Spoiler: Fox Wins
There will be no consequences.
On TNL this week—I hope you have subscribed to both the YouTube version and the Apple podcast feed, though if you’re a Bulwark+ member you can get the podcast without any ads—we talked a lot about the Fox stuff.
And I have some bad news for you:
There will be no consequences for anyone involved.
None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Rupert Murdoch won’t be touched.
The primetime hosts won’t lose either viewers or their jobs. They won’t face any additional shame in their professional or personal lives.
The supposedly serious “news side” people, like Bret Baier, will still be given the benefit of the doubt, even by their peers in the mainstream. Democratic politicians will still go on their shows and treat them as though they are serious journalists.
No advertisers will pull their buys. No paid speaking gigs will be canceled. No book sales will be diminished.
No one will even be put into timeout like Don Lemon was.1
Here I would remind you that Chris Cuomo had his entire media career destroyed because he gave a politician (his brother) back-channel advice concerning a specific incident without disclosing it.
Which is proper: What Cuomo did was 100 percent out of bounds. CNN was right to fire him. It’s good that no other mainstream outlet has hired him.
My point is that in the “liberal mainstream media,” Chris Cuomo got the professional equivalent of the death penalty for an offense that was a tiny fraction of the size of what happens up and down the line at Fox every forking day. And the Fox people will face zero consequences for their infinitely greater sins.
But, hey, the liberal mainstream media got the Covington kids story wrong for 24 hours, so, what are you gonna do, right? Both sides?
I mention all of this not to complain—but to make a point.
A society has lots of ways to enforce norms. Most of these enforcement mechanisms are organic and unofficial.