There Is a Way to Take Down Fox News (And It’s Not a Boycott)

Amidst hundreds of thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19, countless pleas from health officials and the CDC to wear maks and social distance, and a recent report from Lancet that put the cherry on top of the “this was basically Trump’s fault” sundae, Fox News has decided to do what Fox News does: Go against all of that. This time, their “poison pill” of choice, as Media Matters’ President and CEO Angelo Cursone calls it in this episode of The New Abnormal, is vaccine skepticism. “What Fox is doing with the vaccines right now is similar to the role that they played at every step of public health measures,” Cursone tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “They dismissed social distancing early on. They were sort of skeptical about the masks and Jeanine Pirro was warning her audience. That the only reason people wear masks is to do bad things.” Now, they’re telling their viewers they’re not sure about taking the “George Soros Kool-Aid.” (Rick Wilson is already seeing this play out with “MAGA moms” on Facebook). But Fox has a reason for this, adds Cursone, who shares his theory. It has to do with your cable bill—and it’s also the very way the network could be destroyed. The more outrage they get, the more viewers, the more negotiating power they have against cable companies to get them to charge cable watchers more for their channel. “Fox News, now, for every person that has cable news pays Fox news between $2 and $2 and 50 cents a month, whether or not you ever watched the channel and what they're trying to do, because they've lost so much, advertising [wants to] get that number up from about $2, a person to $3 to $3 and 50 cents over the next year,” and if there’s a way to hit them where it hurts, explains Cursone, it’s here. Of course, it’s not a New Abnormal episode if there isn’t talk of impeachment, especially the hearings going on right now involving the Capitol insurrection. Rick is particularly furious at Rick Scott and Marco Rubio: “They're basically just saying, ah, yeah, our little plot failed. Our little coup failed. So we're just going to hang out here and be the dick kids in the back of the room, throwing at the teacher.” Speaking of dicks, Molly tells the fun little tale of Marjorie Taylor Green and the Tantric Sex Guru and Daily Beast congressional reporter Sam Brodey talks about his experience witnessing the trial in person.

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