The left has long despised Fox News, and really any other right-of-center media outlet, for often running counter to the liberal media’s narratives and providing a different outlook on the news of the day from the rest of its mainstream media cohorts.
Now a progressive MSNBC analyst wants to bring about the demise of Fox, and presumably other conservative outlets, by having the network declared unlawful for allegedly “brain-mashing” its audience, promoting falsehoods, and inciting people to commit acts of terrorism, The Blaze reports.
MSNBC analyst Anand Giridharadas posted a thread of tweets Friday on Twitter to lay out his frightening and short-sighted plan to outlaw right-leaning media outlets like Fox News.
“Should Fox News be allowed to exist?”
“It’s time for this question to be front and center: Should Fox News be allowed to exist? Brain-mashing as a business model shouldn’t be legal,” Giridharadas’ thread began.
“I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t understand why you’re not allowed to manufacture bucatini that doesn’t have a certain threshold of iron in it but you can broadcast brain-mashing falsehoods and goad people toward terrorism,” he continued with an absurd comparison of a pasta content regulation to the content of a news network.
Giridharadas proceeded to suggest there needed to be a “new Fairness Doctrine” to regulate what sort of content media outlets would be permitted to broadcast. He argued that it is necessary because “twelve percent of Americans supported the terrorist insurrection on the Capitol. After the fact. You cannot pin this only on leaders. This has been institutionalized incitement in which the media played a giant role, and democracy is endangered by it.”
The progressive writer did seem to acknowledge some potential problems with his idea but nevertheless believed those issues paled in comparison to continuing to allow certain media outlets to exist.
“Are there huge questions of a slippery slope? Of course. Could this regulation be abused? Of course. These are the hard things we’d have to figure out. But none of that means, to me, that a business model of incitement and falsehood is absolutely protected,” Giridharadas tweeted.
With regard to the call for a new Fairness Doctrine imposed on the media, TheBlaze noted that the old Fairness Doctrine was initially implemented in 1949 as a way to compel licensed media outlets to broadcast both sides of an issue, a policy that was scrapped in 1987 due to the fact that it restricted the right to free speech.
Social media reactions were mixed. Some users seemed to agree that action was necessary against Fox while many denounced what was said as fascist, authoritarian, or entirely un-American.
Liberal writer Matt Taibbi reasonably wondered, “Curious where @AnandWrites thinks the Fox audience should go? Should they not have news outlets at all, should they go to a new conservative outlet that will somehow suck less than Fox, should they learn to love CNN? What’s the plan?”
Likewise, tech writer Mike Masnick noted the obvious implications. “I am amazed that people keep suggesting this without thinking through the obvious consequences,” he wrote. “If the government could shut down Fox News, think what the Trump admin would have done to CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, WaPo and more.” Good point.