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How Fox News brain washes Americans

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dr Cynthia Boaz, Truthout,July 2, 2011: Fourteen Propaganda Techniques Fox "News" Uses to Brainwash Americans

    In doing some research on how/why people think as they do, I came across this 2011 article written by Dr. Cynthia Boaz, an assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University, amongst her other credentials to write intelligently on this subject. Quoting Dr. Boaz:

    "Pause for a moment and ask yourself what it means that the world's largest, most profitable and most popular news channel passes off as fact every whim, impulse and outrageously incompetent analysis of its so-called reporters. How did we get here? Take the enormous amount of misinformation that is taken for truth by Fox audiences: the belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that he was in on 9/11, the belief that climate change isn't real and/or man-made, the belief that Barack Obama is Muslim and wasn't born in the United States, the insistence that all Arabs are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists, the inexplicable perceptions that immigrants are both too lazy to work and are about to steal your job. All of these claims are demonstrably false, yet Fox News viewers will maintain their veracity with incredible zeal. Why? Is it simply that we have lost our respect for knowledge?"

    "My curiosity about this question compelled me to sit down and document the most oft-used methods by which willful ignorance has been turned into dogma by Fox News and other propagandists disguised as media."

    Although the article is over two years old and some of the examples a bit dated, in browsing through her 14 techniques, every one of them applies today...especially as to the Affordable care Act, government spending, the debt ceiling and the government shutdown.

    Number one on her list Panic Mongering, which she describes as going beyond simple fear mongering. "With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment." So true...I think this term aptly describes the daily diet that you get at Fox News.

    Number two is Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not take the time to debate an idea. Rather they quickly go after their opponents by attacking their credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity.

    Number seven is Bullying, which can also employ character assassination. Fox commentators, especially Bill O'Reilly, like to bully and yell at their guests or anyone who might lack the confidence, either in themselves or their grasp of the subject being discussed. "The bully exploits this lack of confidence by berating the guest into submission or compliance."

    I only listed three of the techniques. The others cover projection/flipping, rewriting history, scapegoating/othering, conflating violence with power and opposition to violence with weakness, confusion, populism, invoking God, saturation (repetition, repetition, repetition), disparaging education, guilt by association, and diversion (shifting the debate).

    I recommend reading her entire article. I'm sure we can all identify with several of them at one time or other if we have taken the time to tune in. I confess that most of my Fox News clips come from Media Matters as I can't stand watching the channel anymore.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The Penultimate Word: Militant Ignorance - the desire on the part of individuals to wallow in false beliefs despite their knowledge of the truth.

    "There’s a real difference between ignorance and militant ignorance. The former is accidental and can be resolved. The latter is planted, nurtured, and celebrated by people who know the difference. That’s more than unfortunate. That’s irresponsible."

    I think these two words apply to Fox News and Fox News viewers. I'm going to add the two words to my vocabulary.

    Nice article.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Schmidt:

    I received a newsletter this morning that claimed that FOX "News" had more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. The newsletter also claimed that MSNBC was "faking the news":

    http://personalliberty.com/2013/10/15/faking-the-news-2/

    Since I don't trust conservative news sources, I did further research to see how much of the drivel posted above is accurate.

    I generally trust the results of the Pew Study on most topics, but found (surprisingly) that the organization considered MSNBC to be more opinionated than FOX "New", and by a wide margin:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/03/18/pew-study-finds-msnbc-the-most-opinionated-cable-news-channel-by-far/

    The Pew study also found that FOX spent the most money producing its "news".

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304746604577380153431531964

    An article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that FOX "News" has 1,890,000 viewers in prime, compared to 784,000 for MSNBC, and 711,000 for CNN:

    Admittedly, both Forbes and the Wall Street Journal would be considered conservative news sources as well, but the information posted seems pretty reliable.

    Any comments ?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Arizona --

    Well the Personal Liberty website certainly looks like a Tea Party libertarian anti-Obama website. And of course ever since Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal, it's editorial content has largely been one sided and anti-Obama.

    The Forbes article is okay. I can agree with the findings that MSNBC is very largely opinion based. However, the opinions of Rachel Maddow and others are based on an analysis of facts. One might draw differing opinions based on the same facts and that's okay. But at least the arguments are fact based. That's not the case at Fox News.

    Yes the content of Fox News carries more news, but much of that news is one sided. Is it news, for example, to cover a President Obama speech and then cut away when Obama's message contradicts what they have been telling their audience? They do that quite often. Furthermore, much of their opinion based analysis by pundits like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity often have a disregard for the facts.

