There’s a New Farm Team in Conservative Media Land

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A regular reader writes:

It would be interesting to explore the business strategy decision that’s had the Daily Mail regularly making stuff up to feed to Fox and the rest of U.S. right-wing nutjob media, but more and more often the freakouts seem to originate with them.

Huh. That would be an interesting thing to look into. This observation struck me because I’ve sort of vaguely noticed the same thing, but never put two and two together. And yet, there seems to be something to it.

The latest offering from the Mail is a piece suggesting that Obamacare is going to decimate volunteer fire departments throughout the country. My friend’s email continues:

Don’t know if you’ve ever lived in an area that relies on a volunteer fire department, but since I now do, I can tell you these incredibly skilled and brave neighbors and friends are regarded (rightly) as incredible, nearly God-like heroes. I can’t think of anything more likely to send rural and small-town (and largely right-wing) America into a complete tizzy than the threat of Big Gummint crashing down on the local volunteer fire department.

So far, the Mail piece has been reprinted at Fox Nation and a few other places, but doesn’t seem to have gone viral in right-wing precincts yet. Maybe it never will. After all, reading between the lines, it appears that this is (a) only a potential problem, and (b) only if the IRS classifies volunteers as employees. It hasn’t actually done that yet, and probably won’t, in which case the whole problem melts away.

Nonetheless, the U.S. version of the Mail really does seem to have begun working as sort of a farm team for Fox and Drudge and all the rest. Maybe that was inevitable given their shared ideology, but it would be worth reading more about this from someone who tracks the media more closely than I do.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate