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I feel this needs to be shared.  

Meanwhile over Mar-a Lago:  

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I would be perfectly fine if there were no Trump books going forward.

 

Actually, let me revise that statement. In addition to there being no Trump books going forward, I would be perfectly fine if every existing book, magazine, video, or any other piece of media in any format mentioning the aforementioned Trump were tossed into a fusion reactor at 15 million kelvins or so.

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Trump may be out of the limelight but Trumpism isn't gone at all.

 

And while I would be perfectly happy to never hear about Trump again...that won't work.  Not while Tucker Carlson continues to spew revisionist history with regard to Jan. 6th, not while the voter suppression movement remains.  Those are the overt aspects.  A subtler sign is the serious rate at which US military personnel are turning down vaccinations, and which some states see the same thing.  This is evidence of the deep penetration of...perhaps not the Trumpist mindset, but the distrust which helped it flourish.

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I think of the Trump era as a little like the assassinations of the Kennedys and MLK in the 1960s. Both shattered some of the illusions Americans had held about themselves, but in the former case they also galvanized the forces for social change. Trump's legacy is distrust, fear and hatred, but I have hope that in the long term it will lead to a further breakdown of the divisions he exploited.

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The difference with the assassinations is that they came largely out of the blue.  Yes, especially with the MLK shooting, there was something of a buildup, but it wasn't necessarily to that.  Jan. 6th was the result of a process that's been growing for many years.

 

Distrust, fear and hatred are NOT Trump's legacy.  They were his vehicle.  He didn't lose power as a failure of those factors;  I'd say he darn near kept it because of them, despite being the most clearly incompetent officeholder ever.  Heck, look at the non-reaction about the Gaetz accusations.  Trump's been gone for a few months but they sit on their hands.  If you're not still pro-Trump and pro-Trumpist lies, you're catching a LOT of pushback.

 

The social changes have to start by making it blatantly clear that Trump was a manipulative, sociopathic narcissist, so that even a major portion of those who believed in him, start denouncing him.  If that's even *possible*.  Trump and Fox have a stranglehold on "truth" to a HUGE segment of the public, and if that can't be broken, then the amount of change that's possible is very, very limited and probably will be short-lived.

 

It may well be fair to say that Trump is not the real enemy;  Fox is.  Because they'll switch right around to the next tool  they can use to extend and tighten their grip.  Doesn't have to be DJT;  could be Junior, or Cruz, or Hawley.  Won't be Gaetz or Greene.  Could be Abbott.  It's probably an overstatement to say Fox is the real enemy, tho, because they weren't the first to fearmonger.

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Fox doesn't seem to me to take the lead in creating these inflammatory fictions, though. It just jumps on lines started by someone else, and promotes them to fire up their viewership and get views on TV and the Internet, on which basis they can charge more for advertising. As a whole they aren't interested in power, only profit. To employ the adversarial terminology that's cropping up on this thread, IMO Fox news are not the enemy, but they are willing collaborators out of self-interest. OTOH there are certain on-air individuals at Fox News who appear to be cultivating their own cult of personality and the influence that goes with it, potentially for future political careers.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

Fox doesn't seem to me to take the lead in creating these inflammatory fictions, though. It just jumps on lines started by someone else, and promotes them to fire up their viewership and get views on TV and the Internet, on which basis they can charge more for advertising. As a whole they aren't interested in power, only profit. To employ the adversarial terminology that's cropping up on this thread, IMO Fox news are not the enemy, but they are willing collaborators out of self-interest. OTOH there are certain on-air individuals at Fox News who appear to be cultivating their own cult of personality and the influence that goes with it, potentially for future political careers.


I agree that Fox isn’t the cause or instigator of the lies and outrage, but they are absolutely the biggest amplifier of it. And the problem will not improve until that gets attenuated somehow. 

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Yeah, I've seen a fair bit of concern being expressed about Sinclair, especially as. IIRC, restrictions on station ownership are being relaxed.  That's part of the reason why saying "Fox is the enemy" is somewhat misleading, as they're not the whole of the issue.  

 

And to LL:  it's debatable whether Fox takes the lead.  Sometimes I think they do...not necessarily intentionally, but by getting a guest on who can drop a nice juicy nugget whose reality is largely only in their own mind, then running with it.  And running.  And running.  And running.  And you can't separate Fox from their hosts, particularly now, when they've decreased their news coverage and increased their hosts' air time.

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One of the more terrifying claims I have heard -- and I hope this isn't true -- is that Fox is very near the point of *not needing* to sell ads. Its principle revenue stream is simply what it charges cable companies to carry it. Fox can and does charge a *lot." The argument is, "If you don't carry Fox News, a large portion of the American public will not buy your cable service *at all.* We're what they want; any other station you offer must ride our coat-tails. So you will pay whatever we ask."

 

So, threatening companies with boycotts unless they stop advertising on Fox News might not be an effective threat. In which case, Fox literally becomes a power unto itself.

