Fox News: Misinforming, or just romancing the clueless?

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As to this hullabaloo about how Fox viewers are the most misinformed, well, I detect Overreach, and I would dispute the suggested cause and effect.

To what extent does Fox really mislead otherwise critically aware people? And to what extent do already-deluded goofs tune in just to hear their ignorant prejudices repeated, gussied up by some fancy-talking announcer types?

Do you remember this nugget?  If you were a hotelier hosting Cheney, you needed to have Fox tuned in as he entered the room – his rules.  …Now, I know that if you get the Queen checking in, you need fruit in the room.

But if it’s Cheney, you gotta have Fox switched on!  To this day, presumably.

See, that’s a guy who just wants to hear his own risible jingoistic balderdash recited to him at bedtime.  And the willfully ignorant rapscallion ain’t alone!  –O.T.

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14 thoughts on “Fox News: Misinforming, or just romancing the clueless?

  1. In all seriousness, though, I’d say it’s about 50/50 (misinformation, romancing the clueless). However, I think calling Fox viewers clueless misses the mark a bit. Some of them are quite intelligent. I think it’s more that, like Cheney, they insist on only watching Fox News and nothing else. And so they aren’t getting informed about things from any other angle. Which is, basically, your point in this post, yes?

    1. Well, yeah, and it’s a bit wacky to me. I mean, I assume Cheney is a really, really smart guy.

      And what, he wants to listen to propaganda? Why?! Some shit-for-brains yammering about Obama’s birth certificate?

      Something like starting out misinformed and willingly/enthusiastically becoming more thoroughly misinformed for the enjoyment of it. The entertainment.

      So it’s not that they can’t think rationally or don’t want wrong information — it’s that they don’t want to think rationally and *DO* want wrong information that titillates them. So you can’t blame just Fox, but also the yo-yos in the audience who crave these inanities.

      1. Agreed. My mother stopped watching Fox when she started hanging out with us in the chat room last year, but then got angry with Obama over health care reform and went back to Fox. Only, this time, she started watching Beck, to boot! She claimed that it was just for the giggles, of course. She claimed that she didn’t believe a word he said but that she just found him to be so preposterously funny, she couldn’t stop. And that bothered me more than I can say.

        Luckily, she has stopped watching Fox again, altogether. For now, anyway. But it makes me wonder, while she sat there giggling at his buffoonery, were any of his statements making their way into her head? Was she subconsciously listening to him and then starting to believe some of his talking points in the back of her mind? Hmmm. I can only hope not.

        As for Cheney, yeah, I don’t get it either. Maybe it’s some kind of solidarity thing. Like, he’s being loyal to Fox by refusing to let CNN or MSNBC be aired in his hotel room for even one second. Then again, when I think of Cheney, “loyalty” is not a word that comes to mind.

        1. “She claimed that she didn’t believe a word [Beck] said but that she just found him to be so preposterously funny, she couldn’t stop [tuning in]. And that bothered me more than I can say.”

          It bothers me also as I value Maggie and had a lot of good evenings sharing ideas and laughs and music with her. I cannot myself grasp how anyone could find Beck’s crazed ravings to be funny of all things, honestly.

          I think if we understood the Cheney thing, we’d understand a lot. Why would an intelligent person think it worthwhile to tune into that propaganda drivel? But he definitely does, strongly. I remember him lighting up like a little kid at the appallingly absurd idea (he raised it in an interview) that his drug-addict, asswipe friend Limbaugh had “invited” the sitting President to come on the former’s asinine show and debate the ineffably ignorant tub of lard.

          As though any President would actually lower himself to such preposterous disrespect, abuse, and boundless ignorance — and Cheney was a heartbeat from the Presidency for 8 years so he of all people should appreciate fully respect for the institution at least. Presumably better than almost anybody. Yet his face was all aglow, flushed with glee at the absolutely absurd non-prospect of this insane idea — as though it might be fairly imminent, even! *What a piece of work!* But how people like him get the totally crazed idea that these rankest of stupidities are somehow worthwhile pursuits?

