Conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters
May 17, 2015 3:15 PM   Subscribe

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics by Bruce Bartlett
The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance... This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated.
posted by andoatnp (57 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
'appreciated' isn't the word I would use.
posted by srboisvert at 3:24 PM on May 17, 2015 [14 favorites]


Bruce Bartlett previously and previously.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:27 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the end of the piece:
Consequently, some political observers now question whether Fox is a net plus or a net minus for Republican presidential candidates. ... Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum perhaps put the complicated, double-edged relationship between Fox and the GOP best when he said, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we're discovering we work for Fox. And this balance here has been completely reversed. The thing that sustains a strong Fox network is the thing that undermines a strong Republican party.”
I wish he had started there instead.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:57 PM on May 17, 2015 [30 favorites]


Shouldn't that be "Conservatives drank heavily from the Fox Kool-Aid"?

Fox is straight-up evil. Like, Dr. Evil-evil. MuwahahHA-laugh evil. And they're America's biggest and most popular news source. They're fitfully steering this ship. As long as people are watching this shit, we're screwed.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:08 PM on May 17, 2015 [16 favorites]


It's a fact of biology that both Roger Ailes (75) and Rupert Murdoch (84) probably don't have a lot of productive working years left. It's going to be interesting to see how their passing (into retirement or otherwise) will affect Fox and conservative media generally. They are probably the most successful propagandists in history and, hopefully, the insanity will ease a bit in subsequent years.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2015 [8 favorites]



Actually Fox news serves one valuable purpose.

It enables me to easily identify those suffering from cognizant dissonance.
posted by notreally at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


And they're America's biggest and most popular news source.

When you call them a news source you're playing their game. They don't do news, they do propaganda.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:15 PM on May 17, 2015 [28 favorites]


It enables me to easily identify those suffering from cognizant dissonance.

Yeah, totally. Once I visited an acquaintance and he began babbling about how we had to protect ourselves from "sharia law". Then I noticed his TV was tuned to Fox and pretty much lost most of my respect for him right then and there.
posted by telstar at 4:18 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


LOL Is cognizant even remotely in the same universe as cognitive? I guess it is in some way. lol.
posted by notreally at 4:21 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It certainly makes it different. Interesting, but different.
posted by nevercalm at 4:30 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was hoping it would get into MSNBC etc. running with the same idea, different flavor.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:45 PM on May 17, 2015


It's a fact of biology that both Roger Ailes (75) and Rupert Murdoch (84) probably don't have a lot of productive working years left.

Murdoch's mother lived to be over 100; in addition to her genes, he has the best medical care America has to offer its super-rich, and an appetite for political combat. It's probably safe to say that he'll be running things for at least a decade more.
posted by acb at 5:02 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


SSRN? Bartlett's got his moments, but sometimes he seems to veer too close to "old man yells at cloud" territory.
posted by jpe at 5:18 PM on May 17, 2015




I am terrified by life extension technology. It will be available first (quite possibly within the decade, if I understand correctly) to old people with vast resources, a drive to stay in charge and few compunctions about the consequences.

Fox may be the least of our problems.
posted by Devonian at 5:35 PM on May 17, 2015 [14 favorites]


The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance... This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated.

I did in excruciating detail -- ten years ago exactly in my book OutFoxed.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:46 PM on May 17, 2015 [66 favorites]


Charles Pierce refers to the Republican party as being inflicted with prion disease and the leading symptom appears to be viewing Fox News. Oh MSNBC ain't perfect but they're like the left: unfocused, disagreeing with each other, full of good intentions but weak on action. Fox is always focused, always on message, relentless.

I live in what used to be my parents house, in a small North Dakota town. This was a Farmers Union hotbed for decades but with most of the baby boomers moving out after high school, old radicals like my dad's generation dying out, and the onslaught of Fox News 24/7 has left this place ias red as the rest of the state. I've got a couple next door that are just batshit insane. Both are near retirement age. The woman comes from a family that always was lunatic fringe, her dad was a laughable John Bircher and bit by bit she corrupted what little resistance her husband had. I can see the flat screen in their family room from our bedroom. Nine times out of ten it's on Fox. They're armed to the teeth, swear Obama is coming for their guns, believe everything they hear in the echo chamber. Rumor has it that the woman's Facebook posts have preached sedition so many times the Feds are watching her.

One of these days we're going to move. The oil boom has already made this area unlivable and with neighbors who are itching for a shootout with the ATF and FBI an exit makes perfect sense. Maybe we'll move to the eastern part of the state or Minnesota, find a hobby farm. Or go to the Front Range in Montana or Colorado. Legalized weed would do my wife's medical issues a world of good anyway. The chances of legalization in a state this red are nil. The chance of getting in the crossfire with my brain-washed neighbors is quite high.
posted by Ber at 5:59 PM on May 17, 2015 [17 favorites]


~ The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance... This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated.

~I did in excruciating detail -- ten years ago exactly in my book OutFoxed.


Yeah...I'm having a hard time swallowing that the effect of the creation of Fox somehow flew under everyone's radar and is only now beginning to be appreciated. I thought it was perfectly clear what was going on almost immediately. Maybe it had something to do with where you lived at the time?

Maybe if I lived on either coast, the Fox effect would have taken awhile to be seen, but, here in Indiana, FoxNews was an instant and pervasive hit. Hell, almost immediately, any place that had a tv on the wall (I.e. doctors' waiting rooms, bars, restaurants, etc) had FoxNews playing. It was pretty damned easy to see what was going down from day-1.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:12 PM on May 17, 2015 [15 favorites]


It enables me to easily identify those suffering from cognizant dissonance.

I try not to be too prejudiced in life, but there are some things that let me know immediately that I will never get along with somebody.

* Fox news fan. (Probably if they're Republicans at all, but DEFINITELY if they're into Fox news.)

* Beatles hater. It's like hating chocolate or something. It's just... are you even from Earth? I'm not saying you have to be a fanatic, but if you hate the Beatles, forget about it. Either you're an idiot or you're just a contrary crank or you're off in some arty little world listening to 1940s Tibetan jazz or whatever and we just will not click ever. (I might make an exception if you were like 20 years old and you think music began with that Lou Pearlman processed cheese. In that case, hey, you're just some poor kid who don't know no better. But if you're an adult Beatles hater, you can get the heck off this bus.)

* Sneery about The Catcher in the Rye. Again, not saying you have to be a fan, and I'm not the kind of fan I was when I was 16. But if you actually hate that book, especially to the point of being smug about it, it says more about you than you think it does. You probably have a streak of real callousness, even cruelty. Sorry, but that's the prognosis.

* You take grave offense at my name and/or use it as a cudgel to try and dismiss anything I say. I have my reasons for the name but I understand why people may find my name offensive and I'll talk it out with them if they're reasonable. But the people who pitch an unholy fit about my name tend to be The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party. So the name saves me time by flushing out the insufferables.

* Ayn Rand fan. Even if you're like, "Well, I'm not really into her politics, but her novels are kind of interesting..." That's at best deeply worrisome.

* Monty Python hater. I mean, duh.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:18 PM on May 17, 2015 [33 favorites]


Maybe it had something to do with where you lived at the time?

American publisher (Disinformation) and American audience for the book, so I don't know...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:19 PM on May 17, 2015


Minor quibble, in the "misinformation" section: when TARP came up for a vote didn't the majority of the House Republicans vote against it, twice?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:41 PM on May 17, 2015


  Beatles hater. It's like hating chocolate or something

The former were okay for a boy band that were done before I was born. The latter gives me dry heaves.

I love travelling to the US and watching people watching Fox. It's as if they all missed the cue that this is satire of the most vicious kind.
posted by scruss at 8:09 PM on May 17, 2015


I became deeply worried about my dad when I found out he sometimes watches Fox News because he wants "both sides of the story."

This was shortly after I gave up on HuffPo and MSNBC (and unfollowed some liberal friends on Facebook) because 2/3 of their "news" were just boosting the Fox signal by reporting on the "shocking" things they said.
posted by Foosnark at 8:25 PM on May 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


While I think it's great that someone is doing rigorous study of the effects of Murdoch's network on US politics, I agree that it isn't exactly an earthshaking revelation that it has skewed the political debate in this country. Hell, Murdoch wasn't even breaking new ground; others were already milking conservative resentment for all they could. Doesn't anyone remember "Rush Rooms"?
posted by TedW at 8:26 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Murdoch (arguably) won the election for the conservatives in the UK. Doing things like this - a pincer movement against Labour. In part because Labour were promising to actually enforce the recommendations that came out of the (massive, expensive) phone hacking trial. It's terrifying how much influence his press has - made worse by the fact that the BBC has a policy of "balance" - that means it timidly reflects what's in the press. Obama's former advisor David Axelrod has said the press here is worse than Fox News. It scares the crap out of me that this government may not only not enforce new controls but also squeeze (or drop) funding for public broadcasting and slacken rules for broadcasters like Murdoch's sky - we'd end up with our very own Fox.
posted by pmcp at 8:49 PM on May 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Minor quibble, in the "misinformation" section: when TARP came up for a vote didn't the majority of the House Republicans vote against it, twice?

Ah, you said House Republicans. Bartlett said just Republicans.

For the final vote, in the Senate 34 Republicans voted for and only 14 against. In the House, 91 voted for and 108 against. Altogether 125 Republicans voted for and 122 voted against. So, no, it isn't true that most Republicans voted against TARP.

Keep in mind that TARP was a Bush initiative, written by Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson who by all accounts quite literally got down on his knee before Pelosi begging that the bill had to pass or we were all going to die.

Also note that the later Republican vice-Presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, gave a long, impassioned speech in the House pleading with his fellow Republicans to pass TARP.

And this isn't just quibbling. The idea that the reviled TARP bill was something created by Democrats is false. This is a prime example of how Fox successfully rewrites history. Seems to have worked for you.
posted by JackFlash at 9:30 PM on May 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


The former were okay for a boy band that were done before I was born.

Thanks, Scruss! Let's never ever talk to each other, OK?

I do not include people who dislike chocolate on the list. I mean, taste buds are different, some people are allergic, whatever. I'm not going to avoid you just because we don't like the same foods! (Well, unless your foods are like human flesh or live octopus or something nasty like that.) But the other stuff, seriously, if you tick one of those boxes I know with near certainty that we will hate each other forever. They're silly pop culture things that say a lot about a person.

But Fox News fan definitely tops the list. I figured out in my late teens that befriending Republicans was a waste of my time, because no matter how cool they seemed eventually we would be pulled up at a stoplight and they would see some homeless crazy person stagger across the street and they would say something like, "Fucking bums." Or they would get drunk and start muttering things that made me regret every second I'd spent getting to know them.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:45 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


As an aside, I am genuinely worried about political discourse in the coming years, now that Colbert and Jon Stewart are stepping back. There were times during the Bush era when those guys truly were the best NEWS source in America, comedy or no. Some nights it felt like they were the only sane people on TV. They did the work to show how our leaders were lying to us. Those shows sifted through the endless news footage to show us the lies, how these fucks were telling us this after they'd told us that. With them gone, it's on Larry Wilmore, John Oliver and that new Daily Show guy to carry the load, and Wilmore's kind of faltering, Oliver is only on once a week and what's-his-name is a total wildcard. If we got another Bush in the White House (a Bush who already looks EVEN DUMBER than the last jerk) we could be really, really missing the glory days of Stewart/Colbert.

(I figure Colbert won't totally neglect politics on his new show, and Stewart probably won't either, in whatever he does. But it'll never be 2008 again.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:55 PM on May 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


The conclusion is telling: Fox keeps its audience riled up and angry, forcing the Republican party to follow its lead. The Republicans find themselves being led by Ailes and not by the majority of their constituents.
posted by zaelic at 11:57 PM on May 17, 2015


I have republican friends. There I said it. Not a lot of them. They buy into the 'small government' (bullshit) and tend to be quite well off. Largely they want less taxes, and don't believe in 'welfare' (as they understand it). But none of them are social conservatives. None of them buy into Fox.

Their politics are that of self-interest. Some (/many) are gun enthusiasts. Personally I wish every democrat running for office would do a commercial with shooting some animal (as republicans do to show their support for hunters/gun rights). The 2nd amendment isn't going away.

Yeah, chocolate is personal taste. If you don't like chocolate, more for me.

The thing is, the moment you say "fuck republicans, fuck that noise," you've largely bought into a tribalism, a separation of us all. Fox thrives on that. But so does MSNBC (no, they aren't the same, but they both get an audience from basic tribalism).

All that being said, I don't have a facebook account, so I don't see people forwarding on echo-chamber conspiracy-of-the-day bullshit. It probably allows me to maintain a ton of friendships that would be more problematic if I saw people I like buy into crap.

The thing is, I've changed peoples opinions on matters, and I wouldn't do that if I refused to engage with them.

Oh, also, holy SHIT, you wrote OUTFOXED? I read that book. Metafilter sure is filled with bright folks, folks I respect.

I just hope the new daily show keeps covering Fox, because I really want to keep up on what they are saying, but through the gaze of comedy. Reading media analysis websites is depressing and tiring. Back in the day I got my media updates from EXTRA (a FAIR publication), but the Daily Show allows me to get my dosage of angst with some humor.
posted by el io at 12:45 AM on May 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


The only good news is that the Fox watchers are dying off, and there are more of us than them. Look at CA now. That's the future of America. And there's nothing they can do about it. (Another Dr. Evil laugh.)

I've stopped watching MSNBC, too.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:15 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


But el io, don't you ever have moments with your Republican friends where they say something so racist or sexist or cruel that you realize that deep down, they are not very nice people? I had that moment over and over with Republican friends, until eventually I realized it wasn't a good idea to befriend them. I argued with them plenty. I tried not to judge. But I heard too many of them rant too many times about too many awful things.

It seems to me that conservatives are going to assume that that man who is starving in the gutter got there because he's lazy. If you don't look at that guy and assume the same thing, you and your Republican friend are going to see the world very differently. People who crack jokes about welfare queens may be woefully misinformed, but they're probably not just ignorant. It takes a certain sensibility to believe that social programs should be gutted.

A number of times, I tried to do the "we just won't discuss politics" thing. But politics aren't just the things that happen in Washington. If you think homosexuality is a sin, that's politics. If you don't think my cousin should have access to legal abortion, that's politics. My life was literally saved by Obamacare last year, and if people who are frothingly opposed to the program got their way, people like me would die. These disagreements don't stay academic.

All that being said, this stuff is not absolute and one of the kindest men I've ever known was a Republican. My girlfriend's late father was a Christian Republican of the solid, Fred MacMurray, 1950s school, and he had a good and patient heart and his mind changed with the times. I kind of loved that guy. I think if you'd asked him about the guy starving in the gutter, he'd probably say that guy needs help and he should be taken to a local church or charity organization. He would believe that private individuals can and should gather to do all the charity in this world, and that government only gets in the way. I find that very naive, but I don't find it evil. I don't believe every Republican is a spleen-eating monster.

But too many of them have a little monster inside, and in the age of Fox News those little monsters are growing.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:07 AM on May 18, 2015 [20 favorites]


Sneery about The Catcher in the Rye.

Is it all right if I respect The Catcher in the Rye as a novel but loathe Holden Caulfield as an individual?

Look at CA now. That's the future of America.

Drought-ridden, with inexorably crumbling infrastructure?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:16 AM on May 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


The only good news is that the Fox watchers are dying off, and there are more of us than them.

Ugh. This argument again. Folks, people aren't frozen in time at a certain age. The world isn't going to become a enlightened nirvana once everyone over 50 dies. There are plenty of young, 20-something ultra-conservatives out there, supporting all the right-wing bullshit you hate. And I suspect they vote far more often than do their progressive 20-something peers, especially in primaries. And, people evolve and change viewpoints over time. Don't count your eggs, and all that.

In any case, Fox is very much aware of the demographics. This is why they've been busy expanding their message beyond a single cable news channel and into your local OTA airwaves. What do you think "Fox and Friends" is all about? The only possible saving grace is Fox is still stuck in tv land as we enter the age of cord-cutting. But, I suspect they'll figure a way around that problem. Whatever you think about Fox, you certainly can't call them lazy or stupid.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:18 AM on May 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thorzdad, there may be plenty of 20-something conservatives but they're not watching Fox. The average age of a FNC viewer is 65 years old and rising.
posted by octothorpe at 4:44 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ursula I find Fox News too depressing to bear considering, so I'd like to talk about the Beatles!

I KNOW! I mean seriously, the Beatles were like eight bands in quick succession. I can appreciate people detesting maybe one or two of their phases, but they changed direction so often and outright invented new sounds for pop music so often that surely there's at least one song each grumpus is ignoring.

I'm not one of those people who treats the Beatles like a giant bolus of Culture that must be passed by every living soul on Earth, but I find the ardent haters just a little too emphatic about something that's probably a bit bigger than they expected.

But yeah, Fox News. Why is this being treated like a new phenomenon? Is it just that a new generation needs to be told by one of their own?
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:25 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it all right if I respect The Catcher in the Rye as a novel but loathe Holden Caulfield as an individual?

Nope, you fail to make the cut. Away with you! (I kid.)