 

Like I said, I hope this is some Lefty's hysteria. But it sounds horribly plausible.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I'll buy the first part:  that Fox charges through the nose because they're a must-carry.  I saw someone asserting they could drop the ads, but...even if they could cover all costs, that'd cut their profits, so that is simply Not Gonna Happen.  

 

These disputes happen, and they will get worse.  I remember Fox just spamming their broadcasts with complaints about, IIRC, AT&T U-verse not wanting to pay whatever they were charging.  For a couple weeks, IIRC, NFL games on Fox were all but unwatchable for me.  I can also remember ABC and CBS issues.  More info on this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carriage_dispute

 

Cord-cutting may well turn into a transformational phenomenon.  I daresay practically no one is *happy* with the size of their cable or satellite bill...unless it's $0 because they already switched.  Numbers I've seen online:  90M in 2018, 86M+ in 2019, estimated a touch under 83M in 2020 and a touch under 80M for 2021.  This may *strengthen* Fox's position for now;  "if you don't have us, what's gonna keep half your subscribers from bailing?"  And if they can hold onto that stance for a couple years, their own streaming service may well grow enough so they can take a major cut in carriage fees, and not really care.

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FOX's big-name talent are "big-name talent" because they're featured on FOX. It's not because they're good.

 

They could transition them all out and replace them with people at half the salary and be just fine.

 

And boycotts will never completely cut off revenues. FOX at best would be forced to cut rates enough to attract new advertisers who want to reach a large audience of gullible people.

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Sure, Fox could replace them, at least for a while.  BUT, they'd just move to some other venue, and take some of their fans with them.  That's not something Fox wants, not over the longer term.  ESPN has had more complex issues;  they could never cover ALL the sports world, especially college football and basketball, but their cost-cutting layoffs and other moves have, I think, helped all the others.  They may be the #1 sports network, but they carry almost none of the top events any more.  Second worst NFL allotment (TNF is the worst of course), no college basketball tourney, almost no postseason baseball (and nothing in the later rounds).  NBA finals is ABC, not ESPN;  same owner but you don't need cable for it.  That's markedly reduced their status.  And that's what Fox would rather NOT have happen.

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Thinking more about this...

 

The escalating tension between corporate America and the ReTrumplicans might provide the the dynamic to either force the Party to clean up its act...or see the Party split.  Either should isolate the Trump wing, which should help to contain them.

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56 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

Thinking more about this...

 

The escalating tension between corporate America and the ReTrumplicans might provide the the dynamic to either force the Party to clean up its act...or see the Party split.  Either should isolate the Trump wing, which should help to contain them.

 

I think corporate America has been looking for an excuse to run like a bunny from the Trumpists. There's not a much more pure cause in our society than "one person, one vote" so trying to legislate that away is not something which is easily ignored because it doesn't go away before the next election.

 

Yeah corporations want to be able to play the political game where they give to each side so that they aren't legislatively locked out no matter which party comes into power. But it's more important that they have customers from virtually all minority groups...and latching onto a party which is almost reaching the point of posting neon signs saying "Only Whites Need Apply" is damaging their base of potential customers.

 

Yeah, Republicans can point to individual Democrats doing shenanigans like snowbirds who are registered to vote in NY and Florida and who vote in both or who pick whichever state to vote in which has the hottest races this time around. Or Indian reservations which don't have universal street addresses so that individuals can claim in each election to live on whichever side of the border that has the most important races. But there's no longer advantages which the Democrats as an organized party are writing into law like there were 80-100 years ago.

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I don't believe the GOP understands how to clean up their act. They have no policies other than obstructionism and fear-mongering. They drove out all their members with independent thought and imagination. They're still kowtowing to Donald Trump to chase after his dwindling base of support. What remains of the Republican Party does not look to me to be capable of adapting to a changing reality. This move by corporate CEOs may be the final nail in the party's coffin.

 

Of course the CEOs are no white hats. As archer points out, their ultimate motivation is self-interest. But I'm fine with the sharks devouring each other instead of the rest of us.

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Well... A fellow in the NYTimes last week argued the Republicans don't actually care about legilation anymore because they now have such a dominant position in Federal courts that they can achieve their plutocratic agenda without passing a single law. All they need to do now is block Democrats for a while.

 

I am not sure I accept this. The GOP is far more hive-mindy than Dems, but this argument assumes a degree of internal cohesion and mental discipline that I find difficult to believe in any large group of people. Some of the shrewder politicians may think this way; I can see it for Mitch McConnell, for instance. But a large portion of the party's cadre seems genuinely to express the fears and delusions of the party's base.

 

(N.B. "fears and delusions." Both terms are necessary. Some of the base's fears are real, insofar as American culture is really changing in ways that a significant portion of the population finds alien and terrifying. But there are also delusions not grounded in any sort of reality.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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