Fox News is hurting our country and the very people it relies on for viewership. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the right-wing in this country has been trying to convince people not to get insurance, not to trust “Obamacare” and they have instilled an irrational fear of it in a large swath of the country.
This story is just one illustration of how Fox News and the misinformation they spew has real consequences.
Dean Angstadt fells trees for a living.
He’s a self-employed, self-sufficient logger who has cleared his own path for most of his 57 years, never expecting help from anyone. And even though he’d been uninsured since 2009, he especially wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.
“I don’t read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they’re full of it,” he told his friend Bob Leinhauser, who suggested he sign up.
Before I get to the rest of the story, read this quote from a piece by Eric Wemple about Dean Angstadt’s experience…
Asked if Fox News had molded his view of Obamacare, Angstadt responded, “Yeah, yeah – they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it.”
I went for many years without health insurance and can relate to Dean’s situation. My family has a history of heart problems, my dad and his brother both died of heart attacks in their early 40′s…so yeah, going without health insurance as I approached 40 years old was a bit scary. Thankfully, I took my current job at the university and began taking care of myself after I got insurance through my employer. More of Dean’s story…
In 2011, Angstadt had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to help his ailing heart pump more efficiently. Not long after, the almost 6-foot, 285-pound man’s man was back in the woods, doing the Paul Bunyan thing.
But last summer, his health worsened again. It was taking him 10 minutes to catch his breath after felling a tree. By fall, he was winded after traveling the 50 feet between his house and truck.
“I knew that I was really sick,” said the Boyertown resident. “I figured the doctors were going to have to operate, so I tried to work as long as I could to save money for the surgery. But it got to the point where I couldn’t work.”
A friend had been trying to convince Dean to sign up for insurance through the exchanges, but he kept resisting, falling back on the propaganda that he had been fed – the bad information that was having a real impact on this mans life.
From time to time, Leinhauser would urge Angstadt to buy a plan through the ACA marketplace. And each time, Angstadt refused.
“We argued about it for months,” Angstadt said. “I didn’t trust this Obamacare. One of the big reasons is it sounded too good to be true.”
Leinhauser went to Angstadt’s house, and in less than an hour, the duo had done the application. A day later, Angstadt signed up for the Highmark Blue Cross silver PPO plan and paid his first monthly premium: $26.11.
“All of a sudden, I’m getting notification from Highmark, and I got my card, and it was actually all legitimate,” he said. “I could have done backflips if I was in better shape.”
Angstadt’s plan kicked in on March 1. It was just in time. Surgery couldn’t be put off any longer. On March 31, Angstadt had life-saving valve-replacement surgery.
“I probably would have ended up falling over dead” without the surgery, Angstadt said. “Not only did it save my life, it’s going to give me a better quality of life.”
Dean Angstadt will live to chop another tree.
But Fox News needs to die a quick and painful death.
H/T to Steve Benen at The Maddowblog.
This Bundy Ranch standoff between a deadbeat rancher and the Bureau of Land Management has made Fox News’ Sean Hannity go full anti-American as he pours gasoline on a fire that has been burning since 1993, when Cliven Bundy first decided that he wanted to sponge off American tax payers and unlike the honest, hard working ranchers around him, stop paying grazing fees.
When Cliven Bundy declared “But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing”, I knew it would feed the racist, drooling morons with exactly what they needed to get their hate fired back up. It seems just a little strange to me that the Second Amendment fetishists would embrace someone who doesn’t even accept the federal Constitution, from which they pluck the 2nd Amendment – to the exclusion of all other amendments as well as the original language.
Chez Pazienza at The Daily Banter has an excellent piece up which poses several excellent questions about Fox News’ role in this mess. Go Chez…
What do you do when a media outlet refuses to behave responsibly? When it peddles outright lies? When it preaches a kind of cultural armageddon? When it, directly or indirectly, stokes the fires of armed insurrection without any regard whatsoever for what could be the disastrous impact?
