The plot of this drama is building rapidly to an obvious crisis

You know what the current, defeated president is watching right now? OAN. We should be concerned. That’s not a news network, it’s a propaganda organ for far-right lies, and they’re feeding his delusions.

We got through the election all right, but I worry about the spectacle that’s going to occur on 20 January. Trump believes and is loudly proclaiming that he won the election, and OAN is stirring up his angry mob. They’re going to show up for Biden’s inauguration, they’re heavily armed, and even if the Secret Service and the cops manage to winkle the wannabe-tyrant out of the oval office without needing to call in the marines, there may be blood in the streets.

We’re watching an irresponsible “news” network feeding the paranoid delusions of a madman. Are there no laws regulating the accuracy of journalism? Not that OAN practices anything remotely like journalism.


  1. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    This was decided by the Supreme Court in a case brought against a Florida Fox News station. Yes, “freedom of speech” means you can call it “journalism” and “lie your face off.”

  2. microraptor says

    It would be nice if advertisers would actually start abandoning that festering shithole of a network in response to this. You know, something that would actually be a consequence that hurt them.

  3. davidc1 says

    Anyone seen the clip where a woman reporter asks him a question ,and he says don’t talk to me in that way ?
    Once a bully ,always a bully .
    This might cheer you up some ,a wackaloon who donated two and half million dollars to a bunch of crooks looking into
    voter fraud ,want’s his money back .
    They have offered him a million to drop the case .
    Anyone know how i can get an Nigerian email address ?

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Hairhead @ 2, Fox News considered setting up shop in Canada back when Harper was prime minister.
    They backed out when they realised Canadian law does not, in fact, permit deliberate lying.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    If you read Noam Chomsky you know the current “free” press is anything but.
    Recently, a whiltleblower revealed that MSNBC had a list of candidates in the primary for the Democratic presidential campaign that were to be ignored.
    And in Britain, far-right Israel lobbyist organisations have successfully demonised those who protest the policies of the Israeli government as anti-semites, and the press- and the nominally independent BBC -are playing along.
    It is quite an achievment of Fox to be worse than mainstream media, and an achievement of OAN to be worse than Fox.

  6. raven says

    They’re going to show up for Biden’s inauguration, they’re heavily armed, and even if the Secret Service and the cops manage to winkle the wannabe-tyrant out of the oval office without needing to call in the marines, there may be blood in the streets.

    I don’t see how there is going to be much of a crowd for Biden’s inauguration. We are in the middle of a huge and increasing pandemic right now. It would be like Sturgis S.D. except for the intelligentsia of Washington DC, i.e. another super spreader event.

    I’m very surprised there hasn’t yet been blood in the streets. Whenever you have hate speech like Fox NoNews or OAN, there is always hate violence. Someone doesn’t get the memo that says it is all make believe and let’s pretend.

  7. says

    The only part of the post that I might quibble about is whether or not the Angry Cheeto actually does believe he won the election. The Cheeto is a malignant narcissist, after all; he says what he says solely and entirely to manipulate other people into doing what he wants them to do. So it doesn’t matter whether or not the Cheeto actually believes he won. Saying that riles up his worshippers—sorry, I mean “base”—so that they will continue to chant his name and give him money, and that’s all the Cheeto cares about. Such bourgeois fripperies as “truth” and “honesty” are completely irrelevant to the Cheeto, as best I can tell.

  8. garnetstar says

    mailliw @3, I love that! Does anyone remember, after one of the SCOTUS challenges, the headline “Affordable Care Cat Has Been Upheld”?

    Trump is planning to screw the electoral college vote now: he’s dropped hints, as always, of his plans. Seems like that won’t succeed. His last card will be to incite violence, and he’d do it without hesitation (he’s already acceleration federal executions, and trying to bring back electrocution and firing squads). Yeah, if I was Biden, I’d say that I’m having a very scaled-down inauguration, possibly no live audience allowed, no festivities, because of the pandemic. And keeping quiet about how it’s also to head off a massacre.

    I was surprised when armed cultists didn’t act out after the election, but possibly they were held off by Trump’s lawsuits and claims that he’d win. Or else by being poseurs who boast a lot, but never take action.

    Next might be attacks on state capitols on the day that the electors meet there to vote. I’d post a lot of security there too. Those armed freaks who held the memorable threatening protest at the Michigan capitol could have easily massacred a lot of people there that day, and now, at the word of the Leader, they might.

    I’m just not thinking that this is going to end without some people being killed.

  9. whheydt says

    The Biden people have already talked about having a scaled down inauguration, so there’s that being taken care of.

