While a Muslim producer on Bret Baier’s news show admonished Pirro, we’ve yet to hear denunciations from the “straight news” anchors who complained about Fox’s ostracism from Democratic debates. Advertisers have begun to flee from both Pirro’s and Carlson’s shows, but Fox News for now is keeping them on the air.
Now that we have established that overt, ugly racism and misogyny are not career-enders at Fox News, and in fact are features, not bugs of these shows, I think we can understand why the Democratic Party doesn’t want this outfit moderating its debates. The Fox News organization is now inextricably tied to hateful, racist, hurtful speech, not to mention complete toadyism to President Trump and utter lack of journalistic standards. It doesn’t get an invitation to join “polite company.”
The Republicans who defend Trump, remain silent and in fact champion Fox News and don’t bother to express regret for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s anti-Semitic allusions — but have the temerity to accuse others of being insufficiently vigilant regarding racism — are morally corrupt to their core. They prove Democrats’ point: One party, however imperfectly, polices its own and condemns hate; another uses it directly and indirectly to stir up its base. Without xenophobia, Trump idolatry and Islamophobia, Fox hosts would have nothing to talk about.
Fox and its apologists tell us that critics of its hosts’ racism and misogyny are part of a insincere outrage industry. This is akin to the excuse that Trump is merely being “politically incorrect” when he expresses racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and Islamophobic views. It’s of a piece with right-wing defenders saying he’s a great president — and his tweets are just “words.”
This is a version of blaming the victim, accusing those hurt by hateful speech of being aggressors and, and turning hatemongers into victims. Indeed, that is pretty much the game plan for Republicans these days: Truth-tellers are enemies of the people; those caught lying are “real Americans.” There are some “very fine” neo-Nazis; Democrats hate Jews. Trump is a persecuted victim; prosecutors are harassing him.
Far from insincere, the reaction to Trump, Fox and the rest of the right-wing propaganda machine is an expression of righteous indignation, a vital part of maintaining a just and decent society. We should be angered by hatemongers, liars, power abusers and others who defile the American creed (“All men are created equal...). Moral numbness and indifference brought us Trump in the first place.
Finally, I would observe that the Republican Party and its right-wing news machine’s attempt to play down women’s righteous anger, as seen in the #MeToo movement and protests over Brett Kavanaugh, was a substantial factor in women’s march out of the GOP, which in turn helped shift the suburbs to Democrats and delivered a historic thrashing to Republicans in the midterms.
You see, the more the Fox-Trump industrial hate complex spews venom and denigrates its critics, the higher the level of righteous indignation rises among all those who feel themselves the sting of bigotry, or are able to empathize with those who do. In this climate, anti-Trump voters don’t lose their determination to throw the haters out. It’s the fuel for the Democratic resistance and the poison that is killing the GOP. It almost makes leaving Pirro and Carlson on air worth it.