We’ve been covering the chaos in the Republican Party, but we shouldn’t overlook the chaos inside the conservative media's swampy ecosphere.
Like the Republican Party writ large, conservative media must deliver an excess of fear and hate that alienates mainstream America and leads to diminishing audiences. Dangerously, this far-right bubble breeds mini-autocrats with the popular appeal of a stink bomb in a movie theater.
This means that for all of the Fox Newses, Newsmaxes, and Daily Wires of the world, there is a finite number of potential customers and those numbers aren’t growing. For any individual conservative media organization to grow, it must steal audience from a rival, and that means they take every chance to go after each other. So when former unofficial Republican minister of propaganda Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News, the right wing-o-sphere began to claw at each other like rats stuck to the bottom of a sinking barrel.
There are many theories as to what may or may not have been the proverbial last straw, but the reality is Tucker was fired for many reasons. And none of those reasons was the ridiculous notion that he was fired because Fox News is too woke, as the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal and Newsmax suddenly claim.
Let the right-wing battle begin!
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This purposefully misleading claim that wokeness cost Carlson his job was straight out of the Fox News playbook as pioneered by its CEO Roger Ailes in the mid 2000s.
The civil war between Fox News and its parasitic satellite media companies
isn’t the only rupture in the right-wing-o-sphere. Ever heard of Steven Crowder?
Crowder first came to prominence when he was punched in the face by a union protester in 2012. Along with people like Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and to a lesser extent, Charlie Kirk, Crowder occupies a lower tier of the right-wing-o-sphere online. It’s a media space that caters mostly to very angry, young, and occasionally despondent men. Their job is to provide ahistorical scaffolding, reinforcing the unsophisticated belief they should blame structural inequalities in our country on everyone but the billionaire class. Usually, the targets of their ire are the most marginalized people. As uninspired as those characters are, occupants of this tier do have solid followings and online revenue, and in the case of Owens, Shapiro, and Peterson, lucrative platforms at the Daily Wire.
Back in January, transphobic gun-toting manchild Crowder released a video accusing the Daily Wire of trying to negotiate a ”slave contract” with him. Rather than ignore it, Owens released a video saying Crowder was clearly dealing with something and called Crowder’s airing of business negotiations a “bitch move” on her show. The Daily Wire’s CEO Jeremy Boreing followed this up with a one-hour video going through seemingly every detail of the contract that Crowder was crying about, not that anyone cared.
Things quieted down until April when Crowder released a new video announcing that he had
been going through a divorce, and hilariously accused Owens of threatening him with exposure and “extorting” him. His video included strange assertions about things nobody would possibly ask about. For example, he kept saying that the dissolution of his marriage wasn’t his kids’ fault (his kids are younger than 2, by the way), and that there was “no abuse.” Then Crowder lamented that he lived in Texas (a no-fault divorce state) where his estranged wife was allowed to file for divorce no matter what he wanted.
Owens fired back, calling Crowder “a crazy man” and saying she was going to send him a cease and desist letter. Then video was leaked online from the Crowder residence’s Ring camera showing a seemingly abusive Crowder berating his eight-months-pregnant wife about taking the car for errands.
Vying for a place in the right-wing world is a matter of finding yourself a billionaire patron. It does not matter if you are on television, the web, or on Capitol Hill. The problem with billionaires is that they are almost all one-trick obsessives. The power they wield does not mean they have a meaningful strategy to run a country.
Just ask Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose presidential campaign launch on Twitter, in tandem with Elon Musk’s endorsement, went almost as catastrophically as Trump’s Truth Social media efforts.
This is partly why the Republican Party is unable to organize around any meaningful strategy (let alone popular public policy) besides eliminating democracy and individual rights. Whether it’s on Capitol Hill or in the right-wing media landscape, the conservative movement is sewage circling the drain. The result is a completely ineffective group of screaming narcissists demanding power and attention with no plan for anyone but themselves.
Fox was fine with Tucker's hate-filled lies. So what changed?
Watch: Conservative who wrote entire chapter on ‘woke’ stumped when asked what 'woke' means
Watch as Rep. Ted Lieu lets right-wing pundit Candace Owens eat her own words