#1549 Fox News is worse than we imagined or: they all knew they were lying (Transcript)

Air Date 3/18/2022

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JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: Welcome to this episode of the award-winning Best of the Left podcast, in which we shall take a look at how Fox News is being exposed as the alleged liars for pay we always suspected they were by the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

Clips today are from Democracy Now, Pod Save America, The Dean Obeidallah Show, The Majority Report, NPR Politics, and The Beat; with additional members only clips from The Young Turks, and On The Media.

They All Knew Media Matters Files FEC Complaint That Fox News Broke Election Laws, Lied for Trump - Democracy Now! - Air Date 3-6-23

AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: In recent weeks, there have been a number of bombshell revelations about the inner workings of the network that have come to light as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox. Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, has admitted under oath that many hosts on his network “endorsed” Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election and that Trump’s lawyers, like Rudy Giuliani, had used Fox to spread what he called “really crazy stuff.” Murdoch also admitted it was [00:01:00] wrong for Fox to keep interviewing pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow. But Murdoch suggested it was done for financial, not political, reasons. Murdoch said, “It is not red or blue, it is green.”

In court filings, Dominion also revealed Murdoch had given Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner confidential information about Biden’s campaign ads, along with debate strategy, in possible violation of election laws.

Meanwhile, The New York Times has revealed details of a major firestorm within Fox after the network projected on election night in 2020 that Joe Biden had beaten Donald Trump in the state of Arizona. While Fox made the accurate call, many executives regretted making the call because it hurt Fox’s ratings among Trump supporters. At one meeting held November 15th, 2020, Suzanne Scott, the chief executive of Fox News Media, told others, quote, “Listen, it’s one of the sad [00:02:00] realities. If we hadn’t called Arizona, those three or four days following Election Day, our ratings would have been [bigger] ,” she said.

We’re joined now by Angelo Carusone. He is president of the watchdog group Media Matters, which recently sent a Federal Elections Commission complaint against Fox News based on evidence from the Dominion lawsuit.

Angelo, welcome to Democracy Now! Start off by talking about what your filing is about.

ANGELO CARUSONE: It’s basically asking the FEC to investigate the claims that came out of the Dominion filings and then to take the appropriate action. It’s completely within what the letter of the law says, that the Campaigns Act is pretty explicit here. It says that you can’t give anything of value to a political candidate that’s not tracked, that’s not logged. And in this case, in similar circumstances, it’s found that these kinds of private information that could be used for political purposes is a thing of value. And so it seems to me black and white. And so, what we wanted to make sure happened is that [00:03:00] Fox doesn’t skate accountability because nobody went through and nudged the FEC to take the action that it needed to take, which is to investigate and to just basically apply the law here.

AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: So, talk about what we know so far. I mean, people are leading very busy and stressed lives. It’s hard to keep following up on this $1.6 billion lawsuit. Why don’t you talk about the highlights of the remarkable email trail that has been released, what Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham knew at the time about the lies that were being told by Trump and his supporters, and the kind of pressure they brought on any reporter who dared to question because it was damaging the Fox brand?

ANGELO CARUSONE: Yeah. I think that to put it just simply, they knew. They all knew. All the way from Rupert Murdoch on [00:04:00] down to the show producers, they knew what they were saying was not true, that it was actually a lie, and they did it anyway.

And just to take a step back and say what this means in practice, Fox went from calling some election results to accepting the election results, to around that mid-November time period, in the following two weeks after that, they did more than 600 segments, in just that last two-week period alone, specifically attacking the election results, promoting the Dominion conspiracies. And in their coverage, what they really helped do was build the scaffolding for the big lie, which became the sort of fuel for the January 6 insurrection. So, that’s what it meant in practice.

Behind the scenes, they really did know. And they didn’t just know; they were deriding the conspiracy theories. They were attacking the promoters of it, and you alluded to some of that in your intro — Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, who’s one of the lawyers that was pushing it. They called her a lunatic on the same day that they had her on their shows. They were texting each other, admonishing the ridiculousness of this, but they did it [00:05:00] anyway. They had it on the air anyway.

And worse, Rupert Murdoch and Fox executives were penalizing other Fox personalities that were trying to either soften the claims that Fox News was pushing about Dominion and about the broader sort of election, as well as punishing them. Some of them were explicitly punished. They said that “Your coverage is too hard. It’s too aggressive. You need to change that immediately,” almost in real time. I mean, before the show had aired, emails and messages were being sent from top executives to show producers telling on-air talent to get it together. So, I mean, they knew. And that’s how I would put it simply, is that they knew, and they did it anyway. And I feel like the trail of evidence here is so overwhelming that I think Fox is in some real legal trouble.

AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: And talk about what you mean by saying it’s an illegal corporate campaign contribution.

ANGELO CARUSONE: What you’re not supposed to do is give anything of value. That’s why we have to have all these FEC [00:06:00] disclosures. When you give a political donation, it gets tracked. In this case, if you try to get around that disclosure law, that donation law, by giving something that is the equivalent of money, that you would need to spend money on, or that could be considered something of value for a political campaign, you’re either not supposed to do it or it’s supposed to be disclosed. And it’s pretty clear. So it is an illegal campaign contribution.

And I think what’s significant about this is not only that it’s clear in this one instance that Fox News broke the law, but the part that I think struck me about all of these complaints together and all these filings was that it seemed so normal. Nothing about what they were saying to each other was considered extraordinary. When Rupert Murdoch takes an ad and runs away with it to give it to a political campaign, nobody inside Fox seemed to think that that was weird. There’s no communication saying, “Hey, should we be doing that? Is that going to be a concern?” When there were instructions to change coverage to help Republicans — I mean, Rupert Murdoch was literally sending messages like that — nobody said, “Wow! That’s weird. Should we be [00:07:00] doing this?”

