When you speak to a genuine far right conservative you run into a wall of misinformation so thick that at times you wonder what world they are occupying. How did their brain come up with all of it?
Then if you should ask them what television news network they rely on it must be Fox News. They may also frequent Breitbart, brain child of Steve Bannon. You may hear one or more conspiracy theories that are just that, and they are unsupported with real factual evidence: Alex Jones there. Then it is of course the Drudge Report, and Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and the rest.
These people do not get information from the real news media. They frequent the fully manipulated fake news media. The reason I said ‘fully’ is that the real news is manipulated to some extent as a product of corporate ownership. It is more how much they cover certain issues and why. But the picture you get is real.
Where to begin looking for real news that is balanced and fact based? Well it is the Associated Press (AP), a product of the Civil War needs of newspapers of the time. I’d follow with the Wall street Journal; not the opinion page, but the news pages. Wealthy Americans need to know what is actually going on so they may invest more wisely. It is first rate journalism. I’d follow that with newspapers like the New York Times, the Washington Post. They tend to be a little to left of center. But they have such a stable of reporters that do good journalism that you need to be there. And now UK newspapers are staffing full-fledged American Bureaus. The best of the lot is the Guardian. It has been a solidly liberal rag even back to its inception as a working class newspaper.Then there is Reuters the European equivalent of the AP.
These days most people get their news from news networks like Fox News. Yet there is CNN and MSNBC that run contrary to Fox, but despite their liberal spin actually do inform people with real facts. NBC is the best of the old TV networks. The problem with the liberal networks as with Fox is that they cover very little climate change or anti-corporate news due to their automobile industry and fossil fuel company advertisers. They are corporate organizations. We need to stay centered in long standing journalistic institutions; the ones our parents and grandparents trusted.
The Daily Stormer has nothing to do with reality or being reliable. It is a white nationalist rag where white supremacist ideology is rampant.
The real point that needs to be driven home is that we live in two distinct camps, where one actually possesses facts that uncover the real world, and the other so distorted and manipulated as to have what facts there are to be worthless. Some of the facts there are not facts. Americans get two distinctly different realities within which they can build their perceptions of the world; one essentially true, and the other devotes an incredible amount of attention to stimulating the fear of white audiences to people of color; foreigners in particular.
Differences of any kind like the LGBTQ community or racial minorities tell the story that those people are not like us, and pose a distinct threat to a world dominated by white people. Ignorance is the currency that the right wing media employs constantly.
When the liberal networks are factually reporting on what Mueller said the other day and before that what the Mueller (redacted) report said, Fox News simply adopted other stories on those days, and emphasized what William Barr or President Trump were providing the reality for. The one-to-one tight relationship that feeds on each other there told us the president was exonerated and there was absolutely no collusion (a conspiracy).
Reality, when you actually read the Mueller Report (redacted) is that cooperation between Putin’s Russia and the Trump Campaign was much closer than that. Mueller stopped short of recommending indictments here as some information was destroyed in violation of the Federal Public Records Act, a felony, and some witnesses were unable to truthfully relate what they really knew. Conspiracy to defraud the United States under FEC law has a very high bar. You have to prove there was a specific plan set by the conspirators.
The Mueller report and investigation examined some ten, even eleven, instances of observable and clear obstruction of justice by the president. Four to six of those have all the conditions met for most prosecutors to bring a case with high confidence in getting convictions. You never heard Fox News tell you that. You did not even see Mueller speak on television that day. You see what William Barr tells you and President Trump tells you, and what the conservative media bubble amplifies for you.
A divided perception of reality cannot stand, there has to be a crack up soon, since the divisions deeply sown for years by Fox News and those that are sympathetic media outlets destroy reality. Add to that, some very perceptive acts to divide the nation further by this so called president, and you have a real dangerous situation. And conservative media also caters to people in the gun movement, and who are now so totally angry and filled with grievances against ‘the other’ that it would take relatively little to activate them.
The rest of us are consuming media that tell us a version of reality that is very close to well . . . reality. These viewers are much better informed and tend to be more highly educated. They have a wider vision of the world and are not bothered so much by people who have different skin colors, or who come from other parts of the world. There are among us some well-educated old main line conservatives who to be candid, know how out of sync that other reality is with the real one. We tend to be younger and more diverse.
Worse yet, the right wing consumers of media have little understanding of democracy, the Constitution and how our government is supposed to work. That makes it harder for them to see just how criminal an operation and how much a menace to our futures Trump and his Misadministration, so called, really is.
Seeds sown to inform are being circulated through the traditional press institutions, much of it is falling on completely barren ground. What can we do if we are those who know reality facing those who do not? Interacting with far right conservatives today reveals their values no longer correspond to democratic values all parties used to subscribe to, and the democratic norms we all should expect and strengthen, they want nothing to do with. In fact, the Trump Movement is an authoritarian strongman state where white people rule and the rest are enemies to be destroyed.
It is a lot to think on in bed at night when worries come to mind. I am often awake late at night, and think on it I must. Then I turn out the light for the night. We’ll save our troubles of tomorrow for tomorrow.