Conservative Military Historian Max Boot Calls Fox News “one of the most damaging developments in modern American history”

Fox News commentator Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, believes that the United States should make a preemptive strike on North Korea.  He believes that Christians are the only “real refugees” from the Middle East.  He once claimed that “2000 years of Christian Civilization” was “destroyed on Obama’s watch.”  As historian and cultural critic Max Boot writes in The Washington Post“Peters is about as far removed from a liberal ‘snowflake’ as you can imagine…he is to the right of right.”

Recently Peters resigned his post at Fox.  In his resignation letter, Peters said:

  • “I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers.
  • “I am ashamed” [of my association with Fox]
  • “Fox has degenerated…to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
  • “Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit”
  • “As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign.”
  • “As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things.”

Ouch!

Here is a taste of Boot’s piece:

What makes Fox’s ravings so scary is that they are not just influencing the public — they are also influencing the president. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters for America found a feedback loop between Trump and the TV personalities he watches so faithfully. Many of the president’s deranged tweets — e.g., his claim that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s or that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin should be imprisoned — are lifted straight from Fox. On Monday, the First Fanboy was in ecstasy because his favorite evening host was on his favorite morning show. He tweeted: “.@seanhannity on @foxandfriends now! Great! 8:18 A.M.” Instead of watching Fox, Trump would be better advised to read his briefing papers — such as the one advising him not to congratulate Putin on his rigged election win.

Years ago, before the rise of Trump, I used to think that Fox performed a harmless service by publicizing conservative ideas. It has since become clear that its worldview has little to do with conservatism and everything to do with populism and white nationalism. Fox News’s  creation in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes was one of the most damaging developments in modern American history. The wonder is that there aren’t more commentators like Peters with the integrity to resign in protest over Fox’s propaganda.

Read the entire piece here.

Is Trump vs. Mueller a “Battle for America’s Soul?”

Mueller and Trump

Russian-American military historian and writer Max Boot thinks so.  Here is Boot on Robert Mueller:

Mueller embodies the ideals of probity, service and self-sacrifice that trace back to the Pilgrims who came to America in search of a “city upon a hill.” The Puritans preached devotion to the Almighty and had nothing but contempt for vanity and luxury — no blue shirts for them. Over the centuries, their religious fanaticism leached away, leaving behind in American culture a residue of obligation to serve not just God but also mankind.

Here is Boot on Donald Trump:

Trump combines the hedonism of the 1970s with the bigotry and sexism of the 1950s: the worst of both worlds. His consciousness was not raised in the 1960s, but his libido was. He did not take part in the civil rights or antiwar movements and won five draft deferments — including one for “bone spurs” — so that he could devote his life to the pursuit of women and wealth. He later said that fear of catching a sexually transmitted disease was “my personal Vietnam.”

Trump is the embodiment of what Christopher Lasch in 1979 called the “new narcissist” who “praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself”; whose “emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace”; and whose “cravings have no limits,” because he “demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire.” A product of the “me decade,” Trump is a “me first”— not “America first” — president whose speeches are full of exaggerated or falsified self-praise.

Read Boot’s entire Washington Post piece here.  This makes a lot of sense to me.