          Beats me, truly.

  2. I read the report http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/dec10/Misinformation_Dec10_rpt.pdf

    For quite a number of data points there is a distinct difference in the numerics between viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX. CNN and MSNBC track fairly well together with the FOX data points definitely different well outside of the statistical error.

    Let’s assume for a moment this study doesn’t exist.

    Of these three news outlets which do you think, ranked greater to less, is inclined to accurately report the news? CNN, FOX, MSNBC

    With the above idea in hand which group of viewers do you think might be susceptible to acting upon information which might be disadvantageous to their own interests?

    1. I don’t honestly follow what you’re saying too well. Thank you for the report, though, I began looking at it once you supplied it.

      One thing I’m struck with overwhelmingly is how badly the Obama people managed information about their work. People believe the Rush Limbaugh version of what happened. Even Dems are totally mixed up, believing that Obama has done nothing and is just a tool of the Wall Stree community (which, in reality, utterly hates him).

      1. There was that short period of time when the Obama Administration started really pushing back at Fox News (and I cheered), but then, they suddenly just stopped. I’m still not sure as to why.

        1. I am not in States so can’t fully say. But my impression was that the WH wanted to make the point that Fox News is not really a news organization, did make that point, when further asked about it said that Fox was a harmful phenomenon, and they felt they had established that point.

          They said at the time that they would appear on Fox sometimes, but to please not mistake those decisions with them regarding Fox as a news outfit.

          Have they taken actions which might negate that now, or could it be that they made these points and moved on? Again, not being there, I’m not fully aware. Thx for discussion! )))

  3. I think viewers take turns watching different networks for various reasons. I know for a fact that there are a lot of conservatives who watch HLN or NBC, but avoid CNN and FOX. Others that I know, most watch BBC America anyway.

    I can tell you that it doesn’t matter how much you hate Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, the sources in their books themselves are NOT taken out of context–so those are accurate. Since that bears out, it would explain why a lot of educated people still watch Fox, and if they buy the books, they will verify sources if they are avid scholars and willing to do a little homework.

    I feel that there is a trend to do that since the Dan Rather/CBS scandal about sources being accurate and provable–and both FOX and NBC seem to have their T’s crossed and their I’s dotted. It does not matter what snippets you cite on the blog, the sources will bear out. Michele Obama even admitted to saying “I am proud of America now.” after Barack Obama was elected president. That is not disputable–she said it herself and re-admitted it more than once.

    Cheney’s perceptions do not matter because he doesn’t represent the entire conservative fabric, and the GOP is no longer in office. The next candidates are the ones you should be keeping an eye on because anyone KNOWS Cheney isn’t going to run for office. The new breed of conservative–which is gaining young voters and vast numbers is the Tea Party and that is what you should be concerning yourself with.

    I am sure Republicans are thanking Glenn Beck and the Tea Party profusely for taking the heat off of Rush Limbaugh AND Bill O’Reilly. I certainly did because it gives people new topics that do not bore us to death. I think it is interesting that both major parties NOW have powerful renegade groups in them–and they are RENEGADE…You have the “Progressives”, which are actually socialists (so why they don’t just admit it is beyond me) and then you have the ultra right in the Republican Party (which is the Tea Party). Combine the latter group with the up and coming 2012 group and only half the Independents, and this country will be taken in an entirely new direction. The same is true if the Progressives band together with the Green Party.

    It has been shown in studies that many Americans prefer the moderate stance in politics, but if they feel that the Democrats are going too far to the left, they will vote Republican. Therefore to me, it sounds like both major parties need to work on getting these groups within their own parties to compromise. To not do so will result in one of those groups rising to prominence–and possibly gaining too much power.

    It is dangerous to concentrate too much power into the hands of the Federal Government. If you don’t realize the reasons as to why, I suggest you read the book “1776” by David McCullough. The essence of the reason lies all throughout the book.

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