Wednesday, June 08, 2011

An edifying read

Rolling Stone's June 9, 2011 issue has a highly edifying read entitled How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory which I found revelatory.  A persistent topic of conversation amongst my dinner companions is why the Democrat's messages are so consistently drowned out.  We had been approaching the topic as a compare and contrast of how the Democrats are messaging versus how the Republicans are messaging.  After reading this article, I believe our starting premise is off base.  It's not the Democrats versus the Republicans; it's Democrats AND rational Republicans versus the rabid dogs of Fox News.  It's appalling and distressing to read Tim Dickinson's analysis and realize how much sway Roger Ailes wields over the way that policies are formulated and implemented.  The graphic (on the website, a slideshow) detailing how Fox New coordinated its distortions of President Obama's State of the Union address is particularly telling.  Distort, Attack, Repeat.

A recent academic study found that the ignorance of Fox viewers increases the longer they watch the network.

Ailes' strategy exhibits an outrageous disdain for the very people who make him successful, the Fox viewers.  In turn, Fox viewers' anger and frustration is remarkably misplaced.  Most Fox viewers resent what they see as the condescension and elitism of President Obama and other intellectuals.  In fact, these are the individuals in positions of power who are actually working in others' interest while Ailes and those of his ilk, solely to advance their own self-interest, are mercilessly manipulating the Fox viewers, playing on and intentionally deepening their ignorance.  In short, Ailes is exploiting the hoi-polloi in order to solidify his own upper class interests.  

He'd make an excellent comic book villain.  The problem is that this is real life, not a comic book, which leaves us desperately seeking an effective foil. 

1 comment:

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