Is Faux News bad for the GOP?

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    Economist Bruce Bartlett, a former adviser to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, warned over the weekend that Fox News had damaged the Republican Party by creating a bubble for conservatives to brainwash themselves.

    In his paper “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics” published earlier this month, Bartlett theorized that watching the network was essentially “self-brainwashing” for viewers, making them believe that the United States was a more conservative nation than it actually was. And so the Republican Party had responded by running radical conservatives that representative Fox News viewers, but not the true state of the electorate.

    “Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people,” Bartlett told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday. “When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily.”

    “And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.”


    And we are talking about this NOW?


    Yes, it is a bubble. Not a problem, until it is. And it is now.

    To a degree, this general damaging statement is true for everyone. The left has more overall clarity and diversity in both media forms and content, but it’s entirely possible to exist in the bubble, as it is for libertarians and others.

    Really, what isn’t being discussed is why we have to ignore some basic things:

    1. Real policy discussions. Kudos to Bernie for putting this out there. For a very long time now, it’s all about who will be impacted, and how, and all the meta-discussion associated with the election and it’s results. We don’t get hard questions asked and answered reasonably very often, and we NEVER get media itself being questioned, other than in the form we see here.

    2. For a very long time, we’ve abandoned the public interest part of mass media. Noam Chomsky goes into the divergent models at great length in his book, “Manufacturing Consent” The critical media expectation among people is still out there somewhat, but the reality is long gone. Most of what we get is a sales job, not so much critical media.

    3. Related to #2, bias. It’s OK that we have bias, and I have consistently submitted the idea that there is always bias, due to the fact that really objective work takes considerable numbers of us acting together over a considerable time. It’s not possible to even relate to the short news cycle we currently have going. So there will be bias, and there should be. No worries.

    But… how come we aren’t working on honesty in branding and clarity of presentation. People should be understanding bias, what is fact, what is editorial and what is advertizement in a way similar to how they understand what is in the food they eat. Doing this would go a long way toward resolving the problems inherent in #2.

    4. Public media. It’s all corporate. Even NPR depends way too much on it’s underwriters, though it’s still quite good, compared to other domestic media. It’s crappy compared to something funded by licenses, or some other stable revenue source, like the BBC is. Quite often the Beeb will act against substantial interests with relative impunity and a clear charter to act in the public interest.

    How come we can’t figure this out?

    So yes! FOX is harmful to the GOP. We get to say “The bat shit crazy party” with almost an entirely straight face! Just look at ’em! In earlier, more rational and reasonable times they would be laughed off the stage, as they should be. Non-bat shit Republicans really are taking a bath on this one.

    I’ve pointed out in the past, we could point a blind eye toward the Republicans on something like TPP, just as an example, and leave the other one on the Democrats. Just within the Democratic party, we have Progressives, Moderates and Corporate flavored Democrats all arguing about TPP, and that discussion is about the kind of discussion the entire body politic used to have!!

    That’s how bat shit the GOP currently is. And FOX, et al. are a big part of that, but not all of it. The establishment did embrace corporations and bigger business in general, and they did embrace every racist, bigot and theocrat there ever was in return for big business / wealthy votes on economics too. Now that they are here, just as liberals said they would be, and now that those people actually have power, just like liberals said they would, right along with rational Republicans, those crazy people want stuff.

    So it’s a problem now?

    It’s been a problem for 20 years plus!

    Bet this gets a little discussion, which should lead to some of what I put here and that’s bad, so it will fade away, with some of us thinking a little, while the vast majority just stay tuned in and checked out…


    I wouldn’t mind another GOP presidential candidate caught without a concession speech on election night because they bought into the FOX News slant of the world.


    I’m trying to think of the last Republican I saw on Fox who was pro-immigration reform, or pro-Iran Nuke agreement, or pro-Obamacare.
    You see a lot more Dems going against the tide on Fox than you do members of the GOP.


    Deprogrammed FOX from my remote after 2004 Election and have not watched since. However, many progressive outlets are intent on repeating what FOX has to say.


    Yeah, that is a problem too.

    On one hand, it’s ugly and rebutting the ugly makes some sense. Being stuck on nuts doesn’t deserve the same attention.

    A better investment would be GOTV, with juicy highlights to remind people why it makes sense to take the time.

    On the other hand, horse race!

    Still, the formula does work for the oligarchs. Look at the growing trouble the Aussies have to deal with now that the too have a well entrenched Murdock media blathering about all the time.


    And now, we have proof positive that the empty suits on the Faux Newz set are exactly that. A live “manhood test” went terribly wrong:

    Most painful ‘Fox & Friends’ segment ever? Hosts fail ‘manhood’ test after tire change ends in near disaster
    “The hosts of Fox & Friends nearly caused serious damage to a rental car on Tuesday while trying to prove their “manhood” by changing a tire.”

    If these clowns don’t know how to change a tire, and don’t have the mental capacity to figure it out, then why is ANYONE listening to them?


    That’s funny!

    Out of touch, wealthy people, clueless, well demonstrated.

    Wonder which producer gets reamed for thinking that up?


    I have yet to decide if Faux News is a tool of the GOP or if the GOP is a tool of Faux News.


    It’s a Chicken vs. Egg conundrum.

    Does watching Fox News cause people to be ignorant?

    Or are the ignorant attracted to Fox News.

    It’s both.


    Amus is correct.


    I think that there is a cultural problem at play that prevents (or greatly hinders) serious discussion of cultural or policy issues. That problem is that in the US, we love passion so much that we value it over rationality or critical thinking. Debate here turns into an overwrought exercise in venting emotions rather than an intellectual search for answers.

    Recently, I was reading an article (written for college students thinking of studying abroad) that discussed the French tradition of debating politics, culture, art, etc. Two really important points stood out in that article. The first was that French society demands that educated people be up-to-date on a variety of subjects that might seem highly specialized to Americans. Such subjects can include current topics in government, contemporary art, advancements in science–it seems that anything is fair game. The second point was that in debating, educated French people have a concept of “intellectual distance,” where they do not emotionally involve themselves in the topics being discussed. The article warned readers that French people may attempt to involve an American in discussions of American foreign policy or American consumer culture with the intent of eliciting an emotional response. If this response happens, then the American would be ridiculed for showing naivete.

    I am not saying that French people are saints. I like that in the US, we have a focus on anti-bullying, and that in most American social circles, it would not be acceptable to deliberately lead a foreigner to break a cultural rule so that he or she can be the subject of ridicule (as described above). However, I think that we could take some pointers from them on the value of general knowledge and on critical thinking techniques.



    Wow, you folks are clever. Did you all gather in your momma’s basement to come up with this scintillating material?


    I have been exposed to FOX viewers for years and I will tell you that yeah, the Fox viewers can’t pass a test, and they can’t innovate or appreciate nuance. However, they have a terrible imagination. That is why they are not intellectuals and have no intellectual property to steal.

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