In its latest attempt to keep pace and stay relevant among the distemper-ridden mob of glue-sniffers and paint-huffers known to some as QAnon, Fox News has found a new low—and it’s worth being concerned about.
Fox News front man Tucker Carlson (Fun fact: his name is an anagram for “no-lust cracker.” Coincidence?) actually called QAnon followers “gentle people waving American flags” who “like this country.” Interesting words considering a hoard of them mounted an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. Now, I know Carlson is trying to branch out from the deranged demographic and pander to the unhinged lunatic demographic, but this is just absurd.
My main concern with Fox News’ sustained creep further rightward is that it continues to polarize the polity; perhaps more than any other single media outlet. My best guess is that the radicalization of the Republican party was achieved in large part because of the creep rightward at Fox and other networks. As Fox makes increasingly fringe, radical ideas mainstream by giving them airtime and thus normalizing them, their viewers’ grip on reality becomes further buried in lies, demagoguery, hate, and jingoism. It’s a remarkably effective form of brainwashing.
Carlson’s bogus praise for the QAnon crowd (I can’t decide if “a caravan of QAnoners” or “a conspiracy of QAnoners” makes for a better collective noun) has become the norm in the Republican Party. But I wonder—what comes next? The momentum for radicalization seems to be picking up speed, too. First, we had Reaganites, then neo-conservatives (the Gingrich and Bush II crowd), then the Tea Party, and now Trump and QAnon. What is the logical end to this? Open fascism?
Not all moral, ethical, and political rot comes from rightwing media, but they sure as hell perpetuate it. Carlson’s pulpit has, and will undoubtedly continue, to broadcast some truly putrid bullshit. I’m not sure the man has a limit, nor am I sure Fox has a limit. But let it be known that, in the midst of a trying time for the American Experiment, conservative media is unabashedly on the side of turning up the voltage on the guinea pig.
Democracy thrives in snarkiness