A few closing thoughts to the FOX settlement and they aren't pretty.
and they aren't pretty
Happy hump day TAT friends,
I’ve been trying to not talk about FOX again so soon, but they make it near impossible when they are such an acute threat, to US national security. I’ll try to keep today’s piece succinct but, it’s going to be tough, considering the number of layers to their threat.
I and one of my dear friends and professional colleague and founder, at our Narrative Strategies Think/ Do Tank, are invited annually, to contribute our opinions to Homeland Security Today Magazine when after the New Year, they publish a threat-cast for US domestic security. Invited experts, from across the spectrum of national security, all contribute what they believe to be the most acute threats to our homeland. The screen-capture below represents my comments for 2023.
As much as I despise the traitorous and dangerousness of FOX, even they are only one piece of a much larger, global, RWE, right-wing-extremist threat. In addition to their conspiracy theory laden RWE, their overt collaboration with Putin’s adversarial influencers, they also wittingly parrot Putin’s propaganda in their talking points.
For example, Tucker Carlson remained on the air in Russia, after Putin shut down almost all of the other western media outlets. Carlson’s talking points (also the GOP’s) are nearly verbatim with Russian propaganda. RWE is a global wave, employing very similar and often the same talking points in other populist and radical nationalist nations around the world. Brazil under Bolsonaro, India under Modi, Hungary under Orban’ etc. Don’t even get me started on Putin and Xi. Of course, these are all very closely aligned with the MAGA movement that now controls the US GOP, especially under Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the US House of Representatives.
Talking points, like all of the gender related babble we’ve experienced the past couple of years, is the new, “big thing” for all global RWE movements. Fake talking points about Ukraine, told with passion by Tucker Carlson, and most of the FOX hosts is a direct attempt to give Putin a free pass over his genocidal invasion of Ukraine. Immoral changes to state and national laws, even those that ignore and undermine our constitution are other mainstays of RWE. A simple look at the Texas GOP’s platform for the 2022 Midterms shows this in stark reality. Other states like Florida, Ohio, Missouri and other red states are little different. Imposing Christian nationalism on all Americans via a variety of law changes is a direct challenge to the Establishment Clause.
Religious freedom which translates to theocratic oppression exists in all of these nations too. Look at Modi’s Hindutva movement in India as a great example. His BJP party members are racist, ultra-nationalist Hindus, that don’t represent Hinduism any more than Mike Flynn’s Holy War/ Christian Nationalism represents honorable Christianity. Both are beacons to violent, fascist attacks on anyone different from their racist interpretations on honorable religious belief systems. To better understand religious fanaticism, look no further than Iran or the Taliban in Afghanistan. From my perspective, I believe the Saudis are the same at the government level. Don’t worry, it’s not hard to find other theocratic nations and movements these days.
Into this mix, comes FOX News, America’s very own 5th column, RWE movement, sync’d with Moscow. If you wish to know why the Russian connection matters, it’s been the Kremlin’s decades long campaign against the West, via what the Soviets called, Active Measures and the Russia of Putin calls, the Gerasimov Doctrine. The simplest explanation of all this is that Moscow has long endeavored to destroy the West from within, by exploiting social divisions like partisanship, race, religion, guns, abortion, income, civil rights and many other social issues. With the appearance of the Tea Party and it’s more traitorous, modern MAGA movement, the Kremlin almost succeeded under Trump and the mass-hypnotism of the FOX/ MAGA hordes.
Yes, FOX was and still is the biggest and loudest cheerleader of fake, patriotism and support for Russia that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago. In 2016, the NRA became the bagman for Russian campaign donations to a long list of GOP candidates, with the lion’s share going to Trump’s campaign. FOX cheered it all and was the chief defender of Putin' and the GOP’s agenda, which became closely aligned.
What Murdoch’s FOX did regarding the Dominion case, was to employ several influence tactics that Putin and his global protégé’s employ to coerce their adversaries into submission. In this case, Murdoch, Traitor Carlson, Hannity and the rest have made the US and our Constitution the adversary, for their own greed and power interests, even if they align with Putin’s.
