How Low Can The Right Wing Media Go?
By Rob Kall
Far right wingers don't want facts, don't want unbiased news. They want bullshit that feeds into their existing, deformed beliefs. They want snide, smarmy reporting that supports their biased, partisan perspectives. They Want FOX and Limbaugh and his copycats.
Watching the FOX, (capitalized so as to avoid disparaging the red haired mammal of the same name) lying, despicable, dishonest propaganda channel today, I had to turn it off. They should be charged with fraud for calling their programming unbiased. have to wonder how they screen their reporters. Low scores on IQ tests? Inability to read beyond third grade (tabloid journalism) level? Unable to dye hair so it doesn't look tacky (Cal Thomas, and all those ugly, nasty blonde hair disasters with too much make-up?)
The Whitehouse blows off O'Neill's allegations as complaints of an unhappy fired employee. But he's not a nobody. He was chosen by the Bush team to be a financial leader in this country. He was fired because he didn't mindlessly toe the line like the simpering chimps Bush and Rove need to keep their ship of lies and fraud afloat. Of course, the ethics-impaired "journalists" who report for FOX and CNN and most of the networks are happy to echo any spin that attacks the reputation of any bearer of negative information about Bush. Of course the snickering, condescending, grimacing gestures the FOX "news" staffers add to their news reports take partisan political news reporting to a new level of contemptibility.
First I saw it on Drudge report-- a link to a Reuters article reporting an example of Dean losing his cool, Voter Triggers Dean Temper.... But read the article and view the 4 second video on the FOX (US Pravda Bush propaganda machine total absence of journalistic ethics demonstration project) and it's clear that Dean is just firmly, toughly telling a Republican at a democratic primary to sit down and shut up. I like the demeanor Dean presents there. I'd like to see it from more of the Democratic candidates. Why should they take the lies, distortions and fraud that the republicans, the far right, the neocon think tanks and their media echo chambers perpetrate? Dean has the right idea. Yet the right wing lie-machine/ echo chamber spends the whole day lying that Dean lost his temper. The idea of mass psychosis comes to mind. But it's not psychosis. It's sociopathy.
"The pummeling of Howard Dean continues on," Steve Brown, of FOX news remarks, after spending a whole segment doing the pummeling.
After being reminded, on the Thom Hartmann show, of Reagan's response to a heckler, I wrote to Wolf Blitzer at CNN:
"All the noise about Dean getting mad when a republican plant who was haranguing Dean, has ignored the time the Ronald Reagan told a heckler that it was his microphone. CNN could show how it is really balanced if it digs up archival footage of Reagan. Dean was acting presidential."Howard Kurtz, of the Washington Post, in an article, How the Press Decides Winners discusses some new stats on how the public views and uses the media.
"Democrats think the media are giving President Bush a free pass," said Andrew Kohut, the center's director. "For years most of the discontent was on the Republican side, and now it's bipartisan."
"Equally striking is a fundamental shift in which more Americans are turning away from the establishment media and getting their campaign fix from newer outlets. One-third now say they regularly or sometimes get political news from the Internet, a jump of nine percentage points in four years. As for people under 30, one in five say they regularly learn about the campaign from such comedy programs as Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live"-- double the level of four years ago.
The survey of 1,506 adults was not as encouraging for traditional media outlets. Pew found a significant decline in Americans who regularly get their campaign news from local television (42 percent, down from 48 percent in 2000); nightly network news (35 percent, down from 45 percent); newspapers (31 percent, down from 40 percent), and newsmagazines (10 percent, down from 15 percent). One exception was cable news networks, which are regularly consulted by 38 percent (up from 34 percent).
....Nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats rely primarily on FOX News for their political information (29 percent to 14 percent), while CNN is favored by 27 percent of Democrats and 20 percent of Republicans. One-fifth of Republicans, but only 12 percent of Democrats, turn mainly to radio, where talk shows are dominated by conservatives.
...The more ideological people are, the more likely they are to feel strongly about media bias. Conservatives Republicans, by a 47 percent to 8 percent margin, say the press leans toward Democrats, while liberal Democrats, by 36 percent to 11 percent, say coverage tilts the other way. "
So... FOX is building its viewer base with hard core right wingers who don't want facts, don't want unbiased news. They want bullshit. They want snide, smarmy reporting that supports their biased, partisan perspectives. And that's what they get. The frightening thing is that the other networks are, more and more mimicking FOX. CNN, which occasionally shows some unbiased ethical reporting, does use as some of its top reporters, clearly partisan individuals who ask thinly veiled questions aimed at making democrats and the left look bad.
Watching FOX, or listening to any of the right wing talk programs, we see a continual barrage of attacks on any of the democratic candidates who seem to be making progress. On the republican party website, there are negative profiles on all the democratic candidates.
I'm particularly sick of the repeated lie by FOX, Hannity, Limbaugh and so many more, that Dean is some kind of wild liberal. This is a laughable joke in Vermont, where locals know the truth-- if anything, Dean is a conservative democrat, certainly a fiscal conservative. Yet the lies about Dean being a liberal keep coming.
The good news is that the progressives seem to finally be getting their acts together, media-wise. The Center for American Progress is looking very good as a progressive policy promotion and media savvy think tank. Progressive websites like alternet, commondreams.org, Buzzflash, whatreallyhappened, democraticunderground, tompaine, moveon.org, opednews.com and others are growing, reaching more and more people. Progressive talk shows are beginning to show up in major markets. Thom Hartmann's progressive radio talk show has been picked up by a major urban area, and it has become the nation's largest nationally syndicated progressive daily radio talk show.
As we get closer to the Iowa caucuses, the reports and pundit discussions and panels attacking Dean and Clark, the two apparent front-runners in the democratic primary race get nastier and more dishonest, with more distortions and outright lies.
We need more voices, loudly pointing out and catching the right wing media's lies and distortions. We need tee shirts and bumper stickers that declare how despicable FOX and even some of the news anchors are-- Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly, Paula Zahn-- these partisan propagandists masquerading as professional journalists ought to be called what they really are right wing shills. Fair and Balanced? That's the most twisted re-defining of concepts of the English language in a long time.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com, president of Futurehealth, Inc. and organizer of the Futurehealth Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and StoryCon Meeting. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached.