Thursday, November 12, 2020


We may be seeing the beginning of the end of this crisis. On the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove writes:
There are only three statewide contests in the past half-century in which recounts changed the outcome: the 1974 New Hampshire Senate race, the 2004 Washington governor’s contest, and the 2008 Minnesota Senate election. The candidates in these races were separated, respectively, by 355, 261 and 215 votes after Election Day.

These margins aren’t much like today’s. Mr. Biden led Wednesday in Wisconsin by 20,540 votes, Pennsylvania by 49,064, Michigan by 146,123, Arizona by 12,614, Nevada by 36,870 and Georgia by 14,108.

To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far....

Closing out this election will be a hard but necessary step toward restoring some unity and political equilibrium. Once his days in court are over, the president should do his part to unite the country by leading a peaceful transition and letting grievances go.
It's bizarre that Rupert Murdoch seems to be the most prominent figure on the right trying to end this crisis -- but he assumes Joe Biden can't be denied the presidency and he's trying to make a good first impression, hoping to keep the tax and regulatory burdens on his businesses light during the Biden years.

The fans aren't taking it well. I spotted these items in a Free Republic thread:

We're hearing again that Trump wants to challenge Fox. This is from Axios's Mike Allen:
President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell Axios....

There's been lots of speculation about Trump starting a cable channel. But getting carried on cable systems would be expensive and time-consuming.

Instead, Trump is considering a digital media channel that would stream online, which would be cheaper and quicker to start.

Trump's digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans....

Axios is told told Trump may use vote-count rallies to undercut Fox.

"He's going to spend a lot of time slamming Fox," the source said.
So Trump will barnstorm the country claiming he was really elected president, but he's also promoting a new venture he'll start only if he isn't president anymore. Baby steps, I guess, toward acceptance of reality.

I think many of Trump's people will sign up for this, but I question whether Trump is capable of putting a media operation together that isn't shoddily amateurish. There was talk in 2016 that Roger Ailes, recently ousted from Fox, might run a Trump TV channel after what was expected to be an inevitable Trump loss to Hillary Clinton. But Ailes isn't around anymore.

At least one alternative to Fox is doing better these days:
Over the summer, [Newsmax TV] was averaging about 25,000 viewers at any given time -- a tiny number by any TV news standard. As the election was approaching, the audience ticked up, but it was still just a fly on the Fox elephant's back. In the final week of October, Newsmax was averaging just 65,000 viewers at any given time.

Then came the election. Newsmax averaged 182,000 viewers during the election week that ended on Sunday. And it is growing even more this week. On Monday the channel averaged 347,000 viewers. On Tuesday, 437,000 viewers. Evening shows like "Spicer & Co" and "Greg Kelly Reports" are reaching 700,000 and 800,000 viewers. These shows struggled to hit 100,000 before the election!
Fox will survive. Fox is being relatively nice to Biden now -- but as soon as he's president, Fox will start unloading on him and never let up. Fox won't seem traitorous to the MAGA crowd for much longer. The audience will come back. And meanwhile, Trump might be mired in the details of trying to start up a media empire without any of the skills he'd need to get the job done.

Well, at least we can hope it keeps him out of trouble.

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