116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Opinion / Guest Columnists
Tell them what they want to hear
Mar. 13, 2023 6:00 am
A lady of the evening with a venereal disease has more decency than Rupert Murdoch and Fox News personalities. She infects only one person at a time and on a busy night does limited damage to society. Fox infects 1.5 million people nightly with a more insidious disease: the inability to hear the truth. The Fox audience, believers and repeaters, lives on conspiracy theories. There is no cure available, no penicillin for paranoia, no laxative of sufficient power to cure. A lawsuit may help. Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox for its charge that its machines flipped votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
The Fox owner and anchors have sold their souls as easily as our lady has her body. Rupert Murdoch is worth $177 billion. Tucker Carlson earns $35 million a year and has an estimated net worth of $420 million. Sean Hannity is a little richer.
If tar and feathers were still in style, I would buy a garbage can full of it and ask the court’s permission to start outfitting Carlson, Hannity and Laura Ingraham with a thick coat, feathers optional. I would do more of their talking head colleagues, but that would require more tar than I could afford. I would ask Tucker (we are on a first-name basis here because The Gazette, once again, couldn’t print what I usually call him) for a contribution to help. Every show should start with a recorded Murdoch saying, “Sit, Tucker, sit.” As I understand it, Tucker has never found a dictator he didn’t like and thinks white nationalism a nice hobby.
Their crime: deceit and chronic dishonesty, while knowing the truth and speaking lies. They have done that all day every day convincing millions of viewers of nonsense they knew was bull as they spoke it. Tape and testimony make that clear and beyond question. Murdoch himself has essentially said so in a deposition in the Dominion case against the network. “Court documents indicate that Fox executives knew their claims were false but chose not to intervene for fear of losing viewers.” Their audience votes, averaging 69 years, an age bracket that votes. And 94 percent say they vote or lean Republican.
In 2024, TV sets in rural Iowa are likely to be turned to Fox, and except for Hawkeye and Cyclone games. they stay there. For Fox addicts, it will be a life in an echo chamber: hearing only what they want to heat.
If Dominion Voting Systems wins its defamation case, financial bankruptcy may follow moral and intellectual bankruptcy. When the jury votes and finds Fox guilty, the network faces a $1.6 billion penalty. And they might have to tell their receptive viewers that they lied when they said machines had been set to switch votes from Trump to Biden, Nancy Pelosi owned stock in the company controlled by communists.
Those claims are like my saying that our lady of the evening is just Chuck Grassley in drag. That is not true, unless reported by Tucker, Sean, and Laura.
Norman Sherman of Coralville has worked extensively in politics, including as Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s press secretary and authored a memoir “From Nowhere to Somewhere.”
Opinion content represents the viewpoint of the author or The Gazette editorial board. You can join the conversation by submitting a letter to the editor or guest column or by suggesting a topic for an editorial to email@example.com