I personally think the Fox News machine has ruined our country. They have succeeded in brainwashing millions of people into believing in an alternate reality. Several studies have been done that revealed this phenomenon. From a Fairleigh Dickinson University study…
The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. (emphasis mine)
They feed on these uninformed people. And beyond that, they also convince them not to believe any other media…you know, that whole “liberal media” bullshit that all of us liberals laugh uncontrollably at whenever someone says it.
Back to Chez’s piece, where he cites another example of Fox News catering to militia-types who like to overcompensate with large guns…
Four years ago, Glenn Beck regaled his Fox News viewers day after day, week after week with paranoid fever dreams about the coming collapse of America and the need for some kind of resistance to the encroaching progressive threat. He picked specific targets for his outrage, people and institutions he claimed were surreptitiously trying to destroy the country; one of them was the Tides foundation, a relatively obscure organization based in San Francisco that Beck had singled out as being part of the secret liberal cabal.
In July of 2010, a guy named Byron Williams, wearing body armor and armed heavily, got into a shootout with the California Highway Patrol, injuring two officers. Under questioning he said that he was driving to San Francisco with the goal of “starting a revolution” by killing members of the Tides foundation and the ACLU. Why? Because he watched a lot Glenn Beck and heeded the host’s warnings that his beloved country was about to be taken away from him if somebody didn’t do something. So Byron Williams did.
I want to know where the responsible media is on this? Do journalists even attempt to police their own profession anymore or have they just given up and joined in the propaganda/money-making scheme that seems to be working for Fox News. Something has to change soon, the crazy just keeps getting crazier.
Jim Carrey released this statement today in response to Fox News, who attacked him for his “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die. The video targets assault weapons and large magazines.
Since I released my “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.
I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
Go check out his Twitter feed, he’s on a mission. Go Jim!
Cross-posted at Extreme Liberal’s Blog
In keeping with the alternate reality created by Fox News and perpetuated by it’s minions like Rush Limbaugh, the anchors at Fox News are questioning the recent uptick in the number of jobs created in the private sector. They are pushing the idea that the books have been “cooked.” It is really astounding how obvious they are in their attempts to keep their alternate reality propped up. Alex Seitz-Wald at ThinkProgress spells it out pretty clearly.
If it weren’t improper to psychologically analyse strangers, one might think the Fox hosts are displaying a textbook example of cognitive dissonance here, a psychological phenomena in which people who hold a strong belief about something invent (sometimes far fetched) explanations for new evidence that conflicts with their existing views. Obama is bad for the economy, the jobs numbers show the economy is doing better, so there must be something wrong with the jobs numbers.
To illustrate how Fox News is selective in believing the job numbers, we only have to look at how they report when unemployment rises.
The Labor Department reported that employers added just 18,000 net jobs in June, the fewest in nine months. The jobless rate ticked up to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent. The pace of job growth is not even enough to keep up with population growth — it would take about 125,000 jobs per months to do so — and certainly not enough to bring down the unemployment rate.
The article then goes on to quote extensively from the Labor Department’s report, while sprinkling in Republican talking points along the way. Not a single mention of any books being cooked or numbers being manipulated, because — you know — the bad numbers fit with the narrative.
What is disturbing to me about this tactic is that it works for their audience.They are feeding them exactly what they want and they really don’t care if their viewers are misinformed. In fact, I would argue that they count on it. Several studies of Fox News viewers have shown a huge disconnect between reality and the manufactured one that the right have been feeding them. Steven Benen wrote an excellent piece a while back on how disconnected Fox News viewers are from reality.
The quantifiable evidence is overwhelming. Eight years ago, just six months into the war in Iraq, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found that those who relied on the Republican network were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions — about WMD in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, and foreign support for the U.S. position on the war in Iraq.” [...]
The problem is actually getting worse.
In December, PIPA published a report, this time on “Misinformation and the 2010 Election” (pdf). The point was to measure Americans’ understanding of a variety of key developments that news consumers would likely be familiar with. As was the case eight years ago, Fox News viewers were “significantly more likely” to be confused about reality.
