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Member since: Wed Dec 29, 2004, 08:29 PM
Number of posts: 126

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Too much news is bad for your health.

I see it again and it frustrates me. I should be immune to this by now. I have seen more of these videos than I can remember. I listen to their baffling and infuriating content. More importantly, I listen to the commentary attached to them by an offended and confused left wing bloggers/commentators/activists/journalists etc. The right wing content of these videos perturbs me yet I also feel bemused by the criticism of their posters.
Fox News has been on the air for 16 years. It has been prominent since the presidential election of 2000. That, for the mathematically inclined of us, was roughly 12 years ago. Documentaries have been made about how they manufacture headlines, massage facts to put out a conservative message and preach to the choir via the use of personality driven news shows that revolve around hyper partisan anchors.
Even before the establishment of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch had established a media empire in the U.K. that gave favorable headlines to the Tories. This tabloid newspaper industry assisted to a degree in maintaining 18 years of Conservative rule. It also engaged in a lowering of standards by introducing page 3 girls, scandal journalism and the media of the bizarre. This race to the bottom was the start of the road that lead to phone hacking and the Leveson inquiry.
If we were to go back before that, the Murdoch media empire was vociferous in it's support of the Liberal/Country coalition's campaign against Whitlam's Australian Labor Party government in the 1970's. Rupert Murdoch had supported Whitlam but turned on him and began a long turn to the right that lasted decades. This change of heart was a homecoming of sorts as his father, Keith Murdoch had supported conservative political parties prior to the formation of the Liberal Party. He too used the media to criticize ALP governments (in his case, the wartime administration of John Curtin) and to support the center right United Australia Party regime of Joseph Lyons.
With a history of family driven conservative political advocacy this long, why are some on the political left still angry that this media empire engages in just that, conservative political advocacy? The Murdoch dynasty has been doing this for so long that being bewildered, confused or flabbergasted is merely an impediment to better uses of one's time.
Another question that needs to be asked is, 'Do they have a right to do so?' The answer, though some may not like it, is yes. In the U.S.A where freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution, they have this right. As far as I know, there is no clause in the constitution forbidding ludicrous speech as welcome as that may be.
However, Fox News, News Corp. (as it was known) and all it's other surrogates do something that may impede their ability to spout propaganda. They are selling a product. Information is a product albeit one that is more difficult to impose what we might class as quality control upon and in the same way that food and medical products are required to state what they are made of and what effects that they may have if taken, Fox News too should be required to broadcast consumer information on their network.
An ideal one in my eyes would be:
Ingredients: Faux and selective outrage (500ml), sensationalism (500ml), vitriol in easy to swallow raspberry flavor which ironically will make the aftertaste sweeter as you spew it later (1 litre), ad hominem (500ml), mud (30g) partisanship (1 litre).
All mixed up and you have close 4 litres of Fox News goodness (?), ideal for drinking from buckets, big gulp cups or beer bongs (sorry for the metrics, I am Australian). If you took one look at that consumer info., you would run for the hills which ironically is where many of the Fox News audience currently live.
This brings me to my overall point. Why are many of the arguments surrounding Fox News here about how it is conservative? When a Fox News post is visible here, we get a lot of 'F*** you Fox News' as though that is an argument winner but there are no real solutions given to address the real problem that is that network. Anti Fox opinions are often based on the concept that all things conservative are bad but to the average man on the street, that may not cut through. Not everyone considers conservatism a bad thing. I want to know if there is a movement that is pressuring the government to pass legislation that requires Fox News to identify what they really are. If they want to run a propaganda network based on talking head opinion shows and advertise themselves as such then more power to them. The issue that is of greater consequence is that they use their 'news anchors' to inject opinion into the headlines and have it pose as straight news. Doing this and then stating that they are 'Fair and Balanced' is their most egregious offence.
Before a person consumes something, they usually have a fair idea of what they are putting into their body or if they don't they check the side of the pack or bottle from with they are consuming it from. Why can't Fox News do the same? Here in Australia, we have had pictures of diseased lungs and brain hemorrhages printed on the side of cigarette boxes for years to show what you are putting into your body. Is there a group that is lobbying the government to force Fox News to do the same?
I would like to see a brain hemorrhage style warning that is broadcast during Fox News advertisement breaks. In the place of a diseased organ, they should show pictures of the legendary 'Morans' guy or footage from a Tea Party rally that shows signs denouncing the 'pubic option'. Come to think of it, they could just skip that and keep the brain hemorrhage (as you are surely doing similar damage to your brain when you watch Fox). These kind of warnings would surely deter any person who might be 50% reasonable/50% irrational from crossing over into to the darkness of ignorance.
Therefore I ask, is there an organized effort going on in the U.S. today that is lobbying the U.S. government to force Fox News into revealing what they really are? Is there some kind of push to establish a U.S. style Leveson inquiry that may call Fox out for what it really is and establish a legislative framework to keep it honest?
Posted by ballaratocker | Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:54 AM (3 replies)
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