FOX programming has been at odds with US values and our true American identity for the entire time that they have been on the air. As an influencer, I’ve watched for well over a decade how FOX programming has become more extremist and aligned with anti-American, fake patriotism. Furthermore, they have conditioned their audiences to respond in Pavlovian fashion to certain phrases, intonations, numbers, colors and other insidiously dangerous prompts. This is also very much like what the Soviets and Russians after them called, “reflexive control.” Like Pavlov’s dog, the millions of FOX regular viewers have lost control of their own reasoning ability. The majority, now respond to subconscious triggers, to act on their anti-American, RWE ideology, which turned both violent and treasonous on January 6th, 2021.
There are a several issues with FOX’s alignment with Putin’s RWE and anti-American activities but as I noted at the beginning, I’m trying to keep this more succinct. Let’s look at just a couple of those issues.
FOX is the primary cheerleader for the un-American, fake patriotism of the current GOP.
FOX plays in offices, planes, bases and other corners of the US Government’s agencies. WHY?
RWE, aligned with the violent, anti-Western ideology of Putin and other RWE thugs globally makes FOX and those like them more dangerous than IE/ Islamic extremism behind 9-11 and more.
IE never had a chance of undermining our democracy but RWE, nearly took down our democracy with support from Putin.
Government offices would never have allowed AQ, ISIS, Al Shabbab and other movement’s propaganda to play incessantly where it had a chance to impact large numbers of those sworn to protect the US and our constitution.
Why does FOX have this access? Roughly 7 % of living Americans have served in the military. nearly 20% of those arrested in conjunction with Jan 6th’s armed insurrection had current law enforcement or military backgrounds. Clearly, FOX and RWE are persuasive to many military members. Still, FOX is not banned from airing in government facilities.
FOX was by far, the loudest cheerleader for the “big lie” and worked directly with FOX hosts to disseminate known conspiracy theories that led to the armed insurrection.
From March of 2020 on, FOX disseminated and still does, the lies and conspiracy theories that ended up killing a few hundred thousand Americans who refused to listen to professionals about COVID.
During WW II, the Cold War and more, our nation would have never allowed enemy propaganda to reach the masses, the way we allow it now. As we can see from Jan 6th, the result of this propaganda led to an attempt to overthrow the US government.
Now the same themes of fascism of Nazi, Germany, play uninterrupted on most AM radio stations with traitorous “shock jocks” like Alex Jones making millions in exchange for selling out our nation.
I could go on with these bullet-points ad nauseum but that won’t matter until leadership on the right side of the aisle, stands up to these traitorous thugs. So long as the brainwashed lemmings of Rupert Murdoch and the MAGA controlled party are under the spell of RWE, built on lies and conspiracy theories our nation remains at severe risk.
From my professional perspective regarding influence, the only way to break the spell of the Tucker Carlsons of the world and others in Rupert Murdoch’s pay at FOX, is for government to assert itself about honesty in media, by narrating truth. This avoids the censorship issue. For the record, the professional application of narrative principles is the core of any effort to restore integrity to media. The most effective narrators for this would be the right but we all know that this won’t occur.
Sedition is the polar opposite of patriotism. This is what was really at stake in the Dominion case. Rupert Murdoch simply bought relative squashing of the traitorous details by settling. The goodness is that Dominion is not the last challenge to FOX. My only regret with the verdict is that the America that needs to hear those details from those complicit is postponed for a while. Truth always finds a way, especially in our democracy. With the injury imposed on America by Murdoch’s lies, I would love to see him lose every penny of his ill-gotten gains. I’d also use those $$$$$$$, to do some good in the world by funding democracy resilience, across America and the globe.
As most know, I like to intersperse political and security cartoons in my TAT pieces. Besides those in this article, what follows is a parade of some of those cartoons about FOX, Carlson and the rest of Murdoch’s traitorous hordes.