In the aftermath of yesterday’s insane quasi-coup attempt, a number of Republicans have stepped up to condemn Donald Trump’s actions. That’s great. But it’s nowhere near enough. They have a lot more work to do if they want to be taken seriously.
I’m going to skip the entire laundry list in favor of one single thing: Fox News. That mob on Capitol Hill didn’t show up on its own. It didn’t even show up because Donald Trump wrote a few tweets. It showed up because Fox News has spent every day since the election spewing conspiracy theories about Democrats stealing the election. More to the point, it’s spent every day for the past couple of decades making money on pillows and gold scams and reverse mortgages by scaring the hell out of old, white people with fever swamp reporting about liberals and “illegals” and political correctness and Benghazi and a long, long list of other Democratic perfidies.
Is it any wonder, then, that polls show half of all Republicans believe the 2020 election was stolen? You’d believe it too if you spent your evenings watching Fox News. Rupert Murdoch’s network is a bleeding, open wound on the politics of America. It’s fundamentally why half the country hates and fears the other half.
So give me a call when the Republican leadership works up the nerve to finally disown Fox News. When they finally admit publicly what everyone else already knows: Fox isn’t a news network, it’s a machine designed to make money by pitting Americans against each other. The First Amendment may give them this right, but it doesn’t force any of us to accept it—not even Republicans. Until they disown Murdoch’s cynical meal ticket, they aren’t even remotely serious about disowning Trump. He’s merely the symptom. Fox News is the underlying disease.