And here’s what I learned.
You can protest, you can Tweet, you can make jokes, you can write Facebook rants, and you can have talk shows to implore Donald Trump supporters to see him for what he is, but those methods are all but futile. They probably won’t even see it. And this hack knows because for the past seven days I accepted a mission to watch and read nothing but Fox News. Absolutely no other sources of mainstream media. And below are the findings, which paint not a bad picture, but a clear picture of Trump’s base and why they continue to hold him in high regard despite almost daily international protests by opposition supporters and party members alike.
Because truth be told, and not unlike the hard left, the majority of staunch republicans won’t read or watch anything they don’t agree with. Won’t click on it. Will label it fake news if they were to ever stumble across it. They get their news in one place and one place only. And it’s not from Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, John Oliver or Bill Maher. It’s Fox News, a 17-year-old cable news channel owned by Aussie mogul Rupert Murdoch that’s been the subject of countless media watchdog accusations of extreme right-wing bias since its inception.
I could go on about the countless university and Pew research studies into the show’s bias, intentional story selection and general knowledge tests of its audience—all of which reflect badly on both network and viewer alike—but this isn’t a takedown of Fox News, or its viewers. It’s merely a well-intentioned attempt to understand where the other side is coming from and why—no digs, no judgement. Right or wrong, here’s what I learned:
Trump is gettin’ shit done, son!
The man is coming good on all of his election promises. And not just that, he’s doing it at a rapid rate. He’s come good on more election promises in his first week than most presidents do in their entire terms. A ban on Muslims? Tick. Repeal the Affordable Care Act? Tick. Getting to work on the wall? Tick. Supporting conservative and traditional Christian views? Tick. Choosing a supreme court judge who upholds those values? Tick. Trump is authentic. He meant what he said and he said what he meant, Trump is the real deal, 100 percent. This is not a trait we’re used to seeing in our politicians.
It’s us (Americans) against them (Democrats)
Liberals are un-American. They incorrectly think the Constitution is a living, evolving document. Not understanding that it’s to be interpreted today as it was when it came into effect in 1789; set in stone like the 10 commandments. The Democrats are trying to ruin the country and its traditional Christian values, therefore making them fundamentally un-American.
The mainstream media is propaganda for the left, so Fox News isn’t mainstream media.
The mainstream media—or MSM as it’s commonly referred to in the comment sections—is biased. And they, including Associated Press and Reuters, are the machine arm of the Democratic party intent on spreading lies. All mainstream media is liberal media, and reports fake news. They’re also “cry-babies” and “whiners”.
Trump was right to fire acting attorney general Sally Yates.
Not only was she left over from the morally corrupt Obama administration, but she dared to defy the President’s executive order, flouted the law, and violated the ethics lawyers should abide by. If she disagreed she should simply have resigned.
Obama is a loose cannon.
In the final weeks of his presidency, with the sole intention to disrupt and undermine President Trump and Republican supporters, Obama went rogue and put in place measures to try and block progress.
Democrats are their own worst enemy.
That the Democrats are delegitimizing themselves by protesting anything and everything rather than uniting behind a common cause.
Everyone hates Hillary.
Close to one-in-four of thousands of comments end up referencing Hillary Clinton and how corrupt she is/was. But more importantly, Republican voters won’t ever forget that she labelled them “deplorables”.
We want evidence.
Republicans don’t care what negative things you say about Trump or any of his cabinet picks, because unless you’ve got hard and specific evidence, on hand, it’s dismissed on the spot. In fact, just as “racist” and “sexist” are the catchcry of the left whenever the opposition says something they don’t agree with, Republicans have their own—“Show us the evidence”. It’s hard not to look like an idiot when put on the spot and asked to cite specific evidence to your argument without any preparation and it’s a ploy that works.
If you didn’t see a major topic of the past week covered here, it’s likely because Fox News “selected” not to cover it, or if they did so quickly buried it under more suitable/acceptable stories for their audience. Fox is a for-profit business and they achieve this admirably by catering specifically to their audience. And fair enough. They editorialise the news, which in turn manipulates their viewers. So, if you take away anything from this short recap, let it be—don’t hate the players, hate the game. And reach out with an open hand instead of a fist.