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Exploiting ignorance for fun and profit.

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Everyone's all up in arms about the probability that Rupert Murdoc will pervert the Wall Street Journal to reflect his brand of slimy, sleazy, right-wing ideology.  Well, everyone except the Republicans and the Bush administration.  They can be confident that the editors at the WSJ will continue to give George Bush their unquestioning, cult-like, worshipping support.  Nothing but the style is going to change.  The WSJ has been doing it one way while Murdoch has been doing the same thing another way.

Let's use Bill O'Reilly as a prototype, the icon, the exemplification of Murdoch's style of doing business and the finest example of his product.  The lies, distortions, dissembling, rationalizations, false accusations is the same product that the WSJ peddles in it's editorials.  O'Reilly's unhinged, hysterical, feigned moral outrage act is apparent.  The editors at the WSJ present the same ideological act, but clothed in the very sober, very serious disguise of a three-piece suit.  The message is the same: a Republican can do no wrong.  The Messiah of the Republicans, George Bush, can do no wrong.  We have the God-given right to be conservative, to conserve what we have and to take what you have and conserve it, too.

There are two, separate, very differeent markets for this kind of ideological, mind-bending disinformation that presents what is obviously not true as common knowledge.  The market that the WSJ aims at are those whose interests are in manipulating the economic system to make a lot of money, holding on to it and increasing it by adopting the George Bush, Republican style of fascism where the rich become government and those in government become richer.  Adopting this ideology is necessary for the top, single digit percentages of the wealthy in order to stay in the top, single digit percentages.  The fact that this ideology has a positive economic effect only on a very narrow spectrum of the population and is to the disadvantage of just about everyone in the United states must be consciously ignored (conscious ignorance) and swept away by falling back on the blatantly false rationalization that "Everyone has an equal opportunity to become a millionaire."

There is not the slightest chance that everyone working in the United States, the largest group at Wal-Mart, will become one of 300 million millionares.  Thus the conscious ignorance of the wealthy is exploited by the Wall Street Journal by selling them a load of crap that they wish to believe.

The other market, at the other end of the economic spectrum, who are also sold a load of crap that they wish to believe are those whose unconscious ignorance is exploited by Bill O'Reilly.  O'Reilly is worshipped as a bringer of truth unequaled only by George Bush by those limited to a knowledge of button push that produces only Fox News.  They have no realization that what O'Reilly is presenting as the holy word of Republicanism is to their disadvantage, that it destroys their chance of economic betterment, that it puts them at even further risk of living in even more of a police state, that it leaves them spied on, poor, deprived of choice, deprived of habeas corpus, deprived of due process of law to retain their possessions and just generally f--ked over.

These two narrow spectrums aren't a large segment of the population, but they're enough for the Wall Street Journal and Rupert Murdoch.  They are both exploiting ignorance, both conscious and unconscious, to perpetrate what is actually a scam, a con on blissfully ignorant, willfully self-deceiving people.  It's not possible that the Wall Street Journal, through it's Murdoch style editorials and Murdoch, through O'Reilly's rantings and ravings, are not aware that what they are doing is an assault on and violation of integrity, decency, reason, intellect, the facts and the truth.  They do it because the market is there and you exploit whatever market of ignorance is available.  Because it's easiest to fool the ignorant, and you never pass up an opportunity to make money the easiest way possible. 

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The test of whether it's about money is just as easy.  Would Bill O'Reilly go out and get a job matching his skills, inevitably at Wal-Mart, and still hold to his right-wing, Republican ideological delusion?  Does he really believe his bullshit, is he committed to the cause enough to come by the studio after work and preach his drivel to the ignorant without pay?  I think not.  I think you'd find that he does it for money.  Because it's easy to make money by fooling the ignorant.

Don't worry about the Wall Street Journal changing under Murdoch.  It'll keep doing the same thing, appealing to the ignorant, as Murdoch has been doing all along.  If Murdoch wants to push his sleaze to the ultimate, he'll put O'Reilly in charge of editorials.  It'd be the same hard-right Republicanism it is now, just in tabloid style.  The message would be the same.

I have a preponderance of ignorance.  I am ignorant of more things than I am knowledgeable of.  But, I was never ignorant enough to be fooled by Bill O'Reilly, or the Wall Street Journal, or a buffoon like George Bush.  A lot of people were.  Won't admit they were fooled.  Won't admit they were fooled by an obvious fool.  What is astounding is that some of them have the unmitigated gall, the hubris, the pride, the egoism, the vanity and venality to run for President.  And in spite of everything we can do, one of them will be elected.

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Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
 

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