When we first heard Kellyanne Conway utter her now infamous phrase, the one that launched a thousand guffaws, chuckles, moans, eye-rolls and yes, even websites, many thought she had opened the door to a new era. Lies were the new facts. The contradiction of proven truths was the new norm. Did it start with Ms. Conway? Was Sean Spicer’s baseless and defenseless claim about Trump’s Inaugural crowd being the biggest ever launch us into the new Trumpian alternative reality machine? The answer, in a word, is No.
The deliberate distortion, reprocessing and rebranding of political reality, the one that split this country in half, began in 1996 when Rupert Murdoch gave the control of Fox News to Roger Ailes. Partisan conservative politics staged and acted out as performance art was Roger’s “gift” to America. Above all else, Roger understood and practiced the concept of “culture trolling” before the term “trolling” ever became commonly used.
Tobin Smith, a Fox News pundit for 14 years recently reported a conversation he had “off the record” in 2000 with the now deceased Ailes.
According to Roger:
Who is the Fox News target audience and what turns ’em on?
“Toby . . . I created a TV network for people 55 to dead,” Ailes said.
“What does our viewer look like?
“They look like me…white guys in mostly Red State counties who sit on their couch with the remote in their hand all day and night.”
“What do they want to see”
“They want to see YOU tear those smug condescending know-it-all East Coast liberals to pieces . . limb by limb . . . until they jump up out of their LaZ boy and scream “Way to go Toby…you KILLED that libtard!”
What a gentleman. Honest, truthful (when off the record) and ruthlessly efficient. He single-handedly created the gaping void that now exists between people on the right and left. There is no such thing as moderate, that was crushed by the bloviated boss who wielded virtually unchecked power.
The following image is one moment frozen in time. The President of the United States had announced a historic, extraordinary and unprecedented move, he fired the Director of the FBI to stop the investigation into his ties to Russia. This is noteworthy and important in so many ways. Every news networks took to the airways immediately to report and examine this breaking news. Well, not EVERY one.
Below is a screenshot (courtesy of Slate) taken at the exact same moment in time from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News
At the exact same instant that responsible journalists, reporters and pundits were examining this remarkable moment, Trump-shill Sean Hannity was STILL trying to make the case against Hillary Clinton! The woman his “man-crush” had defeated six months earlier and now fills most of her days hiking in the woods.
The disconnect is absurd and yet for those white, couch-dwelling Fox sycophants Sean was speaking the truth, telling them the “real news”. For people frustrated that not everyone is outraged on a daily basis, here’s your answer. Roger Ailes, the sexual predator that roamed and terrorized the hallways of Fox News for two decades, is surely smiling, hopefully while turning on a roasting spit over the hottest of coals.