Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Don't blame Fox

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.

* * *

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.


JL said...

This 2014 article from the Huffington Post explains what gave us RW dominated airwaves:

Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine: I’d Rather Have Debate Than Ranting-and-Raving Journalism
02/13/2014 11:43 am ET | Updated Apr 15, 2014

Nancy Graham Holm

When it comes to influencing public opinion, broadcasting has been the single most powerful force in American society since the turn of the 20th century, but especially since 1987.

Why 1987?

Because that’s the year American society lost accountability for one-sided opinions spread over the airwaves. More specifically, August 1987 is when American broadcasting lost The Fairness Doctrine, an FCC regulation that required owners of broadcast licenses to present both sides of controversial issues considered to be in the public interest.

Failure to comply risked a challenge to the owner’s license.

The abolition of The Fairness Doctrine had many opponents but they lost to the Reagan Revolution anti-regulatory extremists. Reagan’s new FCC chair, Mark S. Fowler, sneered at the principle that broadcasters bore special responsibilities to ensure democratic discourse. It was all nonsense, said Fowler. “The perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants.”


Alessandro Machi said...

I think it's lack of a Clinton media channel that is the real problem. MSNBC is progressive infested. Moderate Liberalism has no say in the USA even though it is the largest group of all.

gerry-troll said...

it is not illegal for liberals to get their own radio networks. they have tried it before and got no listeners.

I would say that liberals have Msnbc and CNN as their tv networks. and they could do another radio network-but liberals don't listen.

the right has Fox for Tv and a conservative radio network that people do listen to.

your answer is if you can't beat them is eliminate their ability to have them.

Anonymous said...


CambridgeKnitter said...

Progressive talk does in fact get listeners. However, too many stations are owned by right-wing corporations like Clear Channel, which gives the progressive stations low-power transmitters (that's what we got in Boston, for example) or suddenly switches a profitable format (progressive talk) for something else, like sports talk, that gets no ratings but somehow contributes to how ads are priced on stations that do have listeners. That has happened over and over around the country. If they wanted to make money, they'd serve this market. They care about the big picture, silencing the left, more than they care about the money.

Gerry-troll, could you at least try to get your facts in the same ballpark as the truth?

Alessandro Machi said...

Progressives have CNN and MSNBC, Hillary Clinton gets nothing. The tone of the progressives on MSNBC is remarkably condescending. I am so grateful I boycotted MSNBC for EIGHT YEARS. I recently briefly watched and had my fill of Move-on dot org snark that infests MSNBC.
There was no legitimate pushback about Comey's second press conference. No pushback demanding he be press conferenced before the electors voted. if anything, the Move On Contingent pushed back against profiling Comey and his antics and instead wanted to…Move on.
The Progressive media's ongoing task is to convince Hillary Clinton supporters, who make up the majority of the democrat party, that Clinton supporters are Progressives when they are actually moderate liberals.

Anonymous said...

Fake news according to a man being interviewed about his involvement with producing fake news, does not sell with liberal audiences. Same applies for pure propoganda outlets.
And I wish people would quit calling CNN a liberal channel. There is nothing liberal or left about CNN. cNN is a rag and a tabloid and has been for some time.
MSNBC is left leaning but not a mouth piece.
I don't think liberals like to have their talking points force fed to them.

Anonymous said...

The major problem for the Clinton campaign was the people who ran it. They were not savvy and creative enough. Their talents were trapped in the nineties. They never adapted to the new realities of the new age of dispensing the news or reacting to it. To overcome the lack of friendly outlets, they should have resorted to other alternatives. Like forming something like a task force overwhelming the airwaves with press conferences and statments featuring every Dick & Jane in the campaign explaining every single little thing. Then after that the stations would spent time covering that till the next press conference or statement from the campaign. I call it the software approach as opposed to hardware (actual station). But sadly the campaign spent the money not on talent but on friends who had nothing to offer. I think Podesta was a mole just sayin, till someone proves otherwise I will hold on to that position.

prowlerzee said...

