In Defense of the Indefensible: How the Right-Wing Media Cons Its Consumers

Every major, TV news outlet broadcast the first congressional hearing into the January 6th insurrection live; that is, every major, TV news outlet except Fox “News.”[1] Rather than airing official congressional proceedings into a violent mob that overtook the United States Capitol, resulting in all members of Congress fleeing for their lives and preventing the peaceful transfer of power,  Fox “News” ran a two-hour, commercial-free rebuttal hosted by their most popular on-air personalities, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Both men went to extraordinary lengths to minimize the insurrection and vilify members of Congress, Republican and Democrat.[2]   

Tucker Carlson began his hour, saying, “[We] will not be carrying their propaganda live. They’re lying and we’re not going to help them do it.”[3] There was a major flaw in Carlson’s reporting, however: the hearing had not begun yet.[4] Abandoning any semblance of journalistic integrity, Carlson labelled the Committee members as his “moral inferiors,” the insurrection as a “forgetably minor outbreak” of “mob violence,” and the hearings themselves as “deranged.”[5] Whereas most journalists try to answer the 4 W’s (Who? What? When? Where?), Carlson, with his trademark furrowed brow of bewilderment, pummeled his viewers with a series of open-ended questions designed to promote baseless conspiracies and obfuscate truth.

Sean Hannity, Trump’s friend and personal advisor, picked up where Carlson left off. As he labelled the hearing a “show trial” and a “selectively edited, political ad,” the Committee presented his text messages with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.[6] Text messages that clearly demonstrated that he, along with other Fox personalities, fully knew Donald Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6th insurrection.[7] Of course, Hannity failed to mention his clear conflict of interest. In fact, neither Hannity, nor Carlson, addressed any of the substantive evidence the Committee presented.[8]  

No true “news” organization should ever behave in that shameless, partisan manner. The evidence the Committee presented consists of sworn testimony, emails, text messages, video recordings, audio recordings, and official memoranda that would be admissible in any legitimate court of law.[9] Most of the government officials who testified against Trump are Republicans that worked in his administration.[10] Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, Republican members of the Committee, were ostracized from their communities and committed career suicide to present the truth.[11] Speaking directly to her fellow Republicans who were “defending the indefensible,” Liz Cheney said, “there will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”[12]

In sworn testimony, Attorney General Bill Barr characterized the claim “that the election was stolen” as “bullshit.”[13] He described Republican voter fraud conspiracies as “complete nonsense” and “crazy stuff” that resulted in “a grave disservice to the Country.”[14] Trump point blank ordered Jeff Rosen, the acting Attorney General after Barr resigned, to “just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressman.”[15] John Eastman, a private Trump attorney, devised an insane legal theory, whereby a single person, the Vice President, could decide an entire presidential election.[16] Trump was recorded pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to “find” 11,780 votes, the exact amount necessary to alter the outcome.[17] Republicans in seven states filed fraudulent documents, claiming to be the true certified electors and casting their vote for Trump.[18] Though never taken to fruition, the Trump White House drafted memoranda to have the US military seize state voting machines.[19] Cassidy Hutchinson, Mark Meadow’s top aide, testified that she witnessed Trump tell a Secret Service agent to remove metal detectors from the rally proceeding the insurrection. “They’re not here to hurt me,” Trump insisted.[20]

No reasonable person who becomes aware of the evidence can avoid the inescapable conclusion that Trump and his Republican sycophants attempted to overthrow the United States Government. Fox “News” simply refused to report the evidence. Instead, they constructed an alternate reality and viciously attacked anyone who dared to speak the truth.

Most Americans do not have the time, nor the energy, to follow politics closely. People have jobs; they have families; and they want to enjoy their lives, pursuing their own interests. They rely on the news media to give them a condensed version of the relevant facts. Journalists are supposed to strive for objectivity, not bow to partisan interests. They are supposed to be a check on governmental power, not apologists for its abuse.   

For many who supported Trump, the truth of his depravity is a tough pill to swallow. The Right-Wing Media takes advantage of that, providing them an alternative to the shame and humiliation of reality. Other Republicans tolerate – even celebrate – the dishonesty of the Right-Wing Media because they feel a sense of common purpose. They view the Right-Wing Media as their confederates in an ongoing campaign to dominate and own the “Libs.” What they need to understand is that the Right-Wing Media manufactures this sense of confederacy. Relying on a potent combination of logical fallacies, the Right-Wing Media hides the corrupt conduct of the political interests they truly serve while creating the illusion of a common enemy.[21] Like Trump, they con their consumers, playing them for fools day in and day out. If American democracy is to survive, average Republicans must become aware of the Right-Wing Media’s tactics of manipulation.

Ad Hominem Attack

The Right-Wing Media’s simplest tactic of manipulation is base name calling and labelling. Hate has become something of an art form on the Right. There is nothing comparable on the Left. Dan Bongino, one of America’s most popular radio hosts, has railed against “insane leftists… legitimately crazy, satanic, demon people.”[22] Tucker Carlson has claimed, without providing any sufficient reason, that the Mainstream Media is “more dishonest than… [a] bribe taking building inspector in Queens. They’re more treacherous than the mafia. They make cops in Tijuana look trustworthy…” Just prior to the Jan. 6th insurrection, Alex Jones, owner of the conspiracy theory website Infowars, said, “We will never back down to the Satanic pedophile, globalist New World Order and their walking-dead, reanimated corpse Joe Biden.”[23] Jones is not a fringe figure either. He makes $100s of millions selling bogus health supplements and end-of-days prepper gear to his audience.[24] Donald Trump sat for an interview with him and praised his “amazing… reputation.”[25]

When used to divert people from the truth, name calling and labelling become the logical fallacy of ad hominem attack.[26] It is a tactic for controlling the masses as old as civilization itself.[27] Rather than addressing the facts, the Right Wing-Media attacks the credibility of the source of the facts, thereby diverting their audience from engaging in rational discourse.[28] Of course, credibility can matter, but attacks on credibility should be supported by persuasive evidence, not thoughtless name calling and dismissive labels.[29] For example, because Trump made 30,573 documented false or misleading statements during his presidency, it is legitimate to call him a liar. But when Tucker Carlson calls the Mainstream Media “America’s most corrupt institution,” without providing any logically sufficient reason, that is a pure ad hominem fallacy.[30]

To see the real-world effect of the Right-Wing Media’s reliance on ad hominem attacks, consider Trump’s first impeachment. The evidence presented was crystal clear. There was a reconstructed transcript of a phone conversation in which Trump used U.S. aid to leverage President Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.[31] Immediately after the phone call, a White House budget official emailed the Pentagon, telling them to maintain a hold on congressionally approved, U.S. aid meant to prevent Russian aggression and asking them to keep it secret due to its “sensitive nature.”[32]         

An unnamed whistle blower, who was on the call, wrote a letter to the chairmen of the Senate House Intelligence Committee, flatly stating that “the President of the United States… [used] the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. Election.”[33] National Security Council Director for Russia and Ukraine Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was also on the call, said in sworn testimony, “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. . . [I]n certain regards, my wors[t] fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out...”[34] He then stated the obvious, “it is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government [to] investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent.”[35]

Two months after the phone call, a reporter asked Trump what he was trying to accomplish.[36] Trump responded, “Well, I think that if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens.”[37] Two weeks after that, a reporter asked acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney what Trump was trying to accomplish.[38] Mulvaney responded, “The look back to what happened in 2016 was certainly part of what was worried about...”[39] The reporter followed up, “Let’s be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo.” Mulvaney then gave the shocking response, “We do that all the time... Get over it! There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”[40]    

During the formal House impeachment hearings, the entire diplomatic core to Ukraine, including life-long civil servants and decorated war heroes, testified under oath as to the Republican White House’s brazen abuse of power.[41] Gordon Sondland, a Republican who had donated a million dollars to the Trump Inaugural Committee, testified that there was a clear “quid pro quo.”[42] He said he knew aid was being withheld for an improper purpose like he knows “two plus two equals four.”[43] Finally, he testified that the highest-ranking Republicans in the White House were “in the loop,” including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.[44]

Further witness testimony can be summed up in a few key points. Trump’s intent was political, not a valid expression of U.S. foreign policy.[45] Rudy Giuliani, who would later spearhead the Republican White House’s plot to steal the 2020 Presidential Election, was running shadow diplomacy intended to benefit Trump, not America.[46] The overall effect of the White House’s illegal foreign policy was to strengthen Russia, undermine democracy internationally, and make a mockery of U.S. foreign policy.[47]      

While the Senate trial was ongoing, even more evidence of Trump’s guilt surfaced.[48] John Bolton, who was the National Security Advisor during the events in question, publicly acknowledged the White House’s illegal scheme.[49] He characterized it as a “drug deal.”[50] Lev Parnas, a close associate of Rudy Giuliani, also came forward, claiming to have direct knowledge of Giuliani’s role in pressuring the Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.[51]

