This morning, Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director under Obama and author of two best selling books-- Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (2018) and Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again (2020)-- announced his newest book, Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media are Destroying America, will be out June 7. Writing on his own blog, he explained that he had spent much of the last year writing a book about the topic of my obsession for much of my career: "what the hell can we do about Right Wing disinformation and propaganda?"
I've often said that the worst thing that has happened to America since the Civil War was the advent of Fox News and the worst thing Bill Clinton did as president was to make a deal with Murdoch (and Newt Gingrich) to facilitate the Australian fascist's ownership of an American communications network, which had been previously illegal.
After watching the Republicans build up a massive media advantage, I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of Democratic leadership does not understand what we are up against and have given little thought to narrowing the gap. Battling the Big Lie lays out how the Right Wing media apparatus works, where it came from, what progressives can do about it, and how readers can fight back against disinformation.
In particular, the book looks at:
• How Republicans, from Roger Ailes to Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, exploited the media’s biases and the Democratic Party’s blind spots to build the most powerful weapon in American politics.
• How Facebook became a willing enabler of the MAGA movement.
• The failures of the traditional political media to fight back.
• What all of us can do to counter Fox, Facebook, and the trolls spreading disinformation and hate on the Internet.
There is a lot of skepticism about whether progressives will still buy political books in the post-Trump era. If you look at the New York Times bestseller list on any given week it is filled with books by the likes of Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, and Ted Cruz. Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway has a book coming out around the same time as Battling the Big Lie. For all the obvious self-interested reasons, I would love your help in proving everyone wrong.
I try to avoid fascist propaganda and wouldn't know how to find Fox News on my TV screen if I had to. But this morning a friend in Miami sent me the above clip from Tucker Carlson's latest broadcast for Vladimir Putin, in which he argues with mental midget/former news anchor/current freshman congresswoman Maria Salazar (R-FL). It's difficult to tell which one is less fit to be broadcasting on the air without a warning sign: "This person is an ignorant moron; ignore everything he/she says."
You can see that Carlson wants to shred her but she's a Republican and she's an anti-Communist (and both seem to ignorantly equate fascist Russia with the communist Soviet Union). And besides, Carlson has important Kremlin messaging to deliver which supersedes his bickering with the delusional Salazar who seems to believe there are "millions of Cuban-Americans" living in her 750,000 personal congressional district. Watch Tokyo Rose 2024 walk his little tightrope and then argue with the Florida moron as they both continually interrupt each other while pretending to be vaguely respectful. it's mind-boggling and will help you see what Pfeiffer was up against while he was writing Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media are Destroying America for the past year.
A couple of political points. FL-27, which does not have "millions of Cuban-Americans," is a D+4 congressional district where Clinton beat Trump 58.5% to 38.9% in 2016 and where Biden beat Trump 51.3% to 48.1% in 2020. Salazar, who implies "Fidel" is riding into Ukraine in a Russian tank, was elected in 2020 by defeating a worthless Democratic hack, Donna Shalala, who was elected as part of the 2018 blue wave and then proven herself to be a complete waste off a congressional seat, the way almost all DCCC-invented candidates do. And because Shalala was so not worth supporting, the $3.7 million she spent (+ millions more spent by the DCCC and its allies on her behalf) could have been flushed down the toilet as she was outpolled by Salazar 176,141 (51.4%) to 166,758 (48.6%). From what I can tell so far, it doesn't look like the DCCC is contesting FL-27, one of the bluest districts in the country with a Republican member of Congress. There is an excellent grassroots activist, Angel Montalvo, running but with no acknowledgement, like alone assistance, from the DCCC. He has raised $6,869 to Salazar's $2,004,539.