What brought about the rise of Trumpism? Most on the left blame Fox News for erecting the alternate reality which made the cult of Der Donald possible, but I think the true epicenter of evil is elsewhere. On Democratic Underground, I found a perceptive comment (on this thread
) by one certainot which offers an excellent summary of some points which I've been hoping to include in an upcoming post.
I hope that certainot -- whoever he or she may be -- does not mind my republication of these words, which I've lightly edited. I did not change the content at all; I have simply standardized the style. Aside from the editing, the words below the asterisks are not mine.
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I suggest giving RW radio the major share of the media blame, over Fox. Obama mentions it once in a while, but generally the left ignores it.
For thirty years, Republicans have been able to use 1000 radio stations to attack and push the media to the right - and it was successful in intimidating and enabling the media largely because it has been ignored. Limbaugh and sons need to be given credit for giving us Trump.
Talk radio is the weapon trump will use. He is the talk radio president.
The left/liberals/dems and media observers mistakenly blame Fox for the alternate reality, but the left is not giving the most effective
RW propaganda operation enough attention.
There are a number of advantages RW radio has over Fox:
* Liberals and media critics keep an eye on Fox. Fox can't do the unchallenged repetition of lies and distortions and attacks.
* Their hacks can't go as far as rw radio does with lies and attacks.
* Fox has to pretend to be fair and balanced and once in a while has a dissenting opinion (even if mild).
* Fox hacks have to look into the camera to lie.
* There are free easy 'alternatives' to fox a click away.
Vs talk radio:
* Talk radio has a larger audience.
* In most parts of the US, especially those 40 or so red states with 80 senators, there are no free easy alternatives for politics while driving or working.
* RW radio can be and is easily coordinated on the local level by GOP and it's think tanks.
* RW radio talkers can hide behind call screeners and get away with calling Bernie a "commie Jew" and "If he was a teacher" he'd be screwing students (Michael Savage), or "Obama's head needs to roll" (Limbaugh on 600 stations)
* RW talkers don't have to look into cameras to lie.
* RW talk radio talkers can lie repeatedly even after being corrected. They are much more impervious to challenge and to facts; hundreds of them can regularly repeat the same lies, sometimes for years, without correction or challenge. And they reinforce each other -- Limbaugh is reinforced by Hannity and Savage, etc., plus hundreds of other wannabes, all over the country on 1200 stations. If all those people can say the same thing over and over and never be corrected, why wouldn't it be true?
* There is no written record of what they're saying to study the patterns of repetition across the country. Even on the local level, Dem candidates (or issues) can be attacked/lied about/distorted and local Dems have no clue until a smear shows up in letters to the editor as 'fact.'
* Media Matters may do some national monitoring of national talkers for 'outrageous' talk, but that's about it. Stoprush and similar sites have been the only significant actions to counter RW talk radio but they were limited mostly to Limbaugh, and unfortunately were criticized by the left (or trolls), while doing the most significant activism the last 30 years, directly challenging the leader of the right's most important weapon. Unfortunately, the left dropped the ball and didn't expand on these efforts, and now we have Trump.
There may be a handful of liberals that monitor RW talk radio and write about it, but RW radio gets a free speech free ride and that is why we have Fox. Fox is the visual icing on talk radio's lie turd pie -- talk radio's stupid little brother.