It’s a Fox News Universe and We All Just Live In It

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Over the weekend we learned that President Trump had begged and cajoled and threatened the Georgia secretary of state to manufacture a few extra votes so that Trump would be the winner of the state. Was that illegal? IANAL, but it sure seems illegal to me! And if it’s not, it should be.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz was acting as the leader of an even dozen Republicans who said they would vote to delay Senate approval of the Electoral College results on Wednesday. But that’s not all! Asked about this, he had the gall to say that everyone was getting too bent out of shape about it and we should all calm down.

Mean-meanwhile, several senators, including four Republicans, wrote a letter saying they would vote to approve the Electoral College results. In one sense this is a relief: four Republicans plus all the Democrats is a majority in the Senate, which means the results are certain to be approved and we can all move on.

But! Four Republicans. That’s it. Apparently the letter writers couldn’t dig up any more than that. So what’s going to happen on Wednesday? Are a bunch of Republican senators going to join up and give the Electoral College results a firm approval? Or are the four letter signers going to be it, providing us with the banana republic spectacle of a 51-49 approval?

All of this reminds me of two things that I’ve mentioned before:

  • All of the buffoonery and conspiracy theorizing surrounding the election has been led by Republican politicians who have no actual authority over election results. It’s just hot air. Conversely, every official who’s actually in charge of vote counting has acted honorably.
  • Whenever I look below the surface at something like this, I end up concluding the same thing. It’s not the Republican Party per se that’s gone nuts, it’s the right-wing media empire. It’s Fox News and OAN and Mark Levin and all the rest of the insane talkers whose only objective is to keep their ratings high by competing to see who can keep their listeners the most outraged. Republican politicians are in thrall to these voices and don’t dare to cross them.

As long as Fox News exists in its current form, American politics is going to be broken. But what’s the answer to that?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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