A study from 2012 concluded what most of us knew intuitively: that viewers of Fox News not only know less about current events than viewers of other networks, but that they know less about current events than people who watch no news at all.
That’s because Fox News doesn’t just present a dearth of information; it dumps a cartload of misinformation by the hour. Fox isn’t hiding the news; it’s inventing the news — you know, fake news. That fake news is then filtered through “analysis” that is as obtuse as Fox viewers are ignorant.
Only on Fox might one see a gem like this from an “analyst” (this one named Lee Carter):
We can try [to get rid of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan]…We can at least get somebody who’s not going to be aggressively obstructing and not trying to do their job. Right now, [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell and [House Speaker] Ryan – If [Trump] leaves them in, there will be no tax reform by the end of the year.
Did you catch that? If Trump leaves them in, then the right-wing agenda to make rich people richer will languish. That must mean that, in the world according to Fox News analyst (they call her a “contributor”) Lee Carter, Trump can take them out.
Where to start? How about the United States Constitution, which created three separate and coequal branches, one of which is called Congress, which has two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Here are some notes from Section 5 of Article I of the Constitution:
A few points:
- Members of Congress are elected, and each house of Congress gets to decide whether each person who was elected is qualified to be seated. After that, depending on how a member of Congress behaves, each house gets to make its own decisions about who gets to stay and who has to go. Curiously absent from this whole matter of who gets to be in Congress and who doesn’t is the president of the United States — presently, tragically, Donald J. Trump.
- See that part about rules and proceedings? That means that each house makes its own rues about how to choose its leadership and structure its work; each house then actually chooses its own leadership; and each house defines the institutional roles of its leaders.
- The House has decided that it will have something called a Speaker, who presides over its business and has a good deal to say about which matters will come up for a vote in the House. The Senate has decided to have something called a Majority Leader who, although he or she does not preside over the Senate (technically, that’s the Vice President), has a good deal to say about which matters will come up for a vote in the Senate.
- Presently, the Speaker of the House is Paul Ryan and the Majority Leader of the Senate is Mitch McConnell. Because each house, under the Constitution, makes its own rules and chooses its own leaders, Donald Trump does not get to remove and replace them.
A person can be a Fox News analyst — on matters of politics and government, for God’s sake — and know less about how the United States works than an immigrant studying for a citizenship test during the naturalization process.
By Fox News standards, this is post-graduate-level nuance: