A legal filing today in the case of Dominion Voting Systems against the Fox News Corporation provides a window into the role of disinformation and money in the movement to deny that President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. Dominion Voting Systems is suing FNC for defamation after FNC personalities repeatedly claimed that the company’s voting machines had corrupted the final tallies in the 2020 election. The filing today shows that those same personalities didn’t believe what they were telling their viewers, and suggests that they made those groundless accusations because they worried their viewers were abandoning them to go to channels that told them what they wanted to hear: that Trump had won the election.
Caught two typos before bed: I keep putting the 2020 election in 2022, and the Jordan hearing was FEBRUARY 9, not November. Ugh. Sorry about that.
FOX should be closed down for seditious conduct. Their activity is clearly and totally destructive to our national security. if they had killed or severely injured a person with careless disregard, at the very least, they would be found guilty of manslaughter or dangerous and reckless behaviour. Dominion is not the only injured party. The US has been damaged. FOX fed the US Capitol attack, gave us a year and counting of right wing conspiracy theories, has interfered with the continuing conduct of our nation's business, has contributed to hate, fear and violence.
Thank you for including the Church Committee staff letter. I fear it won’t get much attention and it’s really a remarkable letter. I hope they felt proud as they signed it.
Frank Church was a personal friend of my parents, who had worked on all his campaigns.
I campaigned for him - before social media, that meant a lot of door-knocking - in 1968, '74 and when he lost during a Republican wave in 1980.
He'd visit campaign HQ a lot - a dusty little storefront in downtown Boise shared with other Democratic candidates, including Cecil Andrus. Frank and Cece loved chatting with campaign volunteers. It was a gentler time.
Somewhere I still have my Church for President memorabilia.
In short, I knew him pretty well.
Every time I hear Jordan trying to claim the Senator's good name, I feel ill.
Look, I was homeschooled. (Bear with me, I promise this connects.) I was already reading whole books in Kindergarten, and by the time I evened out near middle school, I was diagnosed with terrible scoliosis which required a plastic back brace, 22 hours a day. My parents keeping me home was essentially an act of mercy (The brace worked, for the record). The number of total strangers who saw fit to question my Mom in public and ask her how I was getting any socialization would knock y'all flat. Joke was on them, because I actually got way more friends through all the groups I joined, with less drama, than I ever would have at "normal school."
But... yeah. Homeschoolers are ALL kinds of kinds. There were the "gifted" (me, I guess), the rich kids with tutors, the kids of hippies, and so, so many Christian evangelicals. Oh, the anecdotes I could tell (And I WILL tell 'em!).
Anyway, my bestie for a while was Marcus. We once took a debate class together. This was in '08. Obviously one day the election got brought up. His family literally had a giant photo of "Dubya" in their kitchen (Which I thought was creepy, considering they didn't know him.) I thought it would be hilarious to ask him if my Mom was right in still voting for Hillary, even though my Dad liked Obama better. If I could communicate the combination abject horror frothing anger that set over poor Marcus's face I would. Poor guy was still in junior high but had already been put through the anti-Hillary indoctrination.
He started shouting about how much she was a liar. I asked about what exactly? (Mumbling word salad.) Yeah, ok, but didn't Bush lie about all those WMDs? (Absolute crickets.) Dude, where are you getting your info from?
Fox, of course! Because - and please read this in your head with the right amount of defensiveness, which would be ALL OF IT - "They're the only conservative news channel!"
I remember it because, despite the fact my family shied away from politics, despite the fact I didn't care too much about the news, despite the fact this was my best friend, I immediately knew everything about that reason was wrong. Why, I asked him, would you WANT to watch that? Isn't the news not supposed to be liberal or conservative, just facts? Crickets again. So much for the debate and logic class.
Point being, the folks who watch this garbage are not, and have never been, simply getting duped by it. They don't just stumble across it and fall under some sort of hypnotism. They *actively seek it out* because, in a scary modern world, they have found an oasis that reaffirms all their prejudices and tells them exactly what they want to hear, that the people they already hate deserve to be hated, and harder and in more ways than you have even thought to. Remember when the slogan was "Fair and Balanced?" Liberals laughed, but to their audience, it is. It is balancing out all the pesky facts on the other channels, and it is only fair they have *someplace* to turn when all of reality is against them!
