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Tell the FCC: Enforce the law.

FCC logoFOX News’ parent company, News Corporation, is embroiled in a phone hacking scandal that has shone a spotlight on the detestable practices its owner, Rupert Murdoch, promotes as journalism.

The ever-growing scandal has shut down one newspaper, led to multiple arrests and numerous resignations in the UK, and an FBI investigation into allegations that News Corp. staff may have sought to hack the voicemail of victims of 9/11 and their families in the US.

And now a committee in the UK parliament has issued a report blasting both Rupert Murdoch and his son James (also an executive at News Corp.) for their complicity in the scandal, concluding that Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person to exercise stewardship of a major international company.”

It’s time for the FCC to take action. The law requires that the FCC consider the “character” of media owners when deciding whether to grant, deny or revoke a broadcast license.

Tell the FCC: Enforce the law. Revoke the broadcast licenses held by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

We already knew that the hacking activities at the center of the scandal were not limited to a few rogue reporters, but reflect systematic orchestration from the highest levels of News Corp. This new report, however, is the clearest evidence yet that the rot went all the way to the top.

With the law saying that the FCC should consider Murdoch’s “character,” this recent report detailing both his willful blindness that contributed to the phone hacking scandal and his lack of candor in his testimony about his role, ought to enough to call the issue into question.

As Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) — the nonpartisan watchdog group — aptly put it, “If [Rupert and James Murdoch] are not passing the character standard under British law, it seems to me that they are not going to meet the character standard in America.”

Tell the FCC: Enforce the law. Revoke the broadcast licenses held by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

CREW has already sent a letter to the FCC demanding that the commission revoke News Corp.’s broadcast licenses.

But the commission is likely to flout the law unless significant public pressure can be brought to bear.

We need to speak out.

Remember, Rupert Murdoch may own a massive media empire, but he doesn’t own the airwaves — we do. And the 27 broadcast stations Murdoch owns are only allowed to use the public airwaves because the FCC has made a determination that it is in the “public interest” that they be given licenses to do so.

The deplorable actions Murdoch has condoned in News Corp. go to the very heart of whether or not we can trust his company to act in the public interest.

News Corp. has crossed a line and it’s time for the FCC to take action.

Tell the FCC: Enforce the law. Revoke the broadcast licenses held by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6883524

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The Fox News Mole Fired

In less than 24 hours, Fox News has fired Joe Muto, formerly an associate producer at The O’Reilly Factor, for his role as The Fox Mole on Gawker.com.

Joe Muto is fired effective April 12. Once the network determined that Mr. Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues. We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others.

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The Fox News Channel Mole

Sources are frequently cited on FNB, but whole stories are rarely lifted from other sites, if ever… Tradition will be broken as the following needs to be shared far and wide! This article comes from a Fox News employee:

I always intended to keep my mouth shut. The plan was simple: get hired, keep my head down and my views to myself, work for a few months, build my resume, then eventually hop to a new job that didn’t make me cringe every morning when I looked in the mirror.

That was years ago. My cringe muscles have turned into crow’s feet. The ten resumes a month I was sending out dwindled into five, then two, then one, then zero. No one wants me. I’m blacklisted.

I work at Fox News Channel.

The final straw for me came last year. Oddly, it wasn’t anything on TV that turned me rogue, though plenty of things on our air had pushed me in that direction over the years. But what finally broke me was a story on The Fox Nation. If you’re not a frequenter of Fox Nation (and if you’re reading Gawker, it’s a pretty safe bet you’re not) I can describe it for you — it’s like an unholy mashup of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting. Word around the office is that the site was actually the brainchild of Bill O’Reilly’s chief stalker (and Gawker pal) Jesse Watters.

The Nation aggregates news stories, gives them provocative headlines, and invites commenters to weigh in. The comments are fascinating actually, if you can detach yourself enough to view them as sort of the id of the conservative movement. Of course, if you can’t detach yourself, then you’re going to come away with a diminished view of human decency, because HOLY MOLY THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE THE BLACK PRESIDENT. I’m not saying they dislike him BECAUSE he’s black, but a lot of the comments, unprompted, mention the fact that he is black, so what would you say, Dr. Freud?

