The Cult of Fools (Feb 19, 2023) – “Lies, Damn lies, and Fox News”

cult of fools
By bdk, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News Networks in March 2021 for $1.6 billion. The essence of their case is that Fox News broadcast stuff that they knew were outright lies, but went ahead and did it anyway and greatly damaged Dominion Voting Systems. Where we are right now is that the five-week trial is scheduled to commence on April 17, 2023. As preparation for their case there was a court filing that was made public on Thursday this past week.

It landed with rather a loud thud that has since then rippled out across the mediascape, so I’d place good money on a bet that it is highly probable that you know about this.

Via the NYT, you can find a copy of the full 179 page filing here.

It is truly jaw dropping stuff. Here are a few notable highlights …

  • Big Fox News talking heads, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who publicly promoted and supported the big lie that the election was stolen, said in private emails that the claims being made by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani were insane and that these people were complete nuts.
  • Carlson and Sean Hannity talked about pressuring the network to fire the Fox White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich because she had fact checked a Trump tweet regarding the big lie
  • The motivation for them promoting the big lie is that for a time they were seriously worried about Newsmax stealing their audience so they felt the need to pander to the prevailing lies to keep the audience numbers. What they reported on Fox was not the pursuit of truth, but instead pandering to whatever their audience wanted to hear so that their brand was protected.
  • Rupert Murdoch, the ultimate owner of Fox News considered the false claims of electoral fraud to be “Terrible stuff damaging everybody”
  • We can also see via their separate filings, that Fox News is going to go for a First Amendment defence. They will attempt to make the case that they were only reporting the claims being made by the Trump team.

The legal bar for such cases is high. Dominion will need to prove that fox acted with actual malice, or reckless disregard for the truth. This new data drop from Dominion that contains these internal Fox News emails now makes a very good solid case for exactly that.

The big names at Fox knew the stolen elected claims were all BS, but went ahead and promoted it all anyway. I’d suggest that Fox better start saving up. It is distinctly possible that they will soon need to write a cheque for $1.6 billion.

One other big event of the past week can be beautifully summed up by this one tweet …

https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1626978911245459458

Moving on, below you will once again find my usual selection of some truly bizarre and extreme claims that have popped up during the last 7 days. Each is laced with my snarky commentary. With my usual hat tip to my various sources, let’s dive in.

Enjoy.

Christian Nationalism

Ali Alexander says that “living under Christian rule and norms, otherwise known as Christendom, is more useful than Capitalism”: “We have a duty to legislate and tame.

  • From the folks whose banner reads, “Freedom”, we also have, “fuck all this capitalism shit“, because Ali wants a religious dictatorship.
  • Prepare to be “tamed“.

Pastor Leon Benjamin, the Republican nominee in Virginia’s upcoming special electionproclaims that he is running for Congress because Democrats have been hypnotized by witchcraft while he is all about “bringing a nation back to God.

  • Given the observation that the right-wing “Christian” reputation is increasingly correlated with “corruption”, “lies”, “grifting”, and “pedophelia”, I’m not exactly convinced that his appeal to bring all that to the nation is the appealing pitch that he thinks it to be.
  • As for witch-hunts, such things tended to work out rather well for all involved. Just ask the good folks of Salem about the happy jolly times enjoyed by all.

Valentine’s Day: Greatest Crime – The folks who just “Love” Women

Andrew Anglin says that “allowing women to make their own decisions is the greatest imaginable crime against humanity.

  • Murder, assault, prison camps, genocide, rape…all that is no big deal to humanity. Women making choices!?!?! CALL THE AUTHORIES! Also, can I have more Pearl’s, I broke mine from clutching too hard Signed, Andrew Anglin
  • Side Note: If you are wondering who this guy is, then wonder no more. He is the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website. His CV includes white supremacy, antisemitism, neo-Nazism, male supremacy, and white nationalism.

Laura Loomer will presumably not be supporting Nikki Haley’s presidential bid: “I only want a male President and I am not afraid to say it. I don’t want a female President.

  • Being guilty of the “crime” of being “female”, is indeed for some a truly hideous political infraction. I guess Laura does not just hate Nikki Haley, she probably also hates herself, especially considering her own attempt to stand for election in Flordia’s 11th district.

Dalton Clodfelter used his Valentine’s Day livestream to offer some helpful relationship advice: Women “need to be a blank slate” with no opinions so that they can “be molded by the man” to accept “that Jews control the world.

  • I’d place good money on a bet that his other half is a blowup doll.

Christian hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley says putting women in positions of power is “destroying America” and “empowering Antifa.” He wants men to “stand up and put women back where they belong: in the kitchen.

  • The one positive note here is the vastness of his audience that can be seen in the clip … 11 people in total.

Nick Fuentes declares that “one [white] woman going to college is worse than the Holocaust, when you think about it.

  • Anybody (normal) who tests this by thinking about it, will discover that Nick is quite honestly not really thinking about it. This however is not really a surprise because “thinking” is actually a concept that is alien to Nick.