And I think my big takeaway is that I don’t imagine this is the only instance of this, and that, in fact, it feels like what we’re seeing here is a keyhole view to how Fox News treats every single other major issue and story. And that means they operate more like a partisan operation than a news network. And I think there’s probably a lot more complaints that could be filed as these things start to unfold.

AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: Angelo, in light of all this, can you talk about the Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy giving exclusive access to all of the January 6 footage, from, the closed-circuit TV footage all over the Capitol and beyond, to Tucker Carlson of Fox?

ANGELO CARUSONE: It’s two things: how we got there and what it means. How we got there is, it’s a reflection of the fact that the right-wing media, with Fox as its crown jewel, and the Republican Party are really fused together. They’re not really two distinct entities that are operating in parallel; they really are one part of one big political conglomeration.

[00:08:00] This was actually a major concession that McCarthy had to make during his speaker fight. It was one of the things that far-right — some of the far-right Republicans, who were echoing calls from the right-wing media, were demanding, and he conceded to that. So, the reason that it even happened is that the right-wing media pushed a few of their big Republican leaders to then make this an issue during the speaker fight. He conceded. So, that’s how we got here, is that it was sort of a creature of the right-wing media.

What it means is that it’s an official rewrite. It’s an official rewrite of what happened on January 6th. And they’re using Tucker Carlson as the chief storyteller of that new version of what took place there. And I think we all know what it’s going to be. It’s going to be lies and conspiracies, that it was a false flag pushed by the Democrats and the news media.

AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: And the fact that this is the people’s footage? I mean, this is the footage of the Capitol being handed to this private corporation.

ANGELO CARUSONE: Yeah. And it’s not being done in a transparent way. It feels much more transactional to me than transparent.

Ranking Fox News LIES & LEAKS from the Dominion Lawsuit Brian Tyler Cohen vs Tommy Vietor - Pod Save America - Air Date 3-15-23

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: So for my first draft pick here, I'm going with the source of the Dominion hoax. Which apparently [00:09:00] Tommy, is a ghost.

FOX ANCHOR: One of the major revelations that has come out of the billion dollar defamation lawsuit between the Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News; is that the basis for some of Trump lawyer Sidney Powell's election fraud claims was one email from a woman who believed she talked to quote "the wind". On November 7th at 6:00 PM Sidney Powell forwarded this wind woman's email to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. The very next day, Bartiromo had Sidney Powell on her show to talk about it.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: This is the foundation upon which the entire thing was born. It is bat shit crazy.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: The main lawyer for Trump pushing this garbage, is Sidney Powell. Sidney Powell told Maria Bartiromo that her source was this random emailer, and then Maria booked Sidney Powell on the show anyway. So Fox hosts knew this whole thing was nonsense, and they just put it on tv.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: She's like, no credible sourcing whatsoever? How's Thursday at four for you? She is [00:10:00] like, that satisfies all my qualifications come on.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: This one's coming from my deep rage in my soul, pull the Arizona call from Bret Baier. Here's Bret Baier, hard newsman at Fox News, saying they should pull the Arizona call for Joe Biden. Even if it quote "...gives us major egg, and we put it back in his", meaning Trump's, "column". The hard news guy is advocating they pull a call from Joe Biden, made by their experts, because he's feeling political pressure.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: The thing is that Bret Baier was Fox's only veil of legitimacy. Now that that's lifted, Fox has no excuse to pretend that Fox is anything other than a propaganda arm of the Republican party.

Okay, for my next draft pick, I'm going with Tucker hates Trump passionately. Let's play the clip on this one.

CNN HOST: We are very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. The conversation continues referring to Trump, Carlson says, "I hate him [00:11:00] passionately. I can't handle much more of this."

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: There's one more point, that whole quote by Tucker Carlson actually goes on. He said, "we're all pretending that we've got a lot to show for it because admitting what a disaster it's been is too tough to digest, but come on, there really isn't an upside to Trump."

We got this rare nugget of honesty from Tucker Carlson. It's ironic that when they're not on television, we get these morsels of truth suddenly. On the night that we found out about these revelations from Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump had posted a post on the Truth Social. He said, "Great job by Tucker Carlson tonight, the Unselect Committee of political hacks and thugs has been totally discredited... blah, blah, blah."

He goes on to fawn all over Tucker Carlson. So he clearly hadn't read the news about what Tucker had said to him. For the world's most fragile ego, to then go on and actually compliment a guy who we now know is just shitting on him in private, he's just gonna love that.

Okay, so for my next one I'm [00:12:00] gonna choose, Sidney Powell is a complete nut. We have some transcripts here, I'm gonna read them.

"Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It's insane." Tucker Carlson wrote to Laura Ingram on November 18th, 2020. Ingram responded, "Sidney is a complete nut, no one will work with her, ditto with Rudy." To which Tucker Carlson replied, "Our viewers are good people and they believe it."

This is self-explanatory, first of all, I think the last part is the most damning. "...and they believe it", because they admit that regardless of what they put out to their audience, their audience is gonna believe it anyway.

Even though they knew the truth about who Sidney Powell was, who Rudy Giuliani was, all of the conspiracies that they were spewing. The fact that they put it out, knowing that their audience was just gonna take it all in anyway, and believe all of it anyway, is just the most damning part of all of this.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: Most journalists view their job, ultimately, as seeking the truth and sharing it with the world. It's just clear that no one at Fox, at least Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram, care at all about those things.

Okay, that's enraging. I'm gonna go with a similar one, which is Hannity and Doocy mock [00:13:00] "news." Do you wanna be Sean and I'll be Steve cause I got the blonde?

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: That only makes sense. I'll be Sean Hannity here, Tommy will be Steve Doocy, and here we go.

 "News" destroyed us


BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: You don't piss off the base. Every day.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: They don't care. They are journalists.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: I've warned them for years.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: We might as well tell people to stop watching at 9:00 AM and turn the TV back on tonight at 9:00 PM.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: It's gonna be bad, mark my words. They know there is nothing we can do to fix it.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: Nope, too late. The only thing we can hope for is Trump to come on Fox and say it's his favorite channel. That's what happens in the dream sequence.