Regardless of the evidence, at the close of the impeachment trial, 56% of Republicans believed Trump did “nothing wrong,” and 36% believed his actions were “improper but not impeachable.”[52] Even more astounding, Republican support for impeachment dropped as more evidence of Trump’s guilt came to light, from 15% when the whistle blower report was released, to 9% at the close of the Senate trial.[53]

As amazing as it is, this discrepancy between reality and Republican opinion is not an inexplicable anomaly. It is a product of a corrupt Right-Wing Media that uses pure ad hominem attacks to persuade their viewers to ignore concrete facts.[54] Non-partisan government officials who testified as to Trump’s clear abuse of power were dismissed, without any proof, as members of the “deep state.”[55] Everything the Mainstream Media reported was labelled “fake news.”[56] Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs called impeachment, which is an essential component of the Constitution, “lawless” and “illegal.”[57] Breitbart ran an article entitled “Hoaxblower Madness.”[58] Some conservative pundits completely ignored the substance behind impeachment to attack it as “boring” television, as though it were a badly produced reality TV show.[59] In general, the Right-Wing Media presented a fact-free, alternate universe in which Trump was the victim of “evil” actors perpetrating a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”[60]

False Equivalency

The logical fallacy of false equivalency occurs when two things are presented as the same, usually based on some shared characteristic, despite relevant differences.[61] It is a tactic utilized by the Right-Wing Media to deflect attention from the clearly immoral and corrupt acts of Republican politicians.[62] Not only does it ignore the common-sense maxim that “two wrongs do not make a right,” but it distorts reality, hiding real-world distinctions.[63]

In popular parlance, a false equivalency is a “whataboutism.”[64] As when a child, caught in the act of some misdeed, points the finger at something their sibling did yesterday. In recent history, the Right-Wing Media’s most prevalent and impactful “whaboutism” is their constant comparison of the Jan. 6th insurrection to the riots in the summer of 2021.[65] Though both events resulted in unjustified property damage and senseless violence, that is where their similarities end. What truly matters are the causes of the two events, not the results. Only through understanding their causes can Americans rationally assign political blame and prevent history from repeating itself.

Racial injustice was the root cause of the riots in the summer of 2021.[66] It has been a central problem in American life for over 400 years.[67] Racial disparities still pervade the US justice system.[68] Blacks are five times more likely to be stopped by police without just cause.[69] They are incarcerated at five times the rate of whites.[70] Though only 13.4% of the population, they are 22% of fatal police shootings and 44% of wrongful convictions.[71] Over the last decade, there have been a series of highly publicized black deaths at the hands of police.[72] It was within that context that many Americans viewed a video of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, smothering a black, hand-cuffed George Floyd for over 8-minutes as he begged for his life, lost consciousness, and died.[73]

Though racial injustice was the root cause of the riots, Democratic politicians and Mainstream Media are not without fault. It is fair to argue that some were too slow to condemn the riots.[74] It is also fair to argue that some exercised, given all the circumstances, poor judgement in their rhetoric in support of peaceful protests.[75] But what is certain is that neither Democratic politicians, nor the Mainstream Media, somehow incited the riots in any meaningful sense of that term.[76] Regardless, the Right-Wing Media, without so much as mentioning racial injustice and sometimes denying it, worked tirelessly to blame the riots on Democrats and the Mainstream Media.[77] And it worked. Average Republicans flooded social media with thoughtless memes decrying the “Democrat riots.”[78]  

While it does not absolve Democratic politicians or the Mainstream Media of their failings, Trump was president when the riots occurred. Furthermore, he had a history of racial provocation that, no doubt, made matters worse.[79] Trump entered American politics as the primary proponent for the lie that Barack Obama was not an American citizen.[80] After descending from a gold escalator, he kicked off his 2016 campaign by labelling Mexicans drug dealers, criminals, and “rapists.”[81] While president, he called Haiti and African nations “shitholes.”[82] He described white nationalists who marched through Charlottesville, chanting “Jews will not replace us,” as “fine people.”[83] Referring to four Democratic Congresswomen of color, Trump tweeted, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”[84] Though it does not justify rioting, that kind of incendiary and racist behavior from a president makes people want to break things!  

In contrast, the chain of causality from the lies and dangerous rhetoric of Trump, his Republican sycophants, and the Right-Wing Media to the violence of Jan. 6th is undeniable. The insurrectionists stormed the Capitol only because they believed the lie that the election was stolen. There was no other reason. Without the Big Lie, there would not have been a Jan. 6th insurrection.

Leading up to the 2020 Election, the Right-Wing Media amplified false claims of voter fraud, tilling the soil where the Big Lie would be planted.[85] In the month prior to the Election, Breitbart “News” published nearly 30 articles that included the phrase “voter fraud” in the tag line.[86] After the Election, Fox “News’s” most popular on-air personalities repeatedly pushed false, election fraud conspiracies.[87] Fox host Lou Dobbs claimed to have “tremendous evidence” of voter fraud, though he never shared it.[88] Another Fox host, Maria Bartiromo, spread the blatant falsehood that Nancy Pelosi was part owner of a company that made voting machines.[89] Right-Wing cable channels OANN and Newsmax, attempting to out crazy Fox, simply refused to call the election.[90] With the first official count concluded days earlier and Biden ahead by more than 7 million votes, the CEO of OANN, Robert Herring, tweeted, “not only will Biden NOT be elected... but chances are GREAT @realDonaldTrump will be confirmed as President again.”[91]

The Right-Wing Media helped foster the misinformation bubble that made Jan. 6th possible. Trump’s speech, immediately preceding the insurrection, played directly into that false narrative and turned propagandized Americans into a mob.[92] The words “fight” or “fighting” came out of his mouth 20 separate times.[93] “We will never give up, we will never concede,” he said.[94] “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”[95] He characterized the members of Congress who refused to concede the election as “warriors.”[96] Without providing any evidence, he rattled off a convoluted, non-sensical laundry list of co-conspirators in the plot against “real Americans.”[97] “[Y]ou’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he said.[98]  “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”[99] Over and over, he claimed the election was “stolen.”[100] He concluded, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”[101] Within the hour, the mob was attacking Capitol Police with baseball bats, lead pipes, and American flag poles.[102] They flooded every entrance, climbed through broken windows, and took over the Capitol as our elected representatives fled for their lives.[103]

Legally unjustified property damage and violence are wrong. The participants in both the Jan. 6th insurrection and the riots in the summer of 2021 are guilty. There is no excuse for their behavior. But the two events are not equivalent in the most important respect: they had entirely different causes. The riots in the summer of 2021 were rooted in long-suffered racial injustice. The Jan. 6th insurrection resulted from the lies and incendiary rhetoric of the Right-Wing Media and the Republican politicians they truly serve. If racial injustice remains an issue, the summer riots will repeat. If election lies become the norm, there will be another Jan. 6th insurrection. Unfortunately, the Right-Wing Media’s false equivalency ignores the root cause of the summer Riots and hides the sole cause of Jan. 6th.

Red Herring

The logical fallacy of red herring refuses to address some matter of fact by replacing it with another.[104] It is a tactic of misdirection.[105] On a small scale, politicians, both Republican and Democrat, engage in red herrings daily.[106] Anytime they change the subject to avoid a topic, that is a red herring.[107] It is perhaps the most common logical fallacy, but the Right-Wing Media has turned it into a business model.[108] They simply do not report the major news of the day if it conflicts with their messaging.[109] Instead, they sell less significant counter-stories to divert their viewers from the truth.[110]

Donald Trump was the most financially corrupt president in American history.[111] Prior to the 2016 Election, he refused to release his tax returns, breaking with a 40-year tradition of transparency.[112] He misappropriated campaign funds to pay hush money to a porn-star with whom he allegedly had an affair.[113] He shamelessly hocked his products during political press conferences.[114] In a televised presidential debate, he looked the American public directly in the eye and claimed that he did “no business” with Russia.[115] That was a blatant lie.[116] Trump had already signed a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow, and the Trump Organization was negotiating with the Kremlin.[117] 

Once elected, Trump, unlike all presidents before him, refused to divest his businesses.[119] Every day of his presidency, he violated our nation’s oldest and simplest anti-corruption provisions, the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.[120] It is estimated the Trump Organization made $8 million off the American taxpayer through Trump ordering the Federal Government to utilize its properties for state functions.[121] While he was President, Trump Organization actively engaged in business with a Chinese state-controlled bank, Saudi Arabia, and numerous other foreign powers.[122]

Outside of his presidency, Trump affiliated businesses have declared bankruptcy six times, stiffing service providers, creditors, and shareholders.[123] Trump University reached a $25 million settlement based on allegations of defrauding its clients.[124] A judge ordered Trump Foundation – a  supposed “charity” – to return $2 million in misused funds to donors and forced it to dissolve.[125] In the aftermath of the 2020 Election, Trump raised $250 million from his supporters based on the Big Lie, and then misappropriated funds for other purposes.[126] A grand jury of U.S. citizens indicted the Trump Organization on multiple criminal counts for a 15-year tax evasion scheme.[127] Long-time Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weiselberg has already pled guilty for his role in the fraud.[128] Finally, New York Attorney General Letita James has brought a civil cause of action that alleges Trump and his three children engaged in extensive financial fraud over a 10-year period.[129]

The Right-Wing Media simply does not report these stories and actively distracts their audience. On the day the Trump Organization was indicted, Tucker Carlson Tonight did not even mention it.[130] Instead, Carlson opened his show with one of his now infamous segments assailing measures to prevent the spread of Covid 19.[131] He described public health officials as “too incompetent, too nasty, too selfish, and too stupid to lead this country.”[132] After attacking a Vogue profile on Jill Biden, Carlson tossed softballs to J.D. Vance, a Republican running for Senate in Ohio.[133] The interview covered important breaking news, such as Vance’s “successful life” as an “intellectual” and businessman. “You really do have their number, for real,” Carlson said in closing.[134] While there was no time to discuss an ex-president’s company being criminally indicted for defrauding the American public, there was time for a segment on Brittney Spears’ conservatorship.[135]

On the day New York State filed the civil suit against Trump, Sean Hannity took the opposite approach, dedicating every moment of his airtime to mount a defense.[136] He even brought Trump on for an interview, posing the friendliest and most leading questions imaginable.[137] According to Trump, the entire situation was “just a continuation of a witch hunt” perpetrated by people who “hate our country.”[138] According to Hannity, the Left was “criminalizing political differences” and destroying “equal justice under the law.”[139] Of course, neither Hannity nor Trump offered any evidence to support their outlandish allegations.[140] New York State’s lawsuit, on the other hand, listed 100s of facts demonstrating Trump’s clear financial fraud.[141] In one instance, the Trump Organization changed the value of a country estate, despite its own internal appraisal, from approximately $50 million to $290 million.[142] In another instance, the size of Trump’s apartment in Trump Tower was represented as 30,000 square feet, though it is in reality only 10,966 square feet.[143] Hannity and Trump simply ignored these and all other substantive facts. Instead, they engaged in a protracted ad hominem attack against the source of the facts.             

On both occasions, Hannity and Carlson directed their audience to the ultimate Right-Wing red herring/false equivalency combo: Hunter Biden.[144] Carlson, though he completely ignored Trump’s indictment earlier that day, spent an entire segment rehashing Hunter’s business relationship with “Mexican billionaires.”[145] There was no evidence that Hunter, let alone Joe Biden, violated the law in any manner.[146] Carlson simply framed it in nefarious language, as though doing business with Mexicans is innately corrupt.[147] Hannity, acting in a manner indistinguishable from a Trump publicist, droned on about Hunter’s “laptop from hell… crack use,” and “hookers.”[148]  Without providing any real legal justification, Hannity simply concluded, “If [Hunter] were a Republican, they would have raided [his] house by now.”[149]      

To be fair, Hunter is far from an exemplary citizen, and his business dealings are a valid news story. He inordinately profited off his father’s name, and that raises serious ethical questions.[150] But not only does Hunter’s conduct fail to justify Trump’s, it is nowhere near the same level of public concern.[151] Trump was the president of the United States when he directed the Federal Government to utilize his properties for profit.[152] He collected payments from foreign governments while acting as Commander in Chief.[153] Hunter is not, nor has he ever been, a public official. A private citizen engaged in business with foreign nationals is not illegal and does not implicate any U.S. anti-corruption provision.[154] Furthermore, there is no indication that Joe Biden altered U.S. policy or financially benefited from Hunter’s dealings in any manner.[155] Unlike Trump, Joe Biden officially released his financial records and has not profited off his office.[156]  

When the Right-Wing Media obsesses over a president’s son’s business while ignoring or dismissing criminal indictments and court adjudications of fraud of an actual president, they are engaging in an egregious red herring. The Right-Wing Media constructs a false reality, withholding important news stories while forwarding lesser stories to misdirect their audience and inspire hate.

Straw Man

The logical fallacy of strawman misrepresents or distorts an opponent’s position.[157] Rather than addressing their opponent’s actual position, the Right-Wing Media forwards either a caricature or a pure fabrication of that position which is far easier to malign.[158] Under the guise of criticizing their opponent, they deceive their consumers.[159]

The Right-Wing Media has long misrepresented the policies of the Democratic Party. In relation to the Affordable Care Act, they conjured the fiction of “government death panels.”[160]  “Your life will come down to a dollar and cents value… assigned to you by the government,” Rush Limbaugh told his listeners.[161] But that was an absolute, unabashed lie.[162] There was nothing in the legislation that would create anything resembling “death panels.”[163] Today, the Affordable Care Act is still law; public support for it is at record levels; and “death panels” are not, nor have they ever been, a thing.[164]

One of the more ridiculous Right-Wing Media fabrications is the Democratic Party’s supposed “war on meat.”[165] It started with a single, tongue-in-cheek line written by a junior House member's staffer in a fact sheet related to the Green New Deal.[166] The staffer joked that it would not be possible to eliminate all “farting cows” within a 10 year period.[167] That same day Trump tweeted that Democrats were trying to “permanently eliminate all… cows… Brilliant!”[168]  A Right-Wing Media feeding frenzy followed. “By the way, bad news for cows. Time to slaughter them all quickly,” said Brian Kilmeade on Fox and Friends.[169] “No more meat because of what they do to the environment,” added Ainsley Earhardt.[170] Within the week, Republican members of the House Natural Resource Committee were eating hamburgers in press conferences in protest to a policy that did not exist.[171] There was nothing in the Green New Deal that would even marginally impact beef production, let alone a ban on red meat.[172]

Still today, the Right-Wing Media is finding new novel ways to repackage the “war on meat.”[173] They do not allow something like the truth to get in the way of a story that aggravates so many red-blooded Americans.[174] In a segment attacking Bill Gates support for beef substitutes, Tucker Carlson asked, “Why do they hate beef so much?”[175] When Joe Biden released his goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Jesse Waters, the host of The Five on Fox “News,” told his viewers they would be limited to “only one burger a month,” which was pure fantasy.[176] There was absolutely nothing in Biden’s emission goals that would even suggest a limitation on American beef consumption.[177]       

Though Democrats generally support laxer and more humane immigration policies, the Right-Wing Media sells the complete fabrication of “open-borders,” creating the ludicrous impression that illegal immigrants are waltzing into America unimpeded.”[178] What constitutes an illegal border crossing has not changed under the Biden Administration.[179] Border apprehensions have actually increased, but the Right-Wing Media uses those numbers to confuse their audience, conflating apprehensions with successful illegal border crossings.[180] The number of agents guarding the U.S. border is the same now as it was under the Trump Administration.[181] In fact, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill of 2021, which many Republicans voted against, provided billions for strengthening border security.[182] Though Biden ended the Trump-era asylum ban to prevent the spread of Covid, the threat of the disease had largely abated.[183] Biden simply returned U.S. policy to what it had been prior to the pandemic under both Republicans and Democrats.[184]

Piggy backing the lie of an “open border” is the Right-Wing Media’s even more insidious great replacement theory.[185] Originating in the feverish confines of the white supremacist movement, it maintains that liberal elites, as orchestrated by Jews, are systematically replacing whites through immigration, interracial marriage, and other means.[186] The white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville expressed the theory succinctly, chanting, “You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us…”[187] Tucker Carlson has promoted a version of the great replacement theory, minus the Jews, on 100s of occasions.[188] When a shooter, who was motivated by great replacement theory, opened fire in a buffalo grocery store, killing 10 people, Carlson feigned ignorance, saying, “they… pointed the finger at us, and we are still trying to figure out what it is.”[189] But later in that same show, Carlson pushed the theory yet again.[190] “The Democratic Party has decided that rather than convince you – people who are born here – that their policies are helping you and making the country better and stronger, they will change the electorate.”[191]

The Right-Wing Media constructs, out of thin air, an absurdly contemptible enemy. If the average Republican takes the Right-Wing Media at their word, it is no wonder why they are willing to ignore an attempted coup. In their minds, Democrats monetize the value of human life and use that to determine if people live or die.[192] Democrats want to make hamburgers illegal.[193] With Biden in charge, the U.S. border is completely “open.”[194] Strange foreigners – drug dealers, criminals, and “rapists” – are flowing across the border unimpeded, and they are coming to replace white people.[195]

Conclusion

The average Republican thinks the Right-Wing Media is on their side, but that is demonstrably false. A true ally does not manipulate and lie to their confederates. Right-Wing Media consumers are trapped in an abusive relationship. Like Trump, the Right-Wing Media cons them, playing them for fools day in and day out.  

With a series of logical fallacies, the Right-Wing Media constructs a nightmarish fantasy world in which they hold their audience captive. They describe Democrats with increasingly childish and foul language, relying on insults and labels. Even Republicans who dare to speak truth become RINO’s overnight.[196] Rather than addressing concrete facts, they viciously attack the source of facts. They deflect from the crimes of Republican politicians, making false comparisons and distracting their viewers with lesser, unrelated stories. Finally, through distortions and complete fabrications, they conjure an imaginary enemy, inspiring hate in their audience and division throughout America.

Logical fallacies are not unique to the Right-Wing Media. They are a product of human bias, and human bias exists across the political spectrum. All people have a perspective, and journalists are people. The critical question is whether they are honest while forwarding that perspective or are diverting their audience from the truth. Real journalists strive for objectivity regardless of their political persuasion. Propogandists masquerading as journalists seek to protect the political and business interests they truly serve at the expense of the truth. There are real differences between American news media outlets. Distinctions can and should be made.  

While partisan drift has become a problem throughout news media, the Right-Wing Media is in a league of its own. Former Breitbart editor and top Trump advisor Steve Bannon openly describes his media philosophy as flooding “the zone with shit.”[197] He publicly acknowledges that the best way to motivate people is through “anger and fear.”[198] Ben Shapiro, owner of the Daily Wire, is proudly antagonistic to the very idea of objectivity in reporting.[199] The Daily Wire is nakedly ideological.[200] It sells partisan division and outrage to its consumers.[201] In a federal slander case, Fox lawyers described Tucker Carlson Tonight as “non-literal commentary.”[202] Reasonable viewers, they maintained, cannot expect Carlson to use “actual facts.”[203] Sean Hannity, though he sits behind a news desk on the most watched news network, has openly stated, “I’m not a journalist. I’m a talk show host.”[204] Though he routinely blames the insurrection on "Antifa [and] other radical groups, his private text messages reveal that he fully knew Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6th insurrection.[205] The man is, by definition, a serial liar. He was, throughout Trump's presidency, a de facto White House advisor, violating the most basic principles of journalistic integrity. After the insurrection, he presented Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's Press Secretary, a five-point plan for overcoming the public relations disaster that is a failed coup.[206] New upstarts, such as Newsmax and OANN, are unabashedly partisan.[207] OANN proudly proclaims that it is one of Trump’s “GREATEST supporters.”[208] Even after Trump lost the presidency and incited an insurrection, Newsmax continued to air his full-length rally speeches.[209] The Right-Wing Media does not report the news. In many cases, they actively hide it. Their most popular and powerful personalities are pure, partisan propagandists.

Americans are living the proof of the Right-Wing Media’s degeneracy. Their dishonesty helped make a categorically depraved human being the leader of the Republican Party. A person who was accused of 26 sexual assaults and is on tape saying he does it is their standard bearer. Compulsive lying and deranged attacks on political opponents have become the norm. Republican politicians can now profit directly off public office, operate a charity that is adjudicated a fraud, and run a company with multiple criminal indictments and still earn the Right-Wing Media’s seal of approval. Election interference, stealing nuclear secrets, extorting foreign nations, inciting insurrections... there appears to be no limit to what the Right-Wing Media will normalize and defend. Their degeneracy is written in the consequences.   

The challenge of informing average Republicans can seem hopeless. The Right-Wing Media has a massive platform; hate is a powerful motivator; and people are reticent to admit their errors. But the Right-Wing Media lacks something essential. They lack the truth. The truth speaks to all human beings, rather than just a tribe. It is far more powerful than lies. With time and effort, truth will prevail.    



[1] Folkenflick, David; Only one major cable news channel did not carry the Jan. 6 hearings live: Fox News; NPR; Updated June 11th, 2022; available at Fox News refused to air the Jan. 6 hearing : NPR

[2] Ramirez, Nikki Mccann; Tucker Carlson’s January 6 hearing counterprogramming was Fox’s attempt at self-preservation; Media Matters; June 10th, 2022; available at Tucker Carlson’s January 6 hearing counterprogramming was Fox’s attempt at self-preservation | Media Matters for America

See also Lonsdorf, Kat, and Dorning, Courtney, and Isackson, Amy, and Kelly, Mary Louise, and Chang, Ailsa; A timeline of how the Jan. 6 attack unfolded – including who said what and when; NPR; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Timeline: How the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol unfolded : NPR (provides a broad outline of the events of January 6th)

See also Zou, Jie Jenny, and Logan, Erin; Jan. 6: By the numbers; LA Times; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Jan. 6: By the numbers - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com) (numbers related to injured Capitol Police)

[3] Ramirez, Nikki Mccann; Tucker Carlson’s January 6 hearing counterprogramming was Fox’s attempt at self-preservation; Media Matters; June 10th, 2022; available at Tucker Carlson’s January 6 hearing counterprogramming was Fox’s attempt at self-preservation | Media Matters for America

[4] Bump, Phillip; Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 hearing. It did something worse.; Washington Post; June 10th, 2022; available at Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 committee hearing on the Capitol attack. It did something worse. - The Washington Post.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Gluck, Matt, and Sewell, Tia, and Wittes, Benjamine; Evaluating the Jan. 6 Committee Evidence, In Full; Lawfare; Aug. 21st, 2022; available at Evaluating the Jan. 6 Committees Evidence, in Full - Lawfare (lawfareblog.com).

[10] Bump, Phillip; The evidence against Trump came from Republicans and Trump Staffers; Washington Post; July 22nd, 2022; available at The evidence against Trump in Thursday's hearing came from Republicans and Trump staffers - The Washington Post.

[11] Weisman, Jonath, and Epstein, Reid J.; GOP Declares Jan 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Public Discourse;’ New York Times; Feb 4th, 2022; available at G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

See also Sonmez, Felicia, and Dawsey, Josh; RNC votes to condemn Cheney, Kinzinger for serving on House committee investigating Jan 6 attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump mob; Washington Post; Feb. 4th, 2022; available at RNC votes to condemn Cheney, Kinzinger for serving on House committee investigating Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump mob - The Washington Post.

[12] PBS News Hour; WATCH LIVE: Jan 6 Committee hearings – Day 1; June 9th, 2022; 1:52:14; available at WATCH LIVE: Jan. 6 Committee hearings - Day 1 - YouTube

[13] Ibid. at 1:13:48 into video  

[14] Ibid.

[15] Herb, Jeremy; Trump to DOJ last December: ‘Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’; CNN; July 31st, 2021; available at Trump to DOJ: 'Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me' - CNNPolitics.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Sullivan, Andy, and Martina, Michael; In recorded call, Trump pressures Georgia official to ‘find’ votes to overturn election; The Hill; Jan. 3, 2021; available at In recorded call, Trump pressures Georgia official to 'find' votes to overturn election | Reuters.

[18] Parks, Miles; Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions; NPR; Jan. 25th, 2022; available at Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions : NPR.

[19] Reuters Staff; Trump directly involved in plans to seize voting machines – reports; Reuters; Feb. 1st, 2022; available at Trump directly involved in plans to seize voting machines -reports | Reuters.

See also Cillizza, Chris; This is the scariest thing the new Mark Meadows texts; CNN; Apr. 25th, 2022; available at Analysis: Marjorie Taylor Greene's text about martial law is is the scariest thing in the new Mark Meadows texts - CNNPolitics

See also Bump, Phillip; A pillow salesman apparently has some ideas about declaring martial law; Washington Post; Jan. 15th, 2021; available at My Pillow salesman Mike Lindell apparently has some ideas about declaring martial law - The Washington Post.

[20] Staff; Visual: Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony from the Jan. 6 hearing; Washington Post; July 4th, 2022; available at Visual: Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony from the Jan. 6 hearing - Washington Post.

[21] Burkeman, Oliver; “The attention economy is in hyperdrive’: how tech shaped the 2010’s; The Guardian; November 22nd, 2019; available at https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/nov/22/attention-economy-in-hyperdrive-how-tech-shaped-2010s-oliver-burkeman.

See also McLeod, Saul; Social Identity Theory; Simple Psychology; updated 2019; available at https://www.simplypsychology.org/social-identity-theory.html; last visited November 20th, 2020. 

[22] Osnos, Evan; Dan Bongino and the Big Business of Returning Trump to Power; New Yorker; Dec. 27th, 2021; available at Dan Bongino and the Big Business of Returning Trump to Power | The New Yorker.

[23] Staff; Alex Jones; Southern Poverty Law Center; No Date; available at Alex Jones | Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org).

[24] Vallancourt, William; Alex Jones Raked in $165 Million Over Three Years Selling Supplements and Prepper Gear; Rolling Stone; Jan. 7th, 2022; available at Alex Jones Raked in $165 Million Over Three Years Selling Supplements and Prepper Gear – Rolling Stone.

[25] Bella, Timothy; How Alex Jones was embraced by Trump, Rogan years after Sandy Hook; Washington Post; Aug. 5th, 2022; available at Alex Jones was embraced by Donald Trump, Joe Rogan years after Sandy Hook lies - The Washington Post.

[26] Staff; Introduction to Logic: Ad Hominem and Related Fallacies; Philosophy Lander; No Date; available at Ad Hominem (lander.edu).

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[30] See Kessler, Glenn, and Rizzo, Salvador, and Kelly, Meg; Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years; Washington Post; Jan. 24th, 2021; available at Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years - The Washington Post (establishing Trump’s false and misleading claims).

See also You Tube; Tucker: Corrupt mainstream media takes lying to Olympic levels; Fox News; Feb. 16th, 2021; available at Tucker: Corrupt mainstream media takes lying to Olympic levels - YouTube (Tucker Carlson quote).

See also Shatz, Itamer; Ad Hominem: When People Use Personal Attacks in Arguments; Effectiviology; No Date; available at Ad Hominem: When People Use Personal Attacks in Arguments – Effectiviology (provides background on the logical fallacy of ad hominem attack).

[31] Risen, James; Donald Trump’s Call With Ukrainian Leader, One Day After Robert Mueller’s Congressional Testimony, Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal; The Intercept; Sept. 26th, 2019; available at Trump’s Ukraine Call Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal (theintercept.com).

[32] Wong, Edward; Officials Discussed Hold on Ukraine Aid After Trump Spoke with Country’s Leader; The New York Times; December 21, 2019; available at www.nytimes.com/2019/12/21/us/politics/white-house-pentagon-ukraine-aid.html.

[33] Anonymous, Whistleblower Complaint, Concerning the President’s Attempt to Interfere with the 2020 Presidential Election, to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees; Washington Post; August 12, 2019; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/read-the-whistleblower-complaint-regarding-president-trump-s-communications-with-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky/4b9e0ca5-3824-467f-b1a3-77f2d4ee16aa/.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Washington Post; Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House; You Tube; Posted October 3, 2019; available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR8-3D8DeFw

[37] Ibid.

[38] CNBC TV; White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Holds Press Briefing – 10/17/2019; see 19:32 into video; You Tube; Posted October 17, 2019; available at https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=mick+mulvaney+press+conference+2019#id=2&vid=6e48e3d62f80ba1c538beb75177d9b1d&action=click. 

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[42] Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf.

See also Shear, Michael; Baker, Peter; Key Moments From Sondland, Cooper, and Hale Testimony; The New York Times; Updated December 30th, 2019; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/politics/impeachment-hearings.html.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf.

[46] Dreyfuss, Bob; How Rudy Giuliani Became Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State; The Nation; March 6th, 2020; available at How Rudy Giuliani Became Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State | The Nation.

[47] Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf.

[48] Baker, Peter, and Fandos, Nicholas; Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani a Hand Grenade; New York Times; Nov. 26th, 2019; available at Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Cheney, Kyle; Desidereo, Andrew; Everret, Burgess; Parnas and Ukraine aid bombshells jolt impeachment trial; Politico; January 16th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/16/lev-parnas-trump-impeachment-trial-099781

[49] Baker, Peter, and Fandos, Nicholas; Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani a Hand Grenade; New York Times; Nov. 26th, 2019; available at Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[50] Ibid.

[51] Cheney, Kyle, and Desidereo, Andrew, and Everret, Burgess; Parnas and Ukraine aid bombshells jolt impeachment trial; Politico; January 16th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/16/lev-parnas-trump-impeachment-trial-099781.

[52] Staff; Split Decision on Impeachment; Most Say Its Time to Move On; Monmouth University; February 10th, 2020; available at https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_us_021020/.

[53] Bycoffe, Aaron, and Koeze, Ella, and Rakich, Nathaniel; Did Americans Support Removing Trump from Office?; Five Thirty Eight; Updated February 12th, 2020; available at https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/impeachment-polls/.

[54] Bekiempis, Victoria; ‘A circus and a hoax’: how right wing media are covering impeachment; The Guardian; November 11, 2019; available at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/10/trump-media-impeachment-fox-news

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Turner, Lauren; Trump impeachment inquiry: Right-wing media denounce ‘boring’ TV premier; BBC News; November 14th, 2019; available at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50412128; last visited November 16th, 2020.

[61] Staff; False Equivalence: The Problem with Unreasonable Comparison; Effectiviology; No Date; available at False Equivalence: The Problem with Unreasonable Comparisons – Effectiviology.

[62] Marcotte, Amanda; Whataboutism, the last refuge for Republicans, is on the rise; Salon; April 30th, 2021; available at Whataboutism, the last refuge for Republicans, is on the rise | Salon.com.

See also Blake Aaron; The story behind Trump’s and Fox News’s specious ‘ What about Obama’ Parallel; Washington Post; Aug. 12th, 2022; available at Fox News and Trump baselessly invoke Obama to criticize Mar-a-Lago search - The Washington Post.

See also Kuttner, Robert; False Equivalence and the Destruction of American Democracy; The American Prospect; Jan. 11th, 2022; available at False Equivalence and the Destruction of American Democracy - The American Prospect.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Marcotte, Amanda; Whataboutism, the last refuge for Republicans, is on the rise; Salon; April 30th, 2021; available at Whataboutism, the last refuge for Republicans, is on the rise | Salon.com.

[65] Brantley, Jones; False equivalency between Black Lives Matter and Capitol siege: Experts, advocates; ABC News; Jan. 16h, 2021; available at False equivalency between Black Lives Matter and Capitol siege: Experts, advocates - ABC News (go.com)

See also Baragona, Justin; Fox News During the Jan. 6 Riots Was Even Worse Than You Remember; Daily Beast; Jan. 6th, 2022; available at Fox News Coverage During the Jan. 6 Riot Was Even Worse Than You Remember (thedailybeast.com).

See also Lawrence, Andrew; As the US watched the January 6 hearing, Fox News showed outrage – at Biden getting covid; The Guardian; July 22nd, 2022; available at As the US watched the January 6 hearing, Fox News showed outrage – at Biden getting Covid | January 6 hearings | The Guardian.

See also Sean Hannity; Sean Hannity: This is another anti-Trump smear that will accomplish nothing; You Tube; Fox “News”; June 9th, 2022; at 15:49; available at   Sean Hannity: This is another anti-Trump smear that will accomplish nothing - YouTube.

[66] Fisher, Dana R; Lessons learned from the post-George Floyd protests; Brookings Institute; July 22nd, 2022; available at Lessons learned from the post-George Floyd protests (brookings.edu).

[67] Shah, Khushbu, and Adolphe, Juweek; 400 years since slavery: a timeline of American history; Guardian; Aug. 16th, 2019; available at 400 years since slavery: a timeline of American history | Race | The Guardian (brief history of racial injustice in America).

[68] Inman, Shasta N; Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice; American Bar Association; No Date; available at Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice (americanbar.org)  

[69] Staff; Criminal Justice Fact Sheet; NAACP; No Date; available at Criminal Justice Fact Sheet | NAACP.

[70] Inman, Shasta N; Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice; American Bar Association; No Date; available at Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice (americanbar.org).

[71] Ibid.

[72] Altman, Alex; Why the Killing of George Floyd Sparked an American Uprising; Time; June 4th, 2020; available at  Why The Killing of George Floyd Sparked an American Uprising | Time.

[73] Bennet, Dalton, and Lee, Joyce Soyhun, and Cahlan, Sarah; The death of George Floyd: What video and other records show about his final minutes; Washington Post; May 30th, 2020; available at Video timeline: How George Floyd’s death unfolded in Minneapolis - The Washington Post.

[74] Bufkin, Ellie; Democrats accused of mixed messaging on activist violence; ABC 4 News; Jan. 15th, 2021; available at Democrats accused of mixed messaging on activist violence | WCIV (abcnews4.com).

See also Harlow, Summer; There’s a double standard in how news media cover liberal and conservative protests; Washington Post; Jan. 13th, 2021; available at There’s a double standard in how news media cover liberal and conservative protests - The Washington Post.

[75] Solzhenitsyn, Dmitri; The Left should be Careful with Its Riot Rhetoric; National Review; June 2nd, 2020; available at George Floyd — Riot Justifications Are Self-Destructive | National Review.

See also Duster, Chandelis; Waters calls for protestors to ‘get more confrontational’ if no guilty verdict is reached in Derek Chauvin trial; CNN; Apr. 19th, 2021; available at Maxine Waters calls for protesters to 'get more confrontational' if no guilty verdict is reached in Derek Chauvin trial | CNN Politics.

[76] Brantley-Jones, Klara; False equivalency between Black Lives Matter and Capitol siege: Experts, advocates; ABC News; Jan. 16th, 2021; available at False equivalency between Black Lives Matter and Capitol siege: Experts, advocates - ABC News (go.com)

See also Bump, Phillip; The false comparison between last summer’s protests and what happened at the Capitol; Washington Post; Jan. 15th, 2021; available at The false comparison between last summer’s protests and what happened at the Capitol - The Washington Post.

[77] Fox News; Why won’t mainstream media call violence in Minneapolis a ‘riot’?; Fox News; April 14th, 2021; available at Why won't mainstream media call violence in Minneapolis a 'riot'? - YouTube.

See also CNN; Violence unfolds during protests during protests over George Floyd’s death; CNN; May 28th, 2020; available at Violence unfolds during protests over George Floyd's death - YouTube

See also Caldera, Camille; Fact check: Democrats have condemned violence linked to BLM, anti-fascist protests; USA Today; Aug. 13th, 2020; available at Fact check: Democrats have condemned violence linked to protests (usatoday.com).

See also Cox, Chelsey; Fact check: Quotes from Democratic leaders about riots, unrest taken out of context; USA Today; Jan. 15th, 2021; available at Fact check: Quotes from Democratic leaders about riots out of context (usatoday.com).

[78] Cox, Chelsey; Fact Check: Quotes from Democratic leaders about riots, unrest taken out of context; USA Today; Jan. 15th, 2021; available at Fact check: Quotes from Democratic leaders about riots out of context (usatoday.com).

[79] Lopez, German; Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970’s to 2020; Vox; Aug. 13th, 2020; available at Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2020 - Vox.

[80] Abramson, Alana; How Donald Trump Perpetuated the Birther Movement for Years; ABC News; Sept. 16th, 2021; available at How Donald Trump Perpetuated the 'Birther' Movement for Years - ABC News (go.com).

[81] Phillips, Amber; They’re rapists.’ President Trump’s campaign launch speech two years later, annotated; Washington Post; June 16th, 2017; available at ‘They’re rapists.’ President Trump’s campaign launch speech two years later, annotated - The Washington Post,

[82] Vitali, Ali, and Hunt, Kasie, and Thorp V, Frank; Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as ‘shithole’ countries; NBC News; Jan. 11th, 2018; available at Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as 'shithole' countries (nbcnews.com).

[83] Bump, Phillip; Over and over, Trump has focused on Black Lives Matter as a target for derision and violence; Washington Post; Sept. 1st, 2020; available at Over and over, Trump has focused on Black Lives Matter as a target of derision or violence - The Washington Post.

[84] Quilantan, Bianca, and Cohen, David; Trump tells Dem congresswomen: Go back where you came from; Politico; July 14th, 2019; available at Trump tells Dem congresswomen: Go back where you came from - POLITICO.

[85] Hsu, Tiffany; Conservative News Sites Fuel Voter Fraud Misinformation; New York Times; Oct. 25th, 2020; available at Conservative News Sites Fuel Voter Fraud Misinformation - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[86] Ibid.

[87] Peters, Jeremy W.; Defamation Suit About Election Falsehoods Puts Fox on Its Heels; New York Times; Aug. 13th, 2022; available at Lawsuit Against Fox Is Shaping Up to Be a Major First Amendment Case - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[88] Ibid.

[89] Ibid.

[90] Becket, Lois, and Wong, Julia Carrie; The misinformation machine amplifying Trump’s election lies; The Guardian; Nov. 10th, 2020; available at The misinformation media machine amplifying Trump's election lies | US elections 2020 | The Guardian.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Naylor, Brian; Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part of Impeachment Trial; NPR; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Transcript Of Trump's Speech At Rally Before Capitol Riot : NPR

See also Zou, Jie Jenny, and Logan, Erin; Jan. 6: By the numbers; LA Times; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Jan. 6: By the numbers - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

See also Woodward, Calvin; AP Fact Check: Trump’s team glosses over his Jan. 6 tirade; AP News; Feb. 12th, 2021; available at AP FACT CHECK: Trump's team glosses over his Jan. 6 tirade | AP News

See also Staff; WATCH: Trumped used ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times in rally speech, Dean says; Associated Press; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at WATCH: Trump used ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times in rally speech, Dean says | PBS NewsHour.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Ibid.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Ibid.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Naylor, Brian; Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part of Impeachment Trial; NPR; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Transcript Of Trump's Speech At Rally Before Capitol Riot : NPR. 

[101] Ibid. 

[102] Dreisbach, Tom, and Mak, Tim; Yes, Capitol Rioters Were Armed. Here are the Weapons Prosecutors Said They Used; NPR; March 19th, 2021; available at Capitol Riot Weapons Include Bear Spray, Fire Extinguishers And Baseball Bats : NPR

[104] Staff; Red Herring: Using Irrelevant Information as a Distraction; Effectiviology; No Date; available at Red Herring: Using Irrelevant Information as a Distraction – Effectiviology.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Ibid.

[108] See Tiffany, Kaitlyn; Why Hunter Biden’s Laptop Will Never Go Away: the Atlantic; Apr. 28th, 2022; available at Why Hunter Biden’s Laptop Will Never Go Away - The Atlantic (Hunter Biden’s laptop as red herring).

See also Adair, Bill; A Reporter in Right-Wing “Crazy Town,” The New Yorker; June 27th, 2022; available at A Reporter in Right-Wing “Crazy Town” | The New Yorker (outlines the attention grabbing, outlandish headlines of the Right-Wing Media).

See also Marcotte, Amanda; Fox News’s desperate distraction circus: Anything to have viewers ignore the January 6th hearings; Salon; July 27th, 2022; available at Fox News' desperate distraction circus: Anything to have viewers ignore the January 6 hearings | Salon.com (outlining Right-Wing Media’s attempts to distract their viewers from the facts of Jan. 6th).

See also Parham, Jason; The Illusion Fueling the Post-Midterms Conservative News Machine; WIRED; Nov. 8th, 2018; available at The Illusion Fueling the Post-Midterms Conservative News Machine | WIRED (detailing how the Right-Wing Media reframes election losses).

[109] Ibid.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Feinman, Ronald L; Trump is the Most Corrupt President in the History; History News Network; Dec. 19th, 2019; available at Trump Is the Most Corrupt President in History | History News Network. (general background on historical corruption).

See also Waldman, Paul; Opinion: The Trump presidency: On track to becoming the most corrupt in U.S. history; Washington Post; Jan. 16th, 2018; available at Opinion | The Trump presidency: On track to becoming the most corrupt in U.S. history? - The Washington Post (detailing Trump’s financial corruption early in his presidency).

[112] Davis, Julie Hirschfield; Trump Won’t Release His Tax Returns, a Top Aide Says; New York Times; Jan. 22nd, 2017; available at Trump Won’t Release His Tax Returns, a Top Aide Says - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[113] Zapatosky, Matt, and Barret, Devlin; Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison for crimes committed while working for Trump; Washington Post; Dec. 12th, 2018; available at Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison for crimes committed while working for Trump - The Washington Post.

[114] Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME.

[115] Fillipov, David, and Roth, Andrew; Donald Trump’s confusions and contradictions about Russia; Washington Post; Oct. 19th, 2016; available at Donald Trump’s confusion and contradictions about Russia - The Washington Post.

[116] Editorial Board; Trump pursued a deal in Russia and hid it from voters; USA Today; Jan. 22nd, 2019; available at Donald Trump pursued a business deal in Russia and hid it from voters (usatoday.com).

See also Wolfe, Jan; Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump Tower caught Mueller’s attention; Reuters; March 18th, 2019; available at Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump tower caught Mueller's attention | Reuters

[117] Ibid.

[119] Sullivan, Andy; Stephenson, Emily; Holland, Steve; Trump says’ won’t divest from his business while president; Reuters; January 11th, 2017; available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-finance/trump-says-wont-divest-from-his-business-while-president-idusKBN14V21I.  

[120] Gorod, Brianne J, and Frazelle, Brian R., and Houshower, Samuel; The Domestic Emoluments Clause: It’s Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump; Constitutional Accountability Center; available at https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/the-domestic-emoluments-clause-its-text-meaning-and-application-to-donald-j-trump/ (background on Emoluments Clauses)

See also Hickey, Kevin J; and Foster, Michael A.; The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution; Congressional Research Service; available at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11086.pdf.

 See also The Law Dictionary; Emolument definition; available at https://thelawdictionary.org/emolument/ (background on Emoluments Clauses).

See also Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME (examples of Trump’s Emoluments violations).

See also  Collins, Sean; Mike Pence stayed at Trump hotel 180 miles away from his Ireland meetings – for ‘safety’; Vox.com; September 3rd, 2019; available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel (examples of Trump’s Emoluments violations).

[121] Sheth, Sonam; Trump’s properties have raked in more than $8 million from U.S. taxpayers and the president’s supporters since he took office; Business Insider; Oct. 27th, 2020; available at Trump Properties Got Over $8 Million From Taxpayers, Supporters: WaPo (businessinsider.com)

See also Collins, Sean; Mike Pence stayed at Trump hotel 180 miles away from his Ireland meetings – for ‘safety’; Vox.com; September 3rd, 2019; available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel; last visited May 27th, 2020.

[122] Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME.

See also American Oversight; State Correspondence Regarding Foreign Government Leases at Trump’s New York Properties; August 19th, 2019; available at https://www.americanoversight.org/document/state-correspondence-regarding-foreign-government-leases-at-trumps-new-york-properties. 

See also Kumar, Anita; How Trump fused his business empire to his Presidency; Politico; January 20th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/20/trump-businesses-empire-tied-presidency-100496

[123] Lee, Michelle; Fact Check: Has trump declared bankruptcy four or six times; Washington Post; Sept. 26th, 2016; available at Fact Check: Has Trump declared bankruptcy four or six times? - The Washington Post.

[124] Winter, Tom, and Clark, Dartunorro; Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement; NBC News; Feb. 6th, 2018; available at Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement (nbcnews.com)

[125] Kennedy, Merrit; Judge Says Trump Must Pay $2 Million Over Misuse of Foundation Funds; NPR; Nov. 7th, 2019; available at President Trump Ordered To Pay $2 Million For Misusing Trump Foundation Funds : NPR.

[126] Dorning, Mike, and Niquette, Mark, and House, Billy; Trump Raised Millions Citing 2020 Election Fraud That Aides Told Him Was False; Bloomberg News; June 13th, 2022; available at  Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Raised Millions on Election Fraud Aides Told Him Was False - Bloomberg.

[127] Protess, Ben, and Rashbaum, William K, and Bromwich, Jonah E; Trump Organization is Charged with Running 15-Year Employee Tax Scheme; The New York Times; July 1st, 2021; available at Trump Organization Is Charged With Running 15-Year Employee Tax Scheme - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[128] Marritz, Illya, and Bernstein, Andrea; Allen Weisselberg, a Trump Org employee for decades, pleads guilty to felony charges; NPR; Aug. 18th, 2022; available at Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump Organization CFO, pleads guilty to tax fraud : NPR.

[129] Mcquade, Barbara; The Letita James Lawsuit may Finally Nail Trump; Time; Sept. 22nd, 2022; available at The Letitia James Lawsuit May Finally Hold Trump Accountable | Time.

[130] Daily Motion; Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 Full – Fox Breaking News July 1st, 21; No Posting Date; available at Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 FULL - FOX BREAKING NEWS July 1, 21 - video Dailymotion.

See also Novak Archive; Tucker Carlson (July 1, 2021) transcript; No Posting Date; available at Tucker Carlson (July 1, 2021) transcript — Novak Archive

[131] Ibid.

[132] Ibid.

See also Pengelly, Martin; Fox News host Tucker Carlson compares vaccine mandates to ‘Nazi experiments’; The Guardian; Jan. 22, 2022; available at Fox News host Tucker Carlson compares vaccine mandates to ‘Nazi experiments’ | Fox News | The Guardian (providing background on Tucker Carlson’s promotion of Covid related conspiracies).

See also Cohen, Jon; Almost everything Tucker Carlson said about Anthony Fauci this week was misleading or false; Science; Aug. 25th, 2022; available at Almost everything Tucker Carlson said about Anthony Fauci this week was misleading or false | Science | AAAS (background on Tucker Carlson’s willingness to spread misinformation about Covid 19).

[133] Daily Motion; Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 Full – Fox Breaking News July 1st, 21; No Posting Date; available at Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 FULL - FOX BREAKING NEWS July 1, 21 - video Dailymotion.

See also Novak Archive; Tucker Carlson (July 1, 2021) transcript; No Posting Date; available at Tucker Carlson (July 1, 2021) transcript — Novak Archive

[134] Ibid.

[135] Ibid.

[136] Apple Podcast; Equal Justice – September 21st, Hour 1; No Posting Date; available at The Sean Hannity Show: Equal Justice - September 21st, Hour 1 on Apple Podcasts.

See also Fox News; Sean Hannity 9 21 22 Full HD Breaking Fox News September 21, 2022 02; You Tube; Posted Sept. 22, 2022; available at  Sean Hannity 9 21 22 FULL HD BREAKING FOX NEWS september 21, 2022 002 - YouTube.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid.

[139] Ibid.

[140] Ibid.

[141] PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Vs. DONALD J TRUMP; DONALD TRUMP, JR., and IVANKA TRUMP; Supplemental Verified Petition; Index No. 451685/2020; No Date Posted; available at Supplemental Verified Petition 2022-01-18 (nyt.com);

See also Staff; Read the Court Filing; New York Times; Jan. 12th, 2022; available at Read Letitia James’s new court filing - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[142] Ibid.

[143] Ibid.

[145] Daily Motion; Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 Full – Fox Breaking News July 1st, 21; No Posting Date; available at Tucker Carlson Tonight 7-1-21 FULL - FOX BREAKING NEWS July 1, 21 - video Dailymotion.

[146] Ibid. (Carlson reported that Joe Biden had met with Hunter’s Mexican business partners. He also aired a photograph of the meeting. He also reported that Hunter Biden was flown to Mexico on Air Force 2.  Carlson made it sound like clear cut influence peddling, but there was no evidence to indicate that Joe Biden altered US policy to benefit Hunter’s business, nor that Joe Biden financially benefitted in any manner.)

See also Devine, Miranda; Hunter Biden used Joe’s VP perks to persuade deal with Carlos Slim; New York Post; July 1st, 2021; available at Hunter Biden used Joe's VP perks to pursue deal with Carlos Slim (nypost.com). (This article confirms the allegation that Hunter Biden used his father’s position to get closer to Mexican businessmen, but it contradicts Carlson’s insinuation that Joe Biden was somehow in on the scheme. Though Biden took a photo with the Mexican businessmen in question, it was not a meeting arranged on behalf of Hunter Biden. It was a meeting concerning official business of the United States. Furthermore, though Hunter Biden flew on Air Force 2 and then met with his potential Mexican clients, Joe Biden was travelling on official U.S. business. He was not flying to Mexico for his son. While this raises the possibility of influence peddling, there was no evidence to indicate that Joe Biden altered US policy to benefit Hunter’s business, nor that Joe Biden financially benefited in any manner. )  

[147] Ibid.

[148] Apple Podcast; Equal Justice – September 21st, Hour 1; No Posting Date; available at The Sean Hannity Show: Equal Justice - September 21st, Hour 1 on Apple Podcasts.

[149] Ibid.

[150] Benner, Katie, and Vogel, Kenneth P, and Schmidt, Michael S; Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Broad Financial Investigation Continues; New York Times; March 16th, 2022; available at Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Federal Investigation Goes On - The New York Times (nytimes.com).  

See also Prokop, Andrew; How much legal jeopardy is Hunter Biden in?; Vox; Apr. 11th, 2022; available at What we know about the Hunter Biden investigation - Vox.

[151] See Desiderio, Andrew, and Beavers, Olivia; ‘All over Hunter Biden: Republicans lay plans for their own investigations, despite the DOJ probe; Politico; Apr. 6th, 2021; available at ‘All over Hunter Biden’: Republicans lay plans for their own investigation, despite the DOJ probe - POLITICO.

[152] Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME.

See also Collins, Sean; Mike Pence stayed at Trump hotel 180 miles away from his Ireland meetings – for ‘safety’; Vox.com; September 3rd, 2019; available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel.

See also Dawsey, Josh, and Fahrenthold, David A.; Near the airport, ample parking: Why Trump says his Florida golf club should host the next G7; Washington Post; August 26th, 2019; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sings-the-praises-of-his-resort-in-florida-as-g-7-host-for-2020/2019/08/26/17409c1e-c7ea-11e9-8067-196d9f17af68_story.html. 

[153] McIntire, Mike, and Buettner, Russ, and Craig, Susanne; Trump Records Shed Light on Chinese Business Pursuits; New York Times; Oct. 20th, 2020; available at  Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

See also American Oversight; State Correspondence Regarding Foreign Government Leases at Trump’s New York Properties; August 19th, 2019; available at https://www.americanoversight.org/document/state-correspondence-regarding-foreign-government-leases-at-trumps-new-york-properties. 

See also Kumar, Anita; How Trump fused his business empire to his Presidency; Politico; January 20th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/20/trump-businesses-empire-tied-presidency-100496

[154] Hickey, Kevin J, and Foster, Michael A; The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution; CRS; Jan. 27th, 2021; available at The Emoluments Clauses of theU.S.Constitution (congress.gov).

[155] Wehle, Kimberly; Hunter Biden controversy explained; The Hill; Apr. 11th, 2022; available at Hunter Biden controversy explained | The Hill.

[156] Faler, Brian; Biden releases tax returns, reports paying 24.6 percent rate; Politico; April 15h, 2022; available at Biden releases tax return, reports paying 24.6 percent rate - POLITICO.

[157] Staff; Strawman Arguments: What They are and How to Counter Them; Effectiviology; Not Date; available at Strawman Arguments: What They Are and How to Counter Them – Effectiviology.

