On Tuesday, Fox News settled with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis wrote “The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that [it] is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true. Fox repeatedly aired stories that Dominion voting systems had rigged the 2020 election. Investigations revealed the on air personalities knew their claims were false but developed a false narrative to keep their viewership, essentially playing the audience. Some of the most incendiary statements came from Tucker Carlson.0 Most notably were the actions of saying one thing in private and broadcasting falsehoods.1
Tucker Carlson: ‘There wasn’t enough fraud to change the outcome’
PRIVATE: On Nov. 13, Carlson wrote privately that Trump needed to concede, and agreed that “there wasn’t enough fraud to change the outcome” of the election, according to the filing.
PUBLIC: Three nights later, Carlson said on air that there are “legitimate concerns” about election integrity.
“Millions of Americans understandably are asking the questions and questions like it. Those are real questions. Our current system does not inspire confidence,” he said. “People have legitimate concerns about the integrity of our elections and right now a lot of those concerns center on the software that many states use to keep track of ballots.” And while Carlson added that he would not “endorse” Powell’s claims until he saw evidence, he said they were “shocking” and that he didn’t “dismiss it out of hand.”What Fox News hosts allegedly said privately versus on-air about false election fraud claims
Horrifyingly, there has been no decline in viewership, no advertisers have dropped or paused.2 Over half of Fox viewers ae unaware there s even a lawsuit.3 is no proclamation from congress to stop this. This is you’ve been played, part 2. Who is going to admit they have been duped? The members of the legislature who said the election was stolen and used Fox News as the source are mostly silent. Rather than admit being duped, even more outrageous conspiracy theories are emerging.
This week, Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed after mistakenly entering the wrong driveway. Kevin Monahan, the alleged killer, engaged an attorney before speaking to police. The attorney, Kurt Mauser disputed the sheriff’s account of the shooting and presented this narrative “…vehicles were speeding up the driveway, with engines revving and lights shining which certainly causes some level of alarm to an elderly gentleman who had an elderly wife.3 Those words used by the attorney stir up a cinematic moment seen in a horror film’s home invasion of frail, helpless, terrified people unable to defend themselves. Kevin Monahan is 65 years old; no spring chicken, but elderly? I am 64, older of course, but elderly? Nah.
The median age of the senate is 65.3 years. Half the senators are over 65. This is group that determines gun control and women’s rights. What’s happened in their lifetime? Integration, the civil rights act of 1964 which ended separate but equal. Legalized abortion with Roe V Wade in 1973. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 which allowed women to have credit cards. Finally in 2022, the anti-lynching law was passed. Since January of 2021, 35 states have introduced 137 bills limiting what schools can teach with regard to race, American history, politics, sexual orientation and gender identity. We’re in strange times. There is regulation on what to teach around historical fact, what have is in place to ensure present truth?
This morning on NPR, someone said of history, “…it is who we are and what we can become.” We can become terrible. History shows us, we can force citizens into encampments, like the American born citizens of Japanese ancestry during WWII under a false narrative, they could be spies. We can enslaved kidnapped people from Africa under a false narrative these are not full humans. We can commit genocide and wipe out indigenous people and claim their land as with the Native Americans under the false narrative of these are savages and a danger to the newly immigrant settlers. This is history and sadly, who we are capable of becoming again. Restricting the rights and agency of women, forcing minorities to inhabit only certain areas. All these things can happen when a false narrative is used to sway the masses.
We’re encouraged to view events as a timeline of achievements, look how far we’ve come. In 1973, a woman could not have a credit card and now women are credibly running for president, CEO’s of companies, governors, major players. Maybe it’s time to rethink this as, not how far we’ve come, but, look at how stupid we have been.
Stand your ground laws enable people to shoot because they feel threatened. Yet, doctors are afraid to treat women with a life saving procedures for fear of being charged with violating abortion bans. Laws have chipped away at women’s rights for years. The Equal Rights Amendment which guarantees equal rights for women has still not passed. Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe V Wade, admitted she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Operation Rescue, now known as Operation Save America to vocally change her stance on abortion. Jane Roe regrets her choice, mental anguish… a false narrative is created.
False narratives are harmful particularly when they are used as the context for legislative decision making. The lies from Fox News and about Dominion voting systems allowed states to make laws that actually disenfranchise voters under the guise of voting irregularities that did not occur. The false narrative. This week, in this context, consider the impact of false narratives in law making and what can be done.
On Fox News’ Arizona call:
“We devote our lives to building an audience and they let Chris Wallace and Leland fucking Vittert wreck it,” Carlson texted in a group conversation with Ingraham and Sean Hannity roughly two weeks after the election. Vittert was a Fox News reporter who was frequently criticized by Trump, and he left the network in April 2021 for NewsNation.
On hating Trump:
“I hate him passionately … What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong,” Carlson texted a colleague on January 4, days prior to the riot at the U.S. Capitol. He added, “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.”
On the antics of Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood:
“Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” Carlson texted Ingraham on November 18.