If you don't spend every waking moment glued to C-SPAN, you may have missed the latest House Republican panic. No, it's not M&M's this time—that appears to be more a Tucker Carlson-Jim Jordan thing. The great gas stove panic appears to be abating, for now. This time it's because satellite television provider DirecTV decided to drop hoax-promoting, sedition-backing conservative crank network Newsmax, and the hoax-promoting, sedition-backing House Republicans who have relied on the network as a place for them to say the most hoax-promoting, sedition-backing things are very put out by that.
Is it evidence that our free markets are still free? Is it an example of the marketplace of ideas deciding, for itself, that some "ideas" are not worthy of sale? Oh, not a chance. No, an enormous corporate behemoth dropping a network infamous for spreading false information that has encouraged real-world violence is, to House Republicans, like the Holocaust.
First off, Burlison's brazen murder of the "famous quote" he was trying to invoke should result in a full forensic investigation and, hopefully, a court-ordered muzzle for our new friend here. Rep. Eric Burlison has been in high office approximately five minutes and has already made a name for himself with new legislation to repeal the "tyrannical" National Firearms Act, a new seat on the House committee Republicans have announced will now be devoted primarily to investigating Joe Biden, and, now, comparing the most minor of conservative inconveniences to the Holocaust.
For the record, a corporation bowing out of a financial relationship with another corporation known for promoting hoaxes stirring distrust of immigrants and minority groups, misinformation intended to undermine faith in democratic elections, and the belief that a new moment of (fictional) national crisis is so dire that democracy must be set aside to allow a more authoritarian-minded government to rise and lead us to glory—yeah, um, deciding not to be associated with a rising fascist movement is not like the Holocaust. I don't know how to actually explain this to you; this is typically something the United States Holocaust Museum would weigh in on, either before or after the quote-murdering Republican twit in question made a faux-remorseful visit to the museum to pretend at learning a lesson.
I don't know how you can be an elected official in the United States and still not know that comparing minor butthurts to the methodical extermination of 6 million Jews by a fanatical fascist regime is not a politically tenable position. Surely, by now, this is on page one of the "So you're running for office" pamphlet handed out by party officials to newcomers. Surely.
Burlison was not alone in his belief that a single company suffering the loss of a single contract after promoting conspiracy theories responsible for inciting a violent coup attempt is an existential conservative crisis. It was a gross-a-thon.
No. No it isn't. You are on C-SPAN, right now, on the floor of the House, in a position where the Constitution itself gives you legal immunity no matter what batshit things you might say or what violence you might seek to promote. Americans are hearing directly from you right now, as you say this, in the most maximal possible way.
I mean, there is quite possibly a subset of House Republicans who are so repulsive that nobody but the most hoax-enraptured of conservative outlets can stomach interviewing, but I don't know who they would be. Van Drew seems to do fine for himself in the look-at-me fray of politics.
And then there's this crank, who seems to have responded to her reelection scare by unstrapping herself from all safety equipment and launching herself into the conspiracy stratosphere.
Rep. Lauren Boebert is one of those House Republicans who cannot, at this point, be understood by common mortals without an intervening translator.
Is the Weather Channel in danger of being canceled for lack of, um, bowing at altars? Uh ... no? The "left wants to erase history" charge is an extremely weird one, coming from the party currently hurling out now-countless new laws and regulations, very specifically banning critical mentions of certain parts of our history on the basis of "but what if my son feels bad?"
I'm going to guess she's bitter about taking down statues of prominent Confederate traitors and renaming certain military bases so as to not specifically honor historical figures known for fighting against the U.S. military, rather than for it. And that's about as much as any of us want to wade into whatever's happening inside Rep. Lauren Boebert's mind, I reckon.
Could I just make one suggestion? Ditch the Holocaust comparisons when whining about authoritarian-minded hoax propaganda not getting the public distribution you, personally, would like it to have.
There are plenty of bad things that a House Republican could compare a new indignity to. "Removing Newsmax from DirecTV is like the time that hunter shot Bambi's mom," Rep. Burlison could say, or at least he could have said if he wasn't pretty explicitly on the pro-shooting-Bambi's-mom side of the fence. Perhaps "this is just like the time the Green M&M showed up on my television screen wearing less sexy shoes, crushing the last remnants of my conservative libido" could make an appearance. Or "this is just like the time when Genghis Khan stole my Xbox controller," if you're George Santos.
I don't know. We're all very tired at this point. Parsing the House Republican mind is getting harder with every new influx of coup promoters and the hoax obsessed. Oh, but there's a coda on this story that would put a real damper on this latest round of conservative victimhood if any of them, you know, bothered to pay attention.
Newsmax may be going off the DirecTV airwaves, thanks to a contractual dispute that amounts to DirecTV refusing a Newsmax demand that they help subsidize the costs of the defamation lawsuits Newsmax boldly wandered into while lying about faked election fraud, but it was immediately replaced with ... another hard-right conservative channel.
Specifically, DirecTV replaced Newsmax with The First, a new network featuring shows by ex-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and former National Rifle Association talking head Dana Loesch, two dyed-in-the-wool hard-right figures who House Republicans can't possibly find fault with.
I mean, Bill O'Reilly was fired for being a grotesque sexual harasser—and there's no Republican in the House who's ever balked at being associated with that. O'Reilly even made a long career out of demonizing individual Americans in televised hate campaigns that reliably led to death threats; one of his most focused-on targets was indeed murdered afterward.
So one conservative hoax channel is being replaced with another channel that appears equally willing to promote violence-provoking hoaxes—one that still appears to have no boundaries at all in how slimy their hosts can be on-camera and off. There's even the requisite lawsuit fodder! What the hell are any of you complainers even on about, then?
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