Monday, March 28, 2011

Time to change the Fox News Slogan to Something like “We Distort, You Believe”

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The following piece is being republished with permission of the co-editor-in-chief of News Junkie Post (Making Sense of the News)Dolores M Bernal.  Originally titled, "What's Ailing Roger and His Fox Trots," this was written by Amy Beth Arkawy. Although originally published last November 18th, her perspective on Glenn Beck makes her wager near the end still relevant.

What’s Ailing Roger And His Fox Trots?

Roger Ailes

It’s so hard to merely dismiss that toxic fright wing propaganda machine known as Fox News. I try, I really try to simply ignore the lies, the hate, the twisted half-truths. It’s so easy to reside in a liberal bubble thinking, knowing that all sane, reasonable people know Fox News is not a legit news operation. Everyone with a modicum of sense knows that bloviators like O’Reilly, Hannity and Glenn Beck–especially Beck– are partisan hacks and maybe even crazy scary (especially Beck again). Heck, no one I know even watches the damn network. [Emphasis added]
Well, that last statement is not true. A lot of people watch. And some of them don’t seem–pardon the clinical term–nuts. A recent trip to Starbucks took a sour turn ( and it had nothing to do with the soy milk) as I got sucked into a conversation between two well-heeled retired men, charming old guys with whom I’ve shared many jovial conversations ( usually about things other than politics). One guy was singing the praises of Glenn Beck and his recent crusade against George Soros. “Looks like he’s loaded for bear, ” he said. “Yeah, he’s determined to stop Soros.
They’ve got to shut him down, ” the other one said.
Okay, I know I should have steered clear, but come on, I was sitting right there, and they know me, so I asked, “Why? Why do they have to shut Soros down.”
“Because he’s a Nazi,” the first guy said.
“What are you talking about? Soros isn’t a Nazi. Soros’ family was wiped out by Nazis,” I said. “You can’t believe everything (of course I meant anything) Glenn Beck says.”
“Well, maybe not, ” the second guy said. “I don’t watch that show too often.” Then he buried his head in Rupert Murdoch’s rag sheet “The New York Post.” ( which I, admittedly. also peruse for gossip and a few laughs).
“Still that Soros, ” the first guy wouldn’t let go. “Call him what you want to, but he’s one of Obama’s guys. He wants to redistribute the wealth. We’ve got to be vigilant. We’ve got to take back the country. Before it’s too late. ”
“You gotta stop watching Glenn Beck, ” I said. “Immediately if not sooner. And cut way back on the O’Reilly, too.”
“He’s on to something, just wait.”
This little interchange underscores the reason I can’t watch Beck with the bemusement I once enjoyed. I can no longer pretend the world sees him as that self-professed rodeo clown or a walking “Saturday Night Live” parody. A lot of people take him and all the Fox News partisan sludge seriously. That Faux News has long buried facts along with common sense and decency in its so called “Fair and Balanced” backyard continues to elude a hearty contingent of the cable news audience. [Emphasis added]
So it’s not surprising to discover the wind beneath the bloviators’ hot air, Fox News President Roger Ailes, is just as vitriolic as his clown princes. In an interview with The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, Ailes railed against Jon Stewart, calling “The Daily Show” Host “crazy,” insisting he lives for “polarization. If there wasn’t polarization his show would bomb, ” he said.
And Fox is just telling it like it is. No agenda. Keep saying “Fair and Balanced,” and people–well enough people–will believe you. But the Emperor wasn’t done showing off his new clothes, of course. He had to whip out Fox’s not so secret weapon: the Nazi card. And wield it against another favorite Fox bogeyman, NPR....
...After receiving complaints from the Anti Defamation League for blithely trotting out the Nazi card, Ailes apologized, saying he “shouldn’t have used that term.” Of course, he couched it by claiming he was merely “ad-libbing.” I’m not sure how that excuses using the words Nazi or Nazism something like five times in one conversation. But Ailes is just following his fright wingers’ lead. Or is it the other way around? Either way, the strategy is the same. Shoot first. Apologize later. But only if it’s absolutely necessary.
And then whatever controversy you cook up can easily be spun into grubby ratings gold. That gold is about the only thing left to sell on Glenn Beck’s show, has a certain poetic irony that perhaps only weary liberals can appreciate. Well, that and freeze dried food for the bunkers where Beck and his paranoid followers will be residing once that Nazi New Order swings through town.
Believes his own hysteria?

I don’t know–or care–if Beck believes his own hysteria, but I’m willing to wager a box of that freeze-dried lasagna that Ailes knows its all theatrical fright wing fireworks. That he’s cynical enough to endorse such a dangerous game–and play it himself– takes shameful to a new despicable low. Time to change the Fox News Slogan for good. Something like “We Distort, You Believe,” sounds about right. Or fright.
For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

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