Trump Ditches Fox News For New, Younger Sidepiece OANN
Donald Trump's younger brother died this weekend, and while I'm sure that's a damn shame, the president doesn't have time to grieve like normal citizens. Last week, the United States averaged 52,388 new confirmed COVID-19 cases every day. That's a modest decrease from the previous week, but still at least 169,600 Americans have died since March. This is why Trump must bury his grief and focus on the all-consuming job of TV critic.
The president of the United States is using his personal Twitter account to promote the propaganda outlet and fake-poll dealer One America News Network. I'm not sure how many Fox News viewers will start "turning their dial" to OANN, but it must sting to see Trump publicly fooling around with new, younger state media.
On the weekends, when decent people are doing almost anything else, Fox airs “America's News Headquarters" with Elizabeth Prann and Leland Vittert. Chris Wallace, who humiliated Trump on air, hosts "Fox News Sunday" at 2 p.m. What did they do to piss off fearless leader this weekend? Trump holds grudges for a lifetime, but his critical impulses are impulsive and rash. Maybe someone read real poll numbers.
Wallace did have a nice segment about past Democratic Party conventions in advance of the one that will showcase the next president, Joe Biden. Barack Obama's star-making keynote address at the 2004 convention was featured, and Wallace gushed a little about meeting Obama for the first time and realizing he had “game." Obama even said he looked forward to appearing on the “fair and balanced" network. We were all so much younger then.
On the eve of the 2020 Democratic convention, we have put together a special look back at memorable moments from pa… https://t.co/ZAUpvV1t0d— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday)1597587331.0
Trump was probably pissed that Matthews selectively edited the convention clips so that the Democrats resembled normal US politicians and not black-robed Satanists who ritually skin alive cops.
Wallace also interviewed Trump campaign idiot Steve Cortes, and went after him for the campaign spreading "birther"-style crap about Kamala Harris. So maybe Trump was pissed off about that.
OANN's weekend coverage was far more to the president's tastes. It's been running the Kremlin-esque "Biden Bribe Tapes" with the regularity that TNT used to air "Law & Order" repeats. Trump was impeached for trying to extort Ukraine into publicly smearing his likely political opponent, but OANN wants to convince suckers that Biden's the dirty one.
Maybe Fox News has just broken our spirits over the years, but its news programming at least attempts a veneer of center-right respectability, in contrast with the network's overtly partisan programming. OANN doesn't even bother and comes across like a movie parody of a fascist TV network during a dystopian future. Just check out what Trump is peddling:
Soros backed org. ‘Minnesota Freedom Fund’ releasing murderers, rapists ... https://t.co/eTZjL4p37O @PearsonSharp #OANN— One America News (@One America News)1597610362.0
The blonde anchor with the Farrah Fawcett hair outright states that “radical socialist billionaire George Soros" backs the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Soros isn't a socialist (billionaires tend to make lousy ones). Rightwingers have attempted to link their favorite bogeyman, Soros, to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, but his big “tie" to the organization is that its executive director, Tonja Honsey, was named a “Soros fellow" in 2019.
OANN claims the Minnesota Freedom Fund is bailing out “murderers" and “rapists." Although America (unfortunately) has a cash bail system, few judges will grant bail to people they consider threats to the public. People accused of serious crimes (especially if they're white) are routinely released on bail pending trial. Criminal defendants are not less dangerous because they can afford bail.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund releasing (Black) killers on the street to rape white women is a popular scary topic for Tucker Carlson's white power hour, but Trump wants Americans to see this garbage in the context of a “news" broadcast.
OANN is dangerous, next-level Fox News, just like QAnon wack jobs are dangerous, next-level Tea Partiers. You can't afford to dismiss this as your racist relatives' “quirkiness" like you did Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck back in the day. If you see them “turning their dials" to OANN, break the damn TV. Our democracy is at stake.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."