I proposed that Fox News is brainwashing its audience. I used as one example (although there is a forest of full of low hanging fruit from which to pluck) the fact that Greta Van Sustereen was "confused" as to why Barack Obama would spend all of his campaign money attacking Romney and not Gingrich. I backed up my example by laying out a summary of the mammoth-sized assortment of empirical data that shows that Gingrich would be a terrible candidate and Romney would not. I proposed that data wasn't even necessary to understand a Gingrich candidacy. There is a general understanding of how moderates and independents think that should come into play. A person who is "confused" about Obama's campaign attacks vis-a-vis Gingrich is a person who doesn't understand the outside world. It is a person who dwells all day in an echo chamber and never gets out long enough to view the world like everybody else.
Now there are two possibilities. Either Greta is dumb in that she doesn't reads polls and doesn't understand the outside world or she is deliberately trying to misinform/gratify her audience. I don't think that Greta is dumb. The latter option we call brainwashing.
Now if this were an isolated incidence, then it would not justify me making broad generalizations about an entire news network. However, it is not an isolated incidence. I do not have the time or energy to link all of the research that shows that Fox News misinforms its audience. The evidence is breathtaking in both scope and detail. However, here is the latest poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll (with links to some of that other research) that shows that Fox News viewers are more misinformed than people who watch no news at all.
This is not a surprise to me. Every time I watch Fox News I feel condescended to myself. It's like they really believe their audience is stupid and they can just say whatever they want to say. Fox News has managed to portray Barack Obama as some naive nobody who can't speak without the aid of a teleprompter. Their audience genuinely believes that Newt Gingrich would wipe the floor with Obama in a debate. What Fox's audience will see in those debates will be something completely different than what the rest of America will see. Fox News has managed to create an alternative reality, not based upon data and reason (or polls), but based upon the cultural resentment of its target audience. Within the conservative movement, Fox News is the ruling class, where media pundits define the parameters of conservatism and seek to destroy the deviant.
So do I condescend? Not sure, but I am going to be blunt when I am describing the conservative media establishment. Conservatives existed long before there was a Fox and Friends in the morning. We will exist long after. But America needs a credible conservative movement now. Government is just not working. Unfortunately, if responsible Republicans are to lead our country toward necessary reform, they will have to do so despite the significant obstacle of Fox News.
Right Wingnut has posted a Rasmussen poll (with an emphasis on the Rasmussen) that shows Gingrich with a two point lead over Obama. Rasmussen has a proven record of skewing to the right, but regardless. I will be more than happy to delete this entire post if I can see a credible trend. And which one poll out of the past 100 do you think that Fox News is going to use to bolster their claim that Obama should be more worried about Newt?
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