The United States is ruled by a crumbling gerontocracy. Maureen Dowd writes:
Carl Hulse and Annie Karni wrote in The New York Times about Washington’s actual gerontocracy and the challenges of governing with “an old and frail group of lawmakers.” The advanced age of many senators — with their ailments and chronic absences — has diluted the power of the Democratic majority. Now everyone in D.C. is also wondering how long Mitch McConnell will stay as the head of the Senate Republicans.
The 81-year-old minority leader is recovering from a fall at a fund-raiser that resulted in a concussion and a broken rib. Dianne Feinstein, 89 and suffering from shingles, has barely been in the Senate this year. The Judiciary Committee she is supposed to sit on can’t advance judicial nominations to keep pace with the way Donald Trump and McConnell reshaped the federal courts; their handiwork is visible in the horrible abortion rulings being handed down. Chuck Grassley, 89, had a fall and a hip replacement this winter and has already filed to run in 2028; at the end of that term, he’d be 101.
Next week, an American rendition of King Lear opens with an Australian in the lead role:
The $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News goes on trial in Delaware Monday. At long last, after a shameless career built on spreading poisonous lies about everything from climate to Covid to Trump’s stolen election blather, King Rupert, as Vanity Fair calls him, may be losing dominion over his dominion because of Dominion.
The Australian immigrant who ran anti-immigrant news organizations and let Fox News thrive on the racist “birther” lie about Barack Obama reaped billions by putting Americans at one another’s throat.
It’s hard for a journalist to argue that a news organization should be penalized, but Fox News isn’t a news organization. It’s a greedy business that freaked out when some Fox News reporters actually told the truth about Trump’s lies, and then it proceeded to broadcast the lies.
It would be swell to see someone held accountable for the grotesque deceptions that corroded our democracy and sparked the Jan. 6 insurrection. Just as social media companies torqued their algorithms to spin up conflict and profits, Murdoch torqued the news, giving viewers what they wanted to hear and blinding them to the truth.
Thanks to the despicable likes of Murdoch and Trump, America is now “this great stage of fools,” in Lear’s phrase, howling at the storm.
Murdoch and Trump may claim that they are "more sinned against than sinning," but that's just another lie.
Image: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust