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Research reveals the damage right-wing media has inflicted on America — and it’s just the tip of the iceberg

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- Commentary

Donald Trump wants to go after social media because Twitter pointed out one of his lies. And, in fact, social media has done a lot of damage to America and the American body politic, with the most visible example being its help in putting Donald Trump in the White House in 2016.

But even more concerning should be Fox News and right wing hate radio. A new study out of Columbia university finds that when people in any particular ZIP Code experience a 1% increase in Fox News viewership, it “reduces the propensity to stay at home by 8.9 percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic average.”

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In other words, one of the reasons that so many people have died in America right now is because conservative media has been repeatedly and consistently promoting the idea that this virus is a Democratic hoax or a “bad flu.“

Right wing media has gone from being the fringe home of crackpots and paranoids to a major influence in American culture and politics.

At the same time, the billionaire owners of this media have successfully avoided any responsibility or liability for the political chaos, destruction, and even the deaths they have caused, while they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Before the coronavirus, you could argue that right wing media has been merely disruptive to democracy and the public good. Now, this new study from Columbia University shows, it is actually responsible for death.

In Rwanda, it was right wing talk radio that incited and lead that country’s genocidal slaughter of its own people. In the 1930s in Germany, right wing radio talk shows were used to identify Jews and trade unionists so that angry mobs could attack them.

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Today in the United States people who are heavy consumers of right wing media have threatened elected officials with guns, spat viruses on workers in stores who were simply trying to protect the public, and gone out of their way to provoke police to kill people of color.

A court in Seattle this week threw out an attempt to hold Fox News responsible for some of the deaths in Washington state that resulted from their commentator’s irresponsible statements.

Since Trump and McConnell have packed about a quarter of our federal courts with unqualified, right wing judges it’s unlikely the courts will offer any help to our country with this crisis.

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The challenge America confronts today is how to reverse the damage that three decades of right wing media have done to our country and our people.


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‘Most people are not wearing masks’ as Trump hosts the ‘largest event since the start of the pandemic’ at the White House

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President Donald Trump on Saturday hosted the largest White House event since the start of the coronavirus lockdowns.

As attendees began to gather, the White House press corps posted photos of the event.

While the White House was asking people to wear masks, they were not required to attend the event.

Sign on the South Lawn of the WH for tonight's event: pic.twitter.com/wF6mxrWfLz

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 4, 2020

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2020 Election

Montana GOP ticket sidelined after exposure to COVID-positive Trump, Jr. girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle: report

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The Montana Republican Party is facing a crisis after multiple members of the ticket traveled to South Dakota for Donald Trump's rally and were potentially exposed to COVID-19.

"Montana gubernatorial candidate Rep. Greg Gianforte and his running mate, Kristen Juras, confirmed Saturday they will self-quarantine after Gianforte's wife, Susan, and Juras attended an event last week with Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has since tested positive for COVID-19," KBZK-TV reported Saturday.

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‘Perhaps the most un-American speech ever delivered by an American president’: Ambassador McFaul

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President Donald Trump's address at Mount Rushmore was blasted as "un-American" by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

McFaul retweeted a clip of the leader of the free world failing to pronounce the word, "totalitarianism."

"Trump has no idea what words like fascism and totalitarianism mean," McFaul, now a professor at Stanford, declared.

"To those who wrote this speech and those senior [White House] officials who approved this speech, shame on you. Perhaps the most un-American speech ever delivered by an American president and on the July 4th weekend no less," he explained.

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