[158] Ibid.

[159] Ibid.

[160] Gonyea, Don; From the Start, Obama Struggled with a Fallout from a Kind of Fake News; NPR; Jan. 10th, 2017; available at How False Claims Of Obamacare 'Death Panels' Stuck With The President : NPR.

[162] Rutenberg, Jim, and Calmes, Jackie; False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots; New York Times; Aug. 13th, 2009; available at False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[163] Ibid.

[164] Buchwald, Elisabeth; The Affordable Care Act is more popular now than when Obama was president; Market Watch March 2nd, 2020; available at The Affordable Care Act is more popular now than when Obama was president - MarketWatch.

See also Sanger-Katz; On More Generous Terms, Obamacare Proves Newly Popular; The New York Times; Dec. 22nd, 2021; available at On More Generous Terms, Obamacare Proves Newly Popular - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[166] Rizzo, Salvador; What’s actually in the ‘Green New Deal’ from Democrats; New York Times; Feb. 11th, 2019; available at  What’s actually in the ‘Green New Deal’ from Democrats? - The Washington Post.

[167] Ibid.

[168] Ibid.

[169] Now This News; Fox News Freaks Out Over Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal / Now This; You Tube; Posted Mar. 17th, 2019; available at  Fox News Freaks Out Over Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal | NowThis - YouTube.

[170] Ibid.

[171] Farzan, Antonia Noori; The latest right-wing attack on Democrats: ‘They want to take away your hamburgers;’ Washington Post; March 1st, 2019; available at Democrats want to ban hamburgers, Sebastian Gorka tells CPAC - The Washington Post

[172] Ibid.

[173] Tucker Carlson; The left ramps up its war on beef; Fox News; May 11th, 2021; available at Tucker: The left ramps up its war on beef | Fox News Video.

See also Bump, Phillip; Fox News’s latest straw man is made of red meat; Washington Post; Apr. 26th, 2021; available at Fox News’s latest straw man is made of red meat - The Washington Post.

[174] Ibid.

[175] Tucker Carlson; The left ramps up its war on beef; Fox News; May 11th, 2021; available at Tucker: The left ramps up its war on beef | Fox News Video.

[177] Ibid.

[178] Ghandi, Debu; The GOP’s Myth of an ‘Open Border;’ NBC News; Sept. 22nd, 2022; available at DeSantis and the GOP's myth of an 'open border' (nbcnews.com).

[179] Ibid.

[182] Ghandi, Debu; The GOP’s Myth of an ‘Open Border;’ NBC News; Sept. 22nd, 2022; available at DeSantis and the GOP's myth of an 'open border' (nbcnews.com).

[183] Gresko, Jessica, and Spagat, Elliot; Supreme Court: Biden can end Trump-era asylum policy;  Ap News; June 30th, 2022; available at Supreme Court: Biden can end Trump-era asylum policy | AP News.

See also Montoya-Galvez; What is Title 42, the Covid border policy used to expel immigrants; Aug. 16th, 2022; available at What is Title 42, the COVID border policy used to expel migrants? - CBS News.

[184] Ibid.

[185] Smith, David; ‘Replacement theory’ still Republican orthodoxy despite Buffalo shooting; The Guardian; May 22nd, 2022; available at ‘Replacement theory’ still Republican orthodoxy despite Buffalo shooting | US news | The Guardian

[187] Gabbat, Adam; ‘Jews will not replace us’: Vice film lays bare horror neo-Nazi’s in America; Guardian; Aug. 16th, 2017; available at 'Jews will not replace us': Vice film lays bare horror of neo-Nazis in America | Virginia | The Guardian.

See also Kessler, Glenn; The ‘very fine people’ at Charlottesville: Who were they?; Washington Post; May 8th, 2020; available at The ‘very fine people’ at Charlottesville: Who were they? - The Washington Post.  

[188] McCarthy, Bill; Tucker Carlson feigned ignorance over ‘great replacement theory,’ despite talking about it often; Politifact; May 19th, 2022; available at PolitiFact | Tucker Carlson feigned ignorance over ‘great replacement theory,’ despite talking about it often.

[190] Ibid.

[191] Ibid.

[192] Staff; Limbaugh Revives “Death Panel Smear, Claiming Government Will Assign Your Life a “Dollars-and-Cents Value; Media Matters; Sept. 28th, 2012; available at Limbaugh Revives "Death Panels" Smear, Claiming Government Will Assign Your Life A "Dollars-And-Cents Value" | Media Matters for America.

See also Rutenberg, Jim, and Calmes, Jackie; False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots; New York Times; Aug. 13th, 2009; available at False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[193] Bump, Phillip; Fox News’s latest straw man is made of red meat; Washington Post; Apr. 26th, 2021; available at Fox News’s latest straw man is made of red meat - The Washington Post.

[194] Ghandi, Debu; The GOP’s Myth of an ‘Open Border;’ NBC News; Sept. 22nd, 2022; available at DeSantis and the GOP's myth of an 'open border' (nbcnews.com).

[195] Ibid.

See also McCarthy, Bill; Tucker Carlson feigned ignorance over ‘great replacement theory,’ despite talking about it often; Politifact; May 19th, 2022; available at PolitiFact | Tucker Carlson feigned ignorance over ‘great replacement theory,’ despite talking about it often.

See also Phillips, Amber; ‘They’re rapists.’ President Trump’s campaign launch speech two years later, annotated; Washington Post; June 16th, 2017; available at ‘They’re rapists.’ President Trump’s campaign launch speech two years later, annotated - The Washington Post.

[196] Kilgore, Ed; ‘RINO’ Just Means ‘Disloyal to Trump’ Now; The Intelligencer; Mar. 24, 2022; available at ‘RINO’ Just Means ‘Disloyal to Trump’ Now (nymag.com).

[197] Senior, Jennifer; American Rasputin; The Atlantic; June 6th, 2022; available at Steve Bannon Is a Lit Bomb in the Mouth of Democracy - The Atlantic.

[198] Lewis, Michael; Has anyone seen the President?; Bloomberg Opinion; Feb. 9th, 2018; available at Has Anyone Seen the President? - Bloomberg.

See also Rucker, Phillip, and Costa, Robert; Bannon vows a daily fight for “deconstruction of the administrative state”; Washington Post; Feb. 23rd, 2017; available at Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’ - The Washington Post.

See also Staff; Read the Bannon Indictment; New York Times; Sept. 8th, 2022; available at Read the Full Indictment Against Steve Bannon - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[199] Coppins, McKay; What if the right-wing media wins; Columbia Journalism Review; Fall 2017; available at https://www.cjr.org/special_report/right-wing-media-breitbart-fox-bannon-carlson-hannity-coulter-trump.php.

[200] Parks, Miles; Outrage as a Business Model: How Ben Shapiro is Using Facebook to Build an Empire; NPR; July 19th, 2021; available at  How Ben Shapiro Is Using Facebook To Build A Business Empire : NPR.

[201] Ibid.

[202] Folkenflik, David; You Literally Can’t Believe The Facts Tucker Carlson Tells You. So Say’s Fox’s Lawyers; NPR; Sept. 29th, 2020; available at The Legal Defense For Fox's Tucker Carlson: He Can't Be Literally Believed : NPR.

[203] Ibid.

[204] Marans, Daniel; Sean Hannity: “I’m Not a Journalist. I’m A Talk Show Host”; HuffPost; Apr. 14th, 2016; available at Sean Hannity: ‘I’m Not A Journalist. I’m A Talk Show Host.' | HuffPost Latest News.

[205] Relman, Eliza, and Sheth, Sonam; A timeline of Sean Hannity’s panicked texts to Trump’s inner circle reveals how ‘worried’ he was about the January 6th rally and Capitol riot; Business Insider; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Timeline: Sean Hannity's Panicked Texts to Trump Inner Circle (businessinsider.com)

[206] Alemany, Jacqueline, and Hamburger, Tom, and Dawsey, Josh, and Remmel, Tyler; Texting through an insurrection; Washington Post; Feb. 16th, 2022; available at How thousands of text messages from Mark Meadows and others reveal new details about events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack - Washington Post.

[207] Axelrod, Tal; Conservative outlet complains about lack of Trump shout-out at rally; The Hill; March 29th, 2019; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/media/436553-conservative-outlet-complains-about-lack-of-trump-shout-out-at-rally.

See also Rupar, Aaron; Why Newsmax is failing; Vox; July 28th, 2021; available at Why Newsmax is failing, explained by an expert - Vox

[208] Axelrod, Tal; Conservative outlet complains about lack of Trump shout-out at rally; The Hill; March 29th, 2019; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/media/436553-conservative-outlet-complains-about-lack-of-trump-shout-out-at-rally.

[209] Rupar, Aaron; Why Newsmax is failing; Vox; July 28th, 2021; available at Why Newsmax is failing, explained by an expert - Vox

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