'Support' from 'tens of millions' deceived by Trump/Fox 'News' propaganda doesn't justify support for an authoritarian scoundrel...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/27/2024, 9:35am PT  

An extraordinarily absurd moment occurred during the past week's "Showdown for U.S. Senate Debate" between California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Republican former major league baseball player, Steve Garvey. The debate was conducted on KTTV Fox 11, the Southern California local affiliate of the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Fox Corp.

In an unsuccessful effort to persuade an evasive and reluctant Garvey to unreservedly state his intent to vote for Donald Trump this year, Fox 11 anchor, Elex Michaelson asked...

There are tens of millions of people that support Donald Trump. Polls show that California Republicans, he's supported by two thirds...There are a lot of people in this country that love Donald Trump and think he was a great President. What's your view?

The answer to that question may have been a difficult one for the former Dodger. After all, Trump is wildly unpopular among California voters who will vote in the March 5 open primary, even if very popular among the state's small --- and shrinking --- GOP electorate. Garvey hemmed and hawed to avoid answering. "Once a Dodger always a Dodger," quipped Porter at one point in the debate.

But, while the case could be made that Michaelson's question aided Democrats by cornering Garvey, the way he did so was absurd, even before Garvey's evasive response. The question itself recalled some graffiti I once saw on a bathroom wall while an undergrad at UCLA in 1971. It read: "Eat shit. Ten billion flies can't all be wrong."

A somewhat less crude analogy can be found in Germany. The fact that, in 1934, the vast majority of that nation's 66 million people adored a man named Adolf Hitler in no way provides a reason for any objective observer to support that genocidal tyrant.

It's especially troubling that KTTV's parent company is largely responsible for creating an alternative reality --- an Orwellian netherworld --- in which a large swath of the U.S. electorate now resides. The netherworld's residents include many of those "tens of millions of people," cited by Michaelson.

Deception, openly deployed not only by Trump and his Congressional Republican enablers, but also endorsed and amplified by Fox "News", provides the core reason why "tens of millions" of Americans, including two thirds of California Republicans, continue to irrationally support a Hitler-admiring demagogue, who called for "terminating" the U.S. Constitution...

Fox Propaganda Network

Last year, in a 130-page Order that partially granted a motion for summary judgment filed by Dominion Voting System, a Delaware Superior Court Judge expressly found that it was "CRYSTAL clear that none of the [Fox "News"] statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true." The court found that the lies spun by Trump and his allies, that were both endorsed and published by Fox, amounted to defamation per se.

A massive trove of Fox internal text and emails, along with the sworn testimony of multiple Fox executives and anchors, referenced in Dominion's summary judgment motion, underscored the point later made by NBC News in its coverage of a subsequent shareholder derivative lawsuit filed against Fox:

FOX knew --- from the Board on down --- that Fox News was reporting false and dangerous misinformation about the 2020 Presidential election, but FOX was more concerned about short-term ratings and market share than the long-term damages of its failure to tell the truth.

While the revelations uncovered by Dominion in their defamation case against Fox would ultimately be settled for a record, eye-popping $787.5 million, they didn't come as a surprise for those of us who've studied media. As illustrated by the landmark 2004 documentary, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, from its inception Fox hasn't produced news. It has been and remains a right-wing propaganda outlet.

Correlation between Fox lies and Trump support

The cover provided for Trump by lies propagated by Fox, Congressional Republicans and other right-wing media did not end with the Jan. 6 insurrection.

To the contrary, as revealed by the Washington Post, Fox did more than simply fail to cover the landmark Jan. 6 Congressional Hearings on its widely viewed Fox "News" Channel. Its former star prime-time host, Tucker Carlson, went out of his way to discourage its viewers from tuning in to the J6 hearings that Carlson described as worthless propaganda. This was followed by his display of selectively edited video in which Carlson falsely depicted the 1/6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as a peaceful protest.

The deceptions underscore the absurdity of Michaelson's debate query in the U.S. Senatorial debate in California. The 2/3 support amongst CA Republicans, cited by Michaelson, mirrors the nearly 70% of Republicans who still erroneously believe that President Biden did not actually win the 2020 election.

Orwellian netherworld of the MAGA Cult

As a result of relentless right-wing propaganda, millions of Americans now reside in an alternative reality that might aptly be described as the netherworld of the MAGA Cult --- a place where those who dare expose the truth about the con man, who became the 45th President of the United States, are condemned as liars. Candidate Garvey, himself, revealed that he resides in that Orwellian netherworld.

Citing the purely partisan, and "shameful" censure of Adam Schiff by House Republicans, the L.A. Dodgers' former first baseman accused Schiff of lying to millions of Americans.

A subsequent colloquy between the other moderator, Politico's Melanie Mason, and Schiff, exposed the MAGA cult's alternative reality:

Mason: In 2019 you spoke of "ample evidence of collusion in plain sight between the Trump campaign and Russia". What was the evidence, and did you allow partisanship to get in the way of facts as you investigated Trump?

Schiff: The evidence is pretty clear. Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was secretly meeting with an agent of Russian Intelligence; giving Russian Intelligence internal campaign polling data, while that same unit of Russian Intelligence was helping the Trump campaign through a hacking and dumping operation through a…social media troll farm in St. Petersburg.

So yes, that's collusion, and there's more. The Russians reached out to Donald Trump's son, Don Jr. and offered what they said was dirt on Hillary Clinton that was part of the Russian government's effort to help the Trump campaign.

And what was the Trump campaign's answer? It was, "If it is what you say it is, we would love it".

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Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, and Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). He previously served as a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. Canning has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing

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