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It’s Bigger than Fox News

2 marca 2021, 05:50
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It’s Bigger than Fox News

A group of us were in a vigorous debate over how much weaponized racial resentment was linked to the rise in Americans who believe the election was stolen, including domestic terrorists who helped siege the Capitol on January 6; or in people who deny science, including masks and Covid-19. Some call this split epistemic fracture or epistemological rupture — the moment where society splits into factions upholding or denying science and truth. It used to refer to the progress humans made in leaving antiquated and counterfactual beliefs behind. Now we are facing a reversal. The verdict in the impeachment trial may well deepen the rupture in America, emboldening everyone from anti-maskers to domestic terrorists.To get more latest news on foxnews, you can visit shine news official website.
We cannot separate the rise of powerful anti-truth forces from racial disinformation. Remember that candidate Donald Trump used racial resentment, including lies about immigration and Latinos, to gain followers and beat a field of established politicians. There were many contemporary precedents for the successful use of racial aniumus to win elections, including the 26 years Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio spent in elected office, even after he was convicted of contempt of court for defying Justice Department orders to stop anti-Latino racial profiling. Trump took his political playbook on anti-Mexican bias from the Sheriff, who then became the first pardon of his administration. Weaponized racial rhetoric often works, but too often experienced political reporters covered it as trivial or even laughable, not as powerful disinformation.
Now, some in both journalism and politics are beginning to ask the price we paid for disinformation, with limitations. In preparing for a Congressional hearing starting February 24 called “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” a letter from the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked cable companies: “What steps did you take prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans? Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?” And on February 10, The New York Times published Nicholas Kristof’s column, “Can We Put Fox News on Trial With Trump?” In it, he writes, “In other words, the problem with Fox isn’t that it’s conservative but that it monetizes conspiracy theories and disinformation in ways that are sometimes lethal.”
But the issue is bigger than Fox news or right-wing news. The mainstream political press monetized disinformation too. While repeating his xenophobic narratives and polarizing the population, Trump received $2 billion in free media during the primaries alone — more than all the other Republican candidates combined. That means he was marketing xenophobia for free on the news. One example: the now-disgraced, then-powerful Les Moonves said twice on earnings calls that Trump wasn’t good for America but he was good for CBS. “Bring it on, Donald. Keep going,” said Moonves on one of the calls. How we covered 2016 still matters today. Racism sells — not only for the politicians who use it as a lure, but to media outlets which program and produce the news. Many journalists who like me tried to cover the rising threat of white nationalist extremism were denied permission by our newsrooms to do so, during the 2016 cycle and beyond.


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