You Need To Watch This

January 24, 2018 10:11 a.m.
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I’ve been watching rightwing media since the late 80s. I’ve been doing it professionally for two decades. Very little surprises me. But last night on a tip I checked out a series of segments on Fox claiming new evidence of a anti-Trump “secret society” at the FBI plotting to overthrow the Trump administration.

Top billing on this went to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) who said this …

This is simply crazy. This isn’t some caller into CSPAN. This is a United States Senator. Nicole Lafond has more on this “secret society” conspiracy theory here.

But in the process of hunting up that video I stumbled on Lou Dobbs show. Lou’s now on Fox Business Network. I know Dobbs. I remember when he was a semi-normal person years ago on CNN. But I haven’t just watched his show in a long time. Even I found his performance genuinely shocking. He parroted the same new “secret society” talking points, “witch hunt”, “fake news”. But it wasn’t any single point or accusation. It was the whole – the wild claims of coverups and crimes, plotting against the elected President, demands for purges.  All of it together combined with the addled and hyped up affect feels like something out of some clownishly ruthless dictatorship. It almost doesn’t seem real even by those standards. Here’s a clip of the first minute or so intro to his show last night.

Remember, Dobbs is very close to President Trump. They apparently talk often.

Fox Business News has a much smaller audience than Fox News. But this Fox reality is being broadcast out nightly to a big cross-section of the population. We’ve all been talking for years about how Fox is making a big chunk of the population paranoid and out of touch with the reality based world. But this is something graver and more immediate. If you watch these segments and credit their basic accuracy you would have to think there is basically a coup in the works against an elected President. People who believe that sort of thing do weird and dangerous things.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

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COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

IHME Projections Site (COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.)

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

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