The Fox Nation moderators, realizing that they had a problem on their hands, did the absolute bare minimum, hiring one or two college kids to comb the comments for the most egregiously racist postings, and putting in automatic text filters that blocked various key words. Of course the intrepid commenters quickly found ways around these filters using letter substitutions and spacings, which is why many comments complain about our “n@gger president” and the “M u s l i m in the White House.”

So the site has become the seedy underbelly of the Fox News online empire. It’s surprising that we even have an online empire, considering that our fan base is mostly septuagenarian technophobes.

Announcing Our Newest Hire: A Current Fox News Channel EmployeeThe post that broke the camel’s back might be familiar to some of you, because it garnered a lot of attention and (well-deserved) ridicule when it hit last August. The item was aggregating several news sources that were reporting innocuously on President Obama’s 50th birthday party, which was attended by the usual mix of White House staffers, DC politicos and Dem-friendly celebs. The Fox Nation, naturally, chose to illustrate the story with a photo montage of Obama, Charles Barkley, Chris Rock, and Jay Z, and the headline “Obama’s Hip Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs.”

The post neatly summed up everything that had been troubling me about my employer: Non sequitur, ad hominem attacks on the president; gleeful race baiting; a willful disregard for facts; and so on. It came close on the heels of the Common controversy, which exhibited a lot of the same ugly traits. (See also: terrorist fist jabs; Fox & Friends madrassa accusations; etc.)

The worst thing about the Hip Hop BBQ incident is that we didn’t back away from it. Bill Shine, who is a rather important guy—sort of Roger Ailes’ main hatchet man, and the go-between for Ailes and most of the top talent—bafflingly doubled down and defended it. The story still exists on the Fox Nation site, headline and photo montage intact, to this very day.

That was it for me. It wasn’t that the one incident was so bad, in and of itself. But it was so galvanizing, and on top of so many other little incidents, that I guess it just finally pushed me over the edge.

So here I am. And I come bearing gifts. The video above is of Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity bantering before the taping of an interview for the “Hannity Vegas Forum” in February. Of note: Romney professes his and his wife Ann’s well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the “Austrian Warmbloods” that his wife rides—the are “dressage” horses, he notes—while maintaining his own preference for the “smoother gait” of his own “Missouri foxtrotter.”

Now there’s nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.

Elsewhere in the video you will see the two men discussing the possibility that this very footage may one day be leaked, as they warn one another against primping too carefully. “You don’t want to have John Edwards moment,” Hannity says. “Did you see that?” Romney replies: “Oh, yeah I saw that. It’s one thing to do it for a second. It’s another thing to do it for an hour.” (And it’s quite another for Newt Gingrich’s wife to groom him like a circus walrus.)

Later, Hannity’s producers ask him to change his necktie mid-interview. Here’s a little TV trick for you: The show was splitting the Q-and-A over two nights, and they wanted to make the second night look like a fresh, new encounter rather than a rehash from last night. So they made sure to change Hannity’s tie lest eagle-eyed viewers spot the repeat. Romney, to his credit, refuses to play along. Offered a pink tie, he says, “I’m not going all Donald Trump today.” That day, Trump had announced his endorsement of Romney. In the portion of the interview that was broadcast, Romney said he was grateful for Trump’s support, and that “he is a man who’se created a lot of jobs, and he shares my concern about China.”

“So why not just leave Fox News?” you might ask. Good question! I’ve asked myself that same thing many times. And I am leaving. Sooner rather than later, I’m guessing. But I can’t just leave quietly, can I? Where’s the fun in that? So I’m John McClane-ing this shit. I’m inside the building, crawling through the air vents, gathering intel, and passing it along to Carl Winslow.

(Note: Please don’t misunderstand, and take my Die Hard metaphor as a threat of violence. Like most left-wingers I abhor actual violence, but am still hopelessly enthralled by the Hollywood machine that glorifies it. Also, that was a 20th Century Fox movie. Synergy!)

