Hillary Clinton Wants a Fox News of the Left. Oh, and She Really Loathes Bernie Sanders.

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Today’s big gossip news is Hillary Clinton’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter, in which she confirms that she really, really doesn’t like Bernie Sanders. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” Plus he’s a massive sexist.

That should get people talking! But really, the most important part of the interview was this:

How can the left combat Fox News?

It’s really a shame that all the people who support progressive politics and policies haven’t understood that that’s exactly the right question to ask. We do have some well-off people who support Democratic candidates, there’s no doubt about that, but they’ve never bought a TV station. They’ve never gobbled up radio stations. They’ve never created newspapers in local communities to put out propaganda. That’s all been done not just by Murdoch and Fox, but by Sinclair and by the Koch brothers and by so many others who have played a long game about how we really influence the thinking of Americans.

It’s hard to overestimate the influence of Fox News. The radio talkers are one thing. Drudge is one thing. Breitbart is one thing. And they all form a cohesive ecosystem that envelops the conservative movement these days. But without Fox News they have no anchor. Fox is the sun around which they all revolve.

The problem, though, is that I suspect there’s no market for a Fox of the left. MSNBC is part of the way there, and they don’t have a fraction of the influence of Fox. For whatever reason, liberals simply don’t want to spend hours each day watching Fox-style propaganda. We prefer our propaganda in the form of humor; movies and TV shows; and subtler news outlets that temper their point of view with lots of actual facts about things. A media empire of the left probably wouldn’t be a moneymaker.

There are times when I wonder how things would be different if Rupert Murdoch had simply met different people at various times in his life. It’s not as if he’s been a consistent conservative ideologue, after all. He just wants to make money. But willy nilly, he discovered that he could make money in America with conservative news, so that was that. Conservative it would be. And our country has never been the same.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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