At Fox News, It’s Always About Scary Threats to White People

Isn't this sweet?SMG via ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

So here’s how things work on Fox News. This is from Laura Ingraham’s show a few minutes ago.

First, she invites New York state senator George Borello to discuss a bill in the state Assembly that would allow the governor to detain anyone who is “or may be” a public health risk. They both agree this is outrageous. Where’s the due process? If you’re out in the woods and someone reports you for not wearing a mask, can you be unilaterally detained? Where’s the ACLU on all this?

Quick cut, and next up is Chris Rufo, a Fox regular who’s made a name for himself by inveighing against critical race theory. Ingraham feigns an ah-hah moment: you know, she says, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has called systemic racism a public health crisis. So does this mean he could detain anyone he thinks is a racist? Rufo enthusiastically agrees. This is yet another example of liberals inventing a crisis (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic) in order to control the movements and words of ordinary Americans.

Scary stuff, says Ingraham. Please keep on it. We’ll be back after a few words from the MyPillow guy.

Check out what’s going on here. First, there’s no bill in any serious sense of the word. This is something that was introduced years ago during the Ebola scare and has been reintroduced every year since, never even getting out of committee. Cuomo’s spox says he’s never even heard of it.

Ingraham then takes this nonexistent bill and makes it into a race thing. How? It hardly seems possible, but Ingraham manages the pretzel bending by taking something Cuomo once said—namely that high rates of COVID-19 in the Black community show that “racism is a public health crisis”—and absurdly twisting it into the scary possibility that Cuomo might start locking up anyone who tells an off-color joke. In a nutshell, it goes like this:

  1. Introduce scary story about minor state legislation regarding public health that has no chance of ever going anywhere.
  2. Invent out of whole cloth a segue into racism as a public health issue.
  3. Conclude that liberals want to lock up white people they disapprove of.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the pros do it.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate