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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
Sean Hannity (Photo: Screen capture)

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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‘Get the hell out!’: Trump supporters freak out when protesters show up to Lindsey Graham event

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A small group of protesters came to one of Lindsey Graham's latest campaign events, and they were quickly attacked by supporters of President Donald Trump chanting "four more years."

Graham's event seemed to have more support for Trump than for Graham at his own weekend event. It's unknown why the Trump supporters were not chanting for Graham.

"Get the hell out!" one Trump supporter can be heard shouting. He and another older man were seen wagging their fingers

At least one Graham protester could be seen holding up a sign with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The South Carolina senator is fighting for his political career and many other Republicans struggling to hold onto their seats. Graham is now being confronted with past comments he made saying that no president, regardless of the party, should make a Supreme Court pick right before his or her election.

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Black man takes N-word spewing racist to school — and makes him promise to never do it again

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When a racist White guy at a marina shouted out the N-word at a group of Black men, he probably didn't count on their response being a history lesson, but that's precisely what happened.

While President Donald Trump is claiming that Black community members are beating and killing White racists and responding with general violence, the two men showed a different reality.

"What made you say it?" the men asked.

The white guy shrugged.

"You that racist?" one of the men asks.

"Uh, no, I--" the White guy tried to answer.

"Then why would you call us a n*gger?" one of the men asks.

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Lamar Alexander refuses to stand against Trump Supreme Court choice

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Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is an outgoing Senator but he is firmly supporting President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a statement released Sunday, Alexander claimed that the so-called "McConnell Rule" doesn't count because the Senate and the White House is ruled by Republicans. The "McConnell Rule" was never a rule until McConnell decided he didn't want former President Barack Obama to nominate another justice when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly.

"Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot," said Alexander.

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