The Dominion-Fox News case is not just about defamation, but also about the spreading of bullshit about elections and voting. The antidote to these lies wasn’t supposed to be lawsuits — it was supposed to be 24-7 access to infinite information that would debunk such bullshit, humiliate its purveyors, and anchor the discourse in facts.
But new data released days before the Dominion settlement suggest the opposite has happened — amid that deluge of information, more and more Americans have ensconced themselves in an impenetrable bubble of partisan bullshit, never bothering to peek their heads out so they can be alerted to inconvenient facts.
The key findings from researchers at Berkeley and Yale are stark: Roughly 1 in 7 Americans are consuming more than eight hours of partisan media per month. That’s comparable to the total viewership of the network broadcast news programs, and more than the total number of Americans who subscribe to a newspaper.
In other words: Instead of reading the basic (if often imperfect) reporting in newspapers, more people are now being brainwashed by millionaire TV anchors and pundits whose entire business model is ripping, reading, and distorting that reporting for their own partisan causes.