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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/23/10

Fox News -" The Spin Stops and the Lying, Distortions, and Insults Begin

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Fox News has created the finest propaganda machine since the glorious days of that favorite fascist propagandist Joseph Goebbels. And done it in the time-honored Republican way, using big bucks provided by the crowd whose sole interests they will pursue, the idle and greedy rich. The coming election has been purchased long before the voting begins by a master plan to gull the public with false claims, ridicule of liberal candidates, mischaracterization of the issues and who caused them, and lavish spending on entertainment designed wholly to keep the viewing public's attention while indoctrinating them with a totally dishonest version of the truth.

Bill O'Reilly starts the lineup presenting a "no spin" version of events according to how he perceives them, selectively presenting versions differing from his views, that is, until the other guy starts getting the truth out, at which time he is referred to as a "pinhead" or "bloviator". Everyone at Fox should be very familiar with "bloviators". They have and all-star lineup of them featuring Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Bimbaugh, ops!, I meant Limbaugh, and pinch-hitter Newt Gingrich, by far the finest group of "bloviators" money could buy. But still many viewers (too many) fall for the "no spin" "fair and balanced" reporting Bill O'Reilly claims for Fox's team, and are passed on to Sean, preconditioned for further gulling. Sean shifts the attack to a middle level of pretence, managing to throw the concept of "socialism" into the mix, and, now that the elections are fast approaching, slip in the word "Marxism". Wow! One can only wonder who is still hanging in there after this blatant mischaracterization of reality. Frighteningly, there appears to be many still hanging in there and begging to be gulled.

So you end this set with Glenn Beck, a buffoon of the highest caliber, whose act would make P.T. Barnum green with envy. His homey, down-to-earth presentation of outlandish claims and insults are designed to put an exclamation point on the wild (but slick) assertions of Sean. If you keep telling the same lies over and over again, sooner or later they will be received as gospel truths.

After Glenn's grotesque burlesque of reality is finished, those viewers who have had the stomach to make it that far will be treated to an assortment of blond talking heads. Don't those guys at Fox know any brunettes, or did some wild peroxide salesman find himself trapped at the Fox News site? But of course it's just more of the "playing to the gullible" that is Fox's trademark. Blonds, beer, and big boobs are what attract the general guy-in-the-street, and that's the crowd to which the whole performance is directed. Sean, as part of his act, throws a small football around just to look like one-of-the-regular-guys. Sorry guys, he goes to bed with a suit on and real football would certainly mess his expensively-coiffed hair. I'm just hoping they don't throw in boob jobs for those blonds, to complete the seduction of the public.

The last ploy they use is just plain "I'm just one of you down-home guys" when they hire the most popular current entertainers to put on free shows for the public. It costs big bucks I'm sure, but when you are buying an election, money is no consideration. Everyone who puts up the dough will be quickly (and quietly) paid off many-times-over as soon as those whose offices have been purchased get down to business.

What is missing from this whole scheme is any attempt to deal with news of any substance or a discussion of what can be done to correct the current mess previous administrations got us into. The main thrust seems to be to convince a gullible public that after 28 years of "conservative" government misrule and screw-ups, 20 of which were under Republican administrations, and the last 8 years under a clueless Republican president, that any administration can turn things around in little over 22 months. After the last great depression it took 4 years to even come close to solving the problems caused by the 12 year rule of similarly-incompetent Republican presidencies. And the programs implemented then were responsible for social benefits we all share and can be justly proud of, like social security, welfare for the disadvantaged and unfortunate, and freedom from fear of poverty in old-age or due to unanticipated disabilities. FDR's programs were popular and successful, saving capitalism from its excesses during a similar period of capitalist-inspired greed, but it took money, and lots of it. The current mess involves far more serious financial problems and the Fox crowd would have you believe that it won't take a lot more money to be corrected.

What they don't discuss is how and why we got into this mess in the first place and what can be done to avoid similar problems in the future (and just how much money would be appropriate to remedy our current mess). It suspiciously occurred when the rich were becoming filthy rich, and the working and middle classes were just getting by. Could it be because of globalization? Fox appears to be unaware of even the term "globalization". I have never even heard it mentioned by Fox "reporters". Uncontrolled capital flows? Laws that made it easy to move production overseas? Laws that gave legal status to foreign workers taking over American jobs (and sending the proceeds back home)? Practices which allowed foreign corporations, setting up operations in the U.S., to evade their fair share of taxes? Or even laws that allowed U.S. corporations to similarly evade taxes? Or failure to establish rules to prevent or penalize U.S. corporations from moving their headquarters overseas simply to avoid U.S. taxes? Tax cuts for the superrich even when we were running mammoth fiscal deficit? These are the issues which any honest news organization should be investigating because they are the real issues. Budget deficits are simply the result of the give-aways (well paid for) that Republican administrations have been granting for years and that are the direct cause of our current problems, problems that won't go away until they are addressed. The Republicans created them, have no intention of correcting them, and which, to hear them talk, they apparently believe will correct themselves, costing nothing! These are the questions sadly missing from the Fox News reportage.

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Richard Backus is a journalist specializing in economics and politics.He has degrees in physics and engineering, and considerable experience in computer systems development. He is single, a good bridge player, and an enthusiastic tennis player.
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