It’s a seven-hour drive back from the Mojave National Preserve, up I-15, one of the most boring drives in the entire country, and so I did what I often do when I’m in the car alone with nothing much to do. I listened to right-wing radio. There’s Rush Limbaugh, the high-priest of the common man, still atop his mountain after so many years. There’s Sean Hannity, his boyish charisma all gone as he lists the sins of the Democrats in a rapid-fire cadence, each sin crashing atop the next like waves, building and building toward some conclusion, toward some final judgment. Then there’s my favorite, Mark Levin, a sort of lawyer Svengali, with his demagogue speech patterns, his voice rising and rising in anger before it suddenly falls into a whisper, carrying the listener along like some sinister lullaby.
The day after the election Levin, so far ahead of his radio peers, was telling his audience that the state legislators needed to get busy, needed to pass the necessary legislation to allow them to pick people for the Electoral College who would vote for Trump, no matter the votes of the people in the state. This needed to be done to prevent a coup.
During my drive a few weeks later all of the shows lingered over the words and accusations of Sidney Powell, who, along with Giuliani and one other lawyer, led the Trump Campaign’s effort to overturn the election.
It had to do with the voting machines, the ones made by a company called Dominion. These machines are used all over the United States and Powell has discovered something incredible. The Dominion machines had been designed in Venezuela specifically to help Hugo Chávez cheat his way to electoral victory. Now those same machines had been brought into our country do undertake that same wickedness. She was on the radio speaking on every show, talking about how the communists in Cuba and China were using the machines to steal the election from the President, to get their socialist allies, the Democratic Party, into office, how there was a vast conspiracy all over the United States to use these machines to win power and to ignore the real vote, which had overwhelmingly gone for Trump.
She said she had a “fire hose” of evidence, almost too much to deal with, filing cases hither and yon, victory certain. Talk radio loved it, lapped it up like kittens at a milk bowl, gleeful of the outrage they could deliver to their audience, holding them rapt.
Tucker Carlson, the right-wing Fox News host and co-founder of the right-wing Daily Caller web site, is no dummy. He knows a credibility bomb when he sees one. He criticized Powell for not sharing evidence of her outlandish claims, pointing out that if true she had proof of the crime of the century, but yet not a single page of evidence had been seen by him or anyone in the Trump Campaign, despite the campaign putting her in front of a microphone again and again. She wouldn’t go on his show, rightfully expecting Carlson to distance himself as the fuse sparked and sizzled its way toward detonation.
But the radio shows otherwise depicted her claims as solid fact, one more step in a series of revelations that would restore Trump to office and foil the dastardly plot to overthrow America.
One caller, seeming genuinely perplexed, listed off all of the outlandish claims by Powell and others, claims of counties having more votes than citizens, claims of hundreds of thousands of votes stolen, claims of a conspiracy of judges, including Trump appointees, working with the Democrats to shut down Giuliani’s scattershot cases. He called into the Rush Limbaugh show and wanted to know how anyone could stand up against this evidence, evidence piled so high that it was far beyond straight-faced dismissal. How could the MSM (the mainstream media) just ignore all of it? It was a good question because there was an answer just sitting there, waiting to be voiced. The reason the media ignored the evidence was that it was false, had been demonstrated to be false or the claims had no evidence behind them in the first place. But Rush went into a convoluted chain of thought, highlighting the conspiracies in the media and their monolithic control of the will of much of the population.
We can laugh at this clown show, which is what it is, once the Electoral College votes.
The right-wing circus is so bizarre and downright captivating at times that it makes the liberal counterpart seem a little boring. CNN, for example, which has re-tooled itself as the liberal Fox News, seeing that the money lies in the polarized extremes, is full of journalists who make no effort to hide their partisanship. Jim Acosta is a household name now due to his “hard-hitting” questions at Trump news conferences, questions designed to make Acosta a household name.
Beginning in January of this year I started to collect video clips from CNN, videos of Anderson Cooper’s shows where he comically mocks Trump for anything and everything, from Trump’s choice of summit location to Trump’s choice of wine. It’s the liberal version of the daily outrage, day after day, the addiction of constant outrage crossing party lines so much more easily than once predicted. CNN advertises Cooper as a serious journalist which just proves that the right-wingers may be correct to doubt the integrity of the MSM.
The clips I collected are slowed down and looped. I layered in a background based on my Primaries project. The effect is a sort of modern Max Headroom, a digital age mechanical Turk, telling us the truths of the day, oh so cute, so adorable. He’s on our side.
The project is Anderson Cooper Reacts, and in these clips Anderson *is* the story.