LIKE AN AMWAY SNUFF FILM

It will not surprise you to learn that I don't watch a lot of Fox News, although it's fair to point out that I don't watch TV news in general these days. For a while I watched a decent amount of it, almost entirely for the comedy value. Then around 2002 it stopped being funny and started to resemble propaganda that sounded better in the original German. Now I see it every month or two for about 15 minutes in the waiting room at my doctor's office (he is also the last person on Earth whose "These Colors Don't Run" bumper sticker is not ironic).

Look, there's nothing more trite than pointing out that Fox News is stupid and resembles "news" only inasmuch as one considers a turn-of-the-century Hearst newspaper to be news. It has evolved, however, from bad, comically slanted news into an entire alternate universe of news and news consumption. Its guests and "experts" appear only on Fox. Its hosts spend half of their time interviewing other personalities on the Fox payroll. Roger Ailes sends out daily memos reminding his on-air "talent" to reiterate the RNC talking points. It is to the media what Amway is to consumer goods – a cult-like organization of true believers who promise to fulfill all of your needs but insist that you sever ties to anyone outside The Family. What's that? We can't find any experts to appear on-air to promise that tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs? So what! We'll just make our own experts!

Watching highly paid Fox News Personality Sarah Palin being interviewed (in a sense, at least) by highly paid Fox News Personality Sean Hannity, one cannot avoid the question of who on Earth could possibly watch this willingly…and perhaps even take it seriously. Watch 60 seconds of that if you can stomach it. It has the production quality of a snuff film produced by a poorly equipped high school A/V club – the clip art graphics, the "a hostage is about to be beheaded" lighting, the cheap, echo-y sound reminiscent of something recorded in an empty garage with a single, poorly placed boom mic…it all appears to have been thrown together with great haste and absolutely no concern for whether or not the audience would think critically about any of it. And that hasn't even touched on how stupid the words coming out of their mouths sound. Watching Hannity lob softball after softball at this idiot and seeing her swing and miss every time isn't just painful, it's the very definition of a farce.

Conservatives enthusiastically argue that all news networks are equally biased and therefore any one is as good as the others. This is of course nothing but a defense mechanism, and an understandable one at that. We all watch what flatters our own ideological predispositions, but surely any sentient person watching Fox knows, on a very deep and basic level, that he is watching not actual news but performance artists doing their impression of news. Right? I mean, throw me a bone here. Tell me that people who watch this are self aware enough to realize that it's essentially entertainment programming. They don't actually watch this network and think "I'm watchin' the news! I'm learnin' important stuff!" do they?

Do they?

Then again, I suppose that in a world in which print and online media routinely run unedited press releases as news items and Pam Geller has a six-figure readership I should not be shocked that people can watch this pile of shit and convince themselves that it is Shinola.

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52 Responses to “LIKE AN AMWAY SNUFF FILM”

  1. nate Says:

    *golf clap*

  2. Xynzee Says:

    And the mass paranoia of America sort of just boiled out of the sewers on its own?

    Uncle Rupert has a lot to answer for. Who gave us (well Britain anyway) the illustrious pg3 girl Samantha Fox. And this he called news. I'm starting to conclude that not all money is as equal one would think.

    ABC (Australia), SBS are usually decent though SBS has taken a real hit since they've started playing the ratings game — thank you John Howard — as of late it's difficult to find content with my content even on the once revered BBC. PBS usually has an offering of some intelligent description.

  3. Ike Says:

    Yes, they do. For many of the people I do business with on a regular basis, it is the only real news. Glenn Beck is also somehow regarded as a historian. *Shudder.*

  4. The Man, The Myth Says:

    I'm not sure what to make of Fox News anymore. Then again, I find it all so noisy I'm not sure what to make of anything anymore. This Sarah Palin has more balls than anyone in the history of the earth though – to claim that people want to "silence" her or some such nonsense ? Can she describe who wants to silence her? Its all hot air and no substance (all trees and no forest?).

    To me it all sounds like whining. All of it – Rush Limbaugh – "gosh those liberals always pick on me… blah blah blah" How can anyone even tolerate any of these assholes anymore? I'm with Ed, only sports talk in my car these days. Here in Missoula we had a liberal talk show channel but it went bust…

  5. RT Butte Says:

    Ed, you live in the South. You know that there are people for whom Fox Noise is the Only Right and True Network. They live by it. They wake up for Fox and Friends in the morning, they listen to it on the drive in to work, they discuss it at work with like-minded people, they listen to St. Hannity on the drive home, and then they sit down for their daily Two Hours' Hate with O'Reilly/Hannity, wash it down with Glenn Beck's crocodile tears, and right as they climb into bed with their husbands/wives and turn the light off they think to themselves, "Thank God for Fox News, the Lone Voice For Truth in the Wilderness," as they take off their glasses and rest them on a half-read copy of Going Rogue or a copy of Whatever Ann Coulter's New Book Is Called.

    I remember when I was going to trade school, I started watching Fox News whenever something big was happening, just so I'd know what I was going to be in for the next day.

    Yes, there are people who take Fox News absolutely seriously.

  6. ts46064 Says:

    "I remember when I was going to trade school, I started watching Fox News whenever something big was happening, just so I'd know what I was going to be in for the next day."
    There is something so fucked up about this, the trade school types should be the last support the tripe on fox. They will most likely join a trade union or be under paid because they aren't in the union. We all know what fox thinks about unions, yet they watch it anyway.

  7. jon Says:

    Fox News isn't based on Amway. It's based on evangelical television: the constant crisis, the need to do something, the danger in our midst, the need to not be the Other, to avoid the Adversary and know his tactics, the big-haired women who fawn at the men who rightly host shows (and the women who host shows on Fox do so to fawn at various Daddy figures such as… Sean Hannity?!)

    Watch some Trinity Broadcasting, then go to Fox and Friends, then back to Trinity, then to Hannity, then over to Crefleo Dollar, then back to Beck, and it all becomes plain ("Clear" is now a copyright of Scientology, Inc.)

  8. Major Kong Says:

    Fox News – As fair as an Iranian election. As balanced as Ann Coulter when she's off her meds.

  9. gruaud Says:

    I think Jon nails it. FOX owes a great debt to the Bible thumping networks.

  10. >^..^ Says:

    Jon hit it on the head!

  11. HoosierPoli Says:

    There's nothing really NEW about the Fox News model. It's just a synthesis of Hearstian yellow journalism, Father-Coughlin-style demagoguery, and streamlined Gingrich message discipline. The only difference is that it's padded into 24 hours and is still, mystifyingly, taken seriously by the political establishment. I mean, where's Rush Limbaugh's seat at the White House Press Briefing? The problem is somewhat like debating theology: as soon as you've conceded that there's even a discussion to be had, you've already basically lost.

  12. anotherbozo Says:

    "…We all watch what flatters our own ideological predispositions."

    Another good description from Ed, and amended by Jon, but can I take issue with the constant misapplication of the ideology meme? I think to deny a government in thrall to corporate power and a large section of the populace in denial isn't ideological, it's ignorant. Likewise a position based on facts–as far as we're able to discern them–isn't ideological, it's realistic. Assert that business tycoons provide all that's good about America and/or that the poor and middle class are unimaginative slobs with no capacity for "wealth creation" themselves, and I'll look at your figures, examine your arguments, but don't try to paint me as providing mere symmetry for reactionary dementia. Ideology, my ass. There's a whole spectrum of analysis to respect, from Paul Krugman to Noam Chomsky, but some positions demand ridicule, and considering them merely "ideological" stances different from one's own is trampling the truth before the race is even started.

  13. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    What I find most impressive about Fox, is that it is far more self-contained than the old right-wing noise machine of the early 90s. In those days they only had radio, and yet from that beachead they broke out and virtually conquered political discourse in America, and achievement that makes the campaign in Normandy look like Grenada. What stands out in all this is their ability to actually define for their audience what "liberals" or "progressives" are.

    In the past, there was the assumption that conservatives would encounter "bias" from other TV networks, co-workers, etc. Now, owing to books like Coulter's How to Talk to a Liberal and Beck's shitacular Arguing with Idiots, they can fully insulate their devotees from ever encountering any views contrary to those being aired on Fox at any given moment(because we know how these ideas may reverse 180 degrees when necessary).

    This is the real coup de grace. They can fully envelop their fans, not only shaping their beliefs, but giving them the illusion that their beliefs are and can be tested against opponents, and can triumph. Arguing with Idiots became a best seller, and it seems as though his supporters never felt any doubt in regards to Beck's heroic destruction of strawmen. Were I in the States, I could almost see some conservative desperately thumbing through the book, trying to find Beck's canned response to my views(HINT: he wouldn't find it). I would almost feel sorry for the guy. I used to wear those shoes. Then again I was 12, Fox news wasn't on the air, and I at least had enough curiosity to find out what the other side was saying, and see if I could answer its arguments.

  14. sluggo Says:

    This is what becomes of the idiot college students from yesterday's posting.
    Honestly, sports talk radio is refreshing compared to what passes for news. Save brain cells, turn on ESPN!!

  15. ladiesbane Says:

    Do the Fox commentators actually believe what they're peddling, or is there a cynical motive to shear the sheep somewhere on their minds?

    The Public want to hear what they already believe to be true, and when events occur, they want them framed by like minds. This may be true of everyone, but the people who think Fox commentators are brilliant actually like the fact that there is a closed cycle of pathology uninfluenced by the outside world. Why interview scientists? Who needs paltry facts when you have that higher Truth?

    It serves Fox commentators to play to the anti-intellectual Christians who insist on belief without proof. Faith that requires evidence is not faith at all. You know what is RIGHT in your heart, and that is more important than any so-called "fact" in the world.

    Be told this repeatedly, see people live by this credo, and watch the interest in objectivity melt away. It actually works, if the person who thinks it's better to be faithful than smart had a good heart going into it — but it turns mean people into self-righteous swine. But I worry about the children who are brought up to think that facts are irrelevant. Brainwash, rinse, repeat.

  16. Fifth Dentist Says:

    I must admit I rather enjoyed Fox "news" when Bush was president. The mental* gymnastics they engaged in to praise his holy name and defend his innumerable fuckups was rather entertaining.
    Now that my mom's retired (finally at nearly 78) she watches Fox "news" a lot. I see what it does to the elderly and gullible. She's constantly paranoid that Obama's going to (take your pick) prevent her from going to church, impose a fascist/communist/socialist/ dictatorship, make Kenyanese the national language, enslave and/or eat white children.
    When I point out, for example, that there are no New Black Panthers with machine guns outside her church preventing her from going inside she insists "it's coming."
    As a southerner it's interesting to hear all the "It's not because he's black, it's because of his policies," which apparently is the new "Some of my best friends are black" or "I'm not a racist, but …" The day after the election Fox "news" started. That day they said that the recession now belonged to Obama — you know, the man who wasn't going to take office for another two and a half months.
    The network exists, at this moment, to do nothing but degrade the president 24/7 (remember when it was treason to criticise "W"?). Even if is something as trivial as a "terrorist fist bump" or "Oh my Gawwd, his speech in Arizona was awesome, but dammit it was just too long. Our viewers have the attention span of guppies, donchyaknow?"

    * "Mental" as in mentally deranged.

  17. Fifth Dentist Says:

    @ ladiesbane

    "Be told this repeatedly, see people live by this credo, and watch the interest in objectivity melt away. It actually works,"

    Protip: This is where Fox "news" gets its inspiration:

    "All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach." — A. Hitler

    "As soon as by one's own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one's own right is laid." — A. Hitler again

    Ooooh, can't resist one more:

    "By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise."

  18. Da Moose Says:

    Why would any sentient being trust a doctor who broadcasts The Fascist News Channel in his waiting room? :)

  19. mojidoji Says:

    Palin shows some concern for unfounded accusations…how interesting

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/06/onshore-drilling-palin-oil
    http://www.politicususa.com/en/palin-media-quit
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/palin-blames-media-for-unfair-treatment/6fvqqg7?fg=rss

    Wear the damn shoe, monkey!

  20. airguitarnightmare Says:

    The few times I've had discussions with people where they recite the Fox garbage, they admit to being Fox watchers. As I've had more producitve political debates with my dogs, I no longer ask.
    I can predict on facebook with almost 100% accuracy, based on the content of comments, when someone is a Fox watcher (this can be verified by clicking on their profile and looking at what they list under "television"). They recite the debunked claims, make appalling attempts at "logic," and very often can be confused with insane street persons in the content of their rants. So, based on that highly rigorous scientific method of evaluation, I'd say "yes." Yes they do believe it is telling them the truth.
    Wait, I'm sorry, that was deeply insulting to insane street persons.

  21. bb in GA Says:

    Y'all spend your time criticizing and ridiculing FNC's editorial programs (Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, etc.) that you disagree with on both style and "substance." That's fair enough as far as it goes.

    Is there consensus here that viewers are just too lame to discern the difference between Glenn and Shep (a self outed liberal along w/ Julie B)?

    I ask your indulgence kindly.

    Can someone here give me (in the last six months) in their opinion:

    1.) Fox NEWS operation's greatest sin of commission on a news story or event: how did Shep and the gang spin it hard right or propagandize or distort or overemphasize?

    2.) Fox NEWS operation's greatest sin of omission on a story or event: something that they should have covered, but ditched because of ideological reasons (your opinion of course)

    //bb

  22. bpasinko Says:

    Bill-O was once on Letterman and Letterman told him "you are too smart to believe the things you say."

    I think that statement can safely be applied to all who speak on Fox News. The unfortunate thing is that the listeners aren't smart enough, and actually DO believe the "news" they're being told.

    After Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich analyzed a Presidential debate I've been told that Fox News isn't biased, so yes, people do believe it.

    I didn't watch fox news until I went to college in 2004. I started watching because of the comedic value and I haven't been able to keep my eyes off of it since, especially since it's gone to ludicrous speed over the last 2-3 years.

    On Monday Obama doesn't believe in god, on Tuesday he follows a crazy reverend and on Wednesday he's a Muslim.

  23. displaced Capitalist Says:

    bb: Crooks and Liars cronicles these event's pretty well, so doing a search on their website for "Fox News" turns up the following:

    FOX News cuts away from 'Giffords vigil' when Sarah Palin's name is mentioned
    Nuclear-arms expert Jon Voight warns Mark Steyn about Obama: 'This man is capable of destroying our country' — ommitting that Mr. Voight is not an expert.
    Lots of omissions chronicled here
    Lou Dobbs a great fit at Fox: Distorting and lying about DREAM Act is part of the job

    And there are many many more. I even remember some situations where the ticker tape running at the bottom of the screen showed "errors" which Fox later redacted, but I'm sure they were quite intentional.

  24. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    "Y'all spend your time criticizing and ridiculing FNC's editorial programs (Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, etc.) that you disagree with on both style and "substance." That's fair enough as far as it goes.

    Is there consensus here that viewers are just too lame to discern the difference between Glenn and Shep (a self outed liberal along w/ Julie B)?"

    It's common knowledge that editorializing on Fox doesn't stop at end of the pundits' programs. Anchormen and women are known to get in jabs as well.

  25. bb in GA Says:

    Yeah, most of the jabs I have seen from Shep Smith and Julie Banderas have been from the Left.

    They appear to be a committed Liberals. Fine w/ me.

    But my questions still stand. Jabs \= bias, distortion, over-emphasis, or omission.

    The one greatest example of each please, from the last 6 months, please.

    //bb

  26. Georgia Jeff Says:

    As you guys have already pronounced, I am not what you would call a good liberal. I not really a good neocon either. Or a good presbyterian, or whatever. But I agree with Ed on this. I also do not think that FNC has any corner on the market of absurdity. The fact is I actually believe there is a 'ruling class' and that Rupert Murdoch is one of them and that some member or memebers of the 'ruling class' owns the othe MSM outlets. I watched Gabriel Giffords' husband talk this morning about how he and his children were devastated when all the MSM talking heads pronounced her dead. It must have been very frustrating for them that she didn't follow their pronouncement.

