In the hours and days after it became clear that twice-impeached and never popular former President Donald Trump had lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, the right-wing-o-sphere began carrying fascists’ water. As Donald Trump and his minions began crying about getting more votes than last time and still losing (even though last time they “won” by getting fewer votes than Hillary Clinton), Fox News hosts and others started promoting every harebrained conspiracy theory related to secret deep-state election fraud.
The culmination of all this was an attempted coup d’etat at our nation’s Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. But before all of that, people like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani, and others pushed the idea that Dominion Voting Systems had not only been compromised by everyone from Hillary Clinton to the ghost of Hugo Chavez, but that the owners of those voting machines were complicit in the plot, either by willful negligence or active conspiracy. Since all of this has been proven false time and time again, Dominion Voting Systems launched a billion-dollar lawsuit against some of the right-wing outlets attacking the integrity of its voting equipment.
Recently, The New York Times reported that the Dominion Voting case is not going away for Fox News as the voting machine company has been deposing on-air personalities while actively pursuing the discovery phase of their case. One of those personalities is Pirro. NPR got their hands on an email from a Fox News producer, and according to the report it shows the people behind the scenes knew exactly how toxic the on-air “talent” was regarding our democracy.
According to NPR, an email from a producer has surfaced during the discovery phase of Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox News that warned others Pirro had to be kept off the air as she was throwing every conspiracy theory she could find at the audience. According to NPR, the producer reportedly pleaded for Pirro to be taken off of hosting duties. As Dominion Voting Systems’ complaint against Fox News details, there were a ton of reasons why anyone who understands what the definition of defamation is would want to mute Pirro.
That same day, Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal once again stated that the accusations against Dominion were false and that the Georgia recount had confirmed the accuracy of Dominion’s machines. On November 21, 2020, the day after Fox received Dominion’s letter, Fox went right back on the attack against Dominion, with Pirro repeating and amplifying Giuliani’s never-made-in-litigation claims that Dominion was an “organized criminal enterprise” “started in Venezuela with Cuban money” that could and did “flip votes” “with the assistance of Smartmatic software,” thus creating the “stunning” ballot “dump[s]” in the early morning of November 4 that “fill[ed] in” votes for Biden. In order to drive home the lies about Dominion, Pirro rhetorically asked, “why was there an overnight popping of the vote tabulation that cannot be explained for Biden?”
The right-wing-o-sphere of the country, both its media and its political leadership, is a cauldron of bigotry and fear and corruption and narcissism. When that gets roiling, it isn’t cream that rises to the top—it’s scum like Pirro. Pirro’s political career was sidetracked after her “influential Republican businessman” husband Albert was convicted of “conspiracy and tax evasion.” Like Trump and Giuliani, she was a corrupt failure of a rich person, someone who abused their positions of power and then found a second life as a tough-on-crime, no-bullshit bullshit artist with a 1970s New York accent. Since then she has spewed racism, sexism, Islamophobia, the threats of violence and embodied the general unpleasant hypocrisy of the GOP.
Fox News was not the only right-wing propaganda machine involved in the massive onslaught of mis- and disinformation surrounding the results of the 2020 election. Places like OAN and Sinclair Broadcasting were also quick to put on every Tom, Dick, and Harry willing to promise vague proof that the election had been stolen. In every single one of those cases, those Toms and Dicks and Harrys all provided easily debunked and mostly bad-faith arguments for how the Big Lie was perpetrated.
As a result, all of those outlets have been either threatened with lawsuits or have been sued by not only Dominion Voting Systems, but Florida-based Smartmatic, which sued for billions in damages. And while Fox News has somewhat fallen out of favor with Trump after having been the outlet to call Arizona for Biden—throwing a ginormous wrench into Trump’s plan to steal the election—Trump’s allegiance and reliance on the soggy brain trust that is Fox News hosts is well attested to by those on the inside.
Donald Trump and his MAGA allies came close to overthrowing our democracy on January 6, and they will try again if they win in 2022. The best thing you can do is to help get out the Democratic vote for the midterms, and we need everyone to do what they can. Click here to find all the volunteer opportunities available.
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