(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

Much has been made of how Fox “News” has degenerated into something between President Trump’s propaganda arm and his shock troops. And many Americans are still somewhat unaware of how unfair and unbalanced this spigot of misinformation has become. After all, what sane person would want to spend their time watching this unceasing river of drool?

Luckily, someone had the fortitude to do it for us. Media Matters for America has posted a compilation of the unhinged way the network has been amplifying the White House’s unhinged conspiracy charges against its own Justice Department.

This is jaw-droppingly beyond irrational. This is a rusty razor being violently drawn back and forth across the throat of American discourse. No, there is no way to have a normal discussion with these people. They are using their words and their platform to poison not just discourse but American justice itself. What they are saying is simply an inflammatory exercise in justice subversion.

Where would you begin? Would you say, “Let’s get the facts and then let the legal system of the United States determine their seriousness and apportion consequences, you know, as it does”? They would froth back at you about the most corrupt “Deep State conspiracy” since the dawn of cuneiform tablets. And if you tried to unpack any of their assertions, good luck to you.

There is no possibility of having a conversation with these people. Their efforts are transparently about spreading hysteria, intimidation and the short-circuiting of the American justice system. For the purpose of protecting Trump, at any cost.

When the American conversation has come to this, we are in a very bad place. This is no longer about discussion, or the examination of ideas. It is nothing but ruthless propaganda. And anything they are guilty of themselves, they will immediately turn it around and accuse the other side of, and with a breathtaking vehemence. Do you enjoy playing “I know you are but what am I?” Forever?

This is not a conversation that is possible to pursue. They have made into a zero-sum, us-vs.-them battle for power.

So a battle for power it will be.