Once again, Jon Stewart and his staff reveal the craziness that is Fox News. If only other news outlets pushed back on their fellow “journalists”, but they are too busy worrying about President Obama taking a few days off from the hardest fucking job in the world, which even a lot of Republicans don’t care about. (this clip seems to be sped up a bit, sorry)
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.”
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
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Here is a link to the second part of the above, damn thing was autoplaying, which I hate.