Apart from Fox ‘News’ not really being a news network with actual journalistic standards or that a large segment of the aging white men of the nation turn into the network as it confirms their biases about our diversifying society, comes the latest evidence that demonstrates the network is nothing more than a political arm of the Republican Party. The right-wing of the once GOP.
I know my readers are shocked. “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”
But apart from the obvious understanding that FOX is nothing more than a partisan operation comes the additional weight as to how the most illogical, and way outside the ballpark thinking from some of the hosts on that network, had access to the most important officeholder in the world.
Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to Donald Trump, remembers the challenges that came from so many Fox News hosts having the direct number to reach Trump in the White House residence.
“There were times the president would come down the next morning and say, ‘Well, Sean thinks we should do this,’ or, ‘Judge Jeanine thinks we should do this,’ ” said Grisham, referring to Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, both of whom host prime-time Fox News shows.
Grisham said West Wing staffers would simply roll their eyes in frustration as they scrambled to respond to the influence of the network’s hosts, who weighed in on everything from personnel to messaging strategy.
Can you imagine Dwight Eisenhower or Harry Truman taking such calls or allowing truly deranged personalities to think, even for the length of a phone conversation, that they had any input or pull within the power structure of the White House?
I admit to being ‘old-school’ about the standards reporters and news operations should employ. And I have been over the many years a critic of the citizenry when it comes to their news consumption capabilities. We know that the Founders desired a nation of educated and informed citizens, knowing such a base was essential for the very survival of a democracy.
History shows that around 90% of whites in colonial America were literate by the early 18th century. We also know there was a bevy of newspapers and pamphlets that were not only published but widely read.
Consider the following and frame it within the context of white men now slumped back into the sofa watching a continuous conservative loop of misinformation on Fox News. When they might have last read a book goes back to the year they graduated from high school.
In 1791, Madison remarked that Congress had an obligation to improve the “circulation of newspapers through the entire body of the people”. He helped champion the Post Office Act of 1792. The act included a provision for the delivery of newspapers by the Post Office at extremely low rates for delivery of newspapers. For the century following the passage of the Post Office Act, newspapers often accounted for more than 95% of the weight of mail transported by the post office, but never made up for more than 15% of the revenue. The result of this large indirect subsidy of the fledgling industry was enormous. In 1790, before the passage of the act there was less than one newspaper produced for every 5 citizens. By 1840 there were almost three papers printed per person.
Too many Americans in the 21st century gave up reading a newspaper and slipped further into intellectual decay by believing Fox is a newsgathering operation. It is not. Real reporters and journalists have been replaced by echo chambers of far-right lingo that further prove Fox is not in any way a legitimate news-gathering and reporting operation. The only purpose of the network over the past six years is to play to the absurdities of the Donald Trump base.
News reports over the past few weeks show the tight bonds and familiarity between Fox News hosts and the Trump White House. The fact that Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham were even texting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows while violent and vile insurrectionists were storming our national Capitol underscores the ease and accessible nature of such communications between Fox and the White House. That line of reporting adds further gravity to the news coverage of how much influence Fox had, and used.
And so it goes.