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Zurawik: Murdoch’s Fox News seriously redoubles Trump allegiance

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When Dominion Voting Systems recently filed a $ 1.6 billion libel suit against Fox News for spreading the lie that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump in part with Dominion’s rigged voting machines, I wondered if Fox owner Rupert Murdoch might rethink the commercial wisdom of marrying his channel’s fortune to Trump.

Not exactly. Instead, it looks like Murdoch is going out of his way to embrace the former president ever more fervently.

I’m not very concerned about obvious staff movements, like the hiring last week of Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons, as a contributor. Do you remember her on the podium with her husband at the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 that led to the capture of the Capitol? What better way to prove your good faith Fox? The hiring was announced Monday on “Fox & Friends”.

On Tuesday, Fox announced Kayleigh McEnany, former Trump press secretary, as one of the co-hosts of “Outnumbered,” which airs at noon five days a week on Fox. It is a privileged place for a political agent who pushed Trump’s lies from the White House press room lectern in a way and to an extent unheard of in a modern presidency.

And, you know what, I can even live with his new job on Fox. After all, as I have said over and over again, Fox is not a journalistic entity, despite the word “news” in its name. It’s a political tool, built for right-wing propaganda, so why not hire a lying White House press secretary?

But here’s what bothers me: The way Fox News has gone out of its way to oppose almost everything Democratic President Joe Biden does, while promoting some of the most dangerous lies of Trump, a Republican.

Case in point, Wednesday morning on “Fox & Friends,” Pete Hegseth, a show’s weekend host, was at the Dots Diner in Jefferson, Louisiana, speaking to some patrons.

He opened a segment by saying, “It feels a bit like a new day in some ways because a lot of COVID restrictions were lifted yesterday by the governor, which a lot of people are enjoying.”

Hegseth then interviewed three women seated side by side at two tables joined together.

Neither Hegseth nor any of the three wore a mask.

The headline on the screen read: “Top Problems Americans Face”.

“As we look at where we are now as a country, in terms of business and everything, what do you think?” he asked one of the women.

“Oh, I wish we could make America great again,” she said. “We had some really good years. The economy grew and then we hit this huge puddle called COVID. But we were dealing with it the American way. … well, now everything is changing and I am worried.”

American style? What was it like, downplaying and lying about the virus?

She went on to say how terrible a new tax would be and how we can’t afford to fill our cities with people who need jobs, which I interpreted as a dog whistle against immigration. .

This is how real propaganda works. You don’t have to say, “Trump was great, and Biden is already a disaster.” It’s too obvious. Instead, you find someone to say, ‘Oh, I wish we could make the American awesome again’ and then she says how confused she is about how everything is changing with Trump and Biden. . And that’s just the average American having breakfast at Dots Diner, right?

If you believe this, you are ripe for even more pro-Trump propaganda and lies from Fox. Good luck.

The Baltimore Sun

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