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Behold, Fox News’ Violent, Racist Fanbase

Fox News opponents have often cited evidence of racism and race baiting by Fox News personalities. While this has been contested, despite the ample evidence, by Fox News’ fanbase, their unabashed hatred and violent rhetoric, such as the death threats against atheists, cannot be denied. Once again, they have come to Fox News, bearing gifts of hatred, this time toward Trayvon Martin, the 17 year killed by George Zimmerman for nothing more than walking down the street with Skittles and a bottle of iced tea, while black.

The following comments are from Fox News viewers and display their affinity for hate, violence, fear mongering and blatant racism. It’s sickening, to say the least.

What a shame—a tragedy, really— because the dead lil’ gangsta could’ve used “‘A-FIRM-TIV AK-SHUN” to go to kollige an play footballz and make lotsa cash munny!”

[…]

Fast and Furious didn’t work to pass new gun control so now Eric Holder will try the race card.

[…]

No matter how crime figures are massaged by those who want to acknowledge or dispute the existence of a Dirty War, there is nothing ambiguous about what the official statistics portray: for the past 45 years a large segment of bIack America has waged a war of v i o l e n t retribution against white America.

[…]

Zimmerman was attacked by the man and defended himself with a gun. Zimmerman’s wounds were verified by police.

[…]

17 = child. LOL!!!!!!

Let the LIB word games begin.

[…]

Yet the “justice department” refuses to prosecute any voter intimidation that involves a blac k as the intimidator.

[…]

Why should anyone care about this kid? Because he is of color? People don’t value kids period. They are property. BTW, I am a conservative that cares a great deal about kids. We follow hundreds of cases each year, many white babies and children, none of them get attention. But he does??

[…]

Zimmerman felt threatened by Martin’s gang’s actions…this could have possibly lead to these terrible circumstances. Gang violence MUST BE STOPPED OBAMA!

[…]

Blacks can do no wrong, period! That is the DOJ’s excuse for becoming involved. 50+ years of being told they are special and entitled and the gov’t’s only focus is to make it so!!

[…]

In any event, it appears to be a case of one sc u m bag Cuban-type (Zimmerman) offing some scummy b l a ck kid (Trayyy-Vonnnn)…in some trash neighborhood….

but now, because the dead kid’s a kneegrow, we have:

the BIG BAD FBI on this “important” case…and

the usual BLACK-RADICAL-PROTESTERS who can’t mind their own business!

[…]

Gated communities exist because people are afraid….& negros thrive on crime…Look at our prisons.

[…]

Need that too….But Negr0s only have their welfare checks….and in any event can’t follow rules

[…]

What time do the riots start? Gotta get my popcorn and munchies ready for the “hood” burning!

[…]

Funny you never see them rally against the drug dealing murderers that control their neighborhoods. LOL!!!

[…]

How does anyone know what this 17 yr old said, Most likely he threw the race card out ” you stop me because I*M B L ACK” and then became threatning. The media alway plants the seed of doubt when when a B l ac k is sh ot by a caucasian

[…]

maybe his gang brothers incited violence too?

[…]

How’d the kid get into the “gated” community in the first place?

[…]

Them monkeys can jump!

[…]

This is going to be a tough case. gang violence is hard to prosecute. martin’s gang may even want to retaliate. this is scary

[…]

Let’s find out why the “po’ baby” was REALLY there!

[…]

The little thug ghetto monkey should have been home doing his homework, not out gang bangin.

[…]

I’m just glad Zimmerman didnt miss and hit an innocent bystander.

[…]

THIS IS PURE RACIST!! When do you ever see the DOJ investigate the death of a white child??

[…]

This is pure B.S I want to see the kids police record even if something is expounged also why was he removed from facebook it says account terminated.Why because his parents are trying to cover his tracks just like if you hit a bus they see Dollar signs.People have dragged data about Zimmerman out where is the kids past.Don’t say he was a good boy prove it.Ask yourself what is more likely to happen any 17 year old kid when you ask a question.A smartass reply I have never and I mean never seen a teenager run unless he did something wrong.I guess no crinimal has ever cased a place when they went to a store.It takes me aback the way all these facts are quoted by people who read one story on a issue.

[…]

Who says his gang wasn’t hiding near by?

[…]

he could be a good kid, but being in a gang doesn’t help his case

[…]

An unfortunate death, but when will DOJ investigate the death of a Caucsasian?

