Fox News is a fascist network propping up an incompetent buffoon of a leader. Coronavirus proved it
Only hours after Donald Trump on Friday gave a press conference begrudgingly admitting the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic he had been insisting was "under control" for nearly a month, Fox News' most toxic hosts revised their own previously denial-heavy rhetoric to match. Once again, it demonstrates the status of the network as "state news" operation devoted near-exclusively to the needs of conservative propaganda.
If the line from Dear Leader is that alarm over the virus is a "hoax" intended to damage him, that is what Sean Hannity will also say—even knowing that his words will kill some of the network's own viewers. If the line from Dear Leader is that alarm over the virus is now warranted, Sean Hannity is himself freed to declare that alarm is warranted. But this, too, will be used primarily as a launching point for further praise of the self-promoting, incompetent Dear Leader.
Here is Sean Hannity on Friday, the evening after Trump shifted tone from sneering at administration critics to declaring a national emergency, while still sneering at administration critics. "Tonight, we are witnessing what will be a massive paradigm shift in the future of disease control and prevention. A bold, new precedent is being set, the world will once again benefit greatly from America's leadership. It will give us reason to be proud as a country. The federal government, state governments, private businesses, top hospitals all coming together, under the president's leadership, to stem the tide of the coronavirus."
Note the use of the word "bold," one of the otherwise near-illiterate president's favorite adjectives. It is Dear Leader's "leadership" that has allowed the United States to finally do what it has done in every similar crisis; declaring a national emergency is now not a longstanding designation allowing our or any government to take specific, defined steps to combat a new threat but a "bold new precedent" from Dear Leader, for the "benefit" of the world.
Sean Hannity spent weeks lying about the virus, downplaying its dangerousness and its spread. Now that the game is up and members of his audience will, with near-certainty, be dying in large part due to Dear Leader's inaction and Sean Hannity’s teleprompter, Sean Hannity will now spend weeks praising Dear Leader's "boldness" with a North Korean polish and a distinctly Fox News sneer. The Washington Post notes that Hannity was matched in this new revision of state propaganda by Laura Ingraham, among others. Go only so far as Dear Leader himself is willing to; follow Dear Leader as Dear Leader meanders his mental way through each new moment of revelation. No further.
Devil-among-us Jerry Falwell Jr., a frequent Fox guest, was on the network Friday morning telling the Fox & Friends couch that his Liberty University would not be shuttering during the crisis, displaying the trademark Fox sneer while downplaying virus scares as "hype," and saying "maybe now this is their next attempt to get Trump." After Trump's Friday declaration, Falwell changed his own tune to acknowledge the severity of the crisis—sort of. In practice, he defended his original decision but said that the Virginia governor's ban on gatherings of 100 or more people "left us no practical choice."
This week, after a "somber" Trump once again bowed to realities his advisers had never before been able to drill into his skull, Fox News hosts matched his new rhetoric as well. Useful network idiot Jesse Watters changed his tune over the weekend. Not because of the presidential about-face, certainly not. It was "mom."
"She is suspicious that I might have coronavirus. I wore the gloves all afternoon in the house. That's what it is. I didn't take the social distancing that seriously Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, I went out to dinner here in the city. And I woke up this morning I realized that was not the right move."
Do we really believe that Watters had not noticed that the world outside the Fox News studio was incongruent with the reports from inside until a morning revelation? Or was Monday morning the first moment in which it was safe to note it without penalty?
I am tired of this. I am very, very tired of the pretense that anything this scabby sore of a network does revolves around anything but propping up the most narrow and most radical of agendas; demonization of Dear Leader's enemies and maudlin praise for Dear Leader's boldness. It is a fascist network using the bog-standard rhetorical tools of fascism to prop up a fascist, incompetent buffoon of a leader. They will attack anyone on Dear Leader's behalf. They will let their audience die—they will provide the crematory, if needed—if Dear Leader needs to just one more evening of adulation to get him through the next day without full-on emotional collapse.
Sean Hannity goads his viewers into support for ignoring even a pandemic until the moment it can no longer be ignored. He will goad his viewers again, this time into believing it was Dear Leader who limited the deaths to whatever horrific number they may rise to. Very, very rich men who want just a bit more money than they already have will watch him do it, and allow him to do it, and will pay him to do it.
They will, if anything, order that more flags be added to the network graphics.