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Fox News Makes You Stupid

22 Dec
Fox News Channel

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I’ve always felt that there was something not quite right with Fox News. They’re biased, sure, like every other news network these days. Maybe its the fact that they’ve been known to twist articles to their opinion in ways that take them so far from the truth that they’re not even recognizable. What’s even worse than Fox News is a hardcore Fox News viewer, don’t ever get into an argument with them, it’s impossible to win. You could have all the facts, put up a convincing argument, and be entirely right and they’ll still insist you’re wrong. This is even the case with topics that can’t be opinionated, your argument could be based on pure fact and they’ll still say you’re wrong. They simply, flat out, refuse to believe that anyone else’s opinion could be right, why would Fox lie to them.

How could Fox possibly have an agenda? Isn’t the purpose of the news networks to give you the news, unbiased and truthfully? Well, it seems like they do have an agenda, an agenda that leans heavily to the political right. While Fox News has publicly denied these accusations its quite clear that, just by looking at their history, they are in fact biased. Take healthcare reform for example, a leaked memo from Fox vice president Bill Sammon, during the healthcare reform debates, showed quite clearly where they stood. They wanted to ensure that any mentioning of the “public option” was changed to “government option” or “government-run health insurance” simply because studies had shown that calling it the latter instead of the former increased the number of people that were against it significantly. Now why would that matter to a news network? Need further proof? How about during the coverage of the war in Iraq in 2005, a 2010 study found that, during that time, Fox repeatedly down-played bad news whenever it was possible that it could make the current, Republican, administration look bad. In 2010, News Corporation gave $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce which, at the time, was working to elect Republicans.

If taking things out of context were an all-you-can eat buffet, Fox would have pulled their chair up to the bar a long time ago. Fox News has turned taking things out of context into an art form. A dirty, dirty art form. Fox has repeatedly taken quotes from speeches out of context in an effort to alter their meaning. At one point they changed the meaning of a question Barack Obama asked in regards to healthcare so that it sounded as if he supported a European style system. In reality Obama was simply responding to a question from an audience member at a town hall meeting. Fox deliberately cut the beginning and end of the conversation out to change its meaning, if it had been left intact you would have heard Obama continue his conversation by stating why he didn’t believe a universal healthcare system was the right thing to do. Shortly after the Bachmann rally in D.C., during an interview with Michele Bachmann, Fox’s Sean Hannity interspersed video surveying the crowd of Bachmann’s rally with a similar survey of the crowd at the 9-12 rally without indicating a difference. Fox claimed that the rally attracted more than 20,000 people while three separate Capital Hill police officers all guessed the attendance being closer to around 4,000. The 9-12 rally, reportedly attracted around 70,000 people. Hmm, do you suppose Fox was trying to make the Bachmann rally appear as though it had a better turn out than it truly did? During the G-20 protests, Glenn Beck displayed a photo showing a sickle and hammer symbol with the words “Capitalism Will Fail” beneath it and indicating that it was a sign being held by someone during the protests, only it wasn’t. The photo was taken of a mosaic painted by eighth-graders on tiles outside of a Berkeley, California school. In 2009, during a book signing by Sarah Palin in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Fox indicated a large turnout while showing photos, that had apparently just come in, with large groups of people surrounding Sarah Palin. The video ended up actually being from a 2008 McCain/Palin campaign rally. Fox ended up apologizing for what they called a “production error,” sure you apologized, but only after you got caught.

These gripes only scratch the very surface of the BS that Fox spins. They spew false information at such an incredible rate that it would be impossible to catch it all. They display misleading graphs, use quotes out of context, chop up video, and use completely unrelated photos. It now makes perfect sense! Viewers of Fox are being deliberately misled at every turn. The Republicans have recently benefited from Fox’s power over their viewers, as evidenced by their recent wins in the elections. How can our country’s citizens make informed decisions about who they vote for when the only news network they’re willing to watch regularly and purposefully lies to them. A recent study, by the University of Maryland, of American voters revealed that the regular Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. If you want proof of their study simply browse to Fox News’ forums, you’ll realize the truth relatively quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the other news networks aren’t without blame, but Fox News ranked in the top position. They should all be held accountable for the news they produce or, in some cases, manufacture.

This all goes back to my argument in my post, Leveling The Playing Field, while there are things that can be done to ensure the best candidates are getting into office, it all starts with us, the voters. As citizens of a country where we are given the privilage to vote, we are obligated to make smart voting decisions, not doing so is wasting that privelage. If you’re not getting your news from various sources and taking each with a grain of salt you aren’t doing your country any favors. In fact, you might as well just stop voting, you’re no longer making your own decisions, someone else is making them for you. Do your research, check the facts, and make your own decision about who should be running this country.

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6 Comments

Posted by on December 22, 2010 in General

 

6 responses to “Fox News Makes You Stupid

  1. Lynn

    December 22, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Let’s think about this…Are we talking about news, or are we talking about values/viewpoints/traditions? Yes, most news companies are either right or left winged, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to take what was at one time considered the news and twist it into some warped twisted version of reality for the viewers to decide whether or not it is fact or fiction. Facts are facts, PERIOD. My interpretation of left or right winged would be a company deciding whether or not to report an event due to their beliefs, not taking them and twisting whatever news comes through to mean that Obama (as an examples) is like Hitler (thanks Glenn Beck) and that we are a Socialist nation because we were looking at alternatives to rising costs in health care.

