Sticks and Stones may break my bones…
But words cannot hurt me– or so it goes. Welp, words actually can hurt. This week, words hurt our friends over at Fox News in 785,500,000 different ways. BREAKING NEWS, Fox, lying has consequences.
The $785.5 million settlement, one of the largest in US history, came as a result of a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems. After Trump lost the 2020 election, Dominion became the scapegoat for Fox. On-air personalities such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity continuously claimed that Dominion’s voting systems somehow counted ballots in favor of President Biden despite no evidence supporting their claims.
Fox is currently facing another lawsuit as well, this one for $2.7 billion from the voting technology company Smartmatic. These suits bring into question the integrity of Fox’s reporting. With the Fox network having all of the 13 most watched cable news programs, it is essential that America takes a long and hard look at where it gets its news from.
The Price of the Truth
The price of American democracy is apparently under a billion dollars.
As much as $785.5 million is… it really is just a slap on the wrist. Tucker Carlson will still command the largest audience of any single mainstream media host in the country, and Fox and Friends will keep raking in the money. Operationally– it doesn’t change anything.
Many Americans, especially those older than myself, always reference how our politics is so nasty nowadays, and how “something has changed”. I believe the “change” that they speak of can be attributed to the disregard for truth that now exists.
The ability to trust is always the most important factor in a relationship, whether it be between friends, significant others, or spouses. But in the relationship between Fox News and the American people, there are no consequences. If I were to lie to my significant other for an extended period of time, I couldn’t just say, “Hey, let me buy you a nice dinner and a $40,000 brand new car and let’s forget that this ever happened”
Yet… that is exactly the deal that Fox just got.
The Scope of the Problem
Lying is not exclusive to Fox News. Candidates and elected officials on both sides of the aisle throughout history have been guilty of lying. However, only one of our major political parties has lying deeply ingrained into their identity.
Lying is effectively part of the Republican platform at this point. Whether it be climate change denial, anti-vax conspiracy, election denialism… the list could keep going on.
The relationship between the people and their elected officials is what keeps a democracy a democracy. We vote to hold our leaders accountable, they are subject to public opinion, and due to that, the representatives must hold true to the desires of the people.
This relationship hinges on the idea that our representatives actually try to represent we the people. The moment that our elected officials endorse these lies, especially those that bring into question the legitimacy of our democracy, is the moment that our nation begins to erode.
Fixing the Impossible
As much as I would love to say that there is some all-encompassing solution… this is a situation where there just isn’t. A $20 parking fine would cripple me financially, so I can’t even fathom the idea that $785.5 million is just a slap on the wrist.
We, as individuals, have more power than we believe. For every hour that someone spends consuming right-wing lying media in a day, they spend five talking to real people, like you and me. Deterring someone from the right-wing media pipeline doesn’t happen by telling your MAGA parents that Tucker Carlson is an insurrectionist. The partisan divide at some points is too large a gap to bridge.
However, the Democratic Party is the party of truth and thoughtfulness. We encourage dynamic and pragmatic solutions to complex problems. By providing people with objective resources and encouraging critical thinking, we empower individuals to see through the lies and fear-mongering. By being persistent in this fight, and continuing to meet people where they are, we can build a new generation of Democratic voters. And only by doing this can we fight against the lies. Through providing the critical tools in our daily conversations, Democrats provide the foundation for Americans and Nebraskans alike to find the real truth for themselves.
We are now only just over 1 week away from the Lincoln elections on May 2, 2023!
The voters of Lincoln have nominated an outstanding group of candidates in races across the city. With money from the Ricketts family pouring into Nebraska’s blue dot, Democrats statewide need to organize!
If you are a Lincoln voter– all information for the Lincoln elections can be found here!
This election is a referendum on equality in Nebraska. We cannot let a slate of radical pro-authoritarian, anti-choice Republicans take power in Lincoln!
Volunteer: Here if you are interested in volunteering to phone bank, text or canvass.
Donate: Here The NDP is putting in time and resources in order to send texts, get vote-by-mail applications out, and put a voter guide in the mailbox of every Democrat in the city!
Thank you for reading
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,