Now The New York Times has set its sights on Fox News, the only major outlet left where leftist thinkers such as Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Greenwald are allowed to warn Americans about the current dangers of totalitarian censorship.
Writing in the paper of record, Nicholas Kristof has determined that it's not enough that Congress is going after former President Donald Trump, they need to go after the one major media outlet that did not constantly deride and insult him over the past four year, Fox News.
His assertion is that because Fox reported on news about claims of election fraud and voter irregularities, viewers who subscribe to cable tv should advocate for the removal of the station from cable packages.
"We can't impeach Fox or put Carlson or Sean Hannity on trial in the Senate," Kristof writes with seeming dismay, "but there are steps we can take—imperfect, inadequate ones, resting on slippery slopes—to create accountability not only for Trump but also for fellow travelers at Fox, OANN, Newsmax and so on."
Fox has presented the voices and views of elected leaders that The Times won't touch because they fear that conservative views will sully their over-inked pages. People who take issue with the Biden administration's attack on women and girls, apparent border openings, and drastic federal overreach are given space to speak on Fox, not at The Times, or on CNN, or any other of these sycophantic news conglomerates that stakes a claim to ideological righteousness.
How is it that Kristoff is so sure that he's right that he's intent on barring any opposing views from having a platform? That is a level of righteousness heretofore reserved for religious zealotry.
It is a given, for Kristoff and The Times, that Fox has perpetrated severe damage, the only thing left to sort out is what to do about it. He directs people to demand that it be cancelled from their cable package, and to torment Fox's advertisers until they bend to submission.
While Kristof voices concern about his own call for the censoring of an entire outlet, saying it "leaves even me a bit queasy," and that he's "railed against 'liberal intolerance," he doesn't let that stop him from proclaiming that an entire news network should be forcibly removed from the air simply because he doesn't like their views, or the views of their viewers.
Kristof, The Times, and their colleagues in derision won't be appeased until Fox News, Trump, and the much-maligned Trump voters purged from the cultural conversation. They've said so, over and over again. They frame them as liars, white supremacists, insurrectionists, and any other derogatory moniker they can come up with.
Caitlin Flanagan had a great time slamming MAGA supporters in The Atlantic. These fool people were just doing as they were told, Flanagan posits about those who perpetrated the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, they really just want to follow the rules handed down by their betters. Kristoff would say they're doing it because Fox told them to, and perhaps Flanagan would agree.
Sarah Smarsh wrote in The Guardian that "It would be easy to write them off as monsters–a familiar impulse in today's political climate, particularly toward supporters of Donald Trump. But, with democracy itself on the line this election year, we must remain open to the possibility of transformation." Note that Smarsh assumes at the outset that these folks have nothing worthwhile to say, but that staying engaged with them can be a road to convincing them why they are wrong.
Writing in Fast Company, Joe Berkowitz says that "Biden voters do not owe Trump supporters even an ounce of compassion—at least until they've completed their truth and reconciliation commission hearing. (This is a joke. Sort of.)"
Self-proclaimed life-long Republican Max Boot wrote in the Washington Post that throwing the whole GOP under the bus to rid it of Trump and his supporters was the only reasonable thing to do.
ABC's political director Rick Klein said that "The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else." What does Klein mean by that? Even looking at it through the most generous lens, it’s hard to see how “cleansing” a movement of people who believe something you disagree with is reasonable.
Now, armed with accusations of isms and phobias, it is easy for educated elitists, both left and right wing, to bludgeon those they perceive as their working class inferiors. But these MAGA voters number nearly 75 million, and they will be ignored at our nation's peril. A voice that cries out as loud as this one did, with the massive megaphone of Trump as their mouthpiece, will not be easily or willingly silenced, nor should they be.
The New York Times has long been the gold standard of journalism in the US, and it has the cavernous news rooms and resources to play that role. But in declaring that their competition should be ousted, removed from existence, expelled for the heretical crime of disagreeing with our revered Grey Lady, they have become the censorious mob that they ought to protect us against.