Guest: Matt Gertz of Media Matters; Also: Summer is just days old, but climate change is wreaking brutal, deadly, expensive consequences...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2024, 5:49pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: Either Trump wins or the nation gets it, apparently. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

For months now, the Republican propaganda outlet known as Fox "News" has been leading the rest of the rightwing echosphere in misleading the public about this year's election. To listen to their 24/7 lockstep message, it is a metaphysical impossibility that Donald Trump could lose this November. If he does, it can only be because Democrats have stolen the election "again", as "they did in 2020."

While its hosts almost certainly know better, they have been characterizing Joe Biden as so old and feeble --- and Trump so wildly popular --- that there can only be one legitimate outcome this year: a Trump victory. A Trump landslide, in fact. Anything short of that is, as Fox is dangerously grooming its brain-poisoned viewers to believe, due to massive fraud carried out by Democrats.

We're joined today by MATT GERTZ, longtime Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, to discuss his research --- detailed in an op-ed last week --- on how "Fox News is helping Trump plan another Jan. 6-style assault on democracy."

"If you look at the last two presidential elections --- in 2016 Donald Trump won, in 2020 Donald Trump lost --- the one thing that they have in common is that in both cases, Donald Trump claimed to have been the victim of massive election fraud," Gertz tells me today. "He always does this. It is the most predictable thing in politics, that Donald Trump will claim he is the victim of election fraud with no evidence to that effect." But now, of course, Fox "News" is joining in on the scam and the "guard rails" that were in place in 2020 in the Republican Party are all now all but gone, warns Gertz.

"What Fox News, and the rightwing media more broadly, has been doing over the past several years, is prime their audiences to assume that any election that doesn't end with a massive Trump victory is the result of illegitimate votes being cast, that it is a rigged election against Donald Trump and they should respond with all possible action to prevent Joe Biden from being allowed to remain in office if he wins."

"What's different now is that they know what the result can be," charges Gertz. "They know that all of these claims about election fraud incite their viewers, that it leads them to even march upon the Capitol to try to prevent the peaceful transition of power. And they're doing it anyway."

I have been wondering aloud of late which outcome concerns me the most, a Trump victory or a Trump loss. It might be a toss-up right about now...

THEN... We've been covering the oppressive heat dome across much of the nation --- and elsewhere in the world --- for some time now. Last week, we added wildfires in several states to the mix, along with the first named storm of hurricane season spinning quickly up before slamming Mexico and the southern coast of Texas. Now we can add massive flooding to the mix, as several states in the Upper Midwest --- where South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota meet --- inundated over the weekend with as much as eight times their typical rain fall for this part of the year. In one town, the flood gauge was submerged!

Many of those states are run by Republican Governors who are also climate change denialists, reminding us, yet again, that the stakes this November could not be higher, as Trump has vowed to rollback all of the landmark climate achievements of the current President.

In related news, as temperature records are being shattered around the globe, at least 1,300 pilgrims at the annual Hajj in the Saudi Arabia's city of Mecca died from heat stroke as temperatures climbed above 124 degrees Fahrenheit. And, oddly enough, back here in California, on the central and northern coast, unseasonably cold ocean temps --- due to a bizarre weather pattern from Oregon --- have led officials to issue warnings to beach goers to stay out of the water for any length of time to avoid hypothermia, even as temperatures inland climbed over 100 degrees this weekend. More madness and chaos in our climate changed world...


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