It was during MAGAmarch’s Million, as a group of walkers chanted “Fox News sucks, Fox News sucks,” that it occurred to me that Fox News might be on Fox’s precipice. News disappearing. Maybe it was inevitable that at some point the scandal machine would be unable to fabricate the outrage necessary to continue, but I didn’t think it would be the 2020 election that sparked it.
Historically, Fox News has managed to pull away from the truth on issues such as coronavirus, trailers, (what happened to those?), Seth Rich’s Truth. But as far as the elections go, well, it was more complicated, because Fox has an independent election decision-making office that do not shaping its facts around the sentiments of the President of the United States.
But the problem is, Fox had built an audience that got more and more radicalized each year by Fox’s content. So, by Election Night, when Fox presenters suddenly wanted to play it right, it created a phenomenon in which Fox News was unable to keep up with the conservative outrage generated by Fox News.
Over the past few years, Fox News opinion broadcasts have managed to sidestep the boundaries of reality, pumping everything from insane conspiracy theories to white nationalist talking points. Who could forget when a Trump-appointed judge noted about Tucker Carlson, regarding Carlson’s ranting about Trump’s accuser, Karen McDougal, that “if the Court qualifies Mr. Carlson’s statements? of “ exaggeration ”, of “ non-literal comment ” or simply for its audience, the conclusion remains the same: statements cannot give rise to action. “But if the courts may find Tucker too far-fetched to be believed, millions of Fox viewers take his word as gospel. This terrible disinformation clearinghouse was no problem for Fox News. until it is.
You see, Fox News has created the perfect feedback loop, from their opinion hosts to their viewers. And one of those viewers was, in theory at least, “the leader of the free world.” For a while, it worked wonderfully for Fox (but less so for America as a whole). The president used his millions of Twitter followers to spread Fox News messages. It was actually quite transparent. Of course, there was this little problem that a lot of the news from Fox News was grossly exaggerated or just plain wrong, but that didn’t bother Trump because Fox echoed (and perhaps created) a lot of those points. RNC discussion. Brian Stelter pointed out in his book Hoax that, “at 9 o’clock sharp, the president watches Hannity deliver the talking points they have already discussed.”
The feedback cycle was based on the fact that Fox and Trump shared the same reality. What they have done in large part. Until they don’t. The problem with Fox News’s feedback loop was that it thrilled and thrilled its viewers with an endless montage of “boomer-unworthy porn”, like videos of people in black clothes being deemed “antifa” or blundering. liberal Hollywood actors who were to touch with the real America. And the problem with outrageous boomer porn is that it has to continue to be outraged. There is a shot of serotonin that needs to be produced. Perhaps at first this success can be produced by a mini beige suit scandal. But it always takes more scandal to fuel indignation. Ultimately, this outrage armed its own audience against itself.
Fox News hasn’t exactly adopted the election results, but neither has it. Fox’s handling of the current situation ranges from insane conspirator Maria Bartiromo, who recently insisted that computers steal the president’s votes, to weekend anchor Eric Shawn, who debunked the much of Trump’s electoral fraud conspiracy theory.
“The feedback cycle was based on the fact that Fox and Trump shared the same reality. What they have done in large part. Until they don’t.“
Now Fox News is struggling to keep up with the lopsided product peddled on other far-right networks like One America News and Newsmax. Newsmax took a look at this, running an ad with Mike Huckabee. A voiceover says: “Fake news is a real problem, that’s why millions of people turn to Newsmax,” as a parade of right-wing faces, including those of Huckabee, dance across the screen. It is, as Beast writer Justin Baragona points out, “a shameless game for Trump loyalists disenchanted by Fox News that called for the election of President-elect Joe Biden and largely dismissed the president’s baseless allegations. Donald Trump of a “stolen” election.
Last week, Newsmax refused to trigger the election of President-elect Biden. It was completely and totally symbolic because Newsmax does not have a decision-making office. But it thrilled Trump supporters because not much has done it. The New York Times noted that “this alternative reality strategy is working and making Newsmax a legitimate contender for conservative eyeballs in the post-Trump era.”
And then there’s OAN, home to Rudy Giuliani’s best friend and occasional traveling companion, Chanel Rion. EJ Dickson notes in Rolling stone that Rion asks “almost comical questions during briefings that rarely, if ever, have to do with the problems other journalists give him.” OAN makes Fox look like PBS News Hour.
The right-wing media are currently at war over viewers created by Fox News but can no longer satiate. But Fox doesn’t collapse without a fight, a notion voiced by terrifying white nationalist talking point propagandist Tucker Carlson, who said on his show: “ Ironically at this exact moment we were working on a project for increase the amount. reports and analyzes that we are doing right now in other areas of the business. ”
Who knows what that means, but it probably means Fox is going to be looking at the Tucker brand, which is pretty terrifying. Seems the only thing worse for democracy than a Fox News is three of them.
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