A 2012 survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University showed that Fox News viewers are less informed about current events than those who don’t follow the news at all. With last week’s explosive House impeachment inquiry hearings, I imagined what a conversation with one of those Fox News viewers might be like. Behold:
KF: You’re a Trump supporter, correct?
FV: Absolutely! He’s the best president in history.
KF: Where’d you hear that?
FV: Jon Voight said it on Fox News.
KF: Is that where you get your news of current events?
FV: The only place other than Rush. I love Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham!
KF: I see. You know, those four aren’t actually journalists. They’re all opinion talking heads.
FV: It doesn’t matter. I agree with them!
KF: So you rely on their opinions to affirm or even form your opinions? You don’t read objective sources, say, the New York Times?
FV: The “failing” New York Times lies and all the rest of the “lamestream” media is corrupt, like the president says.
KF: Because you disagree with the reporting? The Times has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes. I don’t believe Fox News has won even one.
FV: What’s a Pulitzer Prize?
KF: Never mind. But tell me, what did you think of the recent impeachment investigation hearings? I watched most all of it. Did you?
FV: No, but I did see the highlights on Fox News’ primetime lineup.
KF: I checked. Those shows presented Republicans trying to discredit the witnesses and hearings, right?
FV: Hey! I loved that Jim Jordan guy. He was on Tucker Carlson trying to get at the truth!
FV: You know, like Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
KF: Well, that’s not true. Every U.S. intelligence agency agrees it was Russia.
FV: Like the Trump says, they’re deep state and, anyway, Vladimir Putin told him “strongly” that Russia didn’t interfere.
KF: Did you watch Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former Russia and Ukraine expert? She said that’s a “fictional narrative.”
FV: The one with the English accent? What does she know? She’s a Brit.
KF: No, she’s American with a master’s degree in Russian and doctorate degree from Harvard.
FV: Hannity said she’s a “so-called Ukraine expert”… I believe him.
KF: How about Maria Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine?
FV: Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News she was bad news.
KF: She was bad news, all right — for Ukraine’s corrupt politicians and oligarchs. Trump wanted her out of the way.
FV: Not what Rudy said!
KF: I know you support the military, so you must have been impressed by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman…
FV: He’s a spy! Laura Ingraham said so and she knows what she’s talking about.
KF: Not so. He’s a decorated combat veteran who probably knows more about Ukraine than anyone.
FV: Yeah, but he’s still a spy!
KF: How about Ambassador Sondland?
FV: Glad you brought him up! He’s a Never Trumper!
KF: He gave the Trump campaign a cool million, so the president appointed him ambassador to the European Union!
FV: Sondland must’ve been brainwashed by Rachel Maddow!
KF: The ambassador said he was following Trump’s orders and there was a quid pro quo.
FV: I don’t speak Italian.
KF: A bribe, extortion.
FV: Rush said it didn’t happen!
KF: Fox News’ legal expert, Judge Andrew Napolitano, said there’s enough evidence to justify three or four articles of impeachment.
FV: Yeah but Republicans said on Hannity the investigation was held in secret!
KF: Nope. Republicans questioned witnesses during depositions and the public hearings. But no senior Trump official gave testimony on orders from the White House.
FV: I’m just glad Sen.Lindsay Graham is going to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
KF: Isn’t that what Trump wanted Ukraine to do? Manufacture dirt on Biden to help him win reelection?
FV: Listen, Joe Biden got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired and bragged about it!
KF: That’s because the prosecutor wasn’t investigating Ukraine corruption. The European Union wanted him fired for the same reason.
FV: Not what Trump said on Fox & Friends! And what was Hunter Biden doing on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, anyhow? He was using his dad’s famous name to make money, that’s what!
KF: Like Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka?
FV: They’re different!
KF: Have you noticed a lot of what Trump says and does seems to benefit Russia?
FV: What do you mean?
KF: Well, the Ukrainians are fighting Russian aggression on their land. If we don’t support Ukraine, that helps Russia, an American adversary, right?
FV: Uh …
KF: And doesn’t it concern you that Trump, Republicans and Fox News are repeating Russian disinformation?
FV: Now hold on! The Ukrainians have Hillary Clinton’s email server!
KF: That’s Russian disinformation. American intelligence agencies say there is no server in Ukraine.
FV: Deep state!
KF: (Sigh) If you say so.