Third Post in a Series About Dominion v Fox
Hey all you Trump lovers out there, Tucker Carlson is lying to you. When you watch him on TV he sounds like a he is on Trump’s side, loves Trump and believes what Trump says just like you do. Carlson acts the part of the loyal MAGA in front of a camera. But what does he really believe?
Here is what Carlson REALLY thinks about Trump as revealed in the text messages made public in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox.
- On Trump’s behavior after the election: “Disgusting.”
- On Trump generally: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait. … I hate him passionately.”
- On Trump’s four years in office: “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There really isn’t an upside to Trump.”
- Tucker Carlson—called Trump “a demonic force, a destroyer.” The host added: “But he’s not going to destroy us.”
- We know this thanks to a court filing from Dominion Voting Systems, the voting technology company currently suing Fox News for $1.6 billion over the network’s 2020 election coverage. The filing offers an inside glimpse at what the network’s top stars and executives were saying amongst themselves about Trump’s election lies—i.e., that they were bullshit—despite claiming that the election had been stolen with Dominion’s help. (Vanity Fair)
Every night when you turn on Tucker Carlson and listen to what he has to say, just remember he is all about making money off of you. He is not interested in telling you the truth because he knows you don’t want to hear the truth.
Carlson is trying to keep you snowflakes from melting.
Are you really that fragile?
Rewriting the Truth About January 6th
Kevin McCarthy entrusted Tucker Carlson with about 41,000 hours of video content from the riot on January 6th. The goal was to maintain the big lie and the false narrative that January 6th was a peaceful protest instead of grueling hand to hand combat that ended in a number of deaths, multiple serious injuries sustained by the participants, post traumatic stress and suicides by a number of Capitol Police as well as massive damage to the building and its contents. According to Tucker Carlson, January 6th was a walk in the park. Nothing much to see here. Carlson is playing with fire because the Dominion lawsuit exposed how two faced he is.
In the roughly 30-minute segment, Fox distilled the thousands of hours of footage of the gruesome scenes at the Capitol that day and did show some of the hand-to-hand combat as rioters laid siege to the building, broke windows and kicked down doors to gain entry.
But Carlson also emphasized imagery of the invaders, some in combat gear and wielding flagpoles, merely milling about the gilded halls, taking pictures of the surroundings during pauses in the hours-long attack.
“These were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers,” Carlson said. (AP)
And right on cue, Trump thanked Tucker Carlson for continuing to try to sustain the alternate universe and lies on his behalf:
“LET THE JANUARY 6 PRISONERS GO. THEY WERE CONVICTED OR ARE AWAITING TRIAL BASED ON A GIANT LIE. A RADICAL LEFT CON JOB.THANK YOU TO TUCKER CARLSON AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE KEVIN MCCARTHY FOR WHAT YOU BOTH HAVE DONE. NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE IS IRREFUTABLE.” (Trump)
Trump needs Fox, his propaganda network, to sustain the alternate alt-right universe so he can win re-election. If Trump has to admit he lost to Biden and January 6th was a violent uprising it would mean that his efforts to stay in power were illegitimate. Trump would lose credibility with YOU. Tucker Carlson, Trump and McCarthy and others who are sustaining the big lie believe that YOU will melt if they tell you the truth.
The Alternate Reality Bubble is Popping
Carlson’s effort to maintain and sustain the reality disinformation bubble set up by Trump and Republicans over the last 40 years, is not going well. Cracks are beginning to create fissures and breaks in the Republican Party.
Conservative Senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Mitch McConnell and Senator Tom Tillis of North Carolina, all broke with the narrative that Carlson and Trump are pandering about how the riot wasn’t a riot after all. Tillis called the whitewashing of the insurrection “bullshit”. McConnell said Fox “made a mistake” (it was not a mistake) in depicting January 6th in a way that is “completely at variance” with the account of the head of the Capitol Police who, he said “correctly” described what happened that day.
For many years Fox has been fostering a false narrative ab0ut Trump and the platform has nurtured and cultivated a viewership that wants to believe in the fairyland that Fox is bolstering. Trump took this rightwing alternate reality to a new level. He has never conceded despite knowing that he lost the election. Instead, he has insisted that he won the 2020 election. FALSE. He has insisted that Dominion voting machines were rigged. FALSE. He has insisted that January 6th was a peaceful protest. FALSE.
No. It was an insurrection and people lost their lives that day and afterwards.
Thanks to Dominion, which has the money to pursue its defamation case, we have learned the truth about what Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rupert Murdoch and many others really think about Trump and others in his orbit. They express the truth to each other behind closed doors and tell their viewers disinformation in support of a corrupt Republican Party that is all about power and winning elections even if they lie and cheat to do it.
Important Take Aways: Huge Financial Hits are Coming for Fox
- Although Rupert Murdoch’s defense is that Fox was just covering a newsworthy event when they claimed Trump won after losing the election, these texts are powerful evidence that the hosts were doing more than simply covering a newsworthy event. They were endorsing and advancing false information that they totally knew to be false. They did it for the ratings (money) and to avoid pissing off Trump and his loyal base who are the same people who watch Fox to get their news. Fox viewers got a steady diet of lies to keep them happy and coming back to Fox for more. Dominion is going to win despite the high bar for prevailing in a defamation lawsuit. Actual malice or disregard for the truth will be established by Dominion.
- Because the Fox viewership are the same people who follow Trump’s every word and believe what he says, Rupert Murdoch and the Fox hosts were uniquely positioned to correct the record. They did not do that. Instead they pushed the Big Lie that the election was stolen when it was not. Rupert Murdoch confesses to that in his deposition. They also knew that January 6th was going to be “crazy” and that they could have helped to prevent that attack on the Capitol. Fox might be hit with civil lawsuits from people injured in the attack on the Capitol.
- Fox is in hot water when it comes to punitive damages because in Delaware where this case will be tried there are NO LIMITS on the amount of punitive damages a jury could decide to award. Most juries award high damages in cases like this that offend their sensibilities as happened with Alex Jones.
- Fox will likely face shareholder derivative lawsuits for their failure to protect the interests of their shareholders as the result of their conscious lies to the public. Their stock price will probably go down. Shareholders have a cause of action against Fox because a company they invest in is supposed to make as much money as possible for them and Fox consciously damaged that potential.
- The deposition and text messages also expose Fox and Rupert Murdoch to violations of campaign finance laws. Joe Biden made a confidential ad buy and shared his debate strategy with Fox. Fox shared that information with Jared Kushner. Courts have already ruled that an ad strategy is a thing of value and here there was an in kind contribution to the Trump campaign that was not permissible under campaign finance laws.
Will The Dominion Case Go to Trial?
The trial is set for April. Why are we learning so much right now?
Dominion, the plaintiff in the case, has asked the judge for summary judgement. That means they are asking the judge to rule in their favor just based on the evidence they have presented so far even before the trial takes place. That allows the plaintiff to essentially prove up their whole case before the trial begins. They’re saying “See, judge, this case is so cut and dry you should decide it on what we can prove without even bothering to go to trial.”
Given the huge amount of damning evidence, the judge probably could decide the case now. But this case is so important it is not likely the judge will decide it at the summary judgement stage. It will go to trial. And when it does it will play out in the media for many days and months exposing Fox to even greater negative publicity. Even Fox viewers, who are not hearing about the case on Fox “news” will probably hear about it eventually because OANN and Newsmax will want to cover the fall of their rival, Fox. In addition, there is another case that is about to get attention. Smartmatic, another voting machine company, is also suing Fox and others who damaged the reputation of Smartmatic by claiming their machines were rigged just as they claimed Dominions were rigged. That suit is requesting even higher damages. And that evidence will be in the headlines in the coming weeks and months along with Dominion.
Best Case Outcome
This exposure of Fox and hosts like Carlson would never have happened without Dominion’s need to correct the record to save the voting machine company’s good name. It is costing millions to pursue this case. Only a wealthy company could face off against Fox. So we have Dominion to thank for the exposure of Fox.
But this epic exposure of lies from the rightwing is just starting. There are other lawsuits coming (14 total) involving other platforms that lied (OANN and Newsmax), individual suits against Rudy Guiliani and other Trump sycophants. Smartmatic, another maker of voting machines that was maligned by Fox hosts and Trump loyalists will pursue cases against many of the same entities. The Smartmatic lawsuit asks for over 2 billion in compensation. That does not count punitive damages.
The idea that Fox is a legitimate news channel will be challenged which means that there will be pressure on the cable industry not to renew Fox’s license. This should act as a cautionary tale for other news platforms that have been lying with impunity.
The truth is that rightwing media has been working for many years to push false narratives with their viewers and listeners. They pushed the envelope before Trump but Trump moved the goalposts and forced these lying rightwing sources of information to go further to support his alternate universe than ever before. That effort has also radicalized the Trump base and divided our country into those who get truthful facts and “alternate facts” (as Kellyanne Conway called them).
Disinformation threatens our democracy. It needs to stop. Fox viewers are entitled to know the truth. They should not be treated like snowflakes that can’t handle the truth. They need to get beyond the alternate universe and return to the real world. Once Americans all get the same facts we can start having productive conversations about what to do and how to do it. But we have to start with reality, facts, and the truth not a world of “alternate facts” we wish were the truth. We have to start with the same facts to get to some real solutions.