Process vs. Facts: Putting One Over on the Public

Fox New has followed a clever strategy that leads to their followers losing sight of reality. For years, their commentators issue opinion about facts, sometimes about doctored facts. Suddenly, their opinion obliterates any need, thought or desire for underlying facts. Opinion trumps reality!

One of the best examples of this strategy occurred in the 1984 Presidential Debates between President Ronald Reagan and Vice-President Walter Mondale. When Mondale confronted Reagan with some facts to which Reagan was uncomfortable responding, he said, “There you go again!”

This deflection was masterful. The audience laughed and no facts were forthcoming from Reagan. Fox news built their news cycle and the reputation of their pundits on offering procedural comments, without offering any underlying facts or evidentiary basis.

On September 9th, 2020, Laura Ingram elevated the art form by offering meta-opinions. This is where you interpret and interpretation. Trump took early action on the Covid-19 virus, ignoring the point that he did so by offering public opinions and behaviors that misrepresented the nature and threat of the virus.

This opinion of this writer is that if the President had explained how this virus was a threat and had modeled good practices by wearing a mask, a significant number of people would have followed suit. The resultant deaths and the duration of the pandemic could have been reduced significantly. Even if I stated the number of deaths reduced by 20,000, this number would still be on the hands of the Trump. [See the Sunday Doonesbury column, 9/6/2020]