Monday, February 20, 2023

Fox Libel and Other Headline News

I’ve been watching with great amusement the story of Fox “News” being sued by the Dominion voting machine company over their post-election broadcasts, in which in one of many whacko conspiracy theories they pushed, Dominion machines were programmed to switch votes from Biden to Trump.

As a result of the discovery process of their suit, Dominion has obtained and released text messages that prove that Fox “News” on-air talent and management knew full well that this accusation was unsubstantiated bullshit.

This matters bigly… in order to sue successfully for libel, you have to prove malicious intent. Most parties plead ignorance. Normally, that would be a slam dunk with any case involving Fox, but here, the intent is clear. By knowingly broadcasting a damaging lie, there’s no other reading of the facts that eliminate malice.

It’s not like they were spreading allegations of runaway decency and fairness; they were making accusations of election tampering they knew to be untrue. This accusation caused damage to business and reputation. If that’s not malicious activity, I’d like to know what is.

This information is even more damaging to Fox than if they “didn’t know” the accusations were false. It shows that they were more concerned with upsetting their viewers with the truth than telling them lies they wanted to hear. It was a conscious choice. And no matter how much backpedaling the talking heads do, the film doesn’t lie. They wholeheartedly pushed this story out there.

Naturally, Fox is falling back on the freedom of speech defense, which tracks with Republican tendencies. Whenever they can’t defend their speech, they fall back on defending their right to speak it.

How long will it be before they once again defend themselves in court by claiming they’re not really a news service, they’re an entertainment channel? That seems to be their go-to Get Out of Jail Free card.

I’ll be quite interested to see how this thing shakes out. Fox finally went too far, by smearing an entity that can demonstrate loss and has enough money to go toe-to-toe with a major media outlet. If Fox knows what’s good for them, they’ll stick to hazy unspecified conspiracy theories in the future. Here’s to hoping the financial penalties make this lapse of ethics really hurt.

Headline News

Now onto some headlines I saw last week on my news home page:

More bullshit from Fox “News.” Wasn’t this Rep. Ronny Jackson the same guy that sent out that wildly discredited health report on TFG? You know, the one that looked like it was written like a 2nd grader doing his own report card because he was too scared to bring the real one home to Mom and Dad?

I heard some of the details on the radio… they published Biden’s actual stats for BP, bloodwork, and such. There’s no reason to believe the numbers are untrue, other than that they conflict with Fox’s predetermined view that Biden has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. This is just one more of the hundreds of examples of Republicans accusing Democrats of things Republicans have already done. And the “details left out” of TFG’s medical report were, basically, all of them.

This is another example of Republicans’ predilection for arguing either side of the same issue. All over conservative media, the standard line about East Palestine OH has been “Biden hasn’t shown up” or “Buttigieg hasn’t shown up.” But when someone does show up, the National Review calls it a “publicity stunt.”

As far as I’m concerned, all such appearances are publicity stunts. When was the last time there was a crisis somewhere, a flood, a tornado, a mass tragedy, and someone said, “If only there was a politician here!” I guarantee that if someone from the Administration had shown up right off the bat, Republicans would not only call it a publicity stunt but decry the inevitable traffic tie-ups and lock-downs that go with any presidential visit. You can’t win with these guys, they will argue any side of a point as long as the Democrats are on the other side. And then whine about a lack of unity.

In a related rhetorical flourish, Republicans are all for States’ Rights until a State disagrees with Republican dogma. In this case, Former Veep, Mike “Not Hung” Pence wants to ban the abortion pill in all states, presumably because it defeats conservative efforts to discourage, delay, and increase the pain and inconvenience of a woman’s attempt to end her own pregnancy.

Abortion pills have been proven safer than office visits for a manual abortion and are expected to be the number one way around state bans, so of course Republicans want to kibosh them nationally.

But it’s all for a woman’s health, mind you. Because somehow in the forced birth movement, it’s safer to endure giving birth, a process that numbers show to be far more hazardous to a woman’s life, than the one that prevents it.

Republicans may not be able to force changes to pro-choice states’ laws, (yet), so they’re trying to ban the tools. Same end destination, just different ways around the block.

The only way this shit ends is with continued resounding defeats at the polls and a mandate from the masses.


I agree with the idea that something has to be done about the current Social Security system, lest it run into insolvency by the end of the great Baby Boomer Retirement. But the answer is not to cut benefits or raise the qualifications; it’s to shore it up with new money. Or old money, via paying back the massive “loan” Congress took from the fund in the 1980s, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

So I’m excited to see where the new Sanders/Warren Social Security bill goes. This bill ends the cap on Social Security payroll taxes currently set at $160,000, after which people earning more pay nothing further into Social Security.

There is no good reason why people should be immune from paying into Social Security once they pass this arbitrary limit. This cap is nothing but a big sloppy kiss to the asses of the rich. I imagine the theory behind it is to not hamper the job-creating intentions of the business class, but we already know that more profits don’t translate into more jobs. Only higher demand for goods and services can do that.

This should be an easy fix and is already wildly popular. I think the biggest drawback is that it’s sponsored by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I’d bet that if the same bill was signed by Republicans, it would be universally hailed. Not that such a thing is possible; corporate Republicans HATE the idea of Social Security and have been trying to end it for decades. Their tummies are all tied in knots just thinking about the existence of a giant pile of money out there that they can’t skim.


Bohemian said...

Spot on as always my Friend. New Reports of Russia trying to bed both China and Iran to join their failing War with them is the next Hot Topic... the Far Right being big Vlad Supporters. As well as Madge Three Names wanting to divorce all Red States from The Nation... as if all the Urban areas, sans perhaps Wyoming which has none, would be on board such a disastrous idea as complete secession. Electing Idiots who come up with extremist ideology that they Imagine would actually work seems to be the bane of our Nation at this point and it shows the dumbing down of America when so many can support such Lunacy and think it to be viable and for the good of a Nation... any Nation.

bluzdude said...

Also shows just how easy it is to buy politicians, not just from businesses now but from foreign countries. The Russians bought off some key players and obviously got Fox "News" in on it to spread the message.

Such quotes supporting Russia would have been unheard of during the 70s, 80's or up to the 20s... right up until TFG bumbled his way into the White House.

Friendly Neighborhood SpiderWoman said...

I can't wait for the outcome of this trial as well. I don't understand how Hannity gets dressed everyday without help. Dude straight up looks like a fetal alcohol baby.

Yeah....and thanks to tRump, this next election will be a circus act. Since our great nation's POTUS standards have been set at an alltime low.... we now have SELF HELP AUTHORS putting in their bids?? To be the next POTUS!? Really? It has come to this??

bluzdude said...

Every day, the movie 'Idiocracy" is looking more and more like a future documentary.