How Do We Heal America From the Damage Caused By Right Wing Media?

Thom plus logo Donald Trump wants to go after social media because Twitter pointed out one of his lies. And, in fact, social media has done a lot of damage to America and the American body politic, with the most visible example being it's help in putting Donald Trump in the White House in 2016.

But even more concerning should be Fox News and right wing hate radio. A new study out of Columbia university finds that when people in any particular ZIP Code experience a 1% increase in Fox News viewership, it “reduces the propensity to stay at home by 8.9 percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic average.”

In other words, one of the reasons that so many people have died in America right now is because conservative media has been repeatedly and consistently promoting the idea that this virus is a Democratic hoax or a “bad flu.“

Right-wing media has gone from being the fringe home of crackpots and paranoids to a major influence in American culture and politics.

At the same time, the billionaire owners of this media have successfully avoided any responsibility or liability for the political chaos, destruction, and even the deaths they have caused, while they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Before the coronavirus, you could argue that right-wing media has been merely disruptive to democracy and the public good. Now, this new study from Columbia University shows, it is actually responsible for death.

In Rwanda, it was right-wing talk radio that incited and lead that country's genocidal slaughter of its own people. In the 1930s in Germany, right-wing radio talk shows were used to identify Jews and trade unionists so that angry mobs could attack them.

Today in the United States people who are heavy consumers of right-wing media have threatened elected officials with guns, spat viruses on workers in stores who were simply trying to protect the public, and gone out of their way to provoke police to kill people of color.

A court in Seattle this week threw out an attempt to hold Fox News responsible for some of the deaths in Washington state that resulted from their commentator's irresponsible statements.

Since Trump and McConnell have packed about a quarter of our federal courts with unqualified, right-wing judges it's unlikely the courts will offer any help to our country with this crisis.

The challenge America confronts today is how to reverse the damage that three decades of right-wing media have done to our country and our people.



deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 years 2 weeks ago

Remember "Shock and Awe?" That was another victory for the right-wing fringe peddling bigotry, hate, and white nationalism, when corporate media with their war-themed newsrooms and splashy chyrons picked up the neo-liberal wingnut flag and charged into needless, endless battle, armed with packs of lies and wild conspiracies, which were sanctioned, indeed conceived, by another Republican White House that considered itself above the Constitution and international law.

Ah yes ...the good old days. It's doubtful we'll ever reverse that damage either.

Look how their jingoistic, "America first" rhetoric of military and economic supremacy and world domination changed the world for the worse, forever. How many hundreds of thousands if not millions have died as a result of that twisted ideology and overt racism? And that was when "only" 3,000 souls perished on our home soil!

So where's their bitter outrage now? Shouldn't an all-out wingnut propaganda blitz be directed at all those wicked "evildoers" whose actions and inactions led to the agonizing deaths of well over 100,000 fellow Americans in just a few short months, with many more to come -- a 9/11 tragedy every other day?

Oh, that's right; it's their own people this time who are the godless killers and destroyers of economies. All is forgiven. Next question...

Legend 4 years 2 weeks ago

I find it interesting to read foreign newspapers at times. There is English versions in virtually every country. We paint China as terrible against freedom. But if you go there you certainly do not see it. You see a booming economy. I was at one town on the coast and I counted over 200 tower cranes from my hotel window view. You are also led to believe that they do not report the news accurately. But read it yourself for a few days and see how much you feel is wrong. They are reporting on our riots. We are not perfect.

Some others:

Easy to find.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 years 2 weeks ago

Haha, funny you should mention that. I was thinking the same thing this morning waking up to another day in Trumptopia -- how the world must view us. RSF (Reporters Without Borders) is a good site for world news too. And thanks for the timely links you provide that keep the ball rolling.

As these events unfold so quickly, it helps to have a ready cache of reliable news outlets for multiple sourcing and different perspectives. It's hard to keep focused on the big picture(s) through just the US lens, which is getting pretty damn cloudy closer to the election, even worse than 2015-16.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 years 2 weeks ago

The "Liberal Redneck" says it like it is...

Legend 4 years 2 weeks ago

Interesting, The POTUS want to label Antifa as a terrorist Organization. Antifa is short for anti fascist. So are they admitting that they are Fascists?

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