Fox News Mainstreams the Fringe Again

Fox News Mainstreams the Fringe Again April 10, 2018

Donald Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, is once again bringing fringe figures that previously would have been unknown nobodies ranting to a tiny audience with their bizarre conspiracy theories into millions of homes. This time it’s Mark Robinson, who pushes pretty much every crackpot claim to ooze out from the wingnutosphere over the last decade or so.

Everyone on the right — from Fox News to the NRA — has fallen in love with a pro-gun rant from unhinged conspiracy theorist Mark Robinson.

Fox News and the NRA are promoting a pro-gun birther pundit who says gay people are “devil-worshipping child molesters,” black Democrats are “slaves,” the student survivors of the Parkland shooting are “silly little immature media prosti-tots,” and Michelle Obama is a man…

LGBT people receive some of the harshest attacks in Robinson’s posts. He argues that “we have pushed homosexuality over the top,” and “pedophilia is next” followed by “the end of civilization.”

He smeared gay people as “devil worshiping child molesters.”…

In his posts, Robinson repeatedly attacks President Barack Obama, describing him as a “worthless, anti-American atheist” who wanted to make America a “European style socialist hell hole.” He also posted a meme claiming that Obama “entered the White House with a fake birth certificate.”

He uses the male pronoun to refer to Michelle Obama, echoing a conservative theory that she is male.

“I’ll be glad when he takes his boyfriend and leaves the White House,” he wrote of the former first lady.

Call this the Rush Limbaugh Effect. This is what right-wing talk radio has done to our political discourse as they try to one-up one another for who can be the most outrageous, most extreme, most batshit bonkers in their claims. That then bled into TV with the creation of Fox News, which now regularly features a lineup of crackpots that, in a former age, would have been viewed even by their fellow conservatives as being fringe figures who should be shoved aside, not put in the spotlight.

The mainstreaming of the fringe is the political story of the last three decades. It has created an alternate reality that a significant percentage of voters now reside in, one that has no relationship at all to the real world. It’s a world where facts and logic simply do not matter.

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