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Analysis of 115 episodes with propaganda analysis techniques
May 4, 2007 1:57 AM   Subscribe

Them dirty l.....ls ! Some students examined six months worth, or 115 episodes, of some very well know "show" using propaganda analysis techniques made popular after World War I. The IU researchers found that the host called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average. Who's this sizzling firecracker ? We make audience , you decide ! Link to full paper.
posted by elpapacito (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bill O'Reilly puts a spin on the news? Whodathunkit? Pass the loofah.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:10 AM on May 4, 2007


The big question is who positions him on the most accessible television channel in the US? Is it to capitalize on a segment of the public or to influence mass opinion?
posted by defun at 2:15 AM on May 4, 2007


Given the frequency and endless repetition I would say both.
posted by elpapacito at 2:28 AM on May 4, 2007


this post is missing the "batshitinsane" tag
posted by slater at 2:33 AM on May 4, 2007


The same techniques were used during the late 1930s to study another prominent voice in a war-era, Father Charles Coughlin. His sermons evolved into a darker message of anti-Semitism and fascism, and he became a defender of Hitler and Mussolini. In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin.

[. . . .]

* Left-leaning media (21.6 percent) made up the largest portion of bad people/groups, and media without a clear political leaning was the second largest (12.2 percent). When it came to evil people and groups, Jews illegal aliens (26.8 percent) and Bolsheviks terrorists (21.4 percent) were the largest groups.
Deutschland Erwache!
posted by orthogonality at 2:33 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


orthogonality,
As a total non-sequitr, in the Bolsheviks image you linked to, do you know what's the deal with the giant Churchill cross over England? Is it saying that Churchill is a Christian defender of capitalist Europe? That he's killing England? It seems out of place.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:53 AM on May 4, 2007


To pour some petrol on the fire, here is the suprisingly civil interview he did with Richard Dawkins.
posted by scodger at 3:02 AM on May 4, 2007


scodger: nice find thanks for linking ! Perfect example of NA-NA-NA I can't listen LA LA LA !
posted by elpapacito at 4:12 AM on May 4, 2007


defun, could it be a little of each?

"No Spin Zone" -- the pundit doth protest too much, methinks.
posted by pax digita at 4:16 AM on May 4, 2007


Dude has a stick up his ass. And he likes it. It feels good next to the falafel.
posted by spitbull at 4:28 AM on May 4, 2007


This thread Godwined pretty early, I think.
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:10 AM on May 4, 2007


I hate hate hate O'Reilly, but the study said that such an insult rate represented his speech during his editorial Talking Points Memo. Still bad and annoying, but it should be pointed out this is not supposed to represent a parsing of his speech over the entire show, just one segment.
posted by Falconetti at 5:32 AM on May 4, 2007


Sangermaine :
I think the cross is meant to indicate that Britain is Churchill's grave. Or as good as, or something.
posted by Luddite at 5:47 AM on May 4, 2007


This thread Godwined pretty early, I think.

I think comparing O'Reilly to Coughlin is pretty fair, actually. And man, I like Mike Godwin, but that rule is dumb, dumb dumb.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 AM on May 4, 2007


I hate hate hate O'Reilly, but the study said that such an insult rate represented his speech during his editorial Talking Points Memo. Still bad and annoying, but it should be pointed out this is not supposed to represent a parsing of his speech over the entire show, just one segment.

If we're comparing to other instances of propaganda, it makes sense to compare the similar stuff. Coughlin, for example, generally didn't engage in vicious interviewing of Jews and Communists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:55 AM on May 4, 2007


Coughlin, for example, generally didn't engage in vicious interviewing of Jews and Communists.

Well, keeping aside the very big differences between terrorists and Communists, to be honest – who was the last terrorist featured on The O'Reilly Factor? Does he actually bring undocumented immigrants onto his show, or is it only immigrant rights advocates? I realize that this might sound nit-picky, but giving liberals a hard time isn't the same as having undocumented immigrants and/or terrorists on the news, and I think this comparison is quite wrong. I'd suspect that any terrorists who actually appeared in person on the O'Reilly Factor would be the kind that the US government likes and sponsors, such as Luis Posada Carriles.
posted by graymouser at 6:18 AM on May 4, 2007


Qube TV, "Starring The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy," is The Conservative YouTube.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:25 AM on May 4, 2007


What really scares me is that O'Reilly's show is easily & regularly viewable on cable tv internationally. When I was in Egypt, there he was on my hotel TV. And I thought... Jesus, so everyone else in the world sees this show and hears what he says too? No wonder they hate us. When I watch him, I hate us too.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:54 AM on May 4, 2007 [5 favorites]


The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O'Reilly
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 AM on May 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


The big question is who positions him on the most accessible television channel in the US? Is it to capitalize on a segment of the public or to influence mass opinion?

It's to build a superstar brand and make lots of money, because clearly even liberals who don't watch his show can't stop talking about him.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 7:12 AM on May 4, 2007


O'Reilly represent the limit of red state childish/magical thinking. People are good and bad, things should be a certain way just because, etc. But as I said, he's the limit, we've been iterating to this point for decades now. In the early 80's there was Morton Downey, Jr., then Rush Limbaugh, then Michael Savage, and now Bill O'Reilly.

When you listen to any of these guys for a certain length of time, you hear them use the word 'liberal' as an insult, but you realize that word is a code for "intellectual". If you think too much, you're a liberal.

In a diner this morning I was talking to a guy who is a janitor at a supermarket nearby. I've seen him in there a few times. The TV was on and he was complaining about Bush, etc. The usual stuff. But then he says, "I think Bill Clinton was the smartest president we ever had in our lifetime. Did you know he was a Rhodes Scholar?"

Two things about this. First, he's right of course. Even just on paper, Clinton is far more educated and learned than Reagan, Nixon, Bushes 41 and 43, etc. Second, here's a janitor who knows what a Rhodes Scholar is, or at least that you have to be really smart to be one.

Ask some "conservative" about being a Rhodes Scholar, and they'll describe it like it's proof of something bad - so-and-so's a Rhodes Scholar? They must be a liberal.

The problem with politics on the right is that you have to demonstrate how dumb you are and lacking in insight to achieve any status. How many Republican stars end up drug, sex, or gambling addicts?

The whole thing is sickening, and I'm glad I don't have cable, so I don't have to accidentally come across idiots like this.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:26 AM on May 4, 2007 [7 favorites]


As a total non-sequitr, in the Bolsheviks image you linked to, do you know what's the deal with the giant Churchill cross over England? Is it saying that Churchill is a Christian defender of capitalist Europe? That he's killing England? It seems out of place.

Depends on the timing of the image. I'd suggest it's from the summer of '41 and means the British are beaten, it's time to turn against the Soviet Union.
posted by vbfg at 7:56 AM on May 4, 2007


It amazes me that anyone thought it necessary to do a "study" of any political talking head to determine the "truth" of what they say.

I'm doing a study to determine if the sun comes up in the morning, as soon as I get the funding.
posted by HuronBob at 9:16 AM on May 4, 2007


I'm doing a study to determine if the sun comes up in the morning, as soon as I get the fundying.
posted by HuronBob at 12:16 PM on May 4

Fixed that for you.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:31 AM on May 4, 2007


Is this on par with Deadwood, then?
(mp3, and oh god NSFW)
posted by ztdavis at 10:33 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd be curious to see how O'Reilly responds to this.

I suspect that he would call them "liberal grandstanders" who going after the few honest pundits left. He would then probably show examples of at least two times that he didn't fit the pattern of the study. He would then call on all of us to consider that he has been providing us with news and commentary for years whereas these "researchers" are simply trying to sully his good name. He would probably then call in another researcher to help him discredit this study.

And then he would completely dismiss that every single one of these things are examples of how much of an asshole he is.

A fact about which, we now have mathematic proof.
posted by quin at 11:00 AM on May 4, 2007


NSDAP
posted by blue_beetle at 11:19 AM on May 4, 2007


Awesome, ztdavis. I was wondering why my friends with HBO kept calling me 'white cawkSUCKuh'.

kirkiracha... I hate that vid. It says she's acting, but whoever coached her did a terrible job. Just some rhetoric her handlers have her spewing to be edgy, but it totally doesn't work. I happen to agree with what she's been told to say, just not how it's delivered, or who it's delivered by.

Damn, quin...get out of his mind. =D
posted by dozo at 11:25 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


What bothers me the most is his belligerance and childish bullying- whereas his ignorance will always have an audience, it's seeing people who begin to emulate that behavior that's really ugly.

And here people were worried about rap music, right?
posted by yeloson at 11:54 AM on May 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O'Reilly


Not as cool as advertised.
posted by voltairemodern at 4:13 PM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


then he says, "I think Bill Clinton was the smartest president we ever had in our lifetime. Did you know he was a Rhodes Scholar?"

Two things about this. First, he's right of course.


I'll take Jimmy Carter. It's all relative, of course, but didn't Carter have a degree (and do post-graduate work) in nuclear physics? (Ah, I see. You mean he was right about the Rhodes scholar part...)
posted by mrgrimm at 5:34 PM on May 4, 2007


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