Partisan political news publications, websites, and blogs are nothing new. While they’ve evolved over the last few years with the rise of the Internet and social media, there have always been partisan news and opinion sources liberals and conservatives could turn to which generally (to varying degrees of credibility) support their side of the aisle.
Whether or not that’s a good thing is debatable. Seeing as confirmation bias has become an epidemic in this country, it could easily be argued that down-the-middle reporting of information without any partisan slant is the only way anyone should desire to get their news.
While I might mostly agree with that, I don’t have any problem with partisan publications just as long as the information they’re presenting is factually based.
Unfortunately, more often than not, that’s not the case.
What happens is partisan outlets, driven to “out pander” the competition, continue to delve deeper and deeper into pushing misinformation, conspiracies, or flat-out lies to keep their audience hooked on outrage and coming back for more.
Here at Forward Progressives, I maintain that we’ve never really had a “partisan bias.” While the site has the word progressive in it, I’ve made it clear from the start that I view being a progressive as a desire for facts and reality above any kind of ideology. That’s vitally important in a day and age where viral hoaxes, lies and propaganda seem to generate far more engagement on social media than any attempt at a fact-check afterwards. We’ve proven repeatedly that we’ll call out progressives when we feel some on the left are acting too much like our conservative counterparts by denying facts, believing conspiracies, and acting irrationally.
Millions of conservatives couldn’t care less. They’re perfectly content tuning in to Fox News after dinner every night, listening to Hannity bitch and moan about “the deep state” and Hillary Clinton for an hour, and having that be the extent of their efforts to educate themselves on the issues.
Since its creation, Fox News has always had a heavy conservative lean. While a few legitimate journalists have worked for them over the years, the vast majority of the on-air “talent” over there have dedicated themselves to providing conservative entertainment, not actual news.
Just take a look at their current prime time line up that consists of nothing but staunch, far-right conservatives. Especially Hannity, who’s morphed from a typical right-wing hack similar to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, to a full-on conspiracy theorist whose rants sometimes rival that of nut job Alex Jones.
With Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP, Fox News has gone from pushing right-wing misinformation and fan fiction to the closest thing to state-run media this country has ever seen. They’re not simply trying to promote Trump’s ideas or push Republican policy, they’ve taken to pushing dangerous conspiracies against the FBI, with Jesse Watters recently suggesting there’s a possible “coup” taking place to overthrow this “president.”
Fox News is stoking the flames of paranoia in millions of its viewers who honestly believe that there’s some “deep state conspiracy funded by George Soros” to overthrow Donald Trump. I’ve come across people who actually believe that the FBI is working for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to remove Trump from office, and that there are “millions” of people in this country voting illegally every election. In fact, the voter fraud nonsense has become so ridiculous that basically any election a Republican loses, conservatives are now pushing conspiracies about voter fraud.
All the while, as evil and powerful as Fox News, Donald Trump, and most conservatives seem to believe the left is, somehow Republicans control the House, Senate, the White House, and most state governments across the country.
I always have to laugh at this idea that somehow Democrats are “rigging” some elections, yet can’t seem to “rig” enough of them to actually gain (or keep) a majority of power in our government at the local, state, and federal levels.
But there I go using common sense and rational thinking while talking about people who don’t seem to posses the ability to use either. As I’ve said before, leave it to Donald Trump and his supporters to claim that there was “massive voter fraud on the scale of millions of votes” — in an election that he won.
I’ve followed politics for most of my life and I’ve never seen anything like what we’re seeing today. Republicans have always pushed anti-government rhetoric which I found to be idiotic, but they’ve gone well beyond simply being the party of “limited government” to a new, rather terrifying realm where they’ve turned anyone associated with the government into some sort of “enemy” if they don’t do and say exactly what they want them to.
Right now you could have a lengthy career as a staunch conservative with a track record that’s not remotely progressive — yet if you dare say anything negative about Trump, you’ll be cast out, ostracized, and attacked by all these pro-Trump forces who believe anything negative about him is part of some grand conspiracy against him.
For example, an evangelical Christian leader who began receiving death threats after speaking out against Trump.
To make matters worse, Fox News didn’t even want to support Trump to begin with. He skipped one of their primary debates because they wouldn’t give in to his demands to remove former employee Megyn Kelly as a moderator. The network even once condemned Hannity for using non-credible polls to promote Trump.
Yet now what Fox News has realized is that they have no other choice but to promote Trump because if they don’t, they’ll drive off viewers, their ratings will tank, and they’ll lose out on millions of dollars in revenue.
So it seems rather obvious what network executives decided to do was essentially become Trump’s own state-run propaganda machine because that’s where the money was at. It wasn’t in exposing how terrible he is; plenty of credible journalists and news outlets have already been doing that, and that’s not what his brainwashed supporters want to hear. So, since Fox News is really nothing more than conservative entertainment, these frauds masquerading as “journalists” decided to do what entertainers do — chase the ratings and pander to what Trump’s fans wanted to hear, creating what we have now, which is effectively state-run Trump TV.
The problem is, for millions, Fox News isn’t considered entertainment. For a good chunk of this country, they view the network as a credible source of information they turn to on a daily basis to block out the “liberal media” and be “informed” about what’s going on in the country. And right now, more so than ever before, they’re being fed propaganda that rivals that pushed out by dictators all over the world. They’re being told that a credible investigation being led by a highly-respected veteran of both our military and our law enforcement is leading a “witch hunt” to remove a “president,” while the FBI is operating as some sort of “shadow government” that could be part of a “coup” against Trump.
This isn’t “skewed news” or the usual partisan political commentary we’re used to, this is a dangerous game of seeing how much sick propaganda they can get away with spreading.
Mark my words, if this keeps up, we’re headed for a much darker time in this country. All because Fox News and the overwhelming majority of the conservative media has determined that the money that can be made by pandering to the delusions of Trump voters is worth putting the integrity, safety, and security of this nation at risk.
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