How Fox News Mainstreams the Far Right Fringe

One recurring theme on this blog for years has been the way the far-right fringe has been mainstreamed in the conservative media and the Republican party. Media Matters demonstrates that yet again with a list of some of the people brought on Fox News as guests. Any list where Victoria Jackson is not the most bizarre of the bunch is one hell of a list.

Last fall, a fringe group of activists organized what they claimed would be a massive rally involving thousands of disgruntled truckers protesting the government. The movement was given an assist by conservative websites and Fox News, which hosted organizer Zeeda Andrews to plug the protest. During an appearance on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Andrews explained that the goal of the event was to oust Obama from office because he “is a threat to our national security.”

Not mentioned by Fox during the segment? That Andrews believes Obama is a “threat to our national security” in part because she thinks, somehow, that “Osama Bin Laden is our President Obama.” According to a comment Andrews posted on YouTube in 2013, people should “do your research” because the “CIA has been preparing for” swapping Obama and bin Laden since the president “was a boy. They have same height, bone structure, hands and ears both are left handed the Osama face was created by Hollywood. The fox is in the hen house.”

Andrews apparently also identifies as a fan of at least two conspiracy theory films about 9-11; thinks Obama is secretly a Muslim; that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to massacre Americans and that the Boston Marathon bombings were a “false flag” attack.

And our old friend Erik Rush:

WND columnist Erik Rush has made numerous appearances on Fox News in recent years to attack President Obama and Democrats.

In addition to dabbling in well-worn nonsense about Obama’s birth certificate and the president’s supposedly thinly-veiled Marxism, Rush has pushed several utterly absurd conspiracy theories about the government.

For example, in a column posted last year, Rush argued that President Obama’s alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood suggest his administration may have “orchestrated” the terror attacks in Benghazi. As part of his evidence that the Obama administration would do something like orchestrate an attack on American diplomatic facilities, Rush referenced the “unresolved Trinity United murders,” the monumentally idiotic conspiracy that Obama and his associates possibly murdered members of Obama’s old church in order to cover up the president’s hidden homosexuality.

Right Wing Watch has an extensive archive of the various ridiculous things Rush has said over the years. Among them arguing that Obama is “enslaving” white people; positing that the Navy Yard shooting was a false flag operation designed to prevent the Navy from arresting Obama for treason; claiming that Obama is murdering his critics; and just last week, suggesting Obama has been secretly creating “jihadi cells across country in order to ‘have his back’ in the event that a move is made to remove him.”

Despite all of this, Rush has made at least a dozen appearances on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program since 2010.

Of course he has. Because the reality these days is that no one is so far gone that they won’t be given a platform on Fox News and other conservative media. It doesn’t matter how bizarre and ludicrous your claims are, you will find an eager audience on Fox, in the Worldnetdaily, on Newsmax and other right wing outlets.

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  • StevoR

    Ye non-existent gods!!!

  • colnago80

    It should also be pointed out that Greta Van Susteren is a member of the “Church of Scientology”.

  • StevoR

    Would be interesting to see the results of a survey asking “who takes Fox news seriously these days?” because really knowing all this who would?

  • Trebuchet

    It should also be pointed out that Greta Van Susteren is a member of the “Church of Scientology”.

    And thinks that a satirical twitter account run by the Popehat guys is the official twitter of North Korea. How can you take someone who literally talks out of the side of her mouth seriously? Oh right, it’s Fox.

  • blf

    [T]he “CIA has been preparing for” swapping Obama and bin Laden since the president “was a boy. They have same height, bone structure, hands and ears both are left handed the Osama face was created by Hollywood.

    I like this hypothesis: It’s so completely loopy it joins up with itself at the other end, after some twists, to form the Möbius strip of conspiracy theories.

  • raven

    68.8 years

    But the majority of those viewers are over the age of 55. In fact, the median age for O’Reilly is now just over 72 years old. The average Fox News viewer overall is 68.8, while the average ages of MSNBC and CNN viewers were 62.5 and 62.8, respectively.

    May cable news ratings spare no one – POLITICO.com

    www. politico. com/…/may-cable-news-ratings-spare-no-one-189393.html

    Who watches Fox NoNews?

