America’s Pravda Problem Part One: Fox News

The Radical Centrist
8 min readJan 11, 2022
A Soviet Soldier reading Pravda in a historical photo

Much of my younger readership may not know the name Pravda. But for those of us who spent any amount of time growing up or living through the Cold War, Pravda was the infamous synonym for propaganda. The newspaper served as the mouthpiece for the Soviet Communist Party, pushing misinformation to its audience about how wonderful Communism was and how horrible life in the free, Democratic West was. In an effort to try and spread the truth to the people of the Soviet Union, America dedicated considerable resources to fight back against the misinformation from Pravda. Pravda was a prime example of what was wrong with the Soviet Union. It demonstrated the potential to use a journalistic outlet to push false narratives in order to solidify your political power by conditioning (brainwashing) the public. America used to (correctly) look down at Pravda and revel in our core belief of a free, independent press that serves as the “fourth estate,” speaking truth to power and holding government accountable. But as the old saying goes, if you don’t learn from history, history will repeat itself.

As the January 6th committee continues to reveal interesting communications that took place among the right wing Trumpies in government, one of the most troublesome revelations has been the texts between members of the White House and Fox News personalities, such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. The unethical (yes, journalism is supposed to have ethics. LINK) relationship between Fox and the White House is not surprising at all. (Don’t worry CNN, MSNBC, NYT and more, I’m coming for you in Part Two.) These texts only cement what has been an open secret for quite some time, the idea of a free, independent press that speaks “truth to power” is dead and buried.

However, what was most interesting to me wasn’t the fact that powerful Fox News Hosts had this kind of access and influence, it was the fact that they recognized two things: January 6th was a national tragedy and that Trump needed to stop pushing the Big Lie. However, instead of “speaking truth to power” with their prime time bully pulpit, they instead had chosen to give their mob…I mean audience…completely opposite views of these important stories.For example, in one text, Sean Hannity actually advised President Trump to stop peddling the “Big Lie.” Yet from the moment the election…

The Radical Centrist

Just your average pragmatic American living in these decidedly extreme times.