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Fox News and the Dumbing Down of America

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A few years ago, in 1994, ABC commentator Sam Donaldson on "This Week" bemoaned the "dumbing down of America" and cited entertainment trends such as the popular film "Forest Gump" and the television comedy hit "Beavis and Butthead."

Now 16 years later, an examination of what is happening in television reveals a far more dangerous pattern than the kind of programmed dumbness that Donaldson denounced. The dumbing down of that period involved mainly comedy while today circumstances exist to be taken as far more serious and ultimately dangerous.

How many of you have undergone the depressing experience of attempting to reason with individuals who regularly watch Fox News? If so, can you understand why MSNBC's Keith Olbermann refers to Rupert Murdoch's network as "Fixed News"?

Analyzing the Fox News phenomenon once more sends us back to George Orwell's prescient masterpiece "1984" with the realization of why so many of us regard that work as the textbook for Propaganda 1. Orwell's work superbly depicted a national television apparatus where the docile citizenry received messages from Big Brother without ever generating a spark of curiosity generating question asking.

In this national milieu you did not ask questions; you just meekly listened to the national message distilled for you. The finality was that you never had to think. Big Brother did all the thinking for you.

I saw the Big Brother phenomenon exhibited in several instances. In one, a man exhibited his opposition to Bush's launching of the Iraq War based on a false claim of "weapons of mass destruction." The man directly behind him in the checkout line said in a dull monotone reflective of a brainwashed robot, "We got a bad man."

The first man walked over and with emotional conviction spoke about the numerous deaths occurring in Iraq that were thoroughly preventable, stating regarding this man and the cause he supported, "There is blood on your hands!"

The man then began walking out of the store. As he continued walking the Bush supporter, looking tired and very much in a fog, repeated in the same zombie-like tone, "We got a bad man."

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What station was he watching? The response was in line with Bush's final fallback position after he and his board of strategy realized that it was impossible to sell the weapons of mass destruction explanation any longer.

The final position was that a "bad man" had been removed in Saddam Hussein, the same individual that not that long ago we had been providing weapons along with technology that would help him acquire chemical weapons with which he could slaughter the Iraqi Kurdish population.

A brainwashed individual will accept whatever is provided in the way of explanation. Hence, the robotic response of someone who had heard one viewpoint perpetually drilled into his consciousness.

Another personal incident was even more terrifying. I had as a neighbor a kind gentleman who was a courageous escapee from a Nazi train that would have taken him to his death via the Holocaust.

Early in the 2004 presidential campaign I happened to see this man as I was going to see Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry. He smiled and said, "Say hello."

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As that same campaign reached its closing stages I saw this same man. He proudly told me that he had been watching Fox along with his son, who I presumed had induced him to do so. He exhibited concern that Kerry had not done right by his fighting colleagues in the Vietnam War.

It was obvious that he had been brainwashed by the Swift Boat lies being broadcast with unflinching regularity on Fox. I explained that the charges had been refuted and that the Department of the Navy stood by the awarding of battlefield citations to Kerry. I also revealed how Dan Rather and others had reported without refutation about how Bush had fled National Guard duty without recourse.

The man shook his head stubbornly. He finally erected an instant fortress and exclaimed, "Well, you are a Democrat and I am a Republican."

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Began in the journalism field in hometown of Los Angeles. Started as Sports Editor and Movie Writer at Inglewood Daily News chain after working in sportswriting of high school events at the Los Angeles Examiner.

Received a bachelor's in (more...)
 

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to expose Fox News for what it is doing while at t... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 1:47:22 PM
is something progressives need to do relative to F... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 1:49:20 PM
on Capitol Hill was hilarious in view of his stati... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 1:52:03 PM
Since 1986 he has been a US citizen in order to co... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 1:58:13 PM
progressives should be looking carefully into Murd... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:10:00 PM
It's not just Fox. Millions of Americans think tha... by John S. Hatch on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 3:21:56 PM
and I would never contend that Fox is the only pro... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 3:50:28 PM
I completely agree with you, and didn't mean to im... by John S. Hatch on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:34:46 PM
http://www.conservapedia.com/Fox_News_ChannelFox N... by BARB BF on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 4:17:51 PM
some of what you have reported in greater detail t... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 4:48:31 PM
that Fox, CNN and so on are half truth journalism ... by Michael Morris on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 7:15:56 AM
that Fox, CNN and so on are half truth journalism ... by Michael Morris on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 7:15:56 AM
You seem to be suggesting that Fox news should be ... by sommers on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 3:30:51 PM
MSNBC is hardly the "opposite" of Fox. It tries no... by Adam Smith on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 3:51:42 PM
based on what I have seen and heard Fox operates i... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 3:57:17 PM
ever put a cousin of a presidential candidate on t... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:03:21 PM
as well and gave us "freedom fries." Think of the... by Bill Hare on Friday, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:06:02 PM
ALSO BRAIN DEAD,Fluoride - poison makes you docile... by MARGARET BASET on Saturday, Oct 2, 2010 at 4:16:48 AM
in brainwashing and sadly its flock loves the doci... by Bill Hare on Saturday, Oct 2, 2010 at 4:40:23 AM
SOMETIMES IT WOULDN'T HURT TO SHUT OFF YOUR TV FOR... by MARGARET BASET on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 3:11:46 AM
SOMETIMES IT WOULDN'T HURT TO SHUT OFF YOUR TV FOR... by MARGARET BASET on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 3:13:56 AM
I do shut off my set sometimes for the very reason... by Bill Hare on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 11:01:08 AM
and he's a genius, hands-down and no thinking pers... by GLloyd Rowsey on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 8:57:51 AM
right here and appear to be rolling. I claim no g... by Bill Hare on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 11:03:26 AM
You wrote a fine article, of benefit to any thinki... by John S. Hatch on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:46:53 PM
in a concise nutshell. Thank you for your thought... by Bill Hare on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 5:24:07 PM
Fox is worthless and so is Washington Journal on C... by Ceric on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 8:56:17 PM
what you just related, Ceric, and thanks sharing i... by Bill Hare on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 9:57:39 PM
THIS MAY SEAM WAY OUT THERE BUT ITS WHAT WE DON'T ... by MARGARET BASET on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 3:31:53 AM
for your contribution. I will have a look.... by Bill Hare on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:39:21 AM
coming from a local network perspective. First off... by Michael Shaw on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:31:51 AM
it was for me to endure this slop when I was in Lo... by Bill Hare on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 1:08:11 AM
All of it started with Reagan. Also I lived in San... by Michael Shaw on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 3:29:09 PM
firsthand from recent experience what it is like t... by Bill Hare on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 4:13:06 PM
As you know, Comcast, which is broke and obsolete ... by Margaret Bassett on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:43:09 PM
is not too obsolete since it is my provider here. ... by Bill Hare on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 1:30:02 PM
Where does this silly idea come from that this onl... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 1:47:49 PM
being advocated. You certainly saw nothing like t... by Bill Hare on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 at 2:02:54 PM