    Old people. The average age for Fox NoNews viewers is 69. It’s something of a problem for them. Old people are well on their way to being…dead people.

    Fox knows this and has been trying to appeal to the younger demographic. Which seems to be by hiring good looking blond women who wear short skirts. I hope it takes more than that but one thing Fox can’t do is appeal to intelligent people.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    That Andrews believes Obama is a “threat to our national security” in part because she thinks, somehow, that “Osama Bin Laden is our President Obama.”

    Ok, that’s one I haven’t heard before. But sadly, tragically, I am not the least bit shocked by it or by the fact that a proponent of such an idea can get an appearance as a guest on Fox News.

  • raven

    Dailykos. com Fri May 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM PDT.

    Fox News Suffers Worst Ratings In Thirteen Years – And That’s Not Their Big Problem

    by News Corpse for Media Watch.

    Fox News has fallen and it can’t get up. Ratings for the month of May 2014, have just been published, and the numbers are devastating for Fox News. While still occupying the top slot among the cable news networks, Fox saw about a quarter of its audience dissolve across every demographic group and time period.

    And Fox NoNews is losing viewers. So are the other cable news channels but Fox is losing the most.

    It is devastating that nevertheless, they are the number 1 cable news network.

  • magistramarla

    I’m always saddened to see the abysmal ratings for MSNBC. Rachael Maddow’s in-depth explanations of the news of the day are always spot-on, and we never fail to watch it or to save it on the DVR for later viewing.

    Since her show and some of the others on MSNBC must appeal to younger viewers, I wonder if they are seeing such shows, but on their computers and smartphones rather than on traditional TV. Do the ratings groups account for this?

    BTW – My hubby and I are over 55, and fox noise disgusts us.

  • raven

    Pew Research January 2014

    But with 1.7 million viewers each evening, the channel still drew a bigger audience than CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined. Fox surpassed then-leader CNN in prime-time viewership in 2002, and has never looked back. However, there is some evidence of a ceiling for audience growth. Fox has not increased its median evening viewership since 2009.

    Doesn’t look like much of anyone watches cable news.

    Fox, the clear leader, gets 1.7 million viewers a night. Out of a nation of 319 million, that isn’t even 1%.

  • dingojack

    More than 15 times the number of people watched a fireworks display in Sydney than watches FAUX News in America….

    That’s saying something.

    Dingo

  • blf

    Doesn’t USAlienstani have BBC World, Al Jazeera English. France 24, and other usually reliable channels?

  • dingojack

    The least popular news program in Sydney attracts more than 7.6 times more viewers than FAUX news.

    Dingo

  • lorn

    “23. Several studies have shown that people prefer a pundit who is confident to one who is accurate. Pundits are happy to oblige. ”

    From:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/things-everyone-should-know-about-investing-and-the-economy-2014-12

    The key ingredient is the ability to dress well, look squarely at the camera and confidently, articulately, and forthrightly lie your ass off. In a word the key is: sincerity. Once you can fake that a profitable career in media is a cinch.

  • eamick

    positing that the Navy Yard shooting was a false flag operation designed to prevent the Navy from arresting Obama for treason

    Lemme guess: He thinks the Navy would be involved in arresting Obama because it’s another N-word.

  • slavdude

    blf @12:

    Yeah, but those are all furrin channels, and you can’t trust furriners, especially them Ay-rabs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/teve.tory Teve Tory

    “How can you take someone who literally talks out of the side of her mouth seriously?”

    Thanks to nerve damage during birth, I talk out of the side of my mouth. That’s why they don’t use forceps anymore.

  • Michael Heath

    Trebuchet @ 4:

    How can you take someone who literally talks out of the side of her mouth seriously? Oh right, it’s Fox.

    I’ve long worn hearing aids because I’m hearing impaired. So that means I must be stupid.

  • sheikh mahandi

    Does this mean that when I hit my 60’s I have to watch Faux Noise, or is it just that that current demographic are the core right wing extremists?

  • sheikh mahandi

    The U.K. version used to be (and maybe still is) “Sun Readers” a catch phrase for right-wing, conspiracy theorist, gullible, wackaloons.