    The University of Maryland did a study of news media in 2010 and found that Fox News viewers were the most misinformed on key issues:

    "The most controversial part of the study comes at the end. MSNBC and NPR audiences were found to be least misinformed on the basic questions of fact. The study points to Fox News as the chief misinformer among the three major cable news outlets."

    I also recommend reading:

    The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine

    The book is authored by Media Matters, David Brock.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Just though I'd add some relevant information.

    The following is an excerpt about "Groundswell," one of the newest right-wing organizations. The excerpt is from The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: Part 2, the last section, and it is based on a Mother Jones article by Ginni Thomas at:
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/groundswell-rightwing-group-ginni-t...

    Here's the excerpt:

    Perhaps one of the most amazing things about “Groundswell’s” mentality is that it so blatantly expresses their divisive, biased point of view, because they suspect that many government agencies (State, the CIA, the Pentagon, the EPA, and others) conspire with "far left wing groups" to undermine conservatives in the media. Of course, right-wing leaders have been making such claims for many years, accusing the media of "left-wing bias." However, those who have researched and studied the issue have pointed out the fact that the media as a whole bends over backward to accommodate right-wing conservative politicians and pundits.

    In spite of that, one Groundswell member wrote: "Any evidence obtained would be more proof of collusion between the administration and the media and far left groups, while at the same time serving as evidence of whatever ridiculously moronic big government policies they're pushing are." The following month, he sent a message to Groundswell members seeking tips and offering to help shape stories Groundswellers wanted to disseminate: "I'm saying we can get pieces out fast on Breitbart. Whenever you have an idea, email or call me with a pitch and I'll do my best to get the story out there. Keep us on offense, them on defense. Even if the idea isn't perfect, I can help massage it to get there."

    Since Barack Obama was elected president the “Groundswell” organization has been meeting and communicating regularly. A member has written that: “Outreach has occurred to incorporate groups with extensive reach: Heritage, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, AFP [Americans for Prosperity], FRC [Family Research Council] and the NRA, among others…Our country is in peril. This is a critical moment needing critical leadership. We want to protect the strategic collaboration occurring at Groundswell and build on it. Please be careful about bringing guests and clear them ahead of time.

    The “Groundswell” group’s members have also been cautioned to “avoid any potential for bad press for someone if a communication item is leaked." (My emphasis in bold.) In other words, they are purposely secretive and they are afraid they will be exposed (as they have now been), and they realize that most Americans would regard their secret actions as a right-wing conspiracy.

    That’s what it is, in fact. That was made very obvious when one Groundswell member encouraged other Groundswell members to watch Agenda: Grinding America Down, a documentary that claims that President Obama and other progressives seek to establish a society based on the "failed policies and ideologies of communism," and also claims that an evil left is purposefully "destroying the greatest country in all of world history."

    The reality, however, is that it is Reaganism that has been ruining America by destroying the great legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal (as is explained in several other articles on this site).

    That is why the coming reformation must root out all the bad things that have been established and implemented due to Reaganism during the last three decades, so we can restore the good that was accomplished in the last century between 1932 and 1971 before Nixon, Reagan and Bush Jr. were presidents, and so we can create even better things for the future.
    .
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    "Just follow the money" is a phrase that has almost become a cliche, but it happens to fit FOX "news" very well.

    The 2nd largest shareholder in News Corp (which owns FOX) is a Saudi prince named al-Waleed, who is worth roughly $20 billion, almost all of which came from money earned from oil. He also happens to be the richest man in Saudi Arabia.

    http://www.forbes.com/profile/prince-alwaleed-bin-talal-alsaud/

    As a result of his financial interest, you're never going to hear the truth about global warming or the Keystone XL pipeline from the talking heads at FOX, nor are you likely to hear the true story of the Soyndra "scandal".

    The REAL story about Solyndra, incidentally, can be found at the link below. The original impetus for the loan to the company, surprisingly, came from the administration of George W. Bush, and the Walton family were early investors:

    http://ourfuture.org/20120926/the-phony-solyndra-solar-scandal?gclid=CIDP9d_kgL4CFcRafgodFnkA4w

    Coverage of the Keystone pipeline, naturally, focuses on the "positive" effects of the pipeline rather than on the fact that it would be an environmental disaster with very little true benefit to the United States (except for a couple of brothers from Kansas):

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/18/obama-administration-extends-review-period-for-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline/
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    that guy, you are correct that ..."Just follow the money"... fits Fox News. Absolutely right.

