The fascist attacks on democracy that led to the January 6 violence were promoted by Donald Trump and his allies in the White House, in Congress, and in the media. The fascist justifications for the violence and attempted redemption of those that engaged in it are coming from … the exact same places.
High on the list of sedition-backers not named Tucker Carlson is Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, who hosted the increasingly delusional ex-“president” for another round of lavishing praise on the seditionists while demonizing those who opposed them. Trump, a malignant narcissist, does not have the mental capacity to process the would-be toppling of government in any fashion other than a contemplation of whether it would have been good for him, personally, and has ceased to pretend at nuance when it comes to praising those who plotted to attack members of Congress and his own vice president in an effort to return the murderous manchild to power.
Trump once again condemned the arrests, called the allied mob “patriots” for supporting him, and especially played up the alleged martyrdom of a Trump supporter shot by law enforcement while climbing through a broken window in an attempt to reach Congress.
Bartimaro, a fascist and a liar, helped Trump promote the notion of a “peaceful” mob. She claimed “no guns were seized” from the seditionists—a lie.
Both Bartiromo and Trump also speculated to viewers that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was climbing through a door that had been shattered by the mob as they threatened and shoved the officers attempting to guard it, was protecting a “high” level congressional Democrat—part of a continued Republican effort to expose that security official to retaliatory violence.
This is because Trump, Bartiromo, allied lawmakers and especially Fox News executives are seditionists—their attacks are aimed at democracy itself. Trump, Bartiromo, Carlson and the others are not upset that a dimwitted mob of conspiracy believers and violent militia members attempted to nullify an American election. They remain upset that it didn’t work.
Their anger remains focused on the specific individuals who stopped the attack from being successful. Their praise is reserved for those who made the attempt. A woman killed while breaking into a secured area during an organized attempt to find and capture lawmakers is held up as movement martyr. All of their attention is devoted to celebrating the supposed heroism of the mob and offering encouragement to those who might attempt similar acts in the future.
This no longer up for debate. If your cable or satellite subscription pipes Fox News into your home, you are a part of the problem. It does not matter if you do not watch it. It does not matter if you block it from your own view. Fox News makes the same amount of money either way; as advertisers flee the increasingly conspiratorial and violence-justifying network, it relies heavily on the carriage fees it receives from each provider—a chunk of monthly cash from your subscription. An ongoing assault on both provable fact and on our democracy itself is being subsidized by your monthly cable bill.
Is it worth it? There are other ways to watch television. There is no justification for helping to subsidize fascist disinformation with your own paycheck, and we are no longer in a time when anyone can pretend funding the network is not a clear danger to democracy itself.