    In answer to BB's : the MSM, including FOX, has handled this with their usual sensationalistic proclivity for death and hopelessness. My wife and I are getting to the point where we are joining others, like Ed, in not watching as much news and certainly not accepting anything they say without criticism. But it is not just LIB/CON.It is a challenge and takes work to try to get to any real truth. And most people won't do the work. I am especially grateful to Ed for doing the work he does to generate dialogue.

    This may be the point where I may become aaccepted as a member of the G&T board. The LIB/CON dichotomy is a false one, I think. A diversion tactic. Divide and conquer. I come here because I know that most of what I see in the MSM is spun at best and a lie at worst. I come here to get edcuated on another way to see issues. I am willing to take the criticisms rather than miss good information that has he ring of veracity.

    While I may disagree with the solutions I read here, I know that bulshit is called for what it is in this blog. FOX is bullshit but so are the other outlets. They are guilty of the opposite extreme of what Ed would assign only to FNC. And we can't forget that CNN has their token NEOCON in the likes of Nancy Grace…totally disengenuous. Burn 'em all.

    And one last thing Ed, I agree it is 'snuff' porn. Since the American MSM is only entertainment, it is soft 'snuff porn'. And it's not even good, hard core. They don't have the guts to show the true bloody carnage that the ruling class is sowing across the world. Let them show a good high def photo of the result of a homicied bomber and/or an American drone airstrike. Then we get truth. But no, that would be too much for everone's sensitivities. Then 'blood libel' would have modern context.

  27. Georgia Jeff Says:

    …er homicide…This is a rant blog right?

  28. anotherbozo Says:

    @Da Moose: A major New York hospital, never mind some individual doctor, has TVs tuned to Fox in at least 2 of its waiting rooms. Beth Israel was opened originally to serve the Lower East Side poor.

    Fortunately I had a crossword puzzle to work on while I waited.

  29. YoungLawyer Says:

    @bb:

    The distinction between the editorial programs and the "news" portion of the network is one that I hear often from conservative apologists. Fox's target audience is increasingly incapable of drawing that distinction and the producers exploit that fault as much as they can. It blurs the line further when their business strategy is for Hannity or Beck or someone to say something outlandish and knowingly false that the "news" programs then promote as a valid criticism on a given issue and trick people into thinking there is a valid controversy when there isn't.

    Since even strong conservatives know how biased Fox News is it seems to me that instead of demanding us to answer your charges, you are the one with the burden of proof here to give us evidence that Fox's "news" programming has any redeeming value at all since studies consisently show that watching FOX news, regardless of which program, makes you less informed on public issues.

    Maybe someone else has time to find links, but I personally don't have time to troll through video archives of Fox's programming. But off the top of my head:

    " 1.) Fox NEWS operation's greatest sin of commission on a news story or event: how did Shep and the gang spin it hard right or propagandize or distort or overemphasize?"

    How about that whole false "ACORN is committing voter fraud" nonsense in the 2008 election by registering fictional characters and dead people to vote without informing viewers that the only reason those names ever surfaced was because ACORN was in fact complying with federal law by turning over suspicious registrations to the authorities.

    "2.) Fox NEWS operation's greatest sin of omission on a story or event: something that they should have covered, but ditched because of ideological reasons (your opinion of course)"

    How about when former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, among others, cleared ACORN of any wrong doing other than poor judgment and a failure to supervise after that whole fake pimp scandal. I don't know this to an absolute certainty, but I would bet a king's ransom that it didn't even get a foot note at the bottom of the screen or a link on the webpage.

    Asking for us to produce proof of Fox's lack of journalistic integrity like this is like asking for us to pick out a single grain of sand from a beach. There are just so many examples to choose from.

  30. mark Says:

    Not sure if everyone else got it, but a commercial for Amway played before that clip.

    I don't have anything else to add to the discussion.

  31. Major Kong Says:

    The problem I have with Fox isn't so much that it's conservative. There are right-of-center news publications that practice good journalism. The Financial Times, The Economist and the pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal come to mind.

