“The embarrassment angle is the easiest to dismiss: Remember all those headlines, generated by damning admissions and documents from the likes of Tucker Carlson and Rupert Murdoch, that showed how Fox’s on-air talent and their managers knew they were peddling untruths to their audience about the supposed 2020 election fraud? You probably read those because you consume Actual News. (And, let’s be clear: If you’d thought about this at all, you weren’t surprised to see the deep cynicism that powers Fox spelled out in writing.)
But on Fox, the lawsuit was barely covered at all, and Fox’s media correspondent even said he was prevented from reporting on it. That’s not surprising, given the channel’s consistent commitment to presenting alternative facts, a practice which long predated the Trump era.
You may recall that in an effort to stave off lawsuits like the one Dominion filed, Fox grudgingly offered some non-apology clarifications in late 2020, then went right back to making things up. A few months later, they were providing cover for the January 6 rioters.”
“Yes, the $787.5 million settlement is much less than the $1.6 billion the company initially asked for in damages. But it is a giant windfall for the small company and its private equity owners. It would be crazy not to take a deal like that, and let media critics worry about what happens to Fox.
And yes, $787.5 million is a lot of money, even for a big company like Fox: It represents about 20 percent of Fox’s $4 billion in cash, which means it could impact Fox’s ability to buy things or pay out dividends to its shareholders. On the other hand, Fox posted profits of $321 million in the last three months of 2022, which means it can build back up its cash pile pretty quickly.
That seems to be Wall Street’s take: 21st Century Fox stock opened down a few points the day after the settlement was announced, but as of this writing it has almost completely rebounded; the company remains worth about $17.5 billion.
In other words: Even after Fox agreed to pay nearly $788 million in a settlement (on top of the legal fees it has already spent), investors have decided the payout will have no impact on Fox’s operations.”
“The most plausible threat to Fox News is the same threat facing every TV network in 2023: that its viewership erodes as TV viewers migrate to the internet. But Fox’s viewers, like other cable TV news operations, skew old, and that means they’re the ones least likely to give up their cable boxes. They’re also incredibly loyal, which is why Fox can charge cable TV operators — who pass the fees on to you, if you’re paying for cable TV — more money than anyone else in TV, with the exception of sports.
So until that audience, along with the revenue and clout it generates for its owner, dwindles, don’t expect Fox to budge at all.”
“Historically, endorsements have proven pretty predictive of who wins presidential nominating contests. Since the modern primary era began in 1972, there have been 17 Democratic or Republican primary fights that did not feature an incumbent president. The candidate with the most endorsement points3 on the day before the Iowa caucuses won 11. That’s a better track record than polls have at the same point in the election: Since 1972, the leader in national polls4 on the day before Iowa has won the nomination just 10 out of 17 times.
Twelve of those 17 times, the same candidate led in both endorsements and polls. And of those 12, nine times the candidate won. But the five times that the endorsements and polls disagreed, the endorsement leader won twice, and the polling leader won only once. The other two times, a third candidate won.
It’s a small sample size, but endorsements have an even stronger track record when you filter out the years when the endorsement leader didn’t have all that many endorsements. For example, when the endorsement leader has earned at least 15 percent of the total estimated available endorsement points by the day before the Iowa caucuses,5 that candidate has won their party’s nomination nine out of 10 times. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2008 is the only exception.”
“if 93 percent of exploratory committees turn into campaigns, why do politicians bother taking that partial step? In a word: attention. Making two announcements — one for your exploratory committee, one for your actual campaign — gives the media two chances to cover you.”
“Even as Fox acknowledges a judge’s determination that it repeatedly aired “false” allegations about Dominion, it claims to be upholding “the highest journalistic standards.” Surely that means it will set the record straight. Not according to The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo, who reports that a “source with knowledge of the Fox/Dominion settlement says the network will not be required to issue any on-air retractions or apologies as part of the deal.””
“if you don’t want Trump to win, DeSantis is clearly your best choice. It’s still early, of course, and things could change, but early polls are decently predictive of how candidates perform in primaries, and DeSantis today is polling in the mid-to-high 20s in multi-candidate surveys. That puts him in a clear second position at this point.
And the good news for DeSantis is that most Republican voters probably want a Trumpy party, even if they choose someone else to lead it. Take Morning Consult’s primary poll tracker: Trump (54 percent) and DeSantis (26 percent) combine for 80 percent of the primary vote. And based on second-choice preferences, voters don’t view them as intractably opposed choices, but rather as two sides of the same coin. The leading second-choice candidate for Trump voters is DeSantis with 46 percent (Pence gets 17 percent), and the leading second choice for DeSantis voters is …Trump with 43 percent (Pence is at 16 percent).
So do you want a certain approach to politics or do you want to stop Trump? The latter seems more likely to bring about Trump’s defeat than the former, in part because GOP primary voters prefer a Trumpian approach.”
“it’s too early to dismiss the possible alternatives to both DeSantis and Trump! Yes, DeSantis is doing well in the polls right now, but he’s been slipping as of late. And there’s evidence that people don’t really know who he is — or are still making up their minds about him.”
“Left-leaning Janet Protasiewicz won resoundingly in her bid for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, despite being labeled “No Jail Janet” by her opponents. Democrats noted that her opponent, Dan Kelly, was connected to a plan to reverse the 2020 election results.
Similarly, Brandon Johnson, a Chicago union organizer, was hammered by his rival for previously leaning into the “defund the police” movement. But he stressed that his opponent Paul Vallas was not actually a Democrat, forcing him to repeatedly defend his credentials.
“A bipartisan behind-the-scenes organization that helps states maintain their voter rolls is facing an uncertain future, after several Republican-led states left the group.
The board of the Electronic Registration Information Center — or ERIC — met on Friday, as the remaining members of the organization try to chart the organization’s path following the high-profile departures of Florida, West Virginia and Missouri earlier this month. Some officials fear more states are eyeing the door.
The division roiling ERIC is just the latest example of a previously apolitical organization involved in fostering cooperation on the mechanics of running elections, finding life a lot more dramatic in the post-Trump world. At risk: the upending of the backbone of the nation’s electoral system.”
““States claim they want to combat illegal voting and clean voter rolls — but then leave the best and only group capable of detecting double voting across state lines,””
” “President Trump was wrong,” Pence said during remarks at the annual white-tie Gridiron Dinner attended by politicians and journalists. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.””