That is so weird. My last three lines were so weird. I didn't even feel comfortable saying them.

BRIAN TYLER COHEN - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: It's like a badly written play. We also performed it as a badly written play, but it's a very strange way to like text another person in private.

TOMMY VIETOR - CO-HOST, POD SAVE AMERICA: The key point here is, no one's calling Sean Hannity a real reporter. [00:14:00] Steve Doocy is on Fox and Friends, which the network considers that like an entertainment show essentially, cuz they're so stupid. Everyone who watches Fox News thinks they're getting news to some extent, and they're mocking journalists as a whole. They're mocking the concept of news. It lays bare the whole problem here.

MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin on Fox News election lies Fox is a state controlled propaganda machine - The Dean Obeidallah Show - Air Date 3-3-23

DEAN OBEIDALLAH - HOST, THE DEAN OBEIDALLAH SHOW: We've learned about Fox News through depositions, through emails, and a treasure trove of documents. If you were to go on MSNBC and knowingly lie to destabilize our democracy, how do you think that'd be received by executives at MSNBC?

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: I was gonna say, I don't know if I would make it to the next commercial block. They would probably let me finish the segment, and then in the commercial bracket they would be like that airport music. Where it just comes on, or like that elevator music where it comes on, "Due to unforeseen circumstance, this show has been canceled. We will see you back at a [00:15:00] regularly scheduled programming tomorrow night"

Who knows? First of all, you're not talking about getting facts wrong. That is something we all do, every journalist makes mistakes. Everybody reports things that are inaccurate or incomplete.

What you are talking about is this unbelievable split screen dichotomy. Where the host on the air is acknowledging, confirming, that what we are putting on the air to our viewers is demonstrably false. We know it to be false, but we still have to do it anyway. What's scary is the motivation of why they're doing it.

It's not, for example, people are saying, "Hey, let's be extra skeptical of these results". Let's really just, let's really test the veracity of the outcome of our election because we want to make sure [00:16:00] that our democracy comes out of this stronger. I'm even willing to concede that.

I'm willing to even say, you know what? If they just all sat in a room and be like, let's be the counter narrative just for the sake of making sure that we are the ones that are not being spoonfed the result. Let's test the results outcome. Go for it.

But what you're telling me is you knew it was fake, you knew it was a lie, you knew it's not true. You're calling the people perpetrating this lie and perpetuating it liars. You're calling Rudy Giuliani insane. You're calling Sidney Powell insane. You're acknowledging that if you reverse course and start reporting the truth, your audience is gonna peel off to go to Newsmax, as Tucker Carlson suggested.

You're punishing the reporters who fact checked the president, this is a different threshold. You're no longer a news organization, at this point, you are a state controlled propaganda machine. [00:17:00] You are not an independent news organization that has your own editorial guidelines that you are pursuing to try to be rigorous, or counter-narrative, or contrarian. No, you're not.

Planet Fox: Rupert Murdoch's Empire Of Influence w/ Jonathan Mahler - The Majority Report - Air Date 4-19-19

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: Place the Murdoch brand or lineage in the context of politics, because this is a... Rupert for the most part has fundamentally changed, not just our politics, but like politics broadly speaking. That's not really an overstatement, is it?

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: Not at all. He is, without question, the most powerful media mogul in the English speaking world. He leverages that power through literally dozens and dozens of newspapers around the world, numerous news channels, international news wire, until recently a massive Hollywood studio. Basically[00:18:00] he's a businessman. He's a kind of an empire builder in the sense that he is all about territorial conquest, wants to just keep growing and growing and growing.

He's also a conservative. In many ways the ideology is less important to him than the advancing of his business agenda, but it's very much there and he is constantly pushing history to the right.

Really what's happened in the last couple years is that he has seized on this right wing populist wave that we first saw with the improbable of rise of Donald Trump. Of course we also saw with Brexit, and we saw all over the world with right wing authoritarians getting elected far and wide.

He really seized on that opportunity, rode that wave, and profited from it. Not just profited from it, but really accelerated it and amplified it.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: I want to get to that because [00:19:00] that, to me, seemed like there was a certain amount of improvisation based upon what you've written, as to his jumping on that.

Let me go back a little bit before that, because I feel like there have been media moguls that have influenced politics in some measure or another. Maybe not ones that have done so, when you talk about Australia, New Zealand, UK, and then the States. It's also been over the course of... even the United States, we're talking decades and decades.

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: It's been going on forever.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: There seems to be no historical precedent for someone who has had this level of durability, and this level of vanguard quality to what they're doing. He's not been following the political trends, or safely entrenched. He has been blazing a really, in my opinion, horrible new path.

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: That's [00:20:00] right, and I think another thing to keep in mind too is he's done it across these mediums.

 In the old days, media moguls tended to work in like one medium in one country; you had a newspaper baron, or you had a guy who owned some radio. Murdoch has gone like across all of the platforms and has gone all over the world.

It's like a whole other kind of media mogul. Of course now we're living in a world where, just because of the nature of media; because it's shot all over the world instantaneously, media moguls are just inherently more powerful than they've ever been.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: Let's talk about the ideological businessman divide, and maybe there's more redundancy to those two things than maybe I'm assuming, but where? Tease that out for us because...

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: The easiest way to think about that is; you have a guy who his agenda, the main [00:21:00] top five things on his business agenda, is grow, buy, grow, buy. In order to do that, he needs to make sure that there are no regulations in his path, right?

That there are no, whether it's anti-monopoly rules, or anti foreign ownership rules, or whatever it may be, that might be standing in his way of growing his empire. He needs to get them out of his way. It's not surprising that he has historically championed a right wing anti-government, anti-regulatory agenda. The two sort of work together.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: It's not just a question of expedience, it's just consistent with what he thinks is right. I should be able to monopolize this stuff. At one point, there was also, he had basically got a waiver.

I remember like going back maybe two decades ago when TED Kennedy was preventing him from owning both; I guess Fox, maybe Fox, a Fox affiliate and maybe it was the Post. He blew through all of it, didn't he?

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: That's what he does. [00:22:00] He even got Reagan to fast track his citizenship application, because he needed to be a US citizen to own TV station. When he wanted to get into the US TV market, he went to Reagan and he became an American citizen.

He did this also in the UK, in particular, in his early years there. In the eighties with Margaret Thatcher, he was constantly violating anti-monopoly rules and she just gave him a pass. That's just the power that came with his empire; his ability to punish his enemies and reward his allies. It's like you wanted to be on his good side, and so you did his bidding for him.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: That's the thing that maybe foreshadows the world of social media on some level; where the content and the marketing are the same in a way, right? His media empire, it seems to me, both functioned to build his business by being political and was political in and of itself. [00:23:00] Does that make sense?

JOHNATHAN MAHLER: That's right, and there is inside also like a fun contradiction. Which is that; in order to get government out of his way, he had to cozy up to governments. So his playbook was basically to get in with politicians, presidents, prime ministers, whomever.

 Once he had them, then he would just pursue this kind of anti-government agenda.

SAM SEDER - HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: That's of the old school neoliberal play, the Mont Pean people would argue that's exactly the play you want.

 To make government work just for a narrow set of interests, and then unshackle everything else.

Fox News Still Broadcasts Election Lies. It Could Cost Them. - The NPR Politics Podcast - Air Date 3-8-23

SCOTT DETROW - NPR, WH CORRESPONDENT: The context here, Bente, can you explain to us what's going on here? Dominion Voting Systems, which you have covered pretty extensively, is suing Fox for $1.6 billion saying, all of this broadcasting caused major, major, major damage to their business.

BENTE BIRKELAND: That's absolutely right. And Dominion Voting Systems is based in Denver, and so this is a company that sells voting equipment to [00:24:00] nearly 30 states, and it was shortly after the 2020 election that these conspiracies started circulating that the company had switched votes from Trump to Biden. I covered it very initially, early on, because one of those big false claims focused on a specific former Dominion employee, and that's Eric Coomer, and these claims said that he was the man who personally manipulated votes across the country.

Coomer was the first person even before Dominion to file a defamation lawsuit, so that's ongoing against pro-Trump allies, media outlets, the Trump campaign, Sidney Powell, a whole host of people. And what he's claimed and what Dominion is claiming is that the scope of these lies and the impact it's had on their employees, the culture, all the people who work in elections, Coomer has faced so many death threats and harassment. He's had to go into hiding. He doesn't work for Dominion anymore. [00:25:00] So the real world implications of this miss and disinformation, it's so broad in scope and it's still continuing to this day.

SCOTT DETROW - NPR, WH CORRESPONDENT: What is the quick Fox response and defense of all of this as all of these revelations are being made public?

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: So there's multilayers. Some of the most important ones, quickly, are that they say, look, we were reporting inherently newsworthy claims. That is, that there was fraud in national elections by inherently newsworthy people. That is the then sitting President Trump and that were we to inhibit that even if these claims are wild, then it's going to redound to hurt whomever in the press are doing that at a later point to other major political leaders.

In addition, they say Dominion is merely cherry picking. It's taking things out of context. It's almost misconstruing things to a point where it's putting words into the mouths of people. And this was a more plausible argument until this week when we had so many hundreds of documents, so many pages to go through. We're still sorting through and we're still getting more, [00:26:00] even as we're taping this right now, I'm seeing them ping on my laptop from lawyers. What we're learning is like little different tiles being assembled in enormous mosaic in the picture is coming closely into view.

And I would tell you, Scott, there are two stories here. What is legal about the lawsuit? Has Dominion met the legal standard for proving defamation, which is awfully tough, and which Fox is right about, may have implications for other news organizations. And the separate story of what we're learning about this potent business enterprise and political animal that is Fox News that wraps itself in this journalistic bunting.

SCOTT DETROW - NPR, WH CORRESPONDENT: Bente, you've reported on Dominion, but you've also done a lot of reporting on local elections officials who have felt incredible strain over the last few years, and I think you're a good person to talk to about this. \ these hosts go on these shows and make these claims that they know are not true. People are on the other side absorbing this information from their TVs, from their phones, and they're taking real world actions because of them. This is not just something being said into a vacuum, this is [00:27:00] rippling out throughout the country.

BENTE BIRKELAND: There's plenty of voters I've talked to that follow the news, but it's not a huge part of their life, and they said, I didn't realize election fraud was such a huge problem in this country until I heard it from President Trump after the election. And we heard this from a former Republican clerk in Colorado, and I've been covering this case from the beginning. She allegedly tampered with her county's dominion voting machines. This is months after the 2020 election. But she had been hearing from constituents. She's from a county called Mesa County in Western Colorado that's very conservative and people were concerned about voter fraud. Asked their county clerk to look into it. She is now facing a trial this summer on 10 state criminal charges. There's an ongoing federal investigation.

Her individual case had big ramifications for the state, including a new law that was signed that tries to prevent mis and disinformation and increases [00:28:00] penalties for insider election security threats. And we've also seen this change how clerks do their jobs and the efforts they're taking to fight mis and disinformation. And also just from regular voters—less trust in the system, less trust that their votes can count. Efforts to audit elections from volunteers going door to door to try to personally see if they can uncover fraud.

So I don't think this is the end of it. I think the temperatures dialed down a little bit with a lot of the election deniers not making gains nationally, politically in the last election, but as one clerk said, all it takes is one candidate to ignite this in full force, and people are still spreading this disinformation. There's a big ecosystem that has not gone away

SCOTT DETROW - NPR, WH CORRESPONDENT: This case goes to trial or is expected to go to trial next month, right?

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's supposed to go to trial in mid-April.

SCOTT DETROW - NPR, WH CORRESPONDENT: What are the big picture questions that you're looking at here, whether it comes to the future of Fox [00:29:00] News or whether it comes to the tricky, murky area of First Amendment law and libel lawsuits?

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: So I'm doing a split track mind where I'm thinking about the legal implications, and I've written about the fact that there are some media lawyers, it's not uniform, but some media lawyers who are worried that the news media, reporters writ large, will pay a price if Fox is to lose this case for defamation, that it will make it easier for people to sue successfully and to constrict robust political reporting and speech.

That said, we're also looking for the degree to which Fox News is held to account and a big jury verdict saying that they're holding them liable for defaming Dominion, and a big dollar figure does that in a sense.

A bigger version would encompass in some ways the Murdochs and Fox News acknowledging they got something wrong and did something wrong, apologizing, and keeping faith with facts finally, after years, after a lawsuit, after all this scandal, because what's gonna happen, I think, is that they're gonna do everything they can [00:30:00] to avoid making an apology and a public acknowledgement. They are not even covering this as a story on their own network. Their own audience would know nothing about it if that's what they're relying on for news, and I think they would want to sail ahead, holding as tightly as they can to this audience, and take the hit in the rest of the public, which is to say an enormous reputational hit for Fox, stripping it of the veneer of respectability of the conventional journalism that has uneasily embraced fox as part of the family.

See Tucker Carlson demolished on TV by his own words - The Beat - Air Date 3-14-23

ARI MELBER - HOST, THE BEAT: Into our special report tonight, which is about journalism and lies. It's about defamation and this big case that Fox News is on defense over, but it is about so much more than that. It's about some of the people involved, including Tucker Carlson, but is also about more than Tucker. To understand all of this we're gonna show you. Not just some of the new hot damning texts, receipts, and evidence that has been in the news, but we're gonna go deeper tonight because it matters. We begin with Mr. Tucker Carlson as our guide [00:31:00]

TUCKER CARLSON: In the absence of any universally recognized standard or source of news, what happens? Well rumors take the place of news. So ultimately you have an electorate that is really poorly informed, and incredibly suspicious. In that environment, all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories bloom and take the place of facts.

ARI MELBER - HOST, THE BEAT: Fact check. True. Now that was 14 years ago, Mr. Carlson discussing standards, news, conspiracy theories, and the wider implications. I'm gonna show you tonight why some of what he has long said before is actually incriminating for him now, also why it matters on a broader basis. Mr. Carlson was talking then, long before he was embroiled in what is now a case about lies, what's technically called defamation. A suit against his network; including his comments, material, his evidence is all in there for over a billion dollars. Now to take one example you may have seen; there [00:32:00] were text messages that showed Carlson did not believe the "crazy stuff" that the Trump lawyers were pushing, and that he and other hosts platformed or potentially endorsed.

Indeed, one of the questions at trial is whether they can be convicted of sorts, be held responsible of endorsing it. There's a gap between what Carlson tells his audience, and what he apparently believes, what he privately admits. He wasn't getting hired to host another TV show, so he created his own media political news website called The Daily Caller in 2010. He argued it would be a conservative answer to popular sites at the time, like Huffington Post.

He said it wouldn't be partisan quote, "Our goal not to get Republicans elected. We're not going to suck up to people in power, that's disgusting." He told the Washington Post. So that's 2010 Tucker. Think about it, what he said then was that he was gonna stand for exactly the factual mission [00:33:00] that today's Tucker opposes.

The point's not just hypocrisy. The point is that Carlson's own standard informs his potential liability in court for what he's doing now. It shines a kind of a weird, and perhaps, troubling light on how this all works. At least for people like him; who are willing to tell you things that, the dominion suit suggests, are misleading or false. That you know with your own eyes aren't true when it comes to his January 6th denialism, his trutherism.

Now he took his mission though at that time, remember when he just said he wasn't gonna do what he's doing now. He said he wanted more accuracy in conservative media, and accuracy in any type of media is great.

Now Carlson was briefly onto something. As the reports told it, there wasn't an audience. Within a few months Tucker's website was pushing "fake news", an outrage driven commentary. So that's a contradiction [00:34:00] publicly exposed, and you can't erase the internet.

So we have what Tucker Carlson said the site was gonna be about, and what it turned into. With that pivot, he found results. The site, we checked, quadrupling its page views and total audience in two years according to the New York Times. Which we know is a site that, at least then, Tucker Carlson thought was valid.

Now he may have taken that lesson when he did make it over to Fox, the place that he once said would be hard to imagine working at. Now carlson had joined Fox initially as a contributor, which could mean anything, those guests you see who pop in and out. Then he began co-hosting Fox and Friends Weekend, and then got his evening show there in 2016.

At the time Carlson may have looked to some like a kind of journeyman ball player who struck out on these other teams. I just showed you more of the history than people sometimes realize, which may inform more of the grievance and pivots that he's executing on. [00:35:00] Carlson had basically tried everything, including pitching what he called "accurate news" to conservatives and concluding that did not work.

He offered some of the most incendiary and misleading material available at the time on Fox, and that formula brought in viewers. He then overtook Hannity's slot as the highest rated host with the largest audience, not only in Fox at the time, but as TV Newser put it "the largest audience in cable news history". Now that's a big deal.

So what happened? Carlson built that audience very similarly to how he made that pivot that we showed you at that website, the Daily Caller: putting views above basically everything, catering to the extreme right, welcoming conspiracy theories on air. He has been criticized by independent experts and anti hate groups for how he has repeatedly pushed that great replacement theory I mentioned.

Which is something that argues, basically, that there is a secret cabal of evil Jews and racial minorities who are going to replace the voting public. It [00:36:00] is hateful stuff. Now Fox News and Tucker have built the current following on these kind of supersized lies, and with an alliance with Republicans. Which is the very thing that Tucker always said initially, previously, he opposed.