    Just like it fits CNN and MSNBC. And just about everything else on TV. Money runs all of it.

    Why do you think MSNBC was in Chris Christie "bridgegate" mode almost 24/7 for the better part of two months earlier this year? And why CNN was giving about the same amount of almost 24/7 coverage of the missing airliner? MONEY. They were giving their audience what they determined that the audience would watch. They were in business to sensationalize even the most minute and trivial aspects of the stories. And if Bundy had not come out in full blown racist rant mode the other day, Fox may have done the same.

    Ukraine invasion...what Ukraine invasion? Real news stories take a back seat to overly hyped, emotional stories which can squeeze out a fraction of a percent more in ratings points.

    It was amazing how many times we were breathlessly told by "BREAKING NEWS" alerts that there was essentially no new news at all.

    Why did these two networks spend so much air time on non-news news stories? Ratings. Their programming reflected what they thought would get the highest ratings. And ratings equals MONEY.

    Sure Fox does it...just like the rest of them. And that's not news.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Brainwash is a strong word in that it takes away from the accountability of the people being "brainwashed". It's our responsibility to be informed. They're not brainwashed,,,,but rather.....lazy, complacent and looking for the answer that is the path of least resistance to their own core beliefs....Fox merely feeds them what they want to hear...A verification of what they believe to be the truth.

    Those beliefs have been here long before Fox....they just tapped into it and started counting money. Yes, there's profit in stupidity
  • Democrat
    Green Valley, AZ
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    The word "NEWS" comes from "Factual and Accurate" information gathered from all points of the compass, North, East, West South....thus, the word "NEWS" The problem with Rupert Murdoch and Fox is that they have no compass. I don't think of Fox as a news channel. I try to watch but after a few minutes I get the feeling thy are trying to think for me.....maybe that's why they have so many Repubs watching......they don't have to think and they love the "Anger & Hatred"..... It is, I think a perfect match. Fox and Republicans....Republicans and Fox.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    DisabledVet&Voter Wrote: The word "NEWS" comes from "Factual and Accurate" information gathered from all points of the compass, North, East, West South....thus, the word "NEWS" The problem with Rupert Murdoch and Fox is that they have no compass. I don't think of Fox as a news channel. I try to watch but after a few minutes I get the feeling thy are trying to think for me.....maybe that's why they have so many Repubs watching......they don't have to think and they love the "Anger & Hatred"..... It is, I think a perfect match. Fox and Republicans....Republicans and Fox.
    The point is as I said many times; Americans are the most indoctrinated people on earth; it is either the church, army, media, overdone patriotism which is being pumped in every day, so they don't have to think for themselves; the thinking is done for them. They lack flexible brain cells which cells are blocked and occupied by the daily indoctrination here. Luckily I get the European news which is just un-biased news and not repeated over and over again with "patriotism" and "propaganda" as well other "sidelines" etc.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    News propaganda is a vital tool in persuading a nation to move in a desired direction, such as mobilizing war, building the Keystone Pipeline, increasing security on our borders and many other instances. I remember a college course that I took long ago and the Professor submitted information as to the effects of media propaganda. As you may reflect on history, try reading past the headlines and make inquiry to why the news is written as it is. Newspapers, magazines and news reporting on TV/Radio are pushed financially and politically to report a flavor or brand for citizens to feed on. People continue to feed on the news until a frenzy occurs and they become putty in the "real" instigators of pushing media news down our throats. Yes, all nations have groups of agents who are instructed to "MOVE the People" with agendas placed on altering the news. It's like advertising a commercial product or receiving that subliminal message in the stores, "BUY ME, YOU'LL LIKE IT".

    I often like to look at historical commentary when attempting to explain why we are so involved with the Middle East. Oil, terrorism and retaliation are just too easy to accept. There is a culture breed going on and fed by news propaganda. Nobody much anymore talks about the Beirut Barracks Bombing where 299 soldiers (U.S. & French) died from two explosive laden trucks destroyed the barracks. We were just beginning to increase awareness of the dangers of the Middle East, but I often question, "Why did President Reagan and President Mitterrand, retaliate with a lame response of shore bombardment and airstrikes?". We all could have done more, but could there have been some future planning of increased involvement in the Middle East for the purpose of more troops, capital investments (Haliburton) and using political grandstanding to give edge in a political movement, such as Republicans battling for position. Money and politics are far more powerful than you think and they know the value of media news doping with propaganda.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote:

