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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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