Here’s Gretchen Carlson of Fox News yesterday, trying to justify her ongoing efforts to convince viewers that they’re all going to die of Ebola because … well, Benghazi:
“So, should we trust the government to keep us all safe from Ebola?
“With the government’s recent track record not being so hot, well, we learned we couldn’t trust the IRS after the targeting of conservative groups, the Secret Service after an armed man made his way into the White House, the VA after reports men and women who served this country died waiting to get health care ... And do we trust that we know all the answers yet about Benghazi?”
Hmmm. In other words, it’s about credibility. People should take into account an entity’s prior record of truth-telling when assessing whether its current statements should be given credence. Let me give it a try:
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So, when Fox News tells you that the experts on Ebola and pandemics aren’t to be trusted, should you believe them?
I mean, despite what they’ve told you over the years, the 2012 polls weren’t skewed, Mitt Romney didn’t win in a landslide, Obama’s trip to India didn’t cost $200 million a day, he never did a terrorist fist bump, no military assets could have conceivably intervened at Benghazi ... Obama wasn’t born in Kenya, nor is he Muslim, there were no death panels, there is no war on Christmas, there was no WMD in Iraq, Saddam and bin Laden weren’t allies ... ObamaCare is not as bad as slavery, and Cliven Bundy was not a true American hero.
So when Fox tries to get you worked up into another lather of outrage, this time over Ebola, the question that a lot of people should be asking themselves is whether they enjoy being played for fools by a “news channel” that shows no respect for the truth or for intelligence and decency of its audience.
And the problem is, that right-wing outrage assembly system – ranging from Fox and Limbaugh down to those crazy emails – has become powerful enough to distort national politics and pretty much capture an entire major political party.