    My (main) problem with Fox is that they're so Republican. Look at the revolving door between GOP politicians and Fox. John Kasich, Sarah Palin etc.

    They're little more than the media wing of the RNC at this point.

  32. John Says:

    Mostly, it comes from preying on the ultra-religious folks.

    Consider one of Hannity's radio intros: "Firing torpedoes of truth at a wall of lies!" Consider how this lines up with the common talk radio and fox meme of being the source of truth in a sea of bias.

    This works rather well with an audience that, largely, has already accepted the primary tenent of deeply-routed religion — that is, taking the word of an authority figure as "an article of faith". It requires no proof, no substance, no corroboration. It is true because they say it is true, and that is all that is ever needed. By corollary, what The Other says is a lie because the authority figure says it's a lie, and that's all that is required.

    For further linkage, take our local Georgia's Herman Cain. He has a cute and hackneyed little acronym that he constantly pimps called "Liberal SIN", which IIRC is supposed to stand for 'change the Subject, Ignore the facts, and Namecall".

    Now of course this is farcical on its face because, at the very absolute least, any rational person must agree that both sides do this, so it's not exclusively liberal. But even the use of the word 'sin', and the contortions required to get an acronym that fits that word, is telling. It is specifically designed to ping the ultra-religious crowd and associate The Other with the Devil and Evil.

    The whole machine is, in every way, a literal brainwashing tool. I don't begrudge people their points of view, but there comes a point where it stops being expression of a point of view, and becomes a device meant to poison minds.

  33. JohnR Says:

    Shinola? Who knows what that even is, any more. Go with chocolate pudding – it's a better fit.
    And bb, I've been through that argument before. It may be that you're arguing in good faith, but the other three guys I've run up against in the past five years, who've used that particular method, weren't. The first assumption is that your opponent won't actually remember the specifics, or at least not accurately.
    The second assumption is that even if your opponent does manage to pick out the examples you call for, you'll either ignore them or declare them invalid by some leap of logic. Either way you manage to declare yourself the winner. I don't even bother to play that game any more; it's generally the province of UFO and Sasquatch enthusiasts (not that you fall into either of those camps yourself, of course!).

  34. Da Moose Says:

    @anotherbozo…

    Yeah, I was just teasing. I like watching FNC in public places actually because it's sociologically rather interesting to see who finds it genuninely interesting and who finds it absurd. I am consistently reminded of how often people defeat stereotypes in this regard.

  35. bb in GA Says:

    Thanks for the links and the specifics.

    YoungLawyer: hadn't seen you before. Thanks for your specifics. I have been most polite in presenting myself here.

    Don't try them damnlawyer (one word) turn around Jedi mind tricks on me, Son…or Daughter :-)

    JohnR: Been here for a good while and not declaring that I've won anything…

    //bb

  36. Sarah Says:

    In my corner of the world the people here not only take Faux News seriously, they write to the local paper (which also has a right-wing bent) to sing its praises. One recent letter to the editor did that and added that the liberal answer to right-wing radio, Air America, went bust because it wasn't what people wanted to listen to. People want to listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et cetera, therefore all of the above are spot-on in what they say.

  37. jazzbumpa Says:

    They don't actually watch this network and think "I'm watchin' the news! I'm learnin' important stuff!" do they?

    Do they?

    Plus

    it all appears to have been thrown together with great haste and absolutely no concern for whether or not the audience would think critically about any of it.</i?

    Tells you about 85% of what you need to know about what is wrong with America today.

    WASF,
    JzB

  38. mothra Says:

    I watched Gabriel Giffords' husband talk this morning about how he and his children were devastated when all the MSM talking heads pronounced her dead. It must have been very frustrating for them that she didn't follow their pronouncement.

