ALTERNATE REALITY

Posted in Rants on October 30th, 2017 by Ed

I traveled for most of today, so I was largely limited to Twitter for getting news updates throughout the day. On the plus side, airports are among the few places in which I can get in some good, quality Fox News watching time.

It is impossible to understand politics in this country without watching Fox News on occasion. By that I mean the beliefs and words of people who watch it for hours and hours every day or consume smaller amounts but with great regularity will never make sense unless you watch it on occasion. It isn't pleasant to watch, admittedly. But you could have watched Fox News from sunrise to sunset today without being aware of what two Trump campaign staffers were indicted for and the (very significant) revelation that a third already plead guilty to lying to investigators about campaign contacts with Russian officials and people they believed to be relatives of Vladimir Putin.

If you're totally out of the habit of watching it, give it another shot. Lately it has been on another level. I'm used to them crowd-testing right wing talking points as excuses for prominent Republicans, and I expected more of that today. Instead, as is becoming increasingly common regarding the network and Trump, their approach is simply to ignore it. Maybe they hope that if they don't answer the front door, the bill collector will go away.

Seriously, it was largely absent from their programming for most of the day. What they did say about the day's news was vague and gave no real impression of what happened or the seriousness of it. It (predictably) veered immediately into accusations about Hillary Clinton (the REAL Russia scandal) and then quickly to something else. ANYTHING else. At one point this afternoon, I shit you not, they spent 20 minutes talking about emojis, something about a cheeseburger emoji. As I type this, Tucker Carlson is interviewing "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams about "The real Russia scandal." I'll give you three guesses what it is.

Imagine watching this all day, every day. Imagine getting your news from there and nowhere else. What would the inside of your brain look like? How many key pieces of reality would be missing from your worldview? Everyone has a relative or friend who has been lost to Fox News, and just a little dose is enough to remind me how it could happen. It's not, as it has often been in the past, a different spin on the news anymore. It is a complete, self-contained alternate universe. No wonder it's impossible to talk to Uncle Steve anymore.

Here in the real world, the Papadopolous thing is huge. Really. Look at the timeline, and ask yourself what purpose was served by arresting him in secret. I'd be VERY surprised if he wasn't scared shitless and then easily talked into wearing a wire for six or eight weeks. And I, for one, can't wait to hear what's on the tapes. The plot is thickening.