WASHINGTON. The right has long complained about media bias, with conservative talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh considering their lies as lethal as bullets. He’s been known to call the purveyors of fake news “the drive-by media.”
A MAGA network?
But there’s a glimmer of hope for truth seekers. President Trump tells close associates he plans to throw his substantial financial might behind a new media venture.
According to Axios:
“President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network… ‘He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,’ said a source with detailed knowledge of Trump’s intentions.”
Since it’s unlikely many cable companies would carry a Trump network on their service… “Trump is considering a digital media channel that would stream online, which would be cheaper and quicker to start,” says Axios.
Shifting the narrative
Having lived through the smears and disinformation hurled his way these past four years, Trump knows the only way to beat legacy media is to join the ranks of alternative information sources now stripping away at mainstream media influence and advertising dollars.
Trump believes if you want to get something done, it’s best to do it yourself.
Fat cats drop the ball
A few years ago, the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers, whose deep pockets gave the Tea Party its establishing grubstake, passed on an opportunity to purchase the financially strapped Los Angeles Times. It seems right-leaning individuals rolling in dough keep walking away from acquiring society-influencing media.
Once upon a time, Fox News was one such influencer, outpacing cable news staples CNN and MSNBC in ratings and impact. Then Newscorp owner Rupert Murdoch sold the lion’s share of Fox assets to Disney – the owner of fantasy theme parks and fantasy-narrative machine, ABC News.
Although Fox News is now part of Murdoch’s stand-alone Fox Corp., the tone of the conservative news network throughout the 2020 presidential cycle morphed into a diminutive squeak, like a certain popular ABC personality. Not George Stephanopoulos but Micky Mouse.
During Fox’s coverage of a news conference by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany concerning election fraud, network personality Neil Cavuto suddenly cut in.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think we have to be very clear she’s charging the other side [Democrats] as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”
Cavuto cut off McEnany.
Like other networks, Fox covered the false accusation, much of it leveled by “the other side,” that President Trump was a tool of Russia. Cavuto never cut off those who made the claim simply because they had no proof to “back that up.” And like all the other networks, Fox broadcast the untrue accusation over and over again for three long years.
It’s clear the folks at Fox believe their conservative and America-First viewers have no place else to go for “fair and balanced” information.
And with fat-cat conservatives refusing to use a portion of their substantial fortunes to buy declining media and flip their biased narratives, it falls to Trump to build an innovative, alternative streaming news source.
Trump discovered the hard way that the same media he so easily manipulated into building his New York City business brand, could be co-opted by others to destroy his “Make America Great Again” political brand.
“Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton once said of our biased media:
“In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.”
But Donald Trump doesn’t forget. And if reports that Trump intends to build a MAGA media empire are true, the product will likely prove a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a media field comprised mostly of rubber chickens.
Top Image: illustration by the author.