TUCKER CARLSON: Actually love Donald Trump as a guy. I know Trump, I've known Trump for 20 years cuz I work in the media. I just have always gotten along with him. Trump is like totally charming and engaging, and fun, and interesting.

ARI MELBER - HOST, THE BEAT: That was three months ago, and you can compare it to what he said privately. That he hates Trump passionately, that he can't wait to get past him. That's his own words, and there's a contradiction there.

You gotta wonder sometimes how does he actually feel, if he is a human being here. What does he make of all this? [00:37:00] He is literally living out the thing he used to criticize, the right wing shtick, the lies, the type of media that does not do what he said they needed. Which was to have institutions of accuracy.

Does he feel like he's lying every day? If he did feel that way, would he ever just have it seep out in a projection filled tirade? Something like this:

TUCKER CARLSON: Imagine forcing yourself to tell lies all day about everything; in ways that were so transparent, and so outlandish, that there is no way that people listening to you could possibly believe anything you said. Imagine doing that again, and again, and again. Every day of your professional life, for your entire life. Could you do that?

Fox News Faces ANOTHER Election Fraud Defamation Lawsuit - The Young Turks - Air Date 12-30-21

JOHN IDAROLA - HOST, TYT: Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell made a lot of crazy claims in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Lies in support of the big lie, claims that the election had been stolen in many different ways. You might remember some of them, like that somehow Hugo [00:38:00] Chavez had rigged the election so Biden would win.

The thing is, they actually made more specific claims than that, even in the area of this Venezuelan plot to overthrow American democracy. In fact, they identified a particular Venezuelan man as being a part of this. That is now biting them in the behinds, because that man is suing them for $250 million. This is Majed Khalil.

He says that Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell wrongly wrapped him up in their conspiracy theory that Smartmatic and Dominion voting systems, the two rival election technology companies, worked to rig the last presidential election against Donald Trump. He says that he was first identified in a promotion for a December 10th broadcast of Lou Dobbs Tonight, featuring an interview with Sidney Powell.

That tweet said the 2020 presidential election was a "cyber Pearl Harbor", and identified Khalil and others, specifically, as the perpetrators. In both their shows, in media appearances, and in social media posts, [00:39:00] both Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell pushed elements of the false theory; that Khalil was once the COO of an operation to rig votes for President Hugo Chavez, and that he was involved in the plot to rig the 2020 election.

They also said he's a liaison with Hezbollah. There's also some terrorism in there, I guess. He says that he's never been involved in attempts to overturn US elections, but that he was not involved in any elections in Venezuela.

That said, maybe they have secret information, and perhaps Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell will have a chance in court to present it to the judge. What do you think Cenk?

CENK UYGER - HOST, TYT: That's the good news about the United States justice system, you can present your evidence, all of your evidence, any of your evidence in court. Let's see what your evidence is on how this guy, and the ghost of Hugo Chavez, rigged the [00:40:00] election. Can't wait.

Kraken, you said you were gonna release the evidence a long time ago. Donald Trump talking about the massive dumps you guys were all gonna take of evidence, where are they? We haven't seen any dumps, let alone massive ones. This is a really important story, because when I saw them lying about this particular guy I though; we're gonna find out if there's any consequences in America for, just wholesale, making up awful things about people.

Did I know anything about Majed Khalil? Of course I didn't, he's a random guy in Venezuela. Did I believe that Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell had evidence that this random guy in Venezuela had effectively rigged the entire United States elections in cahoots with Hugo Chavez, who has been dead for seven years? And that he was then connected to Hezbollah cuz he is got a Muslim name. I was 100% [00:41:00] certain that every part of that was made up.

Now we'll get to find out. I can't wait for their dumps and their krakens. Go get him. If he's connected with terrorists, I'd love to find out.

He apparently thinks he's not, that's why he's suing you in open court. So maybe if this guy wins, Dominion wins, Smartmatic wins, there's going to be consequences for lying brazenly and outrageously on air.

If they don't win that means anybody and everybody can lie about everyone; make up anything they want about you or anyone else, and get away with it. So this case is monumentally important.

JOHN IDAROLA - HOST, TYT: Just for context, everyone should remember that in addition to this case specifically against Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell; you have separate legal efforts that have already successfully disbarred Giuliani. Sidney Powell is targeted in the same way. [00:42:00] Smartmatic has sued Fox News, Dobbs, and several other hosts earlier this year for $2.7 million.

Dominion has lawsuits against several of these right wing networks as well. Some of those have recently been allowed to go forward. As with all instances like this, these are big cases. They can be appealed. It could potentially take years, but we'll see.

We'll see if you can just have this gigantic, multi-billion dollar news network that makes claims they know to be false, about virtually everyone being responsible for the news they don't like.

CENK UYGER - HOST, TYT: I thought you might have said million, I want be clear, they're suing for $2.7 billion. So that one's gonna leave a mark.

JOHN IDAROLA - HOST, TYT: That's what I meant, I guess I didn't say that.

The OTHER Lawsuit Involving the Murdochs - On the Media - Air Date 3-1-23

BROOKE GLADSTONE - HOST, ON THE MEDIA: We'll replay an interview that NPR media correspondent David Folkenfik did when he was filling in for me last fall. It's related to the ongoing lawsuit in that Dominion's legal team draw [00:43:00] a direct line from the heated rhetoric of Fox hosts to the January 6th, 2021 violent break-in at the US Capitol, and that forms the basis of an entirely different defamation suit, filed roughly 10,000 miles away from the scene of the crime, brought not against the Murdochs, but buy a Murdoch

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: Media boss, Lachlan Murdoch has launched defamation proceedings against the publishers of News website, Crikey.

Murdoch's lawyers claim Crikey wrongly suggested the Fox News boss was involved in a plot with Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election result.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Lachlan Cartwright is the editor at Large of the Daily Beast where he covers power, crime, celebrity, and justice, and he says that with these two suits, we're getting a peak into the future of the Fox Empire.

