In a staggering $52 billion deal, the Walt Disney Company has signed off on buying most of 21st Century Fox. The announcement represents a colossal reshaping of the entertainment landscape, with the already-massive shadow of Disney spreading wider and further than ever before. The move is expected to give Disney a new edge in combatting streaming services as well as greatly expand their intellectual properties portfolio.
Rupert Murdoch, the man who controls 21st Century Fox — and the archconservative personally responsible for radicalizing and poisoning American politics — will retain ownership of Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports, and the Fox Hollywood lot. By retaining Fox News in particular he’ll be able to continue pumping hateful right-wing propaganda directly into living rooms all across the country.
Vanity Fair‘s Gabriel Sherman reported that President Trump spoke personally with Rupert Murdoch to ensure that the media mogul wouldn’t be selling Fox News to Disney:
Trump spoke with Murdoch ahead of Disney deal to make sure Murdoch wasn’t selling Fox News, person briefed on the call said
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) December 14, 2017
The reason for the call is obvious. Fox News has morphed into a form of state media, constantly covering fabricated conspiracy theories to attack Trump’s opponents, fawning about the president’s imagined victories, and avoiding discussion of his constant failures, faux pas, and lies.
The conservative network composes a large portion of the president’s reported 8-hour daily television diet, and presumably, he was frightened that a Disney-run station would switch to more honest coverage, damaging his infamously fragile ego in the process.
It’s impossible to overestimate the negative effect that Murdoch and his meticulously constructed mendacity machine has had on the American political discourse. Fox News has divided the country into two distinct parallel realities. The rest of the mainstream media networks — despite whatever criticisms one might level at them — are at their foundation devoted to uncovering and revealing the truth.
Fox is devoted to pushing a unified, ideological agenda. Truths that don’t toe the line are ejected and replaced with convenient ersatz talking points. What’s more, this invented right-wing reality has splintered into smaller realities, all of them increasingly untethered from the real world. Without Fox to create the original appetite for unhinged conservative hysteria, Alex Jones nonsense, Pizzagate, and a bevy of other idiotic conspiracies would have never reached the mainstream.
Perhaps most damning of all, without Fox News we never would have had President Trump. It makes sense then that Trump would phone his ally Murdoch to ensure Fox News is here to stay.
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