2024-06-23 1:05 AM

Editor’s Column: Tucker Carlson’s New Big Lie

The Dominion Election Machines’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News has caused internal Fox documents to come to light that acknowledge beyond any doubt that Fox, including its highest level leadership in Rupert Murdoch, knew it was deliberately lying to its viewers about the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election when it spread the lie that Trump was cheated out of a victory.

This damning evidence if pursued in the legal case against Fox will almost certainly bring the Fox network down. At least it should.

It could be argued that the more recent attempt by Fox’s Tucker Carlson to sanitize the Trump-led January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by use of the 41,000 hours of tapes of the attack he was given by the GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy was, in fact, a desperate “hail Mary” attempt to forestall the inevitable, the demise of Fox entirely as a credible news entity that should be now forthcoming.

But of course we don’t know that this will be the outcome, as much as it should be. That’s because so much of the world’s elites are aligned behind Trump’s side of the story as outrageous as it has become.

Remember, the use of outrageous lies did not begin with Trump claims about the 2020 election outcome. It was clear the first day that Trump took office on January 20, 2017, when his then press secretary made the most outrageous claim that millions of Americans were lining Pennsylvania Avenue and filling the National Mall to overflowing for Trump’s Inauguration.

That singular, massive violation of ordinary sensibilities, was all that anyone should have needed to prove this entire Trump exercise was one of extraordinary grift and lies.

Yes, on that day, the witness of live television cameras, photographers and reporters were subordinated to an extraordinary coordinated lie, and to the extent to which Trump was able to get away with it, the groundwork was laid for the relentless assault by Trump on the media for everything he didn’t like in the coverage of his administration for the next four years.

Honestly, if he was able to get away with that, there is nothing that he couldn’t get away with from that moment forward, including his claim the 2020 election was “stolen.”

I frankly don’t know what should have happened differently on Inauguration Day 2019 when Trump press secretary Sean Spicer came out to the White House press briefing room to insist, contrary to all the evidence, that reality was not what all the reporting said it was that day.

I served a period myself as a White House correspondent, and I honestly can’t imagine what it would have been like to be sitting in that press briefing room and hearing Spicer say what he did.

 Watching on TV, I was stunned. But even more troubling was the fact he got away with it.

Should the reporters there have stormed the podium at that very moment? I don’t know. It came as such a shock to everybody. But the bottom line was that the most outrageous of lies, thrown right in the face of the nation’s elite White House Press Corps, was allowed to pass.

The rest, it might be said, is history.

For my part, I will never forget, or forgive, that moment. And, as I suspected at the time, it defined everything that followed even to this very day.

You see, democracy and the rule of law depend on one decisive thing: that reality, that truth, is recognized. Without some universal standard of truth, we the people have nothing to rely on. Our court system, for example, is dependent and relies on the ability to approximate the truth as best as possible. So do electoral outcomes.

What Trump did was far more insidious in the undermining of our democracy than just cheating about the outcome. He, and his controllers, succeeded in undermining the very basis on which our system of democracy works.

So when Tucker Carlson reverts to a similar technique – the blatant denial of self-evident facts – to make his case, it is in keeping with a now-well known method. Another big lie.

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