It’s not a coincidence that political discourse in this country has rapidly deteriorated over the last 20 or so years, which is the same amount of time America’s most-watched conservative entertainment network, Fox News, has existed. The network that once used the slogan “Fair and Balanced” has been anything but, often serving as nothing more than the media arm of the GOP.
Doing what I do for a living, unfortunately, that requires me to follow Fox News much more than I’d like. As someone who watches more of the network than probably most of the people reading this, trust me when I say that doing so has allowed me to somewhat understand why the conservative view of the world is so incredibly warped and often fact-free.
From the way Fox News handles major stories, to the subtle ways they cover routine events and slip in ridiculous conspiracies, if you were someone who only trusted Fox News for information, believe it or not, it’s very possible you’d be a Republican, too.
Take the monthly jobs report, for example.
During Barack Obama’s time in office, I rarely saw Fox News aggressively analyze the monthly jobs reports. Even when they did talk about them, they’d usually mention the numbers, then instantly pivot toward some “analyst” who’d paint some sort of a “doom and gloom” picture as to why the economy was actually doing poorly under our previous president.
Funny, they’re not doing that anymore.
Now when the monthly jobs report comes out, it’s a huge talking point for many of the people on the network. Some of the very same people on Fox News who used to downplay Obama’s economic success are praising the very same numbers now that Trump’s “president” (watch the video below to see the differences in how they discussed Obama’s job creation as opposed to Trump’s numbers).
Then there was this laughable example of Fox News’ “credibility” from back in April where they tried to make Trump look like a massive economic success during his first three months in office, comparing job growth and unemployment numbers from the same time frame in the Obama, Bush and Clinton presidencies, while omitting the fact that our 44th president inherited the worst economic crash since the Great Depression — while Trump inherited the longest streak of private sector job growth in United States history.
There’s also the way Fox News reports on Trump’s approval and favorable rating — or should I say how they try to avoid discussing it.
In July, FoxNews.com covered Trump’s abysmal favorable rating by mostly focusing on his wife’s numbers: Fox News Poll: Melania Trump’s Favorable Ratings Climb.
Most of that article talked about Melania’s rating, while only dedicating one short paragraph to the fact that, when this poll was conducted, his favorable rating was 47 percent.
Then there was this recent Fox News article that downplayed Trump’s historically low approval ratings that had the nerve to equate conspiracies some believe about Obama being a secret Muslim who faked his birth certificate with those who believe Trump’s been compromised by Russia and colluded with the Russian government to win last year’s election.
That’s an absolutely ridiculous comparison considering there’s an actual FBI investigation — and now Grand Jury — looking into Trump’s ties to Russia, including a secret meeting that took place last year between his son, son-in-law, and then campaign manager, that many feel is concrete evidence of collusion, or at least the willingness to collude. Meanwhile, the conspiracies about Obama’s religion and birth certificate are unfounded and completely absurd. To even attempt to compare the two is preposterous.
Furthermore, arguably the most powerful and influential person on Fox News, Sean Hannity, is an absolute hypocrite who’s taken to pushing disgusting conspiracy theories just to defend or distract from how awful Trump’s “presidency” has been.
That’s not a matter of opinion. Not only did the network have to reprimand Hannity during last year’s election for using non-credible data to support Trump, but they had to retract a conspiracy he was pushing about slain DNC staffer Seth Rich. All the while, he’s become a huge fan of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — despite, in the past, calling him an enemy to the United States who was going to get Americans killed.
Make no mistake about it, websites like Drudge, Breitbart, WND.com, YoungCons, and InfoWars wouldn’t be thriving today, often pushing legitimate fake news and conspiracies, if it wasn’t for Fox News laying the groundwork when it was founded just over two decades ago. Fox News is a cornerstone of fake news in political media. These more radical, alt-right websites simply expanded on the Fox News blueprint and took it to a whole other level of right-wing extremism and outright insanity.
The network is clearly trying to keep pace with the idiocy, which is why Hannity continues to be employed despite the bigwigs knowing that he’s pushing hyper-partisan propaganda, if not outright conspiracies, during his radio and nightly Fox News shows.
I’m sorry Trump supporters, and other Republicans, but these folks are lying to you — and they know it.