    Facts are facts are facts. If you want to listen to a twisted, warped view of them, that’s fine, I will never win the battle. In cases such as these, I prefer to stick to reality.

     
  2. Pat Reagin

    December 22, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    Nick,

    Get real. Your only valid point here is that every news organization has some sort of agenda and people should do their own research.

    FOX is the only news network that happens to lean to the right. While CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, hell even ESPN (an ABC/Disney holding) all lean left. With 4 of those being on “free” TV, FOX really doesn’t have a chance right? Wrong, they have better ratings than all of those organizations on almost a nightly basis. Why is that? Because right, wrong or indifferent, people gravitate towards people/entities/organizations that share their values and traditions and this country more or less still swings to a more conservative world view. FOX News reflects that fact.

     
    • nick2600

      December 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM

      Pat,

      It doesn’t matter what direction a news network leans towards, they have an agenda. Therefore the networks will mold the news into whatever way meshes with that agenda. It may have sounded like I was picking on Fox in my post, and I was. However, this post was inspired by a study, linked to in the second to last paragraph, which specifically mentioned Fox in regards to misinforming its viewers. Expanding on that study’s findings meant listing examples of Fox’s misinformation tactics. I could easily write similar posts about other networks, and someday I just might.

      You say my only valid point was that news corporations have an agenda and people should do their own research. Well, that was actually the only point I was trying to make. You go on to point out that Fox news has some of the highest ratings on a nightly basis, true, and that the reason for those ratings is that people gravitate towards people/entities/organizations that share their values and traditions, which is also true. What isn’t true is saying that this country swings to a more conservative world view. Take a look at the ratings for the different news networks, if Fox is, as you stated, the only network to lean to the right, than it would make perfect sense that their ratings would exceed all other networks. However, combine the ratings of those remaining networks and you’ll most likely find that they either match or exceed Fox. Not sure how that implies a country swinging to a more conservative world view. That would be like saying, “Converse makes the best Chuck Taylors.” Well, there are a lot of shoe manufacturers out there, but only one that makes Chuck Taylors. How can you say Converse is the best when there’s no one else making Chuck Taylors? You’ve got all the right leaning people watching Fox while the left leaning people have dispersed to the remaining left leaning networks. Having said that, what does a news network’s rating have to do with the reliability of their content. Higher ratings simply imply a higher number of misinformed individuals.

      While I only set out to make one point the remainder of my post remains factual. Fox has a marked history of bending news to meet their agenda. The examples of misinformation I provided were based on actual occurrences that were well recorded across the internet. Finally, the study that sparked this post gives clear cut examples of misinformed individuals as a result of viewing Fox News. Just about any other network could be substituted in this post’s title, as the study also goes on to accuse PBS and NPR of twisting facts as well. I never said nor meant to imply that Fox News was the only network guilty of abusing their position.

      News is meant to be reported, as is, with no bias or opinion whatsoever. This allows the viewer to make up their own mind about current events. It’s their job to report the news, not fabricate it. And it’s our job to think based on our own opinions, not on what we’ve been told to think by the media. Unfortunately though, when a person refuses to step out of their shell and look at other sources of news, they begin to think that what they’ve been told by their source of choice is completely true. Besides, how can one detect bias when the news they are receiving has been finessed to match their opinion?

      Right, wrong, or indifferent, people hate having their views/beliefs/opinions challenged. By our very nature we avoid these confrontations because we have a desire to think the same as those that are most like us. Fox News (and other networks) reflect this fact. At the beginning of your comment you asked me to “get real.” I’d like to think that with the numerous facts and statistics (with sources) that I provided, that I was already real. Perhaps we should make the same request to the news networks and viewers.

       
      • Pat Reagin

        January 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM

        Nick,

        “Expanding on that study’s findings meant listing examples of Fox’s misinformation tactics. I could easily write similar posts about other networks, and someday I just might.” I think you should. I’ll even give you a starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias

        In light of the tragic event that occurred in Tucson this weekend, there should be no shortage of liberal media bias for you to find.

         
      • Nick

        January 13, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        I certainly could, but what could I say that I either haven’t already said or hasn’t been said by someone else. My post already points out that all of the news corporations misconstrue their reports with bias so really posts about other networks would end up just being a list of examples. That’s already been done for me.

      • CNN
      • MSNBC
      • In fact, here’s a site that doesn’t even discriminate and lists examples from all of the networks: Examples of News Bias

        True, in light of the tragic event that occurred in Tucson, there will be no shortage of liberal and conservative. What I find particularly interesting is how the conservative media all conclude that the shooter’s actions was not politically related and completely coincidental. While I generally agree with that assessment, this guy was a nut-case and an extremist, its interesting how the conservative media is working so hard to make sure the blame doesn’t fall on them, because it has been falling on them. Whether by liberally biased media or confused individuals it is falling on them. One can find many examples of conservative media encouraging violence, but it could be easily argued that what they were saying was nothing more than shooting their mouths off, which I would generally agree with. In light of that there is no one to blame here but Jared Lee Loughner and no one else. I just find it interesting how Glenn Beck, a man who has a history of losing his shit during his show and suggesting violent actions, completely changed is attitude following the shooting calling for a “stand against violence”.

        The conclusion is that the media is biased, regardless of their leaning, it’s biased, this is why I try my best to avoid it, so that I can make my own decisions.

 

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