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: Crikey, which is sort of an a scrappy Australian independent news and politics and opinion website published an article on June 29th. In that piece, the [00:44:00] writer, Bernard Keene, labeled the Murdoch's as the unindicted co-conspirators of the Deadly US Capitol riots, and that really triggered Lachlan Murdoch.

He sent a number of legal letters via his solicitor in Australia. The article was actually pulled down from the website and they were discussing an apology, and Crikey then decided to put the article back up and basically challenged Lachlan to sue them. They took out a advertisement in the New York Times and in the Canberra Times, a newspaper in Australia, and the next day Lachlan filed quite an extraordinary suit.

He's incredibly thin skin. His father would never bring a matter like this.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: For many Americans, this will be the first time they're hearing the word Crikey. You're an Aussie, what does the word crikey mean?

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: I mean, you know, you think of Steve Irwin and you think of the surprise of saying the word Crikey. It's a very Aussie lingo, and the site itself was born out of a bloke by the [00:45:00] name of Stephen Maine, who always had the Murdochs in his crosshairs.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: But he was a Murdoch guy, right? Like, he had been an editor and then became a burr under the saddle.

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: He turned and he really did pioneer this kind of, scrappy, independent, journalism in Australia, bearing in mind that most of the Aussie media market is controlled by the Murdochs.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Something like 70% of major newspapers, right?

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: Correct, around 70%. There's only really two newspaper cities, which are Sydney and Melbourne. Every other city only has one newspaper, and it's controlled by the Murdochs.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Aside from the insight, This provides into the Murdochs, the differences between generations, this case also is one of the first major tests of some new laws involving libel in Australia. Libel laws there, unlike in the US, tend to favor the plaintiff, and that is the people who are suing media outlets.

Back in August, Crikey's editor-in-chief Peter Fray told me that he wants to use this as a test case. What does he mean by that?

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: The laws changed last July and it introduced a public [00:46:00] interest defense. So publications can now make the case that articles that have been called into the question were in the public interest. And this is a major part of Crikey's defense, that was in the public interest to have this discussion about Fox and the Murdoch's involvement in the events of January 6th.

Now, you gotta remember this public interest defense really was brought in to help protect investigative journalism. This article was an opinion piece, so Murdoch will have a bit more of a leg to stand on, but he also needs to prove that there was serious harm. I think the other thing to bear in mind is that not many people had seen this article until the lawsuit, so there's an element of the Streisand Effect here as well.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Here in the US there are cases going on, one is starting to really proceed in Delaware, of defamation against Fox involving Dominion Voting Systems. I mean, one of the most mind-bending elements is that lawyers and spokespeople for Fox are even now invoking freedom of speech [00:47:00] principles.

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: Well, I think it's quite ironic, isn't it, that you have these matters playing out pretty much the same time? Lachlan will potentially take the stand and if he does, some of those matters may be raised. This is why in this instance, he may win the battle but lose the war, because matters that are gonna affect the Dominion trial may come out in the Aussie trial.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: What have you learned from people familiar with Lachlan's, thinking about what he sees as Crikeys preoccupation with him and his family?

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: He's always had issues with Crikey. I think there's been a number of apologies over the years and a correction. He feels that Crikey is a bad actor. I think in much the way that Peter Thiel felt that Gawker was a bad actor, and he feels that Crikey is a bully and that the publication unfairly targets him and his family, and I think this has been building for some time.

DAVID FOLKENFIK - NPR, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Peter Thiel, of course, major Silicon Valley investor ensured that, as it [00:48:00] turned out, that Gawker was sued out of existence. Do you think that he'd be happy to see Crikey meet a similar fate?

LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT: I think that an outcome here where Crikey never wrote about Lachlan Murdoch ever again would be a good outcome for him. I know that he's in touch with other prominent Australians who have had issues with Crikey in the past, similar to how Peter Thiel was in touch with other prominent people in Silicon Valley who had issues with Gawker. So I think that, if he was to take Crikey out, that would be a good outcome for him.

But I think the Australian ecosystem, the Australian media landscape would be all the poorer for that, and then adding another layer of irony here, mate, is the fact that this could actually raise the bar for defendants and improve the prospects for plaintiffs. And who is the major media organization in Australia that could be sued? Well, it's News Corp. It's the Murdoch newspapers.

Summary 3-18-23

JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: We've just heard clips today. Starting with Democracy Now laying out, not only the defamation case against Fox, but also the [00:49:00] potential for their election lies to be seen as illegal campaign contributions. Pod Save America highlighted some of their favorite absurdities from Fox hosts private texts. The Dean Obadiah show emphasized that if Fox's motivation had been an overabundance of journalistic caution, than their actions would've been much more forgivable.

The Majority Report discussed the history and legacy of Rupert Murdoch's media empire. NPR Politics looked at just some of the real life impacts of spreading election lies, and The Beat traced Tucker Carlson's career from advocate for honest journalism to exactly that which he had warned against.

That's what everybody heard; but members also heard bonus clips from The Young Turks describing a separate defamation lawsuit against Fox by an individual they'd singled out as having fixed the election, and On The Media describing yet another lawsuit the Murdoch family is involved in.

To hear that, and have all of our bonus [00:50:00] content delivered seamlessly to the new members only podcast feed that you'll receive; sign up to support the show at bestoftheleft.com/support, or shoot me an email requesting a financial hardship membership because we don't let a lack of funds stand in the way of hearing more information. Now we'll hear from you, and this message is in response to episode 1546 about decolonization and re-indigenization.

Final comments on our national multiculturalism

JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: If you'd like to leave a comment or question of your own to be played on the show: you can record or text us a message at 2 0 2 9 9 9 3 9 9 1, or send an email to [email protected]. That message we just heard was sent in on our Discord server by Dr. Whisker, so I guess that's another way that you can send in a message if you like.

