Morenci, Mich. & Fayette, Ohio
Chris Wallace explains the role of Fox to Jon Stewart. There’s the story (obviously liberal) and then there’s the Fox News version.
Posted in It's life.
– June 22, 2011
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Tim Dickinson looked into Roger Ailes’s control of Fox and reports:
Ailes knows exactly who is watching Fox News each day, and he is adept at playing to their darkest fears in the age of Obama… The audience is also almost exclusively white – only 1.38 percent of viewers are African-American. “Roger understands audiences,” says Rollins, the former Reagan consultant. “He knew how to target, which is what Fox News is all about.” The typical viewer of Hannity, to take the most stark example, is a pro-business (86 percent), Christian conservative (78 percent), Tea Party-backer (75 percent) with no college degree (66 percent), who is over age 50 (65 percent), supports the NRA (73 percent), doesn’t back gay rights (78 percent) and thinks government “does too much” (84 percent). “He’s got a niche audience and he’s programmed to it beautifully,” says a former News Corp. colleague. “He feeds them exactly what they want to hear.”
The result of this concerted campaign of disinformation is a viewership that knows almost nothing about what’s going on in the world. According to recent polls, Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of all news consumers. They are 12 percentage points more likely to believe the stimulus package caused job losses, 17 points more likely to believe Muslims want to establish Shariah law in America, 30 points more likely to say that scientists dispute global warming, and 31 points more likely to doubt President Obama’s citizenship. In fact, a study by the University of Maryland reveals, ignorance of Fox viewers actually increases the longer they watch the network. That’s because Ailes isn’t interested in providing people with information, or even a balanced range of perspectives. Like his political mentor, Richard Nixon, Ailes traffics in the emotions of victimization.
It’s a rather disturbing to think that so many people tune into Fox for their source of news.
I guess you could choose to watch Fox News for several years and become misinformed or you could choose never to watch it and become misinformed by a Rolling Stone commentator in a single article.
“It’s rather disturbing to think that so many people tune into Fox for their source of news”.
It’s more than disturbing; it is downright maddening. And if anyone doubts that the RNC “owns” FoxNews, check this out: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201012090003
“Top Fox Executive Bill Sammon Admits He Lied On-Air About Obama’s Ties To Socialism During 2008 Campaign. Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon boasted to a cruise-ship audience that he lied repeatedly during the closing days of the 2008 presidential campaign when he speculated on-air “about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism.” Indeed, in the lead-up to the 2008 elections, Sammon used his position as a top Fox News editor to engage in a campaign to link Obama to “Marxists” and “socialism.” [Media Matters, 3/29/11, 3/29/11]
Explain yourself, Contrarian. Are you trying to cast doubt on Dickinson’s article because it was published in Rolling Stone (perhaps thinking that it’s just a rock music magazine and unaware of the awards it’s won for serious journalism) or do you have some facts for us that run counter to the article? How have I become misinformed about Roger Ailes?
I’m not casting aspersions on Mr. Dickinson. I am poking fun at those who will take an article like this and think that this somehow justifies their hatred for Fox News and their audience.
Every major news organization knows what their demographic is. Do you think the Rolling Stone readership reflects a demographic that is reflects the differing viewpoints or our nation. I bet the Disturber subscriber list is “heavily white”. So what.
Do you think the editorial staffs of Media Matters, the Guardian, Huffington Post etc. cast a fair and balanced viewpoint just because that it what you choose to read?
How many critical editorials have you written regarding the Bush administration’s wars and other policies compared to the Obama administration? You obviously, choose what and who to editorialize based on your politics.
Does that make me an idiot because I enjoy reading your paper? I’ve determined that I will read your paper and make my own assessment of the content against the backdrop of other news sources and my own judgement. I think most people do the same.
It is condescending to think that because someone disagrees with a liberal viewpoint that they do so out of ignorance. I try not to take offense when I see that.
But contrarian, there is a considerable difference between news organizations which deliberately slant the news (purposely lying and admitting it) compared to news presented with what is supposed to be facts as they know them. If I thought Dickinson pulled information out of the air or said, “we’re gonna’ take down Glenn Beck, no matter if what we say is verifiable or not”, I wouldn’t consider him a trustworthy journalist and wouldn’t waste my time reading it. (I haven’t read Dickinson’s article, btw).
I prefer listening to both sides of a discussion just like you. However, if I’m aware that one side (no matter which) is manipulating the facts I refuse to be a party to the “other” (as Chris Wallace said) side. What would be the purpose?
As much as I believe there is a very great personal distinction between Bush and Obama, I think there’s hardly a scintilla of difference between the way they’re governing. In spite of some of the positive decisions BO has made, I am thoroughly disgusted with him. Dennis Kucinich is the guy who should be in charge of our country–even though he doesn’t seem like the administrative type. He could never be elected because he makes too much sense. For sure, we never would have gone to Iraq. And hopefully, we would have had single-payer, we would not have had the sky-rocketing debt, our Social Security would not be in jeopardy and our private lives would not be invaded as they have been under Bush and Obama.
I seriously do challenge you though, contrarian, to read any of David’s editorials and even suggest that they’re made up of facts out of thin air. Having a slanted point of view is one thing; printing news that consists of deliberate falsehoods is another. And that is exactly what much of Fox News does. Why would I want to involve myself in the futility?
The Guardian is newspaper. Quotes and articles that I give on my blog are generally from columnists and bloggers. I don’t read Huffington Post, but it looks like a collection of viewpoints from the left. I don’t think it makes any “fair and balanced” claims. If you’re saying that Fox News is just a collection of viewpoints, then I think we’re getting somewhere. Fox Opinion I can accept easier than Fox News. The Observer’s editorials are on the opinion page, not on the news pages.
I don’t know where you’re getting the “idiot” talk. The studies don’t say that Fox viewers are stupid. Rather, that they’re more misinformed.
Chris Mooney of DeSmogBlog writes about misinformed Fox viewers: “It is of course around contested political facts, and contested scientific facts, where we find active, politically impelled, and emotionally laden misinformation campaigns—and it is in the latter realm that Fox News viewers are clearly more misinformed. Once again, I’ve cited 5 studies to this effect—concerning the Iraq war, the 2010 election, global warming, health care reform, and the Ground Zero Mosque. By contrast, Politifact only cites two of these studies, and attempts to critique one of them (the 2010 election study)—misguidedly to my mind, but who really even cares. It is obvious where the weight of the evidence lies at this point, unless further, relevant studies are brought to bear.
As a result of all of this, Politifact should either produce relevant research to rebut Stewart, or run a far more forthcoming retraction than has been issued so far. Note, however, that the issue grew a tad more complicated last night when Stewart did an excellent segment on all of this, where he both dramatized how much Fox misinformed viewers and yet also kind of conceded Politifact’s point, when he didn’t actually have to. He wasn’t wrong. They were wrong.”
Sybil- It’s David’s paper and he can write whatever he wants. I might challenge some of his points but I really don’t see the need. You seem to have made my point in comparing Bush and Obama similarly. My opinion is that politics seems to have drove him to write about Bush and is driving him to be silent on the same issues under Obama.
That is all okay by me since it is his paper. Since he was pointing out the speck I was pointing out the plank.
You and David have both confessed in earlier posts that you rarely watch Fox. So all this distrust and contempt is generated by someone else and then forwarded here.
David- Since you admittedly spend most of your time in liberal blogs then I think it stands to reason that you are being influenced to one viewpoint to a fault, similar to what you were pointing out in Fox viewers.
Fox News runs a lot of commentary around a few news slots. I don’t think they try to pull the wool over the viewers eyes as to which is which. I don’t think anyone is confused when listening to Baier or Hannity as to which is opinion and which it news.
When listening to Maddow recently I heard her make a point several times of all the republicans that are under recall in Wisconsin. Not once did she say that there are also a good number of democrats being recalled. I understand it is an opinion show.
I apologize for carelessly using the word idiot. Idiot is what comes to mind if I don’t use my mind for analytical thinking while I’m being misinformed.
I “hear” Fox all the time because that is all my husband watches but I cannot bear to watch. It turns the mind to mush.
I meant to address your comment regarding David’s columns. It isn’t because “it’s David’s paper” that we accept or not accept what he writes. Though quite Progressive I would say–therefore, slanted by your standards–I contend that everything he writes is factual–never intentionally misinformational as happens during much of right-wing talk-shows. Rachel may omit (shame on her) but she doesn’t intentionally lie. And when she very infrequently gets a fact wrong, she is quick to correct it the next possible broadcast. Shep Smith is the only one on Fox who has the sensitivity to do just that. And I believe he has.
There comes a point where intentionally omitting information with an intent to deceive becomes a lie. I cannot say where that is for each person in every situation. I’ve enjoyed this conversation. I trust the friendly jabs were taken as intended. Friendly.
(I can’t stand listening to Hannity)
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