The Only Mental Acuity I’m Questioning These Days Is the Mainstream Media’s

But recently, that flipped. This transformation has been in process for several years, but I date it to January 6 for two reasons. First, before that, the right-wing media didn’t have all-consuming power when it came to crunch time. They could not, for example, elect Donald Trump. There was still enough of a shred of news-gathering honesty at Fox News that it called Arizona for Joe Biden. Second, January 6 was a moment of choosing for the American right. Conservative politicians and the right-wing media could have woken up on January 7 and decided that enough was enough, and they were captaining their MAGA-ized spaceship back down to planet Earth.

But we’ve seen how both of those matters sorted themselves out. Fox forced out the two people who made that Arizona call. You think this November Fox will be in the vanguard—it was the first network to give Arizona to Biden—of calling a purple state for the Democrat? It’s inconceivable. And on the second matter, with a few notable exceptions, virtually the whole party now embraces the January 6 “uprising” (or is too cowardly to say otherwise).

The right-wing media has followed suit, giving us a sprawling and enormously powerful messaging apparatus—Fox, Newsmax, One America, all those Sinclair radio and TV stations, Christian radio, most newspapers out there around the country, the majority of prominent opinion journals, most of largest social media personalities, and more—that now sings from the same hymnal. They did before, but January 6 provided that extra kick; the grain alcohol in the punch. It gave these outlets a sense of mission that wasn’t quite so fully and recognizably there before.

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