Thank you, JL and CambridgeKnitter. We should regroup around the Fairness Doctrine, or whatever will hold the airwaves accountable. CK, I remember when the owner of one radio station, one of the pizza giants, either Domino's or Papa John's, killed a popular round table talk show that included religious leaders of different faiths. Agenda is first and this has been orchestrated. Morning Joe is one of the organizers and he used to teach this. He himself dropped out of public office to get his current spot as a tv show host...in a way that ensured his seat stayed Republican. Next on their takeover plans: the arts. They may be using New England to launch their film houses.

Unknown said...

Clinton ran a perfectly normal, scandal-free (not counting the manufactured bogus ones like email) and competent campaign and was by far the most qualified candidate to ever run for the office. She was not the problem. The media was the biggest issue - the billions of free air time for Trump to start. CNN liberal?? The network that hired Corey Lewandowski??? MSNBC - with Joe Scarborough and Hugh Hewitt and Mark Halperin? There is no liberal media outside The Onion and Comedy Central.

The next biggest issue - misogyny and how it permeates and controls even women themselves.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"The next biggest issue - misogyny and how it permeates and controls even women themselves."

Yes, one of the many factors which allowed the upset victory of Pumpkinhead was that too many white women voted on the basis of whiteness, rather than gender.

But then, there were many factors combining to cause the catastrophe--and had any ONE of them not happened, the catastrophe would not have happened: like 2000, only worse.

It was a perfect storm of black swans.

(I don't just mix metaphors, I puree them.) -_^

Michael said...

Enheduanna Pax, it depends on your definition of "qualified". In my book, her resume wasn't especially great and she was carrying a boatload of personal baggage. In my book, that made her, if not one of the least-qualified, then certainly one of the most over-rated to ever run. Furthermore, Trump was right about one thing: She had piss-poor judgement and famously had to rely on input from pollsters and advisors before making a triangulated, centrist, risk-avoiding decision.

A lot of us knew she was a loser, even way back in 2008. (I voted for Obama mainly because I knew Hillary couldn't win.) But we were overruled by the Democratic establishment.

Until you and the Clintonista Democrats wake up and recognize how bad your candidate really was, we'll never dig our way out of this mess and become a two-party system again.

prowlerzee said...

Enheduanna, please don't let the dull mansplainers posturing with memes they've embodied like an infection make you think your words weren't dead on and very welcome.

Case in point: "...too many white women voted on the basis of whiteness, rather than gender." This is not thought. It's the unthinking regurgitation of fake thought planted throughout social media that deliberately misses your point about "misogyny and how it permeates and controls even women themselves."

Michael, no one here would be remotely interested in your book. We didn't buy that drivel the first, second or third time around.

lastlemming said...

I had posted a long comment which either didn't go through or you choose not to publish, either way it doesn't matter as long as you are able to continue your posts. Occasionally, very occasionally, I disagree with your approach but you always provide intellectual comfort when times are rough (like now.) I have contributed to, I think, every Bella campaign there has been and would gladly contribute to a new computer campaign for you. Why not allow us to become monthly contributors to the Cannonfire Fight Fire with Fire Campaign to bring Dalmations back to FireHouses. (Blah, blah, blah but you would do it better.)

Please do not publish this unless you are so overwhelmed by negative e-mail that an occasional good word about you feels just that GOOD.

Michael said...

prowlerzee, One shining example of her piss-poor judgement:


Anonymous said...

curious who you think was inside the democrats organization giving information to the Russians?

Alessandro Machi said...

Come on Michael, you are better than that. Law Newz is a conservative online joint.
Nothing Hillary Clinton did actually cost her the election more than Comey's second letter and the 25 million dollar last week ad blitz by Sheldon Andelson, who may not have committed to his promise without the Comey letter.
Andelson actually did announce 30 days before (which is the FEC rule) putting his anti-Clinton ads on TV, but then demurred as Clinton had a solid October and Trump not so good.
What bugged me about Clinton's ads is they did not make enough of them. Rather than make a hundred ads, they made a dozen or so and then showed the heck out of them, and that is one thing I did not like. But, that still did not cost her the election, the Comey letter did.