Since he was appointed attorney general, William Barr has been somewhat of a hero in the world of right-wing media. The Russian investigation has attacked. He talked about a big game about cracking down on Antifa. He was very critical of the media. Day and day it goes.
Barr’s statement, which read out just a simple fact, not only contradicted what Trump was saying, but also what fueled the propaganda of Trump and his allies in the right-wing media outlets their audience. For weeks, these media figures have been putting pressure on their audiences, suggesting that the damned evidence of fraud was just around the corner. Which is why the comment from Bar was so bad.
The comment effectively forced these right-wing stars to choose between acknowledging Barr’s reality or continuing with Trump’s imagination. Trump’s more devoted propagandists chose the second option. And so they began to throw a bar under the bus, just as they did with any other Governor who dared to contradict the president. (Think of how former conservative stars like Jeff Sessions, Justin Amash, Paul Ryan and others were treated when they didn’t blindly impose Trump’s demands.)
Liar or idiot or both
Le Dobbs, host of Fox Business, whose conspiratorial show is the president’s favorite, attacked Barr with brutal terms on his show. “For the Attorney General of the United States to make this statement – it’s either a liar or an idiot or both,” Dobbs said. Dobbs then went further, indicating that Barr “may have been endangered.” Barr described it as “he seemed to be joining the radical democrats, the deep state, and the resistance.”
Dobbs wasn’t the only one. Greg Kelly, the Newsmax host, who has risen to fame in right-wing media circles in the past few weeks for suggesting that Trump might emerge as an election winner, went after Bar on his show. “Some of us are questioning whether he is a constitutional fighter or just a bureaucrat,” said Kelly. Kelly added that it was “unbelievable” if Barr looked for voter fraud, he wouldn’t find anything. Mark Levine said he was “sorry.”[ted] To say, “Barr’s statements are” misleading. “
The far-right blogs were more cruel. The Gateway Pundit, a fringe site that Trump has repeatedly promoted, posted a post saying that Barr had revealed himself as “totally deaf, mute and blind.” The post went on to say that Barr’s disguise as “someone who opposes deep state criminality” had “exposed a corrupt lie” and was “fraud.” And she concluded by saying, “Either you fix the corrupt system or we abandon you … are over our days of tolerating treason.”
Some carry fire
While Barr has faced heavy criticism from some of the prominent names in the right-wing media, others refrained from attacking him on Tuesday night. Notably, heavyweight Tucker Carlson and Shawn Hannity did not misrepresent AG. It will be interesting over the next twenty-four hours if this anti-Barr narrative captures Trump-friendly media, or dissipates.