[…]

Here we go again— a LOCAL law enforcement matter (no federal issues) is being hijacked by the FEDS because the alleged “victim” is bl a c k! We all KNOW this kid was up to no good and now he’s feedin’ worms. Too bad-ha ha ha!

[…]

Last night on CNN Anderson Cooper kept referring to zimmerman as white when he knew he was Hispanic I wonder why

[…]

maybe then the kid was not bIack maybe Hawaiian like tiger woods then we can say s p i c s h o o t s Hawaiian

[…]

This has Bl ack racist Holder and his all bl ack racist “DOJ Civil Rights Div” written all over it.

[…]

Crack Skittles the new disguise

[…]

Skittles actually has a couple slang meanings. Could be referring to recreational usage of Coricidin. Also refers to a male getting lipstick marks from young ladies on the member. Taste the rainbow..

[…]

You think the DOJ or main stream will report zimmerman was Hispanic not White

[…]

That is all it was — just another n i qq er. No loss

[…]

He was slinging crack.

[…]

Is tea and skittles slang for guns and crack.

[…]

Skittles is actually slang for recreational usage of Coricidin.

[…]

This is what happens when you join a gang. kids need to learn from Martin’s mistakes

[…]

They should have a hunting season in Florida for these drug crazed gang members.

[…]

This could have had a tragic outcome. His gun could have jammed. Whew!

[…]

At least he didn’t chain him to the back of his truck?!?!?

[…]

How long will it take to get all of those little blk curly nappys out of the White House bedding so that the next POTUS can sleep without that Creepy Crawly feeling .

[…]

The picture is of an innocent choir boy designed to evoke sympathy for the “victum” and justify the skewed actions of a corrupt department of justice.

[…]

the b!ack community has created a sense of fear with the excessive amounts of cr!me and v!olence and the glamorizing and glorification of cr!mes and v!olence through c rap music (term used lightly) and most are rude, crude, nasty and give others the tough guy BS attitude.You people (term also used lightly) made your beds and now have to lie in them………don’t be angry with us or blame us you did this all on your own.

[…]

Hunting, maybe thinning the herd…

[…]

It is obvious the un-civilized B!ACKS who dwell in the greatist nation on earth have never wanted to be part of the TEAM, they CRY and P!SS and MOAN at every given oportunity about fairness and equality, While lining up for the free ride at welfare.
The United States is cursed with these baboons, Who will never gain the ability to stand up and make it on their own without our help.
They are the eternal retarded stepchild , needfull and helpless until the end of time.

[…]

Now the family of the kid has lost there way out of the ghetto.

[…]

ANOTHER TOOKY WILLIAMS, ABORTED.
GOOD SHOT ZIMMY. lol

This is nothing but liberal racism at it’s worst.  If this kid had have been white, the DOJ would never be involved.

Here is a crazy thought.  Let’s all wait until the law enforcement officers do their job, then we can judge.  I know, what a silly idea.

[…]

niqqers don’t walk, they shuffle, and how was doing all of that one handed, cause we know the other hand was holding his clown pants up.

[…]

Oh stop it with the “skittles” BS and trying to make him sound like some innocent little toddler riding on a little red tricycle.

[…]

Oh swell, I knew it! Yes, here comes The Great Negroid Racist Al Sharpton himself to try once again to extract ghetto justice on a white person by being judge, jury and executioner…just the way liberals like it.

[…]

what did Martin’s gang tattoos say?

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Top 10 Fox News FAILs of 2011

The Top 10 Fox News FAILs of 2011 has been posted on Ranker.com. Take a look at this list!

  1. 2011 Study Finds Fox News Actually Makes People Dumber
  2. Fox Announces Death of President Obama…Twice
  3. Bill O’Reilly Calls Elementary School Science a Mystery
  4. Fox Takes on Spongebob Squarepants
  5. Fox Mistakes Tina Fey for Sarah Palin
  6. Fox’s Megyn Kelly Calls Pepper Spray a “Food Product”
  7. Sarah Palin Claims Paul Revere Warned the British
  8. Fox News Randomly Announces a War on Salt
  9. Fox Runs Wrong Footage of Ron Paul Win
  10. Fox Mistakes Japanese Nightclub for Nuclear Power Plant

See the full list with images and videos at Ranker.com

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Fox News’ 2012 GOP Caucus FAIL

From Megyn Kelly’s program “America Live” on Wednesday… Can you spot the Fox News FAIL?

