a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by am_Unition
am_Unition  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cult of the January 6 Martyrs

Alt-title: "I regret not endorsing Trump's election lies".

    subjecting news outlets to the prospect of outsize liability whenever they report on newsworthy allegations that turn out to be false

Motherfucker, everybody knew the claims were false! YOU knew! If you don't think Murdoch or other Fox organizational mechanisms had an obligation to step in after reviewing proposed teleprompter transcripts from people who genuinely may be too stupid to parse fact from fiction (looking at you, Dobbs, Bartiromo, Hannity, Watters, Pirro), then that's because you're stupid. But you're not stupid, Bill! You're fucking bad-faithing it. The slandering of Dominion and SmartMatic extended FAR after your little DoJ investigations of nothing had finished up.

It wasn't like pundits were saying "Donald Trump claims the election was stolen", they were saying "THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN!". This is so fucking simple, Bill.

And you're absolutely right, this is EXACTLY like when he wrote an article savaging the Mueller investigation that landed him the Trump AG role. And then famously mischaracterized the results of the Mueller investigation, according to Mueller.

Since J6, I think Trump has managed to dissolve many people's last remaining shred of dignity. There is now no bridge too far for folks like Billy Barr.

Meanwhile, Merrick Garland cosplays Butters from South Park. "W-w-w-w-w--w-w-well but I, I-I-I-I-I don't wanna b-be called p-p-p-pol-political". Dude there is nothing you can do to elevate your standing among fascists if you're not fully on board with their bullshit or staying completely silent. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. Prosecuting even low-level J6 offenders was more than enough to put you in the "not fully on board with their bullshit" camp.

edit: do NOT go the WSJ article's comments section. WSJ subscribers are supposed to be the most sophisticated and intellectual people in the conservative movement! They are lost.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have a theory.

So back in the '50s the networks got busted for faking quiz shows. This launched an amendment to the communications act and the flourishing of offices devoted to "Broadcast Standards and Practices" (BS&P) to ensure that games of chance and skill portrayed on television were actually games of chance and skill.

As you might imagine, BS&P had a hard time with reality television. Plenty of suits, none of them ever made it to judgement. Always around BS&P and fairness. The standard approach to getting this shit to settle is by arguing that reality television isn't a competition, it's pro wrestling. 'cuz thing of it is? The network won't take a hit if they say reality television is fake. People will still watch it, because it's entertainment. Thus, for 20 years, plaintiffs have taken their pennies-on-the-dollar settlements.

I don't think the Murdochs suffer from saying Fox News isn't news.

I think the conservative movement, on the other hand, suffers A LOT. They will never again be able to argue that reality is on their side - their principle outlet will have been revealed to be biased entertainment and everything they've ever argued for will be over. They'll have to start over with MSNBC and CNN, who will point at the Murdochs going "we aren't actually news" and say "but we ARE news and if we don't toe the line, we're fucking toast."

I think the Bill Barrs of the world are abso-fucking-lutely terrified of Fox's easiest layup defense: "we aren't actually news, just look at all the hare-brained shit we air." Fox will have to post a disclaimer before every show, pay some sort of fine for not clearly labeling entertainment and move the fuck on. The conservative movement, on the other hand, will be in the wilderness.

That'd be my defense, anyway. If I'm the Murdochs, and I've determined that my dog has gone rabid, I'm going to put it down. I'm diversified enough that it won't really matter, and besides it worked last time.



I think Garland hasn't lowered the boom yet because there's so much more rot than we know. Russia is explicitly involved, we just don't know how much. Who knows who else is gonna show up in this. The fact that the National Enquirer has been allowed to skate so far is really suspicious to me... and while I don't want to get all pins-on-maps with it, I do think that "conspiracy" is a pretty easy allegation to make against the Trump organization and conspiracy charges always take fucking forever. And if you want to keep this sort of thing from happening again? You'd best do it right.

And yes. The WSJ's comments section makes me lose faith in humanity freshly every time.