about Trump, even in this clip, and still consider voting for him is utterly mind-blowing to me.

  4. Fox News apologizes to Gold Star family after facing backlash over false story from CNN

    Initially, after being notified about the false report, Fox News only changed the headline on the story to attribute the claims to Republican Rep. Cory Mills of Florida, who had advanced the narrative but later recanted. The outlet later scrubbed the story from its website without a correction or explanation. It remained deleted on Saturday after the apology.

    Deleting an entire story is exceedingly rare in news media and is seen as a last-ditch measure if the entire premise of the article is incorrect. Deleting a story without offering readers an explanation or correction is widely considered to be unethical.

    In this case, Fox News did not publicly address the incident until the Military.com story ignited backlash against the outlet.

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