Lucifer

Alex Jones says that everyone who is offered a television show or a record deal is first required toreject Jesus Christ and pledge yourself to Lucifer.

  • So let me play that back for you: Alex Jones (who has his own show) says (on his own show) that everyone who is offered a show is required to “reject Jesus Christ and pledge yourself to Lucifer.” Is this a weird confession?
  • Trump also had his own show.
  • You know he is lying. He knows he is lying. He knows that we know he is lying. We know that he knows that we know he is lying, and still the lies will flow because that’s all he actually knows how to do.

Conspiracy Claims

Right-wing pastor David Scarlett told Alex Jones that former President Donald Trump was recently briefed on the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccine—possibly by Michael Flynn—and also claimed that Trump “is taking Bible prophecy very, very serious right now.”

  • Alex, I’ll take “Things that never happened” for $100 Please
  • From The Atlantic … “During the meeting, Trump had reverently bowed his head in prayer while the pastors laid hands on him… Trump seemed delighted by the “scam,” & was eager to highlight that the pastor was “full of shit.” “They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.”

Vaccines

Stew Peters claims to have “a list of 22 attorneys general” that want to talk with him about establishing “Nuremberg 2.0” to prosecute, try, and then execute those responsible for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Guns (again!)

Two local GOP politicians have been killed in New Jersey in recent weeks. One was shot by a co-worker, and the motive for the other is currently unknown, but Lance Wallnau suspects that they were targeted by “underground, Satanist, left-wing, antifa hit squads.

  • It is deeply repugnant to see individuals using violent deaths as a political soapbox for the promotion of pure BS

Truly Bizarre

Milo Yiannopoulos says that “the thing that really turned [him] off Hitler” was learning that Hitler poisoned his own dog. 

  • That was his deal breaker for Hitler!

Isabella Riley Moody demonstrates that there is no easier job than being a right-wing commentator because all it requires is being outraged about something you don’t understand and didn’t watch (in this case, the Black national anthem) and then making it about former President Donald Trump.

  • Her beef with the Black national anthem is that … quote … “Its gay”. She then really does go on the explain that she reached this conclusion without actually watching it. Arguing from a position of complete and total ignorance is apparently her thing.
  • She also explains that she is against “cancel culture” … but wants to cancel this.
  • Her counter proposal is that we should have an orange national anthem to celebrate the most oppressed individual in society – Trump. I guess that means that for her Orange is the new Black.
  • Your immediate thought might be to think that it is parody or a clip from SNL. As best as I can tell she is real, but damn, check the clip and you will discover that it is literally pure parody fodder. I truly hope that I’ve been successfully punked with this one.

Jarrin Jackson says that “empathy is evil”: “Reject empathy. New Age Marxism flanking the truth of Christ through subjective feelings and emotional tropes – usually leveraged by personal appeals, heart-wrenching images, and calls for abandoning truth in preference of experience.

  • Indeed yes, Jesus was famous for his total lack of empathy, so don’t let any feeling of compassion or empathy towards others inhibit the … (checks notes) … “truth of Christ

Brigitte Gabriel doesn’t understand why Democrats “are always so upset and outraged over everything.

  • Brigitte not being upset and outraged in the last few days example 01: “Rihanna is not setting a good example for the young girls of America. Is it too much to ask for a halftime performance appropriate for children?
  • Brigitte not being upset and outraged in the last few days example 02: “The moment Pizza Hut endorsed and peddled drag queen propaganda to children was the moment I said I will NEVER eat their pizza again.
  • Brigitte not being upset and outraged in the last few days example 03: “Barney is returning. They better not make him woke.
  • Rinse and repeat every single damn day to find examples of her not being “upset and outraged over everything

The False Profit$

Robin Bullock claims that the Vietnam War was started by Satan in order to stop the Jesus People movement.

  • The movement died of natural causes. The fad faded as people lost interest and moved on to other things. The Vietnam War played no part in that.
  • Fact Check: Vietnam war ran from 1955 to 1975. It started before the very existence of the Jesus movement and ended before the Jesus movement faded. These events really are not connected.

Also Robin Bullock prophesies that soon the glory of God “will invade the halls of Congress” and “demon-possessed congressmen are going to manifest right there in front of everybody.”

  • We have already been there and done this … on Jan 6. As his “prophecy” predicted, many Republicans revealed themselves to be total turds.
  • Fact Check: Least you wonder, the number of times that this self-appointed dollar store “prophet” actually predicted something successfully – (oh come now, you already know this) – zero.

Trump cultist/MAGA pastor Shane Vaughn says that Satan used Sen. John Fetterman to help the Democrats keep control of the Senate “and now that Satan’s done with him, now we send him to the mental nuthouse. He just checked himself in for being crazy.

Interesting Insights

Statistic of the week

Bottom bar for 2021 reveals that as many as 39% of republican evangelicals do not actually practise their religion by attending a church on a regular basis. They simply use the identity as a tribal badge.

https://twitter.com/ryanburge/status/1625199296206278671

Meanwhile …

Its a full five minute clip this week from The Good Liars …

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