CSotD: Pretending the gloves don’t fit

Ann Telnaes sums up the Dominion Voting Systems v Fox News case in a single graphic: They knew the truth but chose to lie.

And before we go any farther, her collection of Fox personalities reminds me that, when Boss Tweed escaped from jail and fled to Spain, US authorities — unable in those days to transmit photographs — instead telegraphed the Spaniards with a request that they use one of Thomas Nast’s cartoons from a back copy of Harper’s to identify the fleeing villain.

Which worked, and I’d suggest that Telnaes’ caricatures would be equally useful.

I particularly like the one of Maria Bartiromo, who, documents reveal, knew, and had said to her associates, that Sidney Powell was lying, but nevertheless put her on the air, saying “I know there were voting irregularities. Tell me about that.”

No, Maria. You knew there were not any voting irregularities.

They all knew. And they consciously, deliberately, overtly decided that ratings and Fox stock prices mattered more than the truth, so they lied, repeatedly, shamelessly, in order to please their audience by telling the rubes what they wanted to hear instead of the truth.

For a good rundown on what this all means for Fox’s defense in the $1.5 billion lawsuit, try this link, or, if you’d like a little less technical rundown, try this one.

Or go for the full load and read Dominion’s motion for a summary judgment, which has a lot of legalese to skip over but a lot of plain talk that will make you gasp and possibly laugh.

The bottom line, as explained in that second link, is that the landmark case on suing publications, NYTimes v Sullivan, requires not just their publishing false information but their doing it knowingly and intentionally.

Which the internal Fox emails sure seem to do.

But don’t count your chickens yet, because, while Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) seems to be protesting the farcical, self-destructing Congressional hearings about imaginary news suppression, she’s employing the defense made famous by OJ Simpson: Deny the evidence.

As I wrote in the course of his trial:

The key moment in that circus being when OJ pretended to try to put on the glove that contained traces of blood, and, like a toddler being wrestled into snow boots, simply couldn’t make it happen.

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” his attorney declared, and a jury that surely wanted to believe OJ was innocent did just that.

The question now being how many Fox viewers surely want to believe that Tucker and Laura and Jeannie and Maria and Lou and Sean would never deliberately lie to them, even faced with clear evidence that they discussed the facts, recognized the truth but decided to deliberately lie.

Meanwhile, as Telnaes notes, Rupert Murdoch is counting his profits and, while he’d likely begrudge handing over so much as a dime, he might be able to absorb the entire $1.5 billion if he lost the full judgment.

It’s worth remembering that, while OJ won his criminal case, he lost the civil suit, and Dominion’s suit falls under that category.

As Nicole Wallace counsels: Don’t go anywhere!

Elsewhere in the OJverse

(John Auchter)

(Lee Judge — KFS)

Speaking of willfully denying the obvious, Auchter and Judge go beyond the usual condemnation of “thoughts and prayers” to get to the reality of life in the American shooting gallery: We’re all in favor of restrictions that don’t impact us personally, but we draw the line at anything that might, no matter how obvious the need.

Just as some people — and not just a few — desperately need to believe in Donald Trump and the Big Lie, so, too, some people — and not just a few — desperately need to believe that an AR-15 will save them when a handgun or a shotgun or a deer rifle would not.

Which might not be so bad if they were willing to back up their own bullshit, but they’re not willing to even do that.

Leaving our kids, as Phil Hands points out, declaring an unintentional double-major.

At least until November, 2024, at which point I think — I certainly hope — that we’ll be hearing more from Gen Z.

Train Time

The derailment in East Palestine, which the media, left and right, pretty much ignored for a week and a half, has inflamed conservatives who apparently think Pete Buttigieg was either driving that train or out pulling spikes from the track bed.

Michael Ramirez (Creators) is one of the more gentle of the critics, though he’s so gentle that it’s not easy to figure out why this particular derailment — the seventh of the month in a year that’s seen a dozen — has damaged Buttigieg’s credibility.

Mike Lester (AMS) doesn’t mention that the EPA, NTSB and FRA have been on the scene from the start and that FEMA’s mission is to cover property destruction, not toxins in the air, and that the damage has been more environmental than physical.

But he does point out that guys like Pete — nudge, nudge, wink, wink — are more interested in interior decorating than in railroad safety.

While Steve Kelley (Creators) apparently feels no need to wink or nudge or pretend he’s basing his objections to Buttigieg on whatever happened in East Palestine.

Granted, Buttigieg might have made a polite, performative gesture by going out to tut-tut over things, and his boss might also have summarized the response sooner, but, as with so much in the current administration, they seem to have expected their (considerable, rapid) actions to speak for them.

Which isn’t how it works.

But Clay Bennett (CTFP) quietly sums up how it really doesn’t work, when it comes to railroad safety, or to safety in general.

While John Cole gets more specific, not simply blaming the deregulation of the previous administration but adding the company’s placing of profits over safety.

Norfolk Southern is hardly alone in being part of Corporate America’s priority of placing stock buybacks and dividends over long-term interests, but the railroads face more militant unions than do the banks and oil companies.

So, when they screw up, they get slapdowns like this detailed analysis of what went wrong.

It’s not the Fox email trove, but it seems likely to prove useful when Buttigieg and associates are preparing the bill for cleaning up this mess, and perhaps proposing a few fixes to prevent the next one.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Pretending the gloves don’t fit

  1. “…it’s not easy to figure out why this particular derailment…”
    It was a godsend to the last half of the 2nd Amendment people. It successfully swept the Michigan State University horror (and the mass killings since) off the front page and the opening news “alert” for tv shows.

  2. So it’s Biden’s fault that he didn’t stop Trump from revering the safety regulation that would have prevented this accident???

  3. Every, repeat for emphasis, EVERY freight line in the country has HAZMAT loaded on it’s rolling stock. The disaster in Ohio would have been much worse if it had happened in Pittsburgh, Newark, Indianapolis, Jersey City, Chicago, St Louis, Nashville or thousands of other cities in the US that grew up around railroad infrastructure. Failure to maintain roadbeds and equipment in favor of stock dividends and buybacks isn’t unique to on regional rail line. Failure to legislate safety standards can mostly be traced back to one political party, though.

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