A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Pass The Effing Popcorn
Dominion Voting Systems is absolutely going to town on Fox News in its billion-dollar defamation suit, and it’s using the network’s 91-year-old billionaire mogul as cannon fodder in the effort.
Rupert Murdoch’s own recent deposition testimony turned out to be absolutely devastating for the crown jewel of his media empire.
In a new filing in the case yesterday that mirrored but also expanded upon some of Dominion’s most eye-popping revelations from a week and a half ago, Murdoch emerges as making one damning admission after another. Let’s run through the best bits:
Did Murdoch Believe The Bogus Claims Against Dominion? No, He Did Not
Murdoch Gave Jared Kushner Sneak Peek At Biden Ads!
Rupert Murdoch gave Trump son-in-law/aide Jared Kushner access to “Fox confidential information about Biden’s ads,” apparently showing them to him before they were public. pic.twitter.com/NqOsIw1yJe— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 27, 2023
Murdoch Admits Fox News Hosts ‘Endorsed’ Bogus Dominion Claims
This admission undermines Fox News neutral report defense:
Murdoch Is All About That Green
“When asked why Fox continues to give a— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 27, 2023
platform to Lindell—who continues to this day to spout lies about Dominion—
Murdoch agreed that ‘It is not red or blue, it is green.’” pic.twitter.com/5Nv46rUlfB
Fox Board Member Paul Ryan Warned The Murdochs
Fox board member Paul Ryan ‘told Rupert and Lachlan “that Fox News should not be spreading conspiracy— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 27, 2023
theories.” ‘ pic.twitter.com/FmMVghM8Xi
The Dominion case really is starting to look like not just a landmark legal case but perhaps a watershed historical moment. The American descent towards authoritarianism, minority rule, and insurrection doesn’t happen without Fox News. It doesn’t happen only because of Fox News, but it’s been a critical ingredient in the toxic stew of misinformation, grievance, and division.
Didn’t See This Coming
I want to be careful about not overstating what’s going on here, because it’s subtle.
On the surface, some House GOPers seem concerned about the security implications, or at least the public perceptions involved. You can see that new wobbliness even from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA):
Another dynamic, which I find more amusing than telling, is that some astute House GOPers are concerned about another round of extensive media coverage of footage showing the violent attack on the Capitol, according to CNN. You might say there’s only so much laundering and manipulating of the footage that Tucker Carlson can do. The insurrection is still a bad look for Republicans! Laugh or cry. Your choice.
A final dynamic here is the issue of Carlson being the only one with access. Many major media outlets have been clamoring for access to all the footage for years now. Some House Republicans seem to favor a wider release than the one McCarthy has orchestrated so far. Just keep in mind, though, that may not be as much about opening up the footage to more mainstream news outlets, but also to the news and propaganda operations to the right of Fox News.
Santos Wannabe Kinda Sorta Comes Clean
DeSantis Completes Takeover Of Disney
This remains such a wild story on so many levels. Disney with its own special taxing district in Florida that it controlled singlehandedly for decades. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) asserting his own power over the district to punish Disney in a performative way for its “wokeness” sins in opposing his “Don’t Say Gay” law. Now DeSantis appointing conservative firebrands and his own donors to the board overseeing the district and making noises about having a say in Disney content.
Blast From The Past
The Senate is working towards repealing the AUMFs for Iraq from 1991 and 2002, Punchbowl reports. The measure is expected to win majority support in the House, too. But rather than representing some kind of historic reckoning, it just reinforces Congress’ self-imposed irrelevance in matters of war and peace. Congress finally acting now just shows it’s an ongoing problem, not some moment of epiphany.
SCOTUS Takes Up Biden Student Debt Relief Plan
Oral arguments today before a conservative Supreme Court generally considered hostile to President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan.
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) launched her Senate campaign for the seat being vacated by the retiring Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
- Aaron Blake: The inevitable — and imminent — Trump-DeSantis war
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign “emerges from the shadows.”
- Paul Ryan says he will not attend the Republican national convention in 2024 if Donald Trump is the nominee.
Fox News Being Fox News
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