Of all the things I listed, I knew Catcher would be the one that would raise the most eyebrows around here. I can't expect or demand that other people be moved by it the way I was, when I was 16. But to me, it just doesn't seem like a book to hate. It's the story of this lost teenager, desperately fumbling for connection in the world. It's funny, but it's also a real raw nerve of a book. Hating it is almost like reading some actual lonesome teenager's diary and saying, "Boo-hoo, so you're a lonely fuck up! Go cry, emo kid!" If you didn't enjoy it, OK. If it didn't speak to you, OK. But actually laughing at it, because you hate it so much? I can't go there with you.

Rum-soaked space hobo, I remember making that very argument with the Beatle-haters. A band that could go from She Loves You to the Golden Slumbers suite in the span of six years is not a band to dismiss with a sneer or a shrug. I mean, sometimes the Beatles became a whole new band in the middle of the same song.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:44 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to see what dreadful psychopath seats themselves on the throne when Murdoch is gone.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 5:44 AM on May 18, 2015


Hated Rye when I was forced to read it in high school but that was thirty five years ago so I can't say that I have any opinion on it now. Also if I treated it like other assigned books, I probably just read the first and last chapters and the first and last paragraphs of the other chapters.
posted by octothorpe at 5:56 AM on May 18, 2015


Others have pointed it out before, but The Catcher in the Rye is the kind of book that Holden Caulfield would have hated with a passion.
posted by sour cream at 6:12 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


[We are sort of slowly drifting away from the topic here I feel. So perhaps then this is the day I get to say "Less Beatles, more Fox News", essentially. I am not a proud man.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


In my head the Fox News organization is, internally, akin to Scientology or Iraq under Hussein, with various violent factions kept under under control by a powerful central figure until such time as there is a power vacuum.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2015


Pieces of "Catcher in the Rye" in manuscript form were with Salinger when he was part of the Normandy invasion.

And fuck Fox. One of the great pleasures in my life is that I make my living helping show how terrible they are in every conceivable way.
posted by nevercalm at 6:37 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Barlett confirmed something I long thought was true: that Fox News started out center-right, then went hard right after 9/11. In the early years, Bill O'Reilly would often argue against capital punishment. I think he may have even had a few 'why are Republicans so worked up about gay people' moments (but don't hold me to that). He certainly doesn't anymore.

I would argue that the shift kicked in not after 9/11, but with the run-up to the Iraq War began. But that's a difference of only about a year.

The very first time I heard Steve Earle's "John Walker's Blues" was when he performed it on Fox News. No for real, he did! I would not lie to you, Metafilter. I would not. According to this page [looks to be down right now, here's the Google cache] it was August 19, 2002 on Greta Van Sustren's show. How I wish I could find the video.

The media push for invading Iraq kicked up in September, going by this Mother Jones timeline, so Earle went on Fox at the tail end of when he would have been allowed.
posted by riruro at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Related to the aging of Fox's viewer base: The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally.
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we just wait for Sulla's supporters to die off, we'll have a real republic again. It's gonna be great
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


JackFlash: Guess I was overthinking the question; if it had been phrased as "Did Democrats invent TARP" it would have been an easier call.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:56 AM on May 18, 2015


At the time, there was unquestionably a liberal bias in the major media; not a huge one, but it was pretty consistent across the three major networks, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the rest of the elite media.

And the evidence in the footnote is "generally positive coverage of Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal"? If you look past the statistics, this seems like a mound of lazy writing supported by citations of punditry.
posted by mubba at 8:00 AM on May 18, 2015


The conclusion is telling: Fox keeps its audience riled up and angry, forcing the Republican party to follow its lead. The Republicans find themselves being led by Ailes and not by the majority of their constituents.

I've realized over the years that Fox News isn't just an outrage machine, because through adulthood I've worked with any number of nice, friendly, intelligent people who are also deeply swayed in their mindsets by Fox News, the most common sentiment being they feel "the other news media is too biased."

For wealthier, or at the very least financially comfortable people (steady jobs, own their own home, get health care from work, etc.) they don't want to be "riled up" as much as they want to be assured that complacency is okay. It's like a South Park episode where the conclusion is always some form of "trying to change anything is stupid, let's just stick with what we've always been doing." That's mainline conservatism in general.

Change is, ultimately, very bad for business. Change is also very difficult, so Fox has an ingrained advantage in simply saying "don't change, because it would very very hard and cost you money." The only real counter to that is to say "well, yeah, but if you care about these things, you have to be willing to deal with that." Fox News is there to convince you with graphics and soundbites that it's cool not to care.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


If we just wait for Sulla's supporters to die off, we'll have a real republic again. It's gonna be great.

