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Fox News viewers may keep watching despite recent revelations from top personalities

Peter Goodman


Why are Fox viewers so unaffected by revelations that Fox News personalities didn’t believe the “fraudulent election” story they were pushing, and privately loathed Donald Trump while singing his praises?

The morning after Tucker Carlson aired video of some non-violent moments in the January 6th insurrection,a reader emailed me to criticize me for saying “insurrection.” It was peaceful, he insisted. Tucker Carlson’s video proved that.

He asked why a guard shot Ashley Babbit, “a diminutive woman.” Maybe because she was coming through an opening at the head of a mob (some armed) that was invading the Capitol, threatening lawmakers, and attacking Capitol Police?

No matter that hundreds have pled guilty, many blaming Donald Trump. No matter the abundance of violent acts caught on video, or the tearful testimony of police officers.

I asked why election-deniers had struck out in sixty-plus legal cases, some before Trump-appointed judges, if there was so much evidence of fraud. He responded that the Supreme Court had gotten things badly wrong in Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, and Roe v Wade. You can’t trust judges, I guess.

Does she realize he’s quoting the insurrection minimization rhetoric of a man who privately wrote that Trump not only was responsible for January 6thbut was “a demonic force, a destroyer?” Carlson supported election denial while privately urging Trump to disavow “crazy” election lawyer Sydney Powell.

The Fox revelations remind me of the six months co-hosting a show on a local commercial radio station. Keith Whelpley and I discussed events and took calls. We were followed by Rush Limbaugh and preceded by local attorney Kelly O’Connell. Callers harangued us for our progressive views, though many expressed appreciation for our willingness to engage.Shows were exhausting.

The station provided a “How-to” guide to doing talk radio. The key? Make the audience afraid of someone or something, then convince them that only you can protect them. That so perfectly described Limbaugh’s conduct that I was amazed to see it in writing.

Many find Fox’s hypocrisy startling.

So why are many folks (like my correspondent) not startled? If my private emails mocked what I publicly pronounced as important truths, you’d sure question my credibility. You likely read critically a variety of sources.

Fox viewers watch Fox. A friend says Fox isn’t really mentioning all this. One Fox guy, somewhat of a journalist, apparently alluded to the scandal but said he couldn’t talk about it. So it didn’t happen. Besides, whatever folks like me are reading obviously comes from fake sources like the New York Times, PBS, court cases, hearings, and the like.

Marjorie Taylor Greene wants the House Oversight Committee to visit accused insurrectionists. There are 2,200,000 prisoners in the U.S. Inhumane prison conditions were not of interest to her (because so many prisoners are Black?) until we jailed white folks charged with trying to support a presidential coup. We must treat them right!

You could say Greene’s an outlier; but who released January 6thfootage to Fox, though not to actual news media? Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, a position once held by powerful figures with strong characters, such as Henry Clay, Thomas Reed, Joseph Cannon, Sam Rayburn, and Nancy Pelosi.

Trump’s dwindling power won’t relieve conservatives from making a choice on whether stuff like decency, truth, and democracy matter. That guy in Florida censoring every voice he dislikes doesn’t stand for those values.

Peter Goodman's opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of KRWG Public Media or NMSU.