Fox News Fail

Really, Fox News? There’s just no excuse for this… none.

 

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Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed…

Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed…

Faux News ChannelAccording to a a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fox News viewers know less than those who don’t watch any news.  The poll asked New Jerseyans about current events and confirmed what many consider to be the obvious: “Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News… the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.

As for networks informing their audiences, this is where it gets interesting…

Only 55% of New Jerseyans are able to name correctly either Mitt Romney or Herman Cain as the Republican candidates most recently leading in the polls, with 37 % saying that Romney is ahead, and 18% saying that Cain is. Watching Fox News didn’t help or hurt respondents on this question. MSNBC, however, helped: Watching MSNBC was associated with a 10-point increase in identifying Romney as the leader, and a 5-point drop in the likelihood of identifying Cain compared to those who got no exposure to news at all.

“Given the amount of time and effort the media spent covering these candidates, the fact that only about half of the public can name one of the front-runners is embarrassing,” said Cassino. “The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn’t do better in informing viewers is very surprising.”

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Atheists Receive Death Threats Thanks to Fox News

On Fox News’ Facebook page, a post has been removed… Why? Because it fanned the flames of ignorance and hate against Atheists, who subsequently received death threats numbering in the hundreds or thousands… All because Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, appeared on the Fox News program America Live with Megyn Kelly late last month to discuss his complaint about the so-called “9/11 Cross.”

Stay classy Fox News fans!

On a positive note, Fox News did remove the post and comments, issuing this statement:

“We make every attempt to keep our Facebook page as safe as possible. And we take immediate steps to remove all hateful and dangerous language.”

Unfortunately, the damage was done, captured and shared across the web… here are some screen shots:

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Rupert Murdoch & Fox News Humor from Someecards

Someecards is known for their humorous one liners, but I find some of these ecards targeting Rupert Murdoch & Fox News  particularly hilarious…

 

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Murdoch’s Formula? Racism, Sexism & Harassment

Rupert Murdoch - said to believe "coloreds" like American sports

Rupert Murdoch - said to believe "coloreds" like American sports

Roger Simon, who wrote a telling piece for Politico, provides fascinating insight into Rupert Murdoch‘s formula for success when purchasing and running a company… at least to those of us outside of Murdoch’s inner circle of evil.

Simon and his wife worked for the Chicago Sun-Times prior to Murdoch buying the company. Soon after, Simon and his left, but not after witnessing first-hand racist remarks from the media magnate.

SIMON: I had a conversation with him about various sections of the paper. “I don’t understand anything about American sport,” [Murdoch] told me breezily, “but I know the coloreds like it.”

I told him that in America we no longer used the word “coloreds,” that it was considered insulting.

He looked at me the way Queen Victoria might have looked at a footman who had told her she was using the wrong fork to eat her pheasant.

Murdoch had apparently told employees and management at the Sun-Times that he intended to maintain the quality and integrity of the paper. Simon said everyone knew it was a lie. Within months, there were mass resignations and dismissals and Murdoch brought on his own “thugs” and “stooges.” He sold the paper, but the damage had been done.

Murdoch and his goons also know what damage can be caused to a political career and exactly how to do it using harassment, printing sexist remarks and photo editing…

Sarah Lyall of The New York Times wrote last week about Clare Short, a Labour member of Parliament, who once mentioned “in passing that she did not care for the photographs of saucy, topless women that appear every day on Page 3 of the populist tabloid The Sun,” owned by Murdoch.

The Sun attacked swiftly with the headline: “‘Fat, Jealous’ Clare Brands Page 3 Porn.” The paper also sent a busload of “semi-dressed” models to Short’s home to jeer at her and stuck a picture of Short’s head on the body of a topless woman in the paper.While powerful politicians often privately deplored the behavior of the British tabloids, they were “afraid to say so publicly, for fear of losing the papers’ support or finding themselves the target of their wrath,” the Times article said.

