The Relentless Propaganda Machine that is Fox News: An Appeal to Viewers

Disclaimer: I am perfectly prepared to have a serious discussion in the blogosphere on any topic with conservatives as long as it does not degrade into disrespectful partisan bickering. I wish our politicians, on both sides, could do the same. I am not a liberal.  I am not a conservative.  I am not a libertarian.  Personally, I prefer not to identify with a single ideology because it locks you in to a certain way of thinking and then, inevitably, you become close-minded.  In fact, I possess some opinions which liberals would find rather distasteful.  So if after reading this post, you proceed to write me off as a no-good liberal who will stop at nothing to denigrate Conservatives……well than you will be engaging in the same evasive action that Fox News pundits and commentators do everyday in order to defend their ideology…….that would be “playing the victim card”.

Fox News see itself as the victim in this perceived struggle with the mainstream media…..funny cause the mainstream media certainly doesn’t display that attack mentality that Fox News alleges.  MSNBC may be biased.  CNN may seem overly dramatic and largely incompetent and foolish at times, but there’s no one program on those networks whose express purpose is to discredit Fox News and the conservative media.  You may hear snippets on the Ed Show or The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.  But on Fox News you’ve got this bully mentality all day.  On The Journal Editorial Report, a ragtag motley crew of Wall Street Journal columnists and editors get together for a half hour and spend a good chunk of their time slot exposing the supposed liberal bias of the mainstream media.  Meanwhile, in the process of doing that, they conveniently forget their own bias.  But they’re not the only ones on Fox News playing this hit and run game.

The Esteemed List of Honorary Inductees to the Conservative Crybaby Hall of Fame

  •  There’s Bernie Goldberg and Dennis Miller, frequent guests on the O’Reilly Factor, (by the way, there’s no one better (and as proud) at starring as a punching bag for the left than Bernie Goldberg).
  • Sean Hannity and his great, great, great American panel
  • You got The Five and their cast of jokers….Bob Beckel is the liberal punching bag for the rest of them, and I must say, he plays the role quite well.  I imagine that if he actually managed to say something intelligent more than half the time Fox News would fire him.
  • You got Greta Van Susteren who just loves talkin’ to Rush Limbaugh about how Conservatives are constantly having to scream to get a word in edgewise, and how liberal distortion is on the rampage.
  • And the list goes on and on and on

For what purpose, does Fox News so vociferously engage in this hit and run style of journalism….if it can even be called journalism.  Well it seems to me, to be the perfect technique to play to the extreme partisan emotion present in their loyal viewers and thereby make them more loyal and more partisan.  The process is simple: Spread right-wing propaganda and simultaneously distract your viewers from the fact that almost everything you say is BS by claiming that you are being unfairly under-represented, oppressed, and attacked by the “lamestream” media.  Now Fox has what it wants….underdog status.  Underdogs get the sympathy vote.  The sympathy vote gets you a vast group of followers who will trust you no matter what.

Now suppose you’re an avid watcher of Fox News.  Everyday you turn on the T.V. and proceed to gobble up everything they say as if its gospel.  Whenever discussing politics with a friend, enemy, coworker, spouse, or anyone else in your life, you use their talking points as your talking points.  Their opinions are your opinions.  Their perception of political reality is your perception of political reality.

May I make a suggestion…. start watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart which airs at 11 P.M. Eastern Time on Comedy Central.  Watch it for a month.

Then, after a month, see if you’re still watching Fox News…..

Unfortunately, at some point, some Fox commentator probably put it in your head that Jon Stewart is one of the hated members of the liberal establishment…This is not true….  He criticizes liberals also.

In my final word, MSNBC leans left.  Everybody knows that.  Fox News, by contrasts, acts as the media arm for the right-wing conservative establishment.  There is a big difference.  On Fox News, conservatives can tell no lie and do no harm.  They are immune from criticism even if the criticism is legitimate.  Allow Jon Stewart to explain more eloquently in this 2011 interview with Chris Wallace.  In particular, take notice of how relentless Chris Wallace is in his attempt to convince Stewart that Fox News is “Fair and Balanced”.  Observe how he comes straight out with that particular game plan.  Take note of how he dodges questions and attempts to manipulate the interview to his advantage.  Why is Chris Wallace doing this?  Well, for his viewers, of course.  The rule is play to their partisanship.

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I write to dialogue. So please, let's engage each other in some dialogue.

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