Why Dominion vs. FOX News Doesn’t Matter

There is something comforting about having a favorite fictional world to escape into at the end of a long day or a stressful week. A nice glass of wine, maybe a fine sipping whiskey and a trip to Middle Earth, Hogwarts School, or even a galaxy far, far away goes a long way towards relieving stress. One of my favorite ways to wind down on a Saturday afternoon is to beam myself up to the Enterprise to hang out with my friends from Jean-Luc Picard’s Star Trek generation. I have visited these places so many times that the pages are yellowed and the VHS tapes have been replaced by various forms of digital media.

At the end of the day, though, when I close the books or turn off the media I return to the real world. I don’t actually believe I’m a wizard, nor am I a Jedi Knight or an officer in Starfleet, as much as I wish those things were true sometimes.

That’s not the case for the religious viewers of FOX News (heretofore referred to as Faux News).

If you haven’t been following the story, Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment network was sued by Dominion Voting Systems over the network’s insistence that the 2020 US Presidential election was rigged for Joe Biden, with voting machines pre-programmed to prevent the previous President from winning re-election. Dominion sued Faux for defamation, and the ensuing investigation turned up some staggering and incredibly damaging internal communications from the talking heads at Faux. They openly admitted they were very intentionally lying to boost ratings and even revealed their own strong, negative feelings about the former President they worship on a daily basis.

Rather than have all of their celebrity hosts take the stand for days on end to talk about how much they lied and why, Faux settled for roughly $800 million to avoid the humiliation.

It’s been interesting to see the overall reaction to the settlement, with many actual journalists expressing regret that Faux wasn’t forced to publicly (on their own network) admit to their lies and apologize to Dominion, their own viewers, and perhaps the rest of America for the damage done by their “reporting,” some of which led directly to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at our nation’s capital. The most extreme may be Keith Olbermann, whom I believe suffered an aneurism in the middle of his infuriated rant on the subject when reporting the news of the settlement. CNN’s Jake Tapper couldn’t even keep a straight face when he read the statement from Faux following the settlement:

“We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards,” the company said.

Highest journalistic standards? The absurdity is impossible to overstate, but reminds me of Sideshow Bob stepping on the same rake over and over. “D’OH!”

But here’s the thing. as discouraging as it may seem that Faux wasn’t forced to air their personal mea culpa on air, change their product to actually report real news or even be forced off the air altogether, none of that would have changed anything.

Frankly, none of this matters, at all.

Faux devotees are not poor lemmings being fooled by the evil corporation who controls their information and their minds. OK, well, maybe some of them are, but a high percentage of them are simply easing into their favorite fiction at the end of a long, stressful day. They want to believe what Tucker Carlson is dishing out so they keep tuning in, even though in the back of their minds they may be peripherally aware that Carlson may not be telling them the straight truth. They want to believe, for example, that the former President is still President, and on Carlson’s show he is. If Carlson were to suddenly start reporting that the 2020 election was free and fair and their guy just lost, they would turn him off and switch over to one of the other channels playing the same disinformation game.

Like so many of the big issues facing our country today, the toothpaste is out of the tube and it’s nearly impossible to put it back. It would be nice to think we could re-instate The Fairness Doctrine and force all news to actually factually report news, but President Ronald Reagan let that particular ship sail. People of that particular mindset will find their fiction somewhere and live in that world.

What will be the end result? Some think another civil is inevitable, and perhaps it is. For my part, I’ll keep writing this blog and talking to people about the truth. Maybe in some small way it will help. If we all do it, maybe it will help in a big way! I just know that doing nothing is not an option for me.


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