Here’s a list of soundly debunked conspiracies many Republicans believe and/or Trump continues to push, that Fox News and the right-wing media either help perpetuate or never try to correct:
- Barack Obama faked his birth certificate. (False)
- Barack Obama was a Muslim. (False)
- Hillary Clinton slept through the Benghazi attack. (False)
- Hillary Clinton sold Russia 20 percent of the United States’ uranium. (False)
- “Millions and millions” of people voted illegally during last year’s election. (False)
- Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history. (False)
- The economy has drastically improved under Trump. (False)
- The Obama economy was a disaster. (False)
- The Russia stories are all nothing but “fake news.” (False)
- The United States is more respected since Trump’s “election.” (False)
- He’s accomplished more than any president in history did at this point in his presidency. (False)
- “Millions of Muslims” celebrated in the streets of New Jersey on 9/11. (False)
- Barack Obama was always on vacation. (False)
- Foreign nations had a lower regard for the United States under Obama than under Bush. (False)
- Donald Trump has the overwhelming support of most Americans. (False)
- Donald Trump has a definitive plan to defeat ISIS. (False)
- Trumpcare will provide better, cheaper health care for more Americans. (False)
- Donald Trump has drastically reduced illegal immigration and increased deportations. (False)
- John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI. (False)
- The Clinton Foundation is a corrupt, international criminal empire. (False)
- Barack Obama said and did nothing about Russians interfering in our election prior to Election Day. (False)
- CNN’s ratings are down. (False)
- Illegal immigration was rampant during the Obama administration. (False)
- Obamacare is failing. (False)
The list goes on, and on… and on.
Now I know what most conservatives who find this article are going to say: all the sources I used to prove why those claims are “false” are nothing but “liberal media lies and fake news” because, of course, none of them are Fox News or other right-wing news sources.
And that’s my point!
I’d love to use sources conservatives trust to debunk the lies and myths they believe. However, I can’t because, obviously, the vast majority of those sources aren’t telling them the truth about those issues — which is why millions of conservatives believe all that nonsense I just listed is true, when literally none of it is.
Oh, I know, but this still isn’t a credible article either way because I’m a self-proclaimed progressive who just “toes the Democratic party line” on everything.
Not only have I called out various left-wing media outlets on several occasions when I’ve seen them lying or spreading fake news about Republicans, but I’ve also pointed out when I’ve seen some of them purposefully sharing misleading propaganda designed to rile people up and fuel hatred rather than looking at an issue truthfully. I’ve tried to be extremely candid in calling out both the left and the right on issues like police accountability, freedom of speech and religion (I’ve written multiple articles looking at both conservative hypocrisies regarding Christianity and liberal hypocrisies regarding Islam).
Furthermore, I’ve made sure to recognize some of the rare moments of sanity I’ve seen on Fox News, usually from sensible journalists like Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith. The problem is, those moments of sanity and truth rarely appear during any of their highest rated programming. When you look through shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight (formerly The O’Reilly Factor’s time slot), The Five and Hannity, these are prime time shows on the top-rated basic cable network with hosts who’ve been notorious for spreading propaganda, fake news and hatred (often a combination of all 3) over the past several years. Then when you add-in Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox & Friends, you’ve got several hours worth of highly-rated conservative entertainment television that misinforms millions of viewers on a daily basis.
We’re not talking about partisan opinions on abortion, economic issues, tax cuts, or war. This is a situation where the most popular conservative media, largely driven by Fox News, has become nothing more than a never-ending stream of right-wing propaganda, lies, conspiracies, and paranoid fear-mongering. That is exactly how a pathological-lying con man like Donald Trump “won” in the first place.
It’s not a coincidence that the most dishonest presidential candidate the GOP has ever had — someone who based most of his campaign on pandering to right-wing fan fiction, hate, and conspiracies — became the most popular Republican since Ronald Reagan.
Trump supporters and the rest of the Republican voters out there might not want to hear it, let alone believe it, but the bottom line is, Fox News and the right-wing media is lying to them. It’s like many have said over the last few months, last November, Trump supporters lost, too — they just haven’t realized it yet.
As they say, the great thing about reality is that it’s real whether or not they want to believe in it.
Watch more Fox News hypocrisy below via The Huffington Post:
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