Dr. Whisker is not necessarily their real name, but I had some very specific thoughts in response to that message, so I wanted to share 'em here on the show. It just so happens that I read a book last summer that somewhat addresses Dr. Whisker's [00:51:00] thoughtful self-reflection. The book is called American Nations, A History of the 11 Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard.

The thesis of the book is that the cultural and historical realities of different areas of the United States are obscured by the political lines that we have drawn, and the oversimplified versions of history that we tell ourselves. In essence, current regional culture is shaped by historic regional culture. Particularly in the US, regions have been shaped by immigration and westward expansion.

To really understand local culture, it's the details we usually skip over that matter the most. State lines, for instance, give a totally misleading idea about cultural boundaries. Thanks to the Civil War, we continue to oversimplify the entire area east of the Mississippi as basically two cultural blocks; the North and the South.

[00:52:00] The book argues that they would both be better understood as about four distinct cultural blocks each. For instance, Massachusetts and New York are both thought of today as very liberal states. That completly obscures the cultural differences that go way back to the foundings of Boston and New York.

Massachusetts had a large population of Protestant Quakers, who believed strongly in the power of government to provide for the common good. Sounds familiar to modern liberal ears. They also had a strong aversion to slavery, but at the same time they were not that big on multiculturalism. Meanwhile New York City was a huge slaving port, but was also a cultural mixing bowl from the very beginning.

So unsurprisingly, the abolition movement began in Massachusetts, but was not universally supported in those northern states. While New York has always been very multiethnic, [00:53:00] Boston remains a very white dominant city well known for being one of the most racist cities in the north to this very day.

So that's an example of cultural differences we usually overlook. Here's an example of cultural similarities that are rarely explained. It is generally recognized that California is often mentioned in the same breath as those New England states, in terms of their culture and politics. In fact, my partner Amanda is from the Boston area, and I grew up in Sacramento, California, but we share a huge amount of cultural crossover.

For instance, we both basically have that Massachusetts Quaker mindset about the positive power of government to provide for the common good. We are both undoubtedly products of the cultures we are raised in, but why would these two areas so far apart be so similar?

Here's the short version of that story. In the mid [00:54:00] 1800s new Englanders had begun immigrating to the West Coast Territories, where they became the political elite in Oregon. Which explains why there's a Salem and Portland in Oregon, namesakes of the cities in Massachusetts and Maine.

Then the 1849 Gold Rush created an explosion of population in San Francisco, and let's just say they weren't sending their best. The gold hunters were often filling the pubs, brothels, gambling houses, getting into knife fights, criminal gangs, drunken parties. The word of this culture emerging in San Francisco got back to the Quakers of New England. Suddenly they felt they had a new mission to fulfill and a new land to save.

Quoting from the book, "The missionaries and their Yankee followers regarded their journey as yet another pilgrim like errand into the wilderness, a chance to erect a second [00:55:00] city on the hill. Sons and daughters of New England, you are the representatives of a land which is the model for every other. Presbyterian Minister Timothy Dwight Hunt told San Francisco's New England Society in 1852, 'Here is our Colony. No higher ambition could urge us to noble deeds than, on the basis of the colony of Plymouth, to make California the Massachusetts of the Pacific.'"

So in essence, it is to those missionaries that Amanda and I have to give thanks for our cultural compatibility. Anyway, this is a long way of saying to Dr. Whisker that he is correct for thinking that our understanding of multiculturalism should go deeper than simply colonizer and colonized. Reading that book absolutely made me appreciate the various cultures in the US, and better understand them as having been born [00:56:00] out of specific historic context.

I don't go so far as to embrace cultural or moral relativism, and go down the path of trying to equate all cultures as equally valid. Some cultures have genuinely abhorrent norms in them that, I think, violate human rights. It's not a binary choice between the idea that all cultures are equal, or the opposite extreme; that there must logically be one culture that is superior above all others.

As we learned from the Scott's word dùthchas, human culture is inextricably linked to the land. There are a whole lot of different landscapes in the world, therefore, there are a whole lot of different cultures that are perfectly suited to their specific locations. With that understanding, it's an absurd thought to imagine that one culture should be thought of as superior and should become dominant over all others.

So I think we can hold these ideas in our mind at the same time; different regions of the country have different cultural [00:57:00] values, for reasons that can be traced back hundreds of years, just like we think of different regions of the world. We're not gonna upend that anytime soon, right? Pro-government, new Englanders aren't about to convince small government folks out in the mountain time zone to adopt that New England communitarian mindset. We should probably give up on that dream.

We big government liberals could also find appreciation for the existence of these regional views. To see it as a form of multiculturalism, just as we see value in the cultures of other countries and peoples. We can understand that there's always something to be learned from other cultures because there's always a reason why a culture has developed the way it has.

At the same time, we can continue to argue that we have better ideas on any number of topics. That's not a contradiction, but it is a better basis for establishing mutual respect between cultures.

[00:58:00] As always, keep the comments coming in. You can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message to 2 0 2 9 9 9 3 9 9 1, or keep it old school by emailing me to [email protected].

Thanks to everyone for listening. Thanks to Dion Clark and Erin Clayton for their research work for the show, and participation in our bonus episodes. Thanks to our Transcriptionist Trio, Ken, Brian and La Wendy for their volunteer work helping put our transcripts together. Thanks to Amanda Hoffman for all of her work on our social media outlets, activism segments, graphic designing, web mastering, and bonus show co-hosting. Thanks to those who support the show by becoming a member, or purchasing gift memberships at bestoftheleft.com/support through our Patreon page, or from right inside the Apple Podcast app.

Membership is how you get instant access to our incredibly good bonus episodes, in addition to there being extra content and no ads in all of our regular episodes, all through your regular podcast player. You can join the discussion on our [00:59:00] Discord community, a link to join us in the show notes.

So coming to you from far outside the conventional wisdom of Washington, DC. My name is Jay!, and this has been the Best of the Left podcast coming to you twice weekly thanks entirely to the members and donors to the show from bestoftheleft.com.

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