Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Governor FoxNews successfully PROPAGANDIZES multiple GULLIBLE, LAZY Conservative Media Outlets

"The simple believes every word,
But the prudent considers well his steps."
Proverbs 14:15

[Note: Leon Wolf at The Blaze published this godawful hot-mess on the exact same subject while we were writing a longer response to the Daily Wire.  For simplicity's sake, we're going to stick with responding to the Daily Wire.  But, if anything, this blog post applies even more to the Blaze (who really SHOULD know better) than the Daily Wire.]

There was a Daily Wire piece going around yesterday that's almost impossible to read if you were paying attention to this past legislative session.  Written by Asche Schow, the article strings together a few Abbott tweets into an undeserved narrative about Abbott's alleged conservatism.  If you want to understand how Abbott ROUTINELY spins national conservative media, yesterday's Daily Wire item is a great place to start.

To begin, Schow writes:
Gov. Greg Abbot (R-TX) had a stellar opening week of June. With few exceptions, the governor lived up to his state’s reputation for defending freedom.

[Note: Emphasis added.]

Schow continues:
In a series of tweets last week that ended up going viral, Abbott announced that he had signed legislation that would protect free speech rights on college campuses, ban red light cameras, and allow people to have beer delivered to their homes.
In fairness to Schow, all of Abbott's actions look good in isolation.  That's why Abbott spins them that way.  But all lack context.


Campus Speech:

About SB 18, Schow writes:
On June 9, Abbott posted another video of himself signing a law — this time in an effort to protect the First Amendment on college campuses.

“Some colleges are banning free speech on college campuses,” Abbott said in the video. “Well, no more because I’m about to sign a law that protects free speech on college campuses in Texas.”

“Shouldn’t have to do it,” he added after signing the bill. “The First Amendment guarantees it. Now, it’s law in Texas.”
Sounds great...until you realize:
  1. The Governor of Texas appoints University Boards of Regents.
  2. Boards of Regents routinely turn a blind eye to speech related abuses.
  3. Similarly, Boards of Regents routinely ignore laws passed by the legislature.
  4. The Texas Senate just rubber stamped all of Abbott's Regent nominees.
Thus, while SB 18 is a (modestly) welcome development, nobody should be under any illusions about the future of higher ed. in Texas.

Which is a shame, because if Abbott were serious about it (and, thus, the Boards of Regents were were serious about it), we could have addressed this issue four years ago.

But how would that help Abbott get puff pieces written about him in the Daily Wire?!?


Beer to Go:

Schow also writes:
Two days later, Abbott posted another tweet, this time of him signing a law that would allow Texas citizens to “order beer and wine from retailers to be delivered to your home.” “Enjoy responsibly,” he added.
Except that Texas is, literally, the last state in the country to allow this.

Maybe not the best example of our Governor "defending freedom?!?"


"Defending Freedom" in general:

In fairness to Schow, she does knock Abbott over the smoking age fiasco:
On Friday, Abbott signed a bill that increases the purchase age of tobacco products — including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes — from 18 to 21. Those in the military are exempted from the law. As CBS Austin reported, supporters of the bill said it would “save lives because 95 percent of smokers start before age 21, and three fourths of adult smokers try their first cigarette before their 18th birthday.”

So now those statistics will just shift until 21. Supporters also failed to note that one does not have to personally purchase cigarettes in order to get their hands on one before they are legally able to purchase.
So that's good.  It certainly illustrates how all is not as it seems in the Texas Legislature.  But still....

Schow's biggest problem is less what she says (ie. sins of commission) and more what she ignores (ie. sins of omission).  Perhaps that's not surprising coming from an author who, according to her own bio, lives in Virginia.  Still, it's unhelpful.

By Schow's own standard, do any of the following sound like they're "defending freedom?!?"

  • Creating a "mental health consortium" (through lawless means) in the name of "school safety."  At best, this boondoggle will subsidize shoving more Addreall type drugs down children's throats.  At worst, God only knows the unintended consequences....
  • Raising taxes on ordinary Texans to finance abatements for those who can afford lobbyists.
    • Note for #TXLEGE nerds: Chapter 312 and 313 renewal.
  • Not a DAMN THING on Guns.
In that context, does it sound like our Governor is "defending freedom?!?"


Why this matters:

Like it or not, outlets like Fox News, the Daily Wire, and the Blaze have far more influence over Texas voters than all state level outlets combined.

When they unquestioningly regurgitate Greg Abbott's propaganda, it enables all sorts of other bad behavior from Abbott (examples listed above).


 Why this matters for Texas going blue:

Every time government expands, it creates new political constituencies for big government.  If Republicans expand government enough, eventually, those new constituencies start electing Democrats.  It's what happened in Ms. Schow's home state of Virginia.

As long as Greg Abbott is getting these sorts of headlines from national conservative outlets, he will NEVER do the hard work of taking on those afore mentioned constituencies.

If those constituencies keep growing, then...eventually...you know.


Bottom Line: Texas is less free as a result of the 86th legislative session.  Greg Abbott is a big part of the reason why.  Unfortunately, nothing will change as long as national conservative outlets keep swallowing his propaganda....

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