The Atlantic’s Megan Garber has written an excellent article about Fox News’ efforts to undermine the legitimate election results in an effort to keep Donald Trump in power.
The article begins with a summary of the recent craziness, including segments I didn’t have a chance to write up:
Here are some of the things that happened yesterday evening on the most-watched news network in America: The minority leader of the House of Representatives announced, absolutely falsely and with no pushback, that “President Trump won this election.” A former speaker of the House argued that, in the name of democracy, the U.S. federal government should “lock up” state election workers. One of the most-watched TV hosts in the country implied to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the GOP-controlled Pennsylvania legislature should override the will of the state’s voters to appoint its own electors. Lindsey Graham responded, gravely, “Everything should be on the table.”
Fox News, which spent years flattering Donald Trump and his fictions, is finishing what it started. The network that first helped bring Trump to political power is now working—despite a fair election that seems poised, as of this writing, to be won by his opponent—to keep him there. Fox’s popular prime-time opinion programs, throughout this week, have functioned as a Trump-campaign ad by another means. But last night’s shows reached a dangerous new low. The Fox News Channel, this week, had the opportunity to reckon with reality; instead, the network chose to mislead its viewers about the state of the election, and to foment mistrust in the workings of the American electoral system more broadly. It chose the fate of Donald Trump—and the ratings that come from the viewers who love him—over the fate of American democracy.
[I]ff you watched only Fox to get election results, as so many Americans do, you could reasonably forget that America is currently living through a steadily worsening pandemic. Instead, on Fox this week, “fraud” has been a refrain. Political actors who have various vested interests in a second term of Trump have filled the network’s air with baseless claims of Democrats’ malfeasance and, consequently, the wide-scale failures of a free and fair election. (PRESIDENT TRUMP DISCUSSES QUESTIONABLE ELECTION RESULTS read one Fox chyron last night. THE CORRUPT MEDIA MOB went another.) As ballot counts in remaining states continued to narrow in favor of Joe Biden, Fox’s viewers were misled: They were told, again and again, that an election whose outcome they might not like is the same thing as an election that has been stolen.
I highly recommend the rest of the article.
(Sean Hannity image via screen grab)