    I’m in favor of having the US Forrest Service get Trump out of the White House…Tranquilizer dart, weigh him, attach an ear tag, and release him into his native habitat. A tracking collar might be a good idea as well.

  10. says

    “release him into his native habitat.

    TV sound stage?
    uncle frogy”

    Set him up in his very own Truman Show, except in his case his audience would be imaginary. He’s had pretty rapid turnover in his cast of flunkies, so it wouldn’t raise his suspicion if he found himself with a whole new cast of them around him, inside the dome, who were actually actors. (With the exception of Giuliani, who would also be none the wiser.)

  11. says

    birgerjohansson@6 Murdoch tried to set up Fox News Canada, in cooperation with Canwest/Global, at the end of Jean Chretien’s term as Prime Minister and the beginning of Paul Martin’s.. It fell apart over media ownership regulations. The core Fox News channel was subsequently approved for carriage on Canadian cable by the CRTC in 2004. Canadian regulations prohibit licensees from broadcasting news that they know is false or misleading, but that does not apply to Fox News, which does not have a Canadian broadcast license.

  12. Rich Woods says

    Are there no laws regulating the accuracy of journalism?

    Nope. Herr Goebbels can pick up his press card from OAN and walk into the White House as long as the Press Office invite him and the Secret Service decide he isn’t carrying a gun. He can then use his backers’ laundered money to say anything he wants about the event.

  13. xohjoh2n says

    Bah, can’t find the particular clip on youtube:

    Clark’s an amateur.

    – He still thinks he’s in charge.
    – Isn’t he?

    Megacorporations have been
    running things for years.

    We just don’t show ourselves much.
    People wouldn’t understand.

    So we let them think they
    still have a voice.

    We let Clark have his way because we didn’t
    see this thing coming until it was too late.

    Now it’s a threat to our business interests,
    and we’ll fix it. In our own way.

    Quietly. Behind the scenes.

    We just need a little more time
    to make this work.

  14. says

    It’s an open question whether Trump actually watches OANN, because he and his son have a bunch of money in it and are trying to convince the Fox News viewership to jump ship to it, which makes any declarations about his viewing habits somewhat questionable — Trump didn’t get a diploma at Trump University, but he directed rubes to shell out money to take the classes. I suspect that he’s still watching Fox — for somebody who keeps loudly proclaiming how awful and treacherous Fox is, he seems to be really well-informed what they’re saying about him.

  15. John Morales says

    Vicar, I very much doubt that, even for a dolt in his dotage, Trump can’t manage to watch both networks.

    (Or, it’s not XOR)

    Much more on-topic:
    I can certainly form a hypothesis about his watching habits: the degree of attention he will pay to media is positively correlated to the degree that an item is either personal, and within that to the degree it’s laudatory or enabling.

    (Yeah, I know… not the most brilliant insight, but then, at least it’s not palpably stupid. Ahem)

  16. says

    @#18, John Morales:

    Either Trump is as stupid as Democrats want to say he is, in which case he’s too stupid to keep up with two narratives at once, or he’s not, in which case he’s definitely smart enough to lie about watching OANN.

  17. John Morales says

    Hey, Vicar, somehow I’m not surprised you attempt to spurn the Democrats by attributing to them your own claim.

    But hey! You want to keep claiming (I don’t believe you yourself believe your own claim) the two activities are mutually exclusive, I can’t stop you.
    Obvious bullshit though it is.

    (“as stupid as Democrats want to say he is” is a nice flourish)

  18. littlejohn says

    Of course there can be no laws requiring accuracy in journalism, for precisely the same reason there can be no laws requiring accuracy in religious texts or the conversations you may have with your friends: All are specifically protected by the First Amendment.
    If we pass a constitutional amendment placing conditions on freedom of the press, it’s just a matter of time before a right-wing majority in government uses against objective, professional journalists they don’t like, or you.

  19. hackerguitar says

    It’s time to note David Frum’s theory which is both perceptive and terrifying, and absolutely predicts this behavior by His Tangerine Oleaginousness:

    “Maybe you do not care much about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”
    ― David Frum, Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic

  20. PaulBC says

    hackerguitar@22 It’s safe to say I don’t care about the future of the GOP as much as Frum does. I agree that conservatives will always exist, but beyond that I think they need to take care of themselves. They don’t want my advice anyway.

  21. says

    Vicar: If Trump isn’t watching OANN, why would he lie about it?

    It’s far more plausible to think he’s watching it because Fox are no longer telling him what he wants to hear; and bragging about it to get more of his supporters to watch it.