The editor of The Sun at the time of the attack on that “fat, jealous” member of Parliament was Rebekah Wade, now Rebekah Brooks, who has been arrested in the phone-hacking scandal and who testified Tuesday before a parliamentary committee right after Murdoch finished.

While Fox News may not be as blatantly sexist in their harassment of public officials in the United States, the results are basically the same… We saw the backlash that the Obama administration received when they called out Fox News for their BS. I wonder how many of those journalists who defended Fox News will realize they were on the wrong side of history when it’s all said and News Corp. is done.

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Eric Bolling’s Textbook Fox News Use of ‘Some People’ Quote (His Own)

In some instances a journalist can’t reveal their sources. In others, they’re just lazy when they refer to their sources as “some people” as in “some people say…” It’s something else entirely when a so-called “journalist” like Eric Bolling uses something they’ve been quoted as saying and refer to it being said by… you guessed it… “some people.”

Four days ago, Anchor Eric Bolling proclaimed,”There’s really no question that the Ground Zero Mosque is in fact a Victory Mosque.”

Now, here is Bolling stating, “Some Have Called” Park51 “A Victory Mosque”

Some have called Eric Bolling a pile of excrement… just sayin’

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Eric Bolling’s Rewriting of History on Fox News

Fox News host Eric Bolling

Fox News host Eric Bolling

Now that Glenn Beck’s show is no longer on Fox News, many people may think that the ratio of hot air to facts would improve, but the show that filled Beck’s time slot shall prove differently. Fox News host Eric Bolling who appeared on Beck’s replacement show, “The Five,” along with a panel including former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino, made in incredible announcement, similar to Rudy Giuliani’s claim that, “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.”

BOLLING: America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any attacks on American soil during that period of time.

Of course, there was that thing that happened in New York on September 11th, 2001, which was during Bush’s first term as President. It was only one of the largest attacks on American soil in U.S. history. It’s a simple thing to overlook.

Someone had to have corrected him on the show, right? Wrong.

Not even Dana Perino uttered a peep. But, really, who would expect her to? (See GOP Connections)

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Propaganda Techniques Used by Fox News

Propaganda Techniques Used by Fox News
Fox News - Our viewers will believe anything

Fox News - Our viewers will believe anything

FoxNewsBoycott.com previously pointed out Bill O’Reilly’s use of propaganda techniques. Now, Dr. Cynthia Boaz at Truthout.org has doubled that list and have provided evidence of the techniques used by Fox News.

