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Right-wing media wages war on U.S. justice system after Trump’s historic federal indictment

<i>Drew Angerer/Getty Images</i><br/>Former President Donald Trump exits the Oval Office and walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 22
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump exits the Oval Office and walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 22

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN) — The attacks on the rule of law have begun.

Moments after news broke on Thursday that disgraced former President Donald Trump had been indicted on federal charges, Fox News and the rest of the MAGA Media universe revved up into attack mode, denigrating the U.S. justice system and characterizing it as prejudiced against conservatives.

The assault on the American justice system was swift and savage.

On Fox, the historic legal action was portrayed as President Joe Biden weaponizing the Justice Department to target his political opponent.

“BIDEN ADMIN INDICTS A PRESIDENTIAL RIVAL,” one on-screen banner read.

“Yes, it is a dark day in America,” Sean Hannity declared. “We have said it often. There is no equal justice, there is no equal application of our laws. There is one set of rules for Democrats and another set of rules for Donald Trump and conservatives and anybody especially in his orbit.”

Despite the indictment not being made public, Hannity went on to tell his audience that the “system of justice” in the U.S. has “been weaponized beyond belief” and that the country is “in serious trouble.”

Throughout the night, Fox welcomed guests who echoed the Trump talking points and disparaged the justice system.

In effect, Fox News is once again platforming those who are leading vicious and irresponsible attacks on the country’s criminal justice system.

The defense of Trump, of course, was not just limited to Fox News.

Across the right-wing media ecosystem, the narrative that a sinister deep-state was unfairly targeting Trump to knock him out of the 2024 presidential contest was pervasive.

“PEAK WITCH HUNT,” the homepage banner on the right-wing Breitbart blared, adding “POLITICAL PERSECUTION INTENSIFIES.”

Elsewhere, on the far-right Gateway Pundit blog, more than a half-dozen stories were published Thursday night defending Trump.

The coverage harkened back to the years after the 2016 election, when Trump aimed to discredit and destroy institutions such as the FBI for investigating him.

News organizations covered the story by delivering fact-based reporting and analysis, while propaganda outfits such as Fox News disseminated hyperbolic commentary to their audiences.

Thursday night’s coverage did serve as a good reminder that outlets like Fox News can quickly fall under Trump’s hypnosis and snap into MAGA mouthpiece mode.

While Rupert Murdoch might personally hold great contempt for Trump, documents revealed as part of the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit showed that he is terrified that airing critical coverage of Trump will result in his supporters abandoning the channel.

And at the end of the day, that is what motivates such outlets. Their business models are not designed to provide fact-based news to audiences.

And that means giving voice to dangerous, dishonest commentary — despite knowing, after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the real-world violence that it has the potential to incite.

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