Thursday, February 23, 2023

Jon Stewart examines the problem with Fox News

I concluded Sarah Silverman on 'The Daily Show' examines 'The Economy of Anger' with a preview of coming attractions.
As for cable news, I've known all along they cater to their audiences beginning in 2011, when I asked Who watches Cable News? (Teaser). That pandering may have finally raced to the top of a cliff, as Dominion is not only suing Sidney Powell, but also Fox News. There are new developments in that case, which I might cover. Stay tuned to see if Fox News ends up going over the cliff.
I mentioned that MSNBC was all over this story in Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and others call for accountability in response to the Georgia grand jury report on MSNBC, but I'm turning to comedy instead, as "The Problem with Jon Stewart" examined the story, beginning with Dominion Voting v. Fox Filing: What the Media Got Wrong About ‘The Right’.

On this week’s podcast, Jon is joined by writers Jay Jurden and Robby Slowik, who break down the revelations contained in the Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News filing. They talk about how Fox is even worse than everyone suspected, the time Jon sat down with Roger Ailes, and what Fox News has in common with “The Last of Us.”
I like the conceit of calling Fox News "news product" — it looks and sounds like news, but it isn't really. Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University, stated what it really is in this tweet. This adds another layer to Jon's comparison of the Fox News audience to the fungus-infected fast zombies of "The Last of Us." This incident shows that Fox News lost control of the movement they helped create; it has its own agenda. That's not a new insight, as the election of The Former Guy and his continued popularity showed this happened to the Republican Party because a plurality of Republican voters revolted against the party's leadership, which proved to be too weak to fight them and TFG. The politicians couldn't control the movement, either.* Jay Rosen pointed that out in his next tweet. As I first wrote in 2011, "America is quite clear about its screwed up priorities­. My experience has convinced me that the surest way to get Americans to act is to mess with their entertainm­ent." Telling the Fox News audience a truth they didn't want to hear messed with their entertainment and they reacted to get it back.

Jon brought in an expert to analyze Dominion's summary judgment filing in Liar, Liar Network On Fire: The Legal Case Against Fox News | The Problem With Jon Stewart Podcast.

Thanks to the Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News filing, we now know what we’ve always believed is true: Fox News will do or say anything to retain their power, even if it means lying – over and over and over again – to their viewers. The question is, will they ever be held accountable? We’re joined this week by RonNell Anderson Jones, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, for a lively discussion about defamation law and the possibility that Fox News might actually have to face the music.
After listening to this conversation, I think Fox News will likely go over a cliff, but it won't be the cliff its critics, including Jon Stewart, hope it falls off. Will they lose the case? Most likely, but not certainly for reasons I described two years ago.
I agree that no reasonable person should have taken Powell's claims seriously. The problem is that there were so many unreasonable people who did.
Even if the judge or more likely a jury holds Fox News liable, the damage will almost certainly not end Fox News, not even wound it like another legal action did Alex Jones. There is a market for what Fox News and its competitors like Newsmax are selling, and outlets will keep providing it as long as it's still profitable. The challenge is how to make it unprofitable. I don't know how to do that. Do any of you have any ideas?

*A fellow guest at a party I attended in the summer of 2016 asked me how we got TFG and Hillary Clinton as nominees. I told him that the parties got the nominees they deserved. The Republicans got TFG because the party was too weak and the Democrats got Hillary Clinton because the party was too strong. He laughed ruefully and asked if the American people deserved the nominees. I told him that was another matter entirely.


  1. Thanks to Steve in Manhattan for linking to this entry and welcome to all of his readers coming here from Mike’s Blog Round-Up at Crooks and Liars! Thank you for stopping by! Also, welcome and thanks to all my Canadian and other international readers! I appreciate your page views!

  2. If a date rape drug had a face, it's Tucker Carlson.
    Jon Stewart

    1. LOL, welcome back, Nebs. I missed you.

      BTW, your comment reminds me that I should post John Oliver's video about him. Also, did you know that his dad was head of the Voice of America during the closing years of the Cold War? Broadcasting propaganda runs in the family.