  1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment. From Muslims to swine flu to recession to homosexuals to immigrants to the rapture itself, the belief over at Fox seems to be that if your fight-or-flight reflexes aren’t activated, you aren’t alive. This of course raises the question: why terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypass the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don’t think rationally. And when they can’t think rationally, they’ll believe anything.
  2. Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not like to waste time debating the idea. Instead, they prefer a quicker route to dispensing with their opponents: go after the person’s credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity. No category of character assassination is off the table and no offense is beneath them. Fox and like-minded media figures also use ad hominem attacks not just against individuals, but entire categories of people in an effort to discredit the ideas of every person who is seen to fall into that category, e.g. “liberals,” “hippies,” “progressives” etc. This form of argument – if it can be called that – leaves no room for genuine debate over ideas, so by definition, it is undemocratic. Not to mention just plain crass.
  3. Projection/Flipping. This one is frustrating for the viewer who is trying to actually follow the argument. It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you’re using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. We see this frequently in the immigration discussion, where anti-racists are accused of racism, or in the climate change debate, where those who argue for human causes of the phenomenon are accused of not having science or facts on their side. It’s often called upon when the media host finds themselves on the ropes in the debate.
  4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview. The Downing Street Memos on the Iraq war were a classic example of this on a massive scale, but it happens daily and over smaller issues as well. A recent case in point is Palin’s mangling of the Paul Revere ride, which Fox reporters have bent over backward to validate. Why lie about the historical facts, even when they can be demonstrated to be false? Well, because dogmatic minds actually find it easier to reject reality than to update their viewpoints. They will literally rewrite history if it serves their interests. And they’ll often speak with such authority that the casual viewer will be tempted to question what they knew as fact.
  5. Scapegoating/Othering. This works best when people feel insecure or scared. It’s technically a form of both fear mongering and diversion, but it is so pervasive that it deserves its own category. The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.
  6. Conflating Violence With Power and Opposition to Violence With Weakness. This is more of what I’d call a “meta-frame” (a deeply held belief) than a media technique, but it is manifested in the ways news is reported constantly. For example, terms like “show of strength” are often used to describe acts of repression, such as those by the Iranian regime against the protesters in the summer of 2009. There are several concerning consequences of this form of conflation. First, it has the potential to make people feel falsely emboldened by shows of force – it can turn wars into sporting events. Secondly, especially in the context of American politics, displays of violence – whether manifested in war or debates about the Second Amendment – are seen as noble and (in an especially surreal irony) moral. Violence becomes synonymous with power, patriotism and piety.
  7. Bullying. This is a favorite technique of several Fox commentators. That it continues to be employed demonstrates that it seems to have some efficacy. Bullying and yelling works best on people who come to the conversation with a lack of confidence, either in themselves or their grasp of the subject being discussed. The bully exploits this lack of confidence by berating the guest into submission or compliance. Often, less self-possessed people will feel shame and anxiety when being berated and the quickest way to end the immediate discomfort is to cede authority to the bully. The bully is then able to interpret that as a “win.”
  8. Confusion. As with the preceding technique, this one works best on an audience that is less confident and self-possessed. The idea is to deliberately confuse the argument, but insist that the logic is airtight and imply that anyone who disagrees is either too dumb or too fanatical to follow along. Less independent minds will interpret the confusion technique as a form of sophisticated thinking, thereby giving the user’s claims veracity in the viewer’s mind.
  9. Populism. This is especially popular in election years. The speakers identifies themselves as one of “the people” and the target of their ire as an enemy of the people. The opponent is always “elitist” or a “bureaucrat” or a “government insider” or some other category that is not the people. The idea is to make the opponent harder to relate to and harder to empathize with. It often goes hand in hand with scapegoating. A common logical fallacy with populism bias when used by the right is that accused “elitists” are almost always liberals – a category of political actors who, by definition, advocate for non-elite groups.
  10. Invoking the Christian God. This is similar to othering and populism. With morality politics, the idea is to declare yourself and your allies as patriots, Christians and “real Americans” (those are inseparable categories in this line of thinking) and anyone who challenges them as not. Basically, God loves Fox and Republicans and America. And hates taxes and anyone who doesn’t love those other three things. Because the speaker has been benedicted by God to speak on behalf of all Americans, any challenge is perceived as immoral. It’s a cheap and easy technique used by all totalitarian entities from states to cults.
  11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. The message must be repeated over and over, it must be everywhere and it must be shared across commentators: e.g. “Saddam has WMD.” Veracity and hard data have no relationship to the efficacy of saturation. There is a psychological effect of being exposed to the same message over and over, regardless of whether it’s true or if it even makes sense, e.g., “Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.” If something is said enough times, by enough people, many will come to accept it as truth. Another example is Fox’s own slogan of “Fair and Balanced.”
  12. Disparaging Education. There is an emerging and disturbing lack of reverence for education and intellectualism in many mainstream media discourses. In fact, in some circles (e.g. Fox), higher education is often disparaged as elitist. Having a university credential is perceived by these folks as not a sign of credibility, but of a lack of it. In fact, among some commentators, evidence of intellectual prowess is treated snidely and as anti-American. The disdain for education and other evidence of being trained in critical thinking are direct threats to a hive-mind mentality, which is why they are so viscerally demeaned.
  13. Guilt by Association. This is a favorite of Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart, both of whom have used it to decimate the careers and lives of many good people. Here’s how it works: if your cousin’s college roommate’s uncle’s ex-wife attended a dinner party back in 1984 with Gorbachev’s niece’s ex-boyfriend’s sister, then you, by extension are a communist set on destroying America. Period.
  14. Diversion. This is where, when on the ropes, the media commentator suddenly takes the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability. This is the point in the discussion where most Fox anchors start comparing the opponent to Saul Alinsky or invoking ACORN or Media Matters, in a desperate attempt to win through guilt by association. Or they’ll talk about wanting to focus on “moving forward,” as though by analyzing the current state of things or God forbid, how we got to this state of things, you have no regard for the future. Any attempt to bring the discussion back to the issue at hand will likely be called deflection, an ironic use of the technique of projection/flipping.

