Columnist, Never-Trumper, and CNN global affairs analyst, Max Boot, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post that calls for conservative cable news outlets such as Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax TV, to be taken down and silenced. He equates it with shutting down foreign terrorist influencers.
He starts off by stating that merely holding the president accountable for “his role in inciting this violent insurrection” is “insufficient.” A sentiment heavily echoed on the left.
“There is a whole infrastructure of incitement that will remain intact even after Trump leaves office,” Boot writes. “Just as we do with foreign terrorist groups, so with domestic terrorists: We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition.”
Boot is thrilled that Facebook and Twitter have censored, silenced, and purged conservative voices and he is now fervently hoping that broadcast media will do the same. It goes beyond the Fairness Doctrine. He’s calling for them to be deplatformed and eliminated all together.
The op-ed reads: “Anyone who cherishes our democracy should be grateful to the management of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for their newfound sense of social responsibility. We should expect at least the same level of responsibility from broadcast media — and in particular from Fox News, which has the largest reach on the right.”
According to Boot:
“To its credit, Fox News acknowledged that Joe Biden won. But, reports Media Matters for America, “in the two weeks after Fox News called the election for Biden, Fox News cast doubt on the results of the election at least 774 times.” According to NPR, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said Trump’s opponents in the government were guilty of “treason” and that it would be “criminal” for Republicans to recognize Biden’s victory. Fox News host Mark Levin told viewers: “If we don’t fight on Jan. 6 on the floor of the Senate and the House — and that is the joint meeting of Congress on these electors — then we are done.”’
“The pro-Trump insurrectionists were listening. To take but one example, The Post reports that Ashli Babbitt, who was killed in the attack, “was an avid viewer of Fox News, praising Tucker Carlson and other far-right media personalities on the network as she derided their liberal targets.” This is dismaying but hardly surprising. As the New York Times notes, “Fox has long been the favorite channel of pro-Trump militants. The man who mailed pipe bombs to CNN in 2018 watched Fox News ‘religiously.’”’
Boot is not alone in calling for the dissolution of these news outlets. CNN has called for it at length as well.
The op-ed slams Fox News for not mandating an end to “spreading false claims” regarding election fraud.
“Cumulus Media, one of America’s largest talk-radio companies, has ordered its hosts — who include some Fox News personalities — to stop spreading false claims of election fraud,” Boot points out, condoning the censorship. “But Fox News itself has issued no such edict.”
Then he goes all-in by saying if the Murdoch family won’t comply, then large cable carriers should have Fox News shut down permanently.
“If [they] won’t listen, then large cable companies such as Comcast and Charter Spectrum, which carry Fox News and provide much of its revenue in the form of user fees, need to step in and kick Fox News off,” states Boot.
“And if smaller competitors such as One America News and Newsmax continue to incite viewers, they, too, should be booted off,” he writes.
This week, CNN began aggressively pushing for conservative media outlets such as One America News and Newsmax TV to be blacklisted. Others on the left also called for it, including a former Facebook executive named Alex Stamos.
A Forbes magazine op-ed warned companies about hiring “fabulists” from the Trump administration earlier this month in a separate move to punish those who worked with the president.
“Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie,” Forbes magazine’s chief content officer, Randall Lane, wrote.
Another Washington Post essay encouraged the media to shun Republicans who questioned the election results. They admitted promoting “a radical approach,” yet stood by it as “the only way to safely proceed with live interviews with Republicans who may be carrying a dangerous conspiracy theory that spreads on air.”
WaPo also compared denying election results to denying the Holocaust.
“We would not allow a Holocaust denier to speak on evening news programs or have free rein on social media,” WaPo’s essay authors wrote. “Old and new media alike should no longer give a platform to these dissimulations, starting with Trump’s.”
Boot wrapped up his piece with a call to President Biden to weaponize the FCC:
“But while we should expect better behavior from media executives, we shouldn’t count on it. CNN (where I’m a global affairs analyst) notes that the United Kingdom doesn’t have its own version of Fox News, because it has a government regulator that metes out hefty fines to broadcasters that violate minimal standards of impartiality and accuracy,” he wrote.
“The United States hasn’t had that since the Federal Communications Commission stopped enforcing the ‘fairness’ doctrine in the 1980s,” Boot added. “As president, Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC. Or else the terrorism we saw on Jan. 6 may be only the beginning, rather than the end, of the plot against America.”
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