    I was in copy editing class when Reagan was shot. Someone came to the door and said "the wires are saying Reagan is shot!" so we all hustled out to the hall where the AP and UPI teletype machines were clattering away (yes, I am so very old). Anyway, the reports coming across the wires differed wildly–first it was that Reagan was shot and Brady was shot, then Reagan dead and Brady alive, then everyone dead, then no one dead…well, you get the picture. It is the HABIT of reporters in situations like that to just release reports as they get it and the EDITORS who receive the reports who must decide what to run with. Yes, NPR made a mistake, but no one should be surprised. Particularly not in this 24-hour news cycle.

  39. mothra Says:

    Oh, and yes, the peoples do take Fox News seriously. My (sadly) right wingnut sister and her husband have all TVs in their house turned to Fox 24/7. When I cautioned my sister that she was washing herself in lies, she retorted "all media outlets lie." Okay, then.

  40. ladiesbane Says:

    @bb: also, it's not too glamorous, but means a lot to me personally:
    http://mediamatters.org/columns/201012170036
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201012150004
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201012090003
    (Sorry to rely on MM so much, but they do feature offsite and source links. FactCheck.org and PolitiCheck.com both back it.)

    When the managing news editor (Bill Sammon) instructs the news team to slant language per the recommendation of a Republican pollster (Frank Lutz, to Sean Hannity), it seems completely unethical to me. Selling pseudo-science to an undereducated, trusting populace is destructively irresponsible.

    And is it ironic, or merely hypocritical, that Murdoch speaks about reducing his company's carbon footprint and inspiring his watchers to do the same? I could feel better about the differences between us if I trusted their sincerity, but a lot of Fox reps seem like snake oil salesmen, "confidence men" in the old sense.

  41. Xynzee Says:

    We're dealing with a confluence of factors:
    An intellectually lazy population (historically true)
    Idolising form over substance (a B list actor as president)
    Taking free market ideology to it's extreme
    Profit chasing
    Ratings cycles
    24/7 stimulus (studies show that ppl need time to process)
    Lazy journalists
    Media outlets that struggle to fill their 24/7 programming w something that it eventually becomes noise
    But the absolute worst was when the courts ruled that news is entertainment and allowing broadcasters to say whatever. Thereby removing even a modicum of journalistic integrity.

    That last one was the death knell.

  42. Ike Says:

    Another scary thing… a healthy majority of those in the military subscribe to the Fox News worldview. President Obama is not their Commander in Chief. They despise him, ridicule him, and long for the gloried days under Saint W. In the weeks after Obama won the election, the base on which I was stationed had the air of a funeral.

  43. Fifth Dentist Says:

    A new poll finds that trust in Fox News is slipping. Whereas a plurality of respondents last year found Fox the most trusted television news network in the U.S., this year, a plurality find it untrustworthy. To add insult to injury – sit down, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly – PBS is now the most trusted. — http://www.newshounds.us/2011/01/20/fox_news_not_trustworthy_americans_say.php#more

  44. ts46064 Says:

    Cutting federal funding for PBS is one of the Tough Decisions

  45. ts46064 Says:

    I don't know why that comment got cut off but here is the rest.
    Cutting federal funding for PBS is one of the Tough Decisions the Republicans want to make to somehow lower the debt. Federal funding makes up 15% of the total PBS budget but well over 50% of the funding for rural stations. If funding is cut altogether, which is the plan, they will be forced to shut down several rural stations. Heard all this on NPR which is also a target for funding cuts. They had a Rep. congressman on there who repeated the stale talking point that "we cant afford 'insert non defense program' anymore" .
    But hey, the taxes are low!

  46. Mrs. Chili Says:

    I know people – and know of many more – who really DO believe what they hear on Fox.

    I despair.

  47. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    I am reminded of a certain family gathering where one family member, in a certain manner, loudly proclaimed that Fox news is the most balanced station, to nobody in particular. It was as if she was reassuring herself. Sad.

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  49. Will Says:

    Ailes and crew have actually done the miraculous. They have convinced a ton of the barely middle-class (and sliding) that they are rich, or about to become rich. I know a woman who lives on State Workers Comp benefits who is absolutely convinced that putting taxes on the wealthy at Reagan levels is socialism. Moreover, she's convinced that all forms of socialism must be stamped out. Not sure what she'll do for food once she's successful.

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