 

It’s an amazing, if not depressing, look at our society’s perception of news, politics and each other, manipulated by the marketing machine that is News Corp, parent company of Fox News. Many, if not all, of these techniques can be found employed by those working for any number of Rupert Murdoch’s properties around the world. Additionally, we’ve seen every one of these techniques used by Fox News fanboys defending Fox News, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc. Now that this list is being shared, be sure to keep an eye out for these propaganda techniques and be ready to call the fanboys out.

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Fox News Politics Twitter Acct Hacked

Apparently over the weekend Fox News Politics Twitter account (@FoxNewsPolitics) was hacked and some outrageous comments were tweeted about President Obama being assassinated. The THiNK blog at Stony Brook University has reportedly been in contact with representatives of the group The Script Kiddies who claim, “Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting.”

 

 

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Roger Ailes’ Secret Plan for GOP Propaganda TV

Roger Ailes’ Secret Plan for GOP Propaganda TV

Before launching Fox News Channel in 1996, FNC President Roger Ailes was a media strategist for Republican Presidents, Nixon, Reagan and H.W. Bush as well as a producer for Rush Limbaugh (see GOP Connections to Fox News page). It should be of little surprise to learn that Ailes would like nothing more than to push GOP propaganda onto Americans via a right-wing TV news channel, like Fox News.

A 300+ page cache of documents obtained by Gawker from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries includes a memo titled, “A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News.” The 15 page plan includes the opinion that “People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.”

Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.

Knowing the differences between news and entertainment programming and the relative difference in rules, the plan was to circumvent the system and get GOP opinions into what they believed to be the “liberal media” and therefore delivered by who they saw as the enemy. Just as Fox News continues to claim to be the opposition to the mainstream media (of which they are part).

This is a plan that places news of importance to localities (Senators and representatives are newsmakers of importance to their localities) on local television news programs while it is still news. It avoids the censorship, the priorities, and the prejudices of network news selectors and disseminators.

The memo included handwritten notes from Roger Ailes, clearly stating his interest in making the plan a reality. Not only that, but using his media consulting experience to suggest changes and address possible repercussions.

Notes written by Roger Ailes in the margin of the memo.

Basically a very good idea. It should be expanded to include other members of the administration such as cabinet involved in activity with regional or local interest. Also could involve GOP governors when in DC. Who would purchase equipment and run operation—White House? RNC? Congressional caucus? Will get some flap about news management.

Ailes wanted in… here’s his note to Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman:

Bob—if you decide to go ahead we would as a production company like to bid on packaging the entire project. I know what has to be done and we could test the feasibility for 90 days without making a commitment beyond that point.

The first version of the plan was to be called “Capitol News Service.” After Roger Ailes was fired by the White House, he was involved with Television News Incorporated (TVN), seemingly the subsequent version. As reported by Rolling Stone, TVN was financed by the President of Coors Brewing Co., Joseph Coors, and “was designed to inject a far-right slant into local news broadcasts by providing news clips that stations could use without credit—and at a fraction of the true costs of production.”

The documents obtained by Gawker include other “dirty tricks” memos. A memo from Roger Ailes to Haldeman involves a scheme to infiltrate a political opponent’s organization – “I would like to see us get one of our people inside the Wallace organization immediately.” There was also evidence of a “news” piece to be directed by Ailes and financed by a pro-Nixon front group that would have used two pro-war Democrats, who he calls “dupes for the administration,” to respond to a CBS News special.

Ailes was working on as a response to an anti-war CBS News special.

As you can clearly see, these examples demonstrate a direct GOP connection between Roger Ailes (American President of Fox News Channel) and a plan to air GOP propaganda on TV, disguised as news, plus other dirty tricks involving media manipulation. “Fair and balanced?” Really?

Source

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