Monday, April 24, 2023

To that actuary, we salute you.

Ramblings Post #413
Don Lemon got fired from CNN today and it's almost a non-story. I kinda liked Don a while back, and yes, he has had his moments we all cheered that he was there, but you gotta be able to see where things around you are changing and adapt. I don't bear him any ill will and hope he lands on his feet, but man you gotta learn to check yourself from time to time, for the good of the long term. Now normally, Don might have been the focus. But sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. 

I think somewhere, in a small office at Fox News HQ, a small bespectacled man (or woman) of middle age did some very interesting math (actuarial science), emailed his boss and that boss emailed Rupert. At that Rupert called the lawyers and I'm guess five minutes after that they turned Tucker's badge off. Er, I mean, they told Tucker that he'd agreed with them to part ways.

While this is most certainty a tax write off for Fawx, as a cost of doing business, a good portion of these damages will probably be covered by insurance, the nature of which is referred to as media liability coverage. No doubt Fawx probably upped their coverage last year if it was an option, just in case. But settling with Dominion means that the impending suit with Smartmatic will probably have a similar outcome. It's kinda hard to argue when the judge starts with the premise that the defendant is guilty as hell. There may be a firm up for it, but I don't know who they might be. And as such there is a high probability that the settlement will be similar in size if not larger. Fawx has as cash on hand at this moment even after Dominion if need be, so no worries, and it too will be written off and handled by the insurer.  

But here is where the math comes in, and truth be told it's very likely that Capitalism is what did poor lil Tucker in. Let's guess that the total payout for both cases is around $1.8 billion. You may or may not be aware, but no insurer wants to pay out $18, much less $1.8 billion, although they're probably really only on the hook for 60-70% of it. But you've ever made a claim, you know what happens next: your rate goes up. So, with the Dominion payout and the the soon to be Smartmatic payout, either Fox's insurance rates just went through the roof, or any NEW policy they can find will no longer cover these circumstances - i.e., knowingly lying on the air. It's just too expensive. And although they admitted no wrong doing in the settlement, their current method of "news dissemination," which it didn't look like they planned to alter, was about to become more expensive.

So what does all that have to do with Tucker? Aside from the former producer's discrimination lawsuit? Well, it seems that on his show on Friday, Tucker stared out at the camera and denied that a Dominion settlement even existed.
Which brings us back to the at small bespectacled man (or woman) who was looking at future projections and realized what level of risk a continuation of current "news authentication" and "news opinion" was placing to Rupert's checkbook. The term "pattern" comes to mind, and patterns tend to increase judgments and therefore settlements that would come before them. The Dominion case, the Smartmatic case, the discrimination suit, the Shareholder suit I just found out about. My understanding is that Fawx literally ran the promo for Tucker's show right before the segment where they announced he that he and Fawx had decided to part ways. So, I'm thinking this decision was last minute.

I personally hope that he and his rhetoric are the first of many people that Fawx can no longer afford to keep supporting. To be clear, I doubt this ends the channel or anything else dramatic. I can already see the transition to podcasting or AM radio. But I do hope it returns some degree of civility to the majority of conservatives of this country and causes some degree of tempering of the most extreme conspiracy bound elements that seem to have been pushed the forefront as of late. I doubt that will happen, but one can dream.

Barkeep. Whiskey. The good kind. It's that kinda day. 

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