It really scares me to think that viewers of the most watched cable news network live in a world where empirical reality has no place. They absorb only information that conforms to their beliefs and block any conflicting information, regardless of the source. And even when presented with clear evidence to the contrary, they either attack the messenger or just cover their ears and go “na na na, I can’t hear you.”
My theory on why they are successful at this tactic is that most of these uninformed viewers have a mindset that is based on emotion, fear and bigotry. Logic plays no role in their thinking and because of that, they are extremely susceptible to suggestions and selective facts they fit those biases and fears. Fox News only has to confirm those fears and play with those emotions. Fox News has made a science out it…except, of course, they don’t believe in science either.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Guest Blogger: Erin Nanasi
It happens to all of us. We find out that someone we love is a Republican. Well, rather than gnashing your teeth, or weeping into your java, help them. Show them the error of their ways, and maybe, just maybe, you can save them.
The following suggestions may help you with your Republican:
1) Don’t ostracize your Republican. The worst thing you can do is leave them alone with Fox News blaring in the background and Ann Coulter’s latest book on the nightstand. Show them you love them, no matter what.
2) Be gentle. For God’s sake, do NOT suddenly inundate your Republican with articles from Daily Kos, or duct tape them to a chair and make them watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann. This is a process not unlike deprogramming someone who is in a cult. Without the hand cuffs, unless you’re into that sort of thing.
3) Remember that they will fight you. You can point out the 50 times Fox and Friends have lied in the past week, but depending on how far gone your Republican is, be prepared for a battle. Memorize the lingo: libtard, Muslim, anti-American, conservative Jesus. Hugging can help, but in some severe cases, people have been bitten. Head gear may be an option.
4) Take your Republican outside. One of the best ways to show someone the light is to get them out IN IT. Many hard core conservatives sit in their living rooms all day, watching Fox and listening to Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh. Getting the Republican physically out of the house can help. You may need assistance with this step, as some Republicans grab onto the door frame quite fiercely, digging their heels into the hallway carpet.
5) Show your Republican all the great things the government does, every day. Make it personal. For example, if your Republican is retired, remind them, again gently, about Social Security and Medicare. If your Republican is employed, ask them what they did last weekend. Point out that the weekend was brought to them by unions and that the Department of Labor, which is a government entity, helps protect American workers from abuse. Remember to duck after using the word “unions”.
6) When your Republican is at work, or a DAR meeting, go through their personal library. If you find four versions of the Bible, three Sean Hannity works and discover your Republican has subscriptions to both The American Spectator and Townhall, remove them. Yes, this is harsh, but remember, the less propaganda they have available, the less likely they are to throw it at you.
7) Use facts, not emotion. When your Republican launches into a “Obummer is a Socialist” tirade, point out that, in fact, he is not. Find actual Socialists and use them as a comparison. Travel to the library, hopefully with your Republican, and check out some books on Lenin, or Karl Marx or Leon Trotsky. Show your Republican the difference between all the “isms”-Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Foxism.
8) By this point, you will either be feeling pretty damn good about your work thus far, or you are in the emergency room, having your earlobe sewn back on, or getting stitches where you were hit with a Bible. Be strong, stay the course. Invest in antibiotic ointment and bandages. This is your Republican and you are the only person standing between them and utter Republicanism. Another “ism”.
9) Now is the time for mainstream media to make an appearance. Mainstream. Please, do not undo all your work by taking your Republican to Mother Jones.com. It’s too soon. My suggestion is HLN. This is the home of Nancy Grace, whom your Republican will love, and interspersed between tabloid shows is actual news. Watch your Republican’s response to unbiased news reports. If their eyes narrow, or a vein pops out of their neck, turn off the television and try again later. This is a painful process for your Republican, who up until now, did not know there were other news channels available. And NO RADIO. Take it with you if you have to. Use force.
10) This is the final moment, when you need to honestly evaluate your Republican. Is your Republican becoming more open minded? Are they less likely to mutter that government health care is Socialism on the way to the bank to deposit their Social Security check? Are they using the word “President” before Obama, rather than calling him “That Muslim”? Have they stopped wearing shirts with sayings like “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” and moving on to shirts with kittens? Then congratulations. Your Republican is well on their way to becoming a productive member of society, controlled not by irrational hate and Gretchen Carlson’s hair, but by their own mind! However, if there is no change in your Republican, and they are even more obsessed than before, a session or two with Dr. Schadenfreude may be in order.
If you love a Republican tell us about it in the comments section.
Also found at MadMikesAmerica
Here is a link to the second part of the above, damn thing was autoplaying, which I hate.
After over a year and hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars spent, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has released its report on the Fox News generated “nontroversy” about voter intimidation by a couple of guys playing dress up in Philadelphia. Here’s Rachel Maddow with a little background and clarity…
Adam Serwer has the details of the report released and some great links to details about the case. Go take a look. Here are a couple of snippets from his piece at The Plum Line…
It should come as a shock to no one that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has “found no evidence that the decision to dismiss the case against three of the four defendants was predicated on political considerations” or that there was “improper political interference or influence from within or outside the Department in connection with the decision in the case.” As Ryan J. Reilly reports, this comes after OPR interviewed numerous staffers and sifted through “thousands of pages of internal Department e-mails, memoranda, and notes.”
To sum up: The New Black Panther tale — a years-long journey into the fevered right-wing imagination that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and led to no shortage of scurrilous accusations of racism against the first black president and attorney general — was a colossal waste of time and taxpayer resources.
Republicans seized on this case for one reason, and one reason only. Despite the absence of any actual intimidated voters, and the hasty, weak nature of the original case, the GOP sought an opportunity to inflame white resentment by leveling charges that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are racist against white people. Though the staffers who filed the case have also been cleared, conservative media seized on the case to support a narrative of white racial victimhood, where virtually every single policy of the administration is attributed to a covert hatred for white people.
When I used Google to look for background for this, I ran across all sorts of crazy stuff. The same is true for when I searched at Youtube for the clip. Racism is alive and well in America, folks.
Go Nic Robertson! Nice take down of one of Fox News’ many lies.
I just stumbled across this at Daily Kos and just had to share it with you. And it inspired me to go look for more people who called out Fox on Fox.
This one is pretty wild because it is Chris Wallace of Fox News doing the “calling out” which is unusual. Chris Wallace deserves some huge credit for this.
The good part of this clip is at 1:00 or so, Howard Dean gets a great plug in for Robert Greenwald’s documentary “Outfoxed”.
This one is really awesome. I hate to dredge up the Jeremiah Wright bullshit, but this is just amazing. He rips into Fox News and their techniques. I remember seeing this guy during the election but of course, I don’t watch Fox so I never saw this.
Matt Taibbi has a great article in Rolling Stone about the Tea Party phenomenon that is a must read. Check out this extended excerpt from it below. (emphasis is mine)
In fact if you follow Fox News and the Limbaugh/Hannity afternoon radio crew, this summer’s blowout has almost seemed like an intentional echo of the notorious Radio Rwanda broadcasts “warning” Hutus that they were about to be attacked and killed by conspiring Tutsis, broadcasts that led to massacres of Tutsis by Hutus acting in “self-defense.” A sample of some of the stuff we’ve seen and heard on the air this year:
- On July 12, Glenn Beck implied that the Obama government was going to aid the New Black Panther Party in starting a race war, with the ultimate aim of killing white babies. “They want a race war. We must be peaceful people. They are going to poke, and poke, and poke, and our government is going to stand by and let them do it.” He also said that “we must take the role of Martin Luther King, because I do not believe that Martin Luther King believed in, ‘Kill all white babies.‘”
- CNN contributor and Redstate.com writer Erick Erickson, on the Panther mess: “Republican candidates nationwide should seize on this issue. The Democrats are giving a pass to radicals who advocate killing white kids in the name of racial justice and who try to block voters from the polls.”
- On July 6, the Washington Times columnist J. Christian Adams wrote an editorial insisting that “top [Obama] appointees have allowed and even encouraged race-based enforcement as either tacit or open policy,” marking one of what would become many assertions by commentators that the Obama administration was no longer interested in protecting the rights of white people. “The Bush Civil Rights Division was willing to protect all Americans from racial discrimination,” Adams wrote. “During the Obama years, the Holder years, only some Americans will be protected.”
- July 12: Rush Limbaugh says Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder “protect and represent” the New Black Panther party.
- July 28: Rush says Supreme Court decision on 1070 strips Arizonans of their rights to defend themselves against an “invasion”: “I guess the judge is saying it’s not in the public interest for Arizona to try to defend itself from an invasion. I don’t know how you look at this with any sort of common sense and come to the ruling this woman came to.” That same day, Rush says this: “Muslim terrorists are going to have a field day in Arizona. You cannot ask them where they’re from. You cannot even act like we know where they’re from. You cannot ask them for their papers. We can ask you for yours. Not them.”
- July 29: The Washington Times asks “Should Arizona Secede?” and says the Supreme Court “is unilaterally disarming the people of Arizona in the face of a dangerous enemy” with the aim of creating a “socialist superstate.” The paper writes: “The choice is becoming starkly apparent: devolution or dissolution.”
- July 29, Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy continues the Radio Rwanda theme, saying, “If the feds won’t protect the people and Governor Brewer can’t protect her citizens, what are the people of Arizona supposed to do?”There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution.
I’m beginning to wonder why effective boycotts against these hate-media channels, and particularly Fox, haven’t been organized yet. Why not just pick out one Fox advertiser at random and make an example out of it? How about Subaru and their unintentionally comic “Love” slogan? I actually like their cars, but what the fuck? How about Pep Boys and that annoying logo of theirs? Just to prove that it can be done, I’d like to see at least one firm get blown out of business as a consequence of financially supporting the network that is telling America that its black president wants to kill white babies. Isn’t that at least the first move here? It’s beginning to strike me that sitting by and doing nothing about this madness is not a terribly responsible way to behave.
karoli over at Crooks and Liars had this great quote on the end of this post…
There was a time in this country where people as paranoid and self-focused as Glenn Beck were placed in a room with padding and round corners until the meds took hold.
Now they go on national television. Rupert Murdoch’s epitaph should read “He mainstreamed crazy.”
Although they pretend to be a legitimate news organization, they are clearly a division of Rupert Murdoch’s empire. There are many examples of their slant to the right, but this one is a glaring example of how they are apologists for the George W. Bush administration. From a piece of shit from Politico…
So White House aides are escalating their efforts to reassure Congress and the public in the face of a slow-motion catastrophe, even though it’s not clear they can bring it under control anytime soon.
So let me get this right, a huge oil company who was subsidized and given all sorts of leeway from the Bush administration (remember Cheney meeting with these folks in private)…so they have an accident because of their own lack of precautions (a fucking valve) and somehow this is Obama’s fault and responsibility to take care of. I DO think our government has a role to play in responding to this disaster and from ALL accounts by legitimate news sources, that is exactly what is happening. So why would Republicans like Politico try to make this Obama’s Katrina, hmmmmm, could it be politics…..from Politico? Nah!
Hope and change was Obama’s headline message in 2008, but those atop his campaign have always said that it was Obama’s cool competence — exemplified by his level-headed handling of the financial meltdown during the campaign’s waning days — that sealed the deal with independents and skeptical Democrats. The promise of rational, responsive and efficient government is Obama’s brand, his justification for bigger and bolder federal interventions and, ultimately, his rationale for a second term.
So there was a “little bit of panic,” according to one administration official, when White House aides sensed the oil spill narrative getting away from them last week. The White House was particularly alarmed by the rash of stories comparing the Obama administration’s initial response with President George W. Bush’s sluggish response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
No innuendo there, huh? And really, who was it that was pushing the “Obama’s Katrina” crap? It wouldn’t be the right-wing media, now would it? The same folks that pushed the “death panels” bullshit or any of the hundreds of other lies the Republicans have been saying since the first black president took office. It’s quite amazing how the media pushes a story and then writes another one saying how the administration is having to respond to this story. Hell, they don’t even need truth anymore, they make up the story and then report about the response to the made up story. What a wonderful media we have these days.