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Stuff You Should Consume - March 18, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“21% of Fox News Viewers Trust Network Less After Texts Revealed in Dominion Lawsuit: Survey” by Andrew Wallenstein, Gavin Bridge, Variety
More than a fifth of Fox News Channel viewers are less trusting of the cable network in the wake of publicly disclosed text messages and emails from Fox executives and on-air personalities, according to a new survey.
But only 9% of Fox News viewers say they aren’t watching the network as much as they used to, per research provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform by consumer insights specialists Maru Group. (Click to an expanded subscriber version for full results.)
“DeSantis, on Defense, Shows Signs of Slipping in Polls” by Nate Cohn, New York Times
Over the last two months, we’ve gotten about a dozen polls from pollsters who had surveyed the Republican race over the previous two months. These polls aren’t necessarily of high quality or representative, so don’t focus on the average across these polls. It’s the trend that’s important, and the trend is unequivocal: Every single one of these polls has shown Mr. DeSantis faring worse than before, and Mr. Trump faring better.
“The Federalist Society Isn’t Quite Sure About Democracy Anymore” by Ian Ward, Politico
But now, as the American right lurches toward a more explicitly anti-democratic position, the society’s members are face to face with a troubling possibility: that most conservatives couldn’t care less about their high-minded principles, and, even worse, that many of their allies view their attachment to those principles as a quaint — and slightly embarrassing — relic of the bygone era when conservatives still had to be coy about what they actually believed. And whether or not those criticisms are true, there was a definite sense of cognitive dissonance at the conference, where many of the panelists appeared willing to endorse the logic of anti-democratic arguments but shied away from those arguments’ more radical conclusions.
“The Boys Who Cried ‘Woke!’” by Jamelle Bouie, New York Times
The people who blame wokeness for the collapse of a bank do not want you to understand or even think about the political economy of banking in the United States. They want to deflect your attention from the real questions toward a manufactured cultural conflict. And the reason they want to do this is to obscure the extent to which they and their allies are complicit in — or responsible for — creating an environment in which banks collapse for lack of appropriate regulation.
This, again, is just one example of how bad actors and interested parties try to obscure serious questions about the structure of our society with claims that serve only to muddy the waters. You don’t have to look hard to find others.
“How Far-Right Movements Die” by Matthew Dallek, The Atlantic
MAGA’s growing radicalism is breeding dissent within a movement that was never particularly harmonious to begin with. After years of Trump’s batty screeds and violent rhetoric, his movement unsurprisingly has lured more extremist acolytes, such as the anti-Semitic rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and the white-supremacist leader Nick Fuentes, with whom Trump dined in November. (Birchers, Fuentes has remarked, were “a prelude” to his Groyper movement.) MAGA’s ever more fringy orientation and conspiratorial mindset have damaged it electorally, as voters handed election deniers a series of defeats in otherwise winnable races in 2022.