Exactly. The "GOP" is dying off, sure, but remember that the 'Summer of Love' was the current oft-maligned Boomers. Thorzdad is right in that the next wave of conservative, reactionary, traditionalist voters may be much worse than the current, and even if not, that current progressive, liberal, humanist voters may move considerably on the spectrum in the next twenty/thirty years; for an example, think about the changes in the zeitgeist after World War One.

We just can't rely on demographics to undo the massive centralization of political and economic power of the last thirty years; we'll have to do the heavy lifting ourselves.
posted by eclectist at 9:28 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah...I'm having a hard time swallowing that the effect of the creation of Fox somehow flew under everyone's radar and is only now beginning to be appreciated. I thought it was perfectly clear what was going on almost immediately.

It must be difficult for people like Bartlett to admit that the liberals were right all along and that Fox News never was "fair and balanced," but always an arm of the Republican Party. The only difference now is that the tail seems to be wagging the dog.

But it was obvious years ago, and conservatives gave away the game when their standard line went from "Fox is the only fair and balanced news channel!" to "Fox is just a counterbalance to the rest of the 'liberal media'". And that was way back during the George W. Bush Administration, for crying out loud.
posted by Gelatin at 9:31 AM on May 18, 2015 [4 favorites]




It must be difficult for people like Bartlett to admit that the liberals were right all along and that Fox News never was "fair and balanced," but always an arm of the Republican Party.

I always thought the Left owed the FNC a huge thank you for indoctrinating the Right into a defeatist narrative. It was always about blaming a "them" for their problems, which has the underlying assumption that blame was needed to explain away a defeat. They discouraged introspection, always pointing a finger of blame at a wide range of "others," and so many, that it seemed hopeless to deal with on any level. If you think you're blameless and perfect, you will stick to your guns and never change.

When you do all that, your mind set begins to shift and you dig yourself deeper into bigger defeat. They lost two presidential campaigns because they didn't run one that had a vibe of confidence or victory.

It also didn't help that so many of the pundits were there because they lost in various ways, further cementing that downer view, even when a Republican was president. The FNC put blinders on Republicans and they fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:20 PM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


But el io, don't you ever have moments with your Republican friends where they say something so racist or sexist or cruel that you realize that deep down, they are not very nice people?

No.

I have met those people though, they are out there. They just aren't my republican friends (like I said, it's not a large number).

Honestly, I worry more about the souls of my Democrat friends. The ones that seem pretty reasonable, and support gay rights, and aren't overt racists... But then suggest that any military action we take anywhere in the world is a good one, because there are evil people out there (and obviously not us). I worry about the Democrat friends that support the NSA, because our government would never have bad intentions towards it's own population, and the rest of the world is fair game. I worry about my Democrat friends that think Socialism is Communism, and that while we musn't let people die on the streets, we can't have too strong of a safety net, because we don't want to become socialist.

My republican friends wear parts of their problematic politics on their sleeves. My democratic friends sneer at the republicans but still have many viewpoints I find very problematic, and they judge me harshly because I won't get behind the latest wall-street backed Democrat candidate with enthusiasm.
posted by el io at 11:09 PM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


It was always about blaming a "them" for their problems, which has the underlying assumption that blame was needed to explain away a defeat. They discouraged introspection, always pointing a finger of blame at a wide range of "others," and so many, that it seemed hopeless to deal with on any level.

Today Paul Krugman reminds us of Daniel Davies' motto that "Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance." Yes, Fox helped bolster the right wing's information bubble, but it basically concedes the point that key Republican constituencies have policy preferences that can't be sold honestly to the American people.
posted by Gelatin at 8:00 AM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


"We now live in a nation where
doctors destroy health,
lawyers destroy justice,
universities destroy knowledge,
governments destroy freedom,
the press destroys information,
religion destroys morals,
and our banks destroy
the economy.”

Chris Hedges
posted by eggtooth at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


eclectist, you do realize (?), first: Fox != "conservative." GOP != "conservative." True conservatism is Paleoconservatism a.k.a., Libertarianism, the roots of which are founded in Classical Liberalism and Populism.

Have you seen Ron Paul's ratings with young persons? It surely isn't dead; it's simply been taken over by those who are willing to trample on our rights. Yet, it's being taken back, as we speak.
posted by Grease at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2015


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