The villains in today's letter are nefarious, yes. They are hawking a product they know is faulty and causes harm, yes. But just like the "toasted" tobacco of old, they do this because there is money to be made doing so, and there is money to be made doing so because there are people who absolutely love this product and want it every day. And they want it PURE, man.
That's the bigger problem here. "No thinking person would take this seriously." Right. Again, that's the problem.
"The Church Committee staffers warned Jordan that if he wanted to claim the mantle of that committee, he would need to move forward with the 'same spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship.' "
HA! Jim Jordan will follow that advice just after giant orange monkeys fly out of Donald Trump's fundamental orifice.
Good to see the heat mounting on Fox, however.
Thank you so much, Dr. Richardson. Great letter tonight!
Of course , Jordan tweeted a lie about Joe Biden soon after.
He always does.
A lie a day , its the Republican way.
Thank you Heather.
Meanwhile from Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden…
“What I'm about to say I don't take lightly.
In a few days, a lawless Trump-appointed judge in Texas is expected to issue a ruling in a lawsuit that will effectively ban access to the abortion medication Mifepristone nationwide.
Today, I took to the Senate floor to call on the FDA to ignore the ruling and keep this life-saving drug on the market.”
Wow! This is a whole new, and justifiable, take on civil disobedience. Thank you Ron!
Great HCR newsletter !! While it's definitely taking time to happen, it seems that FNC and its news "personalities" are finally being exposed as the rats they are, and have been, for the last several years. Nothing like a huge $$ civil lawsuit and a thorough grand jury to do the trick. But you know.... it's not they themselves that worry me the most, it's all the millions of people who consider these people as viable sources for our daily news. Yikes !!
We should not be surprised that Fox “News” or politicians lied. About Dominion Voting Machines and Fox “News” Lies, Today’s letter: “The filing today shows that those same personalities didn’t believe what they were telling their viewers, and suggests that they made those groundless accusations because they worried their viewers were abandoning them to go to channels that told them what they wanted to hear: that Trump had won the election. “
Crooks and Liars follow the Corruption playbook, a worldwide strategy. Hannah Arendt: “It is this fragility that makes deception so very easy up to a point, and so tempting. It never comes into a conflict with reason, because things could indeed have been as the liar maintains they were. Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear. He has prepared his story for public consumption with a careful eye to making it credible, whereas reality has the disconcerting habit of confronting us with the unexpected, for which we were not prepared.”https://www.themarginalian.org/2016/06/15/lying-in-politics-hannah-arendt/
Jordan is not worthy to be in charge of any committee.
The GOP is not interested in bipartisanship.
In fact, the current GOP is not interested in the Constitution, democracy, truth or people -
only power and keeping people ignorant.
I am old enough to remember when the world was not so crazy, when elections did not cause massive stress and trauma and when even people like William Buckley could engage in political discourse without demonizing the other side in his show "Firing Line." There is no discourse today. The Church Committee sending Jordan a letter about how he should conduct the committee is like telling you kids not to drink when they go to college...goes in one ear and out the other. Thanks Heather!
Fox News Channel knowingly undermined faith in a national election in order to prop up its stock price.
“None dare call it treason.” Barry Goldwater.
Frank Church and, excuse the written guffaw, Jim Jordan, should never, ever be compared on their integrity and competence as committe chairs. One exemplified the tenets of a government based on bipartisan dialogue and discovery; the other, only seeks to settle personaol scores with a searing animus toward truth or comprosise. One (the former, if I need to identify of whom I speak) has left a lasting legacy of good governing and the other a minefield of malice toward truth. The letter from those veterans of the Church Committee to the, excuse me again, the nascent one, is a sober and reasonable attempt to suggest a meaningful course. I am skeptical of its impact on a jacketless, former wrestling coach from Ohio.
Thank you for this splendid review of current court cases and legislative investigations. Unfortunately I can't see that loud mouthed lying Jim Jordan following a single item of the Church Committee's report. His mind (if he has one) has been made up, before he was even elected to the House of Representatives. He will only allow the bogus committee to spout the MAGGOT line of questioning and report their preconceived notions. They might as well not even hold hearings we know what they will find.
7 a.m. your post is the top of my email inbox.
Can't wait to start the day.