Laura Ingraham: I regret to inform you that Biden will be president

Laura Ingraham: I regret to inform you that Biden will be president

Sorry, Laura, but you don’t get to decide that.

Only the Kraken decides.

Assuming he ever shows up, I mean.

This is a fascinating 90 seconds, both as a subject of Fox News Kremlinology and as a performance. Kremlinology: Why is Ingraham taking it upon herself to try to coax Sidney Powell fans back to reality, knowing how unhappy that’ll make them? Does she feel an ethical duty to do it? Did management put her up to it, recognizing that the longer the denial among the audience goes on, the more painful it’ll be for Fox? Is she just eager to transition MAGA Nation to a post-Trump populism? Ingraham’s one of the few major players in conservative media whose interest in nationalism seems a few inches deeper than “it’s what Trump believes so I believe it too.”

Performance-wise, it has the unmistakable feel of an intervention. You know me. You trust me. I am your friend. I’m going to approach you slowly now. Do not hate me for what I’m about to say. Watch, then read on.

Here’s an interesting point with which I don’t entirely agree:

If Powell were still a member of Trump’s “elite legal Delta Force ” or whatever, the skepticism of her on the right would be more restrained. There would have been no Rush Limbaugh monologue yesterday complaining that the emergence of the Kraken is overdue, for instance. But it *is* true that Powell’s wild conspiracy theories implicating Venezuela and ultimately Georgia Republicans like Brian Kemp and Kelly Loeffler emboldened some righties to challenge her even before Trump dumped her. Her allegations were so outlandish that even Fox’s 8 p.m. guy, the most widely watched cable news host in America, couldn’t ignore the blaring siren from his bullsh*t meter. One must take care in partisan media not to admit frankly that the emperor has no clothes, but as a matter of basic intellectual integrity Tucker felt obliged to at least allow for the possibility. Last week he watered it down as best he could to make it more digestible for his audience: “The emperor *might* have clothes, I’m certainly not ruling it out, but I’d like to see a little evidence before forming a conclusion.”

Not good enough. He and Fox might never be forgiven:

Two hours before Ingraham made her appeal to viewers last night, Carlson was on the air trying to win back disgruntled viewers by insisting that the election was unfair and the system is rigged — just not in the illegal way Sidney Powell would have us believe. It was rigged in “soft” ways, like the media refusing to ask Biden a hard question and Democrats making it easier to vote by mail and Twitter temporarily suppressing the Hunter Biden story. I’ve always thought Trump would eventually settle on that sort of argument to explain why he lost, that liberal influence over major opinion-shaping institutions meant he was always at a deep disadvantage. And I do think he’ll come around to that position eventually, although he’ll never quite relinquish the claims of outright fraud and cheating the way Carlson and Ingraham might.

Where Powell and Giuliani hurt Trump the most, I think, was by alienating the sort of conservative reporter or commentator who has establishment cred but who’s also generally friendly to Trump in their writing. Watch Byron York last night on Fox for an example, or read NRO’s coverage of the Trump legal effort since last week’s presser. These aren’t people who are going to suspend their disbelief in a QAnon-style conspiracy theory just because the spirit of partisan teamwork demands that they do so. Trump lost them when his lawyers went full kook, and that shift in opinion had ripple effects across mainstream righty media. Even Fox primetime.

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