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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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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