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Max Boot on Fox News

Max Boot has a scathing, but on point, essay on the state of Fox News at Foreign Policy that is worth a read:  The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt.

If you are unfamiliar with the Seth Rich story, I recommend Dave Weigel’s The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news still works.

See, also, USAT:  Fact check: Newt Gingrich spreads Seth Rich conspiracy theory.

The utter irresponsibility of people like Sean Hannity and New Gingrich (among others) is stunning.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Andy says:

    I honestly don’t understand why anyone watches any of the US cable news channels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Good for him. And by the way, still one of the best macho character names ever. Max Boot! Not Min Boot, Max!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. reid says:

    I don’t know, the guy sounds like an elitist to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    This is going to sound like snark, but I intend it as a serious question. At the end of the article, Boot advocates for a conservative news source that would advocate as a principled voice for the right. My question is what does the right currently stand for that principled voices would advocate for? Seriously. Where are there any points of view on the right that represent principled stands on anything? And why aren’t these principled voices separating themselves from all of the muck and crap that is right wing thinking? I moved left 10 years ago because there was no place else to stand. I’ve had my fill of supply sided, sacrificing other peoples’ children on the altar of neocon nation building, the government is the problem, America first, drown the bureaucracy in a sink, and all of the other crap that went into preparing the nation for the arrival of this clusterflock.

    Maybe Boot should start with a principled right. Where ya gonna find one of those?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. JohnMcC says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Indeed. One conclusion that this post would lead someone to make is that Mr Boot is a reasonable conservative intellectual. First, he is not. He is a bundle of hyperactive neurons that reacts to any stimulus by blowing something up and invading someone.

    Second, as you say, the percentage of “conservatives” who reject Mr Trump is small and helpless. We should forget them for the present. Their numbers will increase as the present administration stumbles and self-destructs and hoards of R-partiers decide they never liked Mr Trump and he’s definitely NOT THEIR FAULT. Our future task is to assist their memories.

    If Mr Boot didn’t see what Fox obviously was and now whines about being betrayed or disappointed his intellect should be the first thing he blames.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. @JohnMcC:

    If Mr Boot didn’t see what Fox obviously was and now whines about being betrayed or disappointed his intellect should be the first thing he blames.

    On the other hand, if any time someone changes their mind/comes to a right conclusion about something all that is done is criticizing the person for not changing their mind sooner, where is the motivation for people to publicly declare they have changed their minds?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  7. dmhlt says:

    Someone in Comments at the WaPo link called Fox News “The Foundry of Lies”
    “Foundry of Lies” … I like that phrase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Gustopher says:

    How far Fox has fallen from the days of exposing Obama as a secret Kenyan…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. JohnMcC says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You have a more Christian approach than I. Confession: Mr Boot is a bete noir of mine.

    He did (and does) offer advise on national matters that require more intellectual honesty than the worth or virtue of a cable network. As the scripture says – if he cannot be faithful in small matters, why should we trust him in larger affairs?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: ” …where is the motivation for people to publicly declare they have changed their minds?”

    That motivation comes from 1) being a public person whose opinion on a topic may count and 2) from the realization that your soul matters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Janis Gore says:

    @michael reynolds: His name always made me think of Max Headroom, of whom I know nothing but the name and image.

    But the name sounds one from a graphic novel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Paul L. says:

    Same people complaining about “the utter irresponsibility” of the Seth rich “smear” said nothing about William D. Cohan’s book smearing the Duke Lacrosse players and alleging a coverup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  13. Becca says:

    @Paul L.: Excellent example of whataboutism, Paulie!l

    You’ve obviously done your homework, kekchik!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Becca: @Paul L.: I’ve always referred to it as the Chappaquiddick Defense. As in, “W. lied about WMDs to start a war that killed a hundred thousand people.” “But Chappaquiddick!?”

    I see FOX has retracted the Seth Rich story.

    The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. (Bwhahahaha) Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.

    Paranthetical mine. Wonder what Gingrich will do now.

    FYI, Paul L, most of us paid as little attention as possible to the Duke story and never heard of the book you mention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    That motivation comes from 1) being a public person whose opinion on a topic may count and 2) from the realization that your soul matters.

    Well, sure, and for other reasons as well.

    Still, if the whole goal of discourse is to persuade, then should there not be at least some reward if people change their minds as opposed to simply beating them up for past positions?

    There has to be some room for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And I agree. Moreover, that’s not what my original point was about. My question is still where is one going to find principled voices to give support for what passes for thinking and policy in a right wing where as many as 13 candidates during the last primary cycle argued that they were better at being Trump than Trump himself, and the one who argued that “this is not who we are” was soundly rejected by both the voters and whatever pseudo-principled right wing media there was.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad that Max Boot has finally figured out what I knew in 2007.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. JohnMcC says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You are completely correct. And it’s admirable for you to stand up and say so. Frankly I am somewhat … well, not ashamed… feeling some embarrassment that I sounded so absolutist about Mr Boots’ resolute neoconservatism never ever appearing questionable in his eyes.

