There’s a New Farm Team in Conservative Media Land

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A regular reader writes:

It would be interesting to explore the business strategy decision that’s had the Daily Mail regularly making stuff up to feed to Fox and the rest of U.S. right-wing nutjob media, but more and more often the freakouts seem to originate with them.

Huh. That would be an interesting thing to look into. This observation struck me because I’ve sort of vaguely noticed the same thing, but never put two and two together. And yet, there seems to be something to it.

The latest offering from the Mail is a piece suggesting that Obamacare is going to decimate volunteer fire departments throughout the country. My friend’s email continues:

Don’t know if you’ve ever lived in an area that relies on a volunteer fire department, but since I now do, I can tell you these incredibly skilled and brave neighbors and friends are regarded (rightly) as incredible, nearly God-like heroes. I can’t think of anything more likely to send rural and small-town (and largely right-wing) America into a complete tizzy than the threat of Big Gummint crashing down on the local volunteer fire department.

So far, the Mail piece has been reprinted at Fox Nation and a few other places, but doesn’t seem to have gone viral in right-wing precincts yet. Maybe it never will. After all, reading between the lines, it appears that this is (a) only a potential problem, and (b) only if the IRS classifies volunteers as employees. It hasn’t actually done that yet, and probably won’t, in which case the whole problem melts away.

Nonetheless, the U.S. version of the Mail really does seem to have begun working as sort of a farm team for Fox and Drudge and all the rest. Maybe that was inevitable given their shared ideology, but it would be worth reading more about this from someone who tracks the media more closely than I do.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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