As I read my favorite blogs and newspapers across the web I am always amazed at how many Fox News lies are flying around at any given time. It seems on any given day, there are like 4 or 5 “lie threads” that permeate their coverage. It’s kind of like hit and run journalism, they put it out there live on the air, it floats around, people debunk it, but by the time they can write a story or report about it….whoop…there’s another one. But of course, the damage has already been done as that FoxInformed viewer (my new name for it) has swallowed it up, digested it and very quickly crapped it back out in the comments section of any number of political sites on the web. Lately, the other cable networks have been picking up on them too, they seem to be going for the Fox whacko crowd. Even if it is debunked by one of the many great sites like Media Matters for America or Politifact.com or Factcheck.org, it will more than likely not be seen by the rabid FoxInformed viewer. This is how our country has been driven down into the abyss.
The next stage in the process involves commissioning polls that reflect that disinformation. You need only look at polls of self identified FoxInformed viewers to understand how whacked out their knowledge of reality is. But the major media outlets NEVER remind anyone that the larger polls, Gallup, the Wall Street Journal/NBC or Quinnipiac include a bunch of those people who are operating in that alternate reality. The pundits, of course, wish that they could decide issues themselves, based on their latest poll numbers. We are becoming a referendum democracy. And it isn’t just politics where this is happening. One of the craziest poll questions I’ve seen reported was back when a Detroit Tigers picture was robbed of a perfect game by a bad call. Well a serious pollster actually asked a question in a poll on whether the call should be overturned. Who really cares what the general public thinks about a bad call in a freakin baseball game, isn’t there something more important to be worrying about than that. Here is the first of the Fox News lies that I came across in my casual reading. From Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly…
THE FARCICAL RICK SCOTT…. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) chatted with the hosts of Fox News’ Fox & Friends yesterday, talking about taxes and budget shortfalls. The hosts were duly impressed.
[T]he message worked on Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade — who at the end of a four-minute interview said Scott’s message and proposals are resonating with Florida voters. His proof? Scott’s approval ratings.
“The states that have to balance the budget are making the tough decisions, and getting appreciation for it. Your approval ratings are up,” said Kilmeade.
Well, it’s funny Kilmeade should put it that way, because that’s the exact opposite of the truth.
Public Policy Polling shows Scott’s approval rating plummeting to 32%. Quinnipiac recently found a similar level of support, putting the governor’s support at 35%. A Suffolk University poll released this week found that only 28% of Floridians approved of Scott’s job performance.
And then there is this one from Media Matters for America, which is just one of many that they are telling about both President Obama’s budget plan and conversely, Paul Ryans’s.
Carl Cameron reported that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal would “cut more than $6 trillion from the federal debt of $14 trillion over the course of the next 10 years.” In fact, Ryan’s proposal claims that it would reduce the federal deficit by $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years — not reduce the federal debt by $6 trillion.
Click Read More for the rest of the story…
Media Matters for America also keeps track of when Fox News actually corrects it’s lies, when they do…which is rare. More from Media Matters…
In the fifteen days following Megyn Kelly’s June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department’s release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case.
But it’s not just Fox News where you see the lies and they mostly go unchallenged. This one is about Reince Priebus on NBC’s The Today Show, which was debunked by Politifact.com…
Asked by host Meredith Vieira whether the recent run of job growth and falling unemployment numbers “throw a real monkey wrench” into his party’s argument, Priebus said, “No, not at all. Under this president, he’s promised millions and millions of jobs. We’ve lost 26 million jobs, Meredith, since he’s been president.
Just for a sense of scale, if it were a net number, losing 26 million jobs, as Priebus indicated, would mean losing about 20 percent of the nation’s jobs — something on the scale of the Great Depression.
We e-mailed the Republican National Committee’s press office for an explanation, but they did not reply by the time we posted this story.
Perhaps Priebus simply misspoke, or perhaps he misplaced a decimal point and ended up wrong by a factor of 10. Whatever the reason, the 26 million figure he cited on the Today show was ridiculously wrong. We rate it Pants on Fire.
Is it any wonder that public opinion and knowledge is so far from reality. With a coordinated effort by Fox News to misinform their viewers, knowingly, they are in a way usurping our country. They are slowly bringing down our republic. It is one of the reasons why our founders wanted a free press, to keep any one politician or group from misinforming the masses. There certainly was a lot of yellow journalism back in the day, but there were balances and over the years, standards were developed that have been blown away in recent years. In researching this piece, I came across this at Answers.com when asking the question, “why did the founding fathers protect freedom of the press”, here is the answer…
Because they knew that a government-controlled press could not properly serve its citizens, it would only tell the people what the government wanted them to hear. A good example being “Pravda” in the Soviet Union.
The “free press” in the United States, while still not controlled by the government, is mostly under the direction of large corporations which dictate the content of the newspapers, magazines, and TV networks they own, so except for small independent efforts it is no longer really free.
I would add that with the coziness of Fox News with so many Republican candidates and their unabashed plugging of every Republican meme, the line between the corporate media and the Republican Party is gone, there is no line, they are one in the same.