Fox’s turn to advocating right-wing vigilantism

Fox takes the next step:

Amid a quasi-fascist rant Wednesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson responded to murder charges against a pro-Trump teenager who crossed state lines and shot to death two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by asking, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” Several other Fox personalities have similarly downplayed or seemingly excused the deadly Tuesday night confrontation. 

Carlson says it:

Fox’s turn toward advocating violent right-wing vigilantism is a horrifying but natural evolution for the network. Its personalities have spent the last several months recklessly issuing dire warnings to their viewers, telling them that their lives are in jeopardy from racial justice protesters and that the Democratic leaders of cities facing civil unrest are refusing to protect them. This fearmongering has repeatedly inspired President Donald Trump, an avid Fox viewer, to dump more fuel on the fires.

Trump is an avid Fox viewer to the exclusion of everything else. Fox is his only source, his only entertainment, his only daily briefing, his only education, his only “information.” His ignorance is infinite, and all there is other than the void, is Fox.

That’s bad.

Throughout this period, Fox has been laser-focused on finding instances of violence, blaming them on the protesters, and castigating Democratic mayors and governors for failing to stop them. The network has bombarded its viewers — including the president — with images of burning buildings and civil unrest. At times using weeks-old footage and other misinformation tactics, Fox personalities have inflated the scope of the damage to depict a nation on the brink, denouncing the supposed threat posed by “antifa” agitatorsBlack Lives Matter activists, and statue-toppling vigilantes — even demanding that violent protesters be treated as “domestic terrorists.” And they have sought to use that demagoguery to shore up Trump’s faltering campaign, warning that civilization itself will be on the ballot in November.

The president, whose administration is heavily influenced by Carlson’s show, has been watching. He has triggered escalating violence by trying to push Fox’s narratives for his own political benefit, first with angry Fox live tweets lashing out at protesters and the Democratic officeholders he claimed were coddling them, then with a speech at Mount Rushmore attacking “the violent mayhem we have seen in the streets of cities that are run by liberal Democrats,” and finally with a “law and order” strategy that went around those officeholders by sending heavily armed federal paramilitaries into an American city. 

We’re being governed by the corpse of Rupert Murdoch.

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