    Perhaps he will have some sort of epiphany. My mom would be including him in her daily devotional prayers.

    But he’s made a career by keeping himself at the sharp end of the stick among the most militaristic and bellicose political talkers/writers. I have a deep aversion to that point of view.

    Your post’s link to the Boot story lamenting Fox News indicates that he may be having some sort of enlightenment concerning the movement he is part of. My mom would say ‘see, God does answer prayer’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. @JohnMcC: I concur that Boot’s neoconservative foreign policy has deserved criticism (and likely with continue to do so).

    And I am not trying to be overly pious about this: I just want to at least be able to acknowledge positive change when I see it and I am pleased to see public acknowledgment of a self-described conservative call out this kind of nonsense.

    I have some hope, based on both professional orientation and personal experience, that people can change their minds over things over time through rational processes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. JohnMcC says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Oh doggonnit! I think we’re agreeing violently or something. Your initial reply made me reflect on the potential for —- well, redemption. That’s really what we’re talking about. So I framed my more thoughtful response in those terms more as a clever device than an actual theological, overtly religious comment. I swear I wasn’t accusing you of excess piety.

    Again. You are correct and it’s useful to be reminded that we can all of us be better and sometimes we actually do so.

    It’s a pleasure to share this board partly because folks like you take us out here seriously. Thanx.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Matt says:

    @gVOR08:

    FYI, Paul L, most of us paid as little attention as possible to the Duke story and never heard of the book you mention.

    This is how some of the right winger roll here. They bring up some obscure person or item that almost no one on the left has heard of and they proudly hold that up as an example of how HORRIBLE all the left wingers are. For example I had never even heard of Saul Alinsky till Obama was running for president and the right wingers here started talking about Alinsky as if every Democrat had his book(s?) memorized by heart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. @Matt:

    I swear I wasn’t accusing you of excess piety.

    I did not think that–I was just saying that I didn’t want to make it sound like I was putting myself on high horse, to to speak–and I understood your analogy.

    I appreciate your comment thoroughly.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. @Matt: It is a tactic employed by right wing talk radio and many Fox News commentators and it has seeped into the collective consciousness of a lot of people. I think they think it is a kind of legitimate argumentation.

    I not saying that left wing types never do it, but just that it seems dominant in the land of Rush, Hannitty, Fox & Friends, etc.

    The bottom line is: there is nothing about the Duke story and its coverage that would excuse the Seth Rich coverage by Hannity, Gingrich, and others.

    Forget any complex logical constructs or fallacies and go straight to good ol’ Mom: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Paul L. says:

    there is nothing about the Duke story and its coverage that would excuse the Seth Rich coverage by Hannity, Gingrich, and others.

    William D. Cohan had his BS book covered uncritically on Morning Joe

    https://newrepublic.com/article/117383/william-d-cohans-duke-lacrosse-case-book-gets-many-things-wrong

    This has not prevented an amazing succession of puff-piece reviews in The Wall Street Journal, FT Magazine, the Daily News, Salon, the Economist, the Daily Beast, and The New York Times, whose reviewer (unlike the others cited above) at least knew enough to write that “Cohan hasn’t unearthed new evidence” and that “[t]here is still nothing credible to back up the account of an unreliable witness.”

    .

    I wonder if Fox News will appoint a panel to protect them from legal and criminal liability like CBS NEWS did for the Bush TANG memos story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  24. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: You’re using a New Republic article critical of the reviews of Cohan’s book in WSJ, FT Mag, and the Economist as an example of how THE LEFT [TM] never criticizes things like Cohan’s book? REALLY? Gawd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. Paul L. says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:
    How many articles has Stuart Taylor Jr. (long time Duke Lacrosse rape denier) written for the New Republic.
    Just that one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  26. JohnMcC says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Our occasional visitor is riding a hobby-horse from 2006 – 07.

    Isn’t senile dementia a horrible disease?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. @Paul L.: Your focus on this topic is amazing in its own right, I suppose, but is also thoroughly off topic and not relevant.

    It is like one of my sons telling me that they shouldn’t get in trouble over X because his brother did Y.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Paul L. says:

    It is like one of my sons telling me that they shouldn’t get in trouble over X because his brother did

    X too and you ignored it as no big deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  30. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: And now you’re complaining that your own source is an example of cherry picking? WA! Dude, you have serious cognitive dissonance problems. Yow!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: Mind you, I didn’t have a particularly happy and uplifting doctor’s appointment this morning, so I can use the laugh. For that, you have my thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. @Paul L.: Sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0