    News propaganda is a vital tool in persuading a nation to move in a desired direction, such as mobilizing war, building the Keystone Pipeline, increasing security on our borders and many other instances. I remember a college course that I took long ago and the Professor submitted information as to the effects of media propaganda. As you may reflect on history, try reading past the headlines and make inquiry to why the news is written as it is. Newspapers, magazines and news reporting on TV/Radio are pushed financially and politically to report a flavor or brand for citizens to feed on. People continue to feed on the news until a frenzy occurs and they become putty in the "real" instigators of pushing media news down our throats. Yes, all nations have groups of agents who are instructed to "MOVE the People" with agendas placed on altering the news. It's like advertising a commercial product or receiving that subliminal message in the stores, "BUY ME, YOU'LL LIKE IT".

    I often like to look at historical commentary when attempting to explain why we are so involved with the Middle East. Oil, terrorism and retaliation are just too easy to accept. There is a culture breed going on and fed by news propaganda. Nobody much anymore talks about the Beirut Barracks Bombing where 299 soldiers (U.S. & French) died from two explosive laden trucks destroyed the barracks. We were just beginning to increase awareness of the dangers of the Middle East, but I often question, "Why did President Reagan and President Mitterrand, retaliate with a lame response of shore bombardment and airstrikes?". We all could have done more, but could there have been some future planning of increased involvement in the Middle East for the purpose of more troops, capital investments (Haliburton) and using political grandstanding to give edge in a political movement, such as Republicans battling for position. Money and politics are far more powerful than you think and they know the value of media news doping with propaganda.

    Yes AMC; you've got the picture related to "media"; so I wonder on how you got so indoctrinated in the first place? Statements like "We all could have done more" with more "involvement" in the middle east ( if that is with dumping money at the leaders or just sell them weapons or throw bombs on them as well as all our meddling in these countries) then I guess then you mean the "wrong involvement". The best "involvement" in the world is providing "the "right" education"(not just capitalism or religion) like, growing/processing food, infrastructure, engineering, logistics etc. Just sending troops, drones, soldiers, never solved anything.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Who doesn't propagandize ? Work hard and you will succeed. Only in America. From kindergarten on all the kids here is a message that resonates with right wing philosophy. What Democrat let alone the general public doesn't cringe at the word socialist. That is why indoctrination is so easy. Nobody is ever taught what is beneficial for society. When school vouchers or health savings accounts are offered as solutions, what prominent Democrat has explained that the median income does not provide discretionary money. That without discretionary money vouchers and health savings accounts are impossible solutions. Who has explained that most small business start ups fail. That success stories about starting a small business are the result of people with enough money to try four or five startups and then going with the most promising. That some college degrees are liabilities. Scholarships are won by the smartest kids while at the same time kids are taught that winning is not important, just participate. Why is there even a primary race. The Democratic Party should just declare a candidate and then work to elect the working people's candidate. Why is it conceded that the most conservative anti labor pro Wall Street candidate has to be our choice for president. Fox News is choosing to resonate with most of what is taught to all kids. There is only one Trump but our kids are taught that they all can succeed to his level if they get educated and work hard.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Who doesn't propagandize ? Work hard and you will succeed. Only in America. From kindergarten on all the kids here is a message that resonates with right wing philosophy. What Democrat let alone the general public doesn't cringe at the word socialist. That is why indoctrination is so easy. Nobody is ever taught what is beneficial for society. When school vouchers or health savings accounts are offered as solutions, what prominent Democrat has explained that the median income does not provide discretionary money. That without discretionary money vouchers and health savings accounts are impossible solutions. Who has explained that most small business start ups fail. That success stories about starting a small business are the result of people with enough money to try four or five startups and then going with the most promising. That some college degrees are liabilities. Scholarships are won by the smartest kids while at the same time kids are taught that winning is not important, just participate. Why is there even a primary race. The Democratic Party should just declare a candidate and then work to elect the working people's candidate. Why is it conceded that the most conservative anti labor pro Wall Street candidate has to be our choice for president. Fox News is choosing to resonate with most of what is taught to all kids. There is only one Trump but our kids are taught that they all can succeed to his level if they get educated and work hard.
    Chet, you are right; the culture here is there is always only one winner, second place does not count, Very typical here; in Europe second place gets the just about the same honors. Here look at game shows, the winner gets only more and more; the same with the 1% in this country. What a terrible culture.