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Monday, June 18, 2018
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I Never Would Have Thought It Possible (What the Propagandists of...

This piece has appeared in newspapers in my very conservative congressional District (VA-06). ************ Over the past generation, the political right in America has accomplished something...

Sunday News: Some in GOP Look to 2020; Fox the Sexual...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, August 6. U.N. Security Council Imposes Punishing New Sanctions...

Presidential Historian Walter Issacson Needlessly Baffled by Trump’s Choice Not to...

I was just watching Thursday's "The 11th Hour," with Brian Williams interviewing presidential historians Jon Meacham and Walter Isaacson. Isaacson sketched out an image to...

Thursday News: “Trump ‘absolutely’ corrupts the GOP”; Trump Losing Latinos 83%-11%;...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 6. Also check out "What will you say?"...

How the GOP’s Spirit of Strife Has Damaged the Nation

Appearing in newspapers in the conservative VA-06 Why have our politics become so dysfunctional? The answer is really not so hard to find. Our founders knew...

News Corp’s “Culture of Denial”

Fresh off the latest study that Fox viewers are somehow even less informed about current events than people who don't watch the news at all, journalism professor & media critic Jay Rosen takes a closer look at why coverage is so biased at another of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp outlets, The Australian:
News Corp is a huge company, but it is not a normal company. However, it does not know that it's not a normal company. In fact, it denies this observation. In this sense denial is constitutive of the company and its culture. To work there, you have to share in this pervasive atmosphere of denial. [...]

For example: The Australian is a force for climate change denialism. But it does not know this about itself. Outsiders do know it, and they regularly point it out. The Australian reacts not by defending its actual stance on climate change but by trying to destroy those who accurately perceive it. The attempt at destruction is typically rhetorical but sometimes other methods are used, like threatening a lawsuit. The impression given is of a bully or thug. But that's really an after-effect of denial. Denial, I think, is the key to understanding the company.

Jay then offers his "brief theory of News Corp":

The Fox News Bubble: More Information is Less

Here's a surprising new finding: those who watch Fox News "are less likely to know what's going on in the world." Okay, so it's not such a surprise, and it hardly took a study for those of us who have discussed current events with viewers of Fox News to come to this conclusion. Nonetheless, the ramifications of this level of "more is less" political intelligence quotient is quite disturbing in regards to how well we can continue to function as a republic.

In our society, individual perceptions of world and domestic events appear to be increasingly filtered through wholly different perceptional lenses. This growing gap between how one group sees world and domestic events as compared to its counterpart makes the ability for political compromise more difficult. With the monumental failure of the congressional supercommittee, it is certainly compromise that has, at least momentarily, become an artifact of politics in the U.S.

The failure of the supercommittee does not, however, necessarily represent two different lens of perception unable to find common ground. We may never know how much of this failure was due to "pure" ideological differences and how much to the political pressure from constituents back home and lobbyists near the doorstep.

It is the political right, however, that Fox News appeals to and therefore it is these viewers who stand the greatest likelihood of having the facts wrong about a given issue. Not many individuals outside of the orbit of the Fox News universe would be surprised at this finding, but a strong republic relies on a well-informed citizenry, one that is willing to discuss issues of importance with respect and integrity. It seems ironic, uncomfortably so, that those on the right who claim to love their country so much appear to be the ones who are aggressively chipping away at its foundations the most. "Don't tread on me" has really come to mean, "ignorance is bliss."

“A Climate of Deception: How Fox News Distorts the Climate Debate”

Let's just hope that the scandals enveloping Rupert Murdoch and Company will ultimately bring down Faux "News," aka "Mouthpiece of Big Oil and Big Coal" (not mention "Mouthpiece of the Republican Party"). Just on the climate science issue alone, Rupert Murdoch et al deserve whatever happens to them, as well as our schadenfreude at watching it happen to them.

By the way, why is it that the Faux isn't doing the flip of what they did during "snowmageddon," running wall-to-wall coverage of the ongoing, year-after-year, relentless heat waves (and rapidly melting polar ice caps) we're experiencing on our planet, but this time using it to prove that there IS global warming (which also happens to be the correct answer)?  Because, again, Faux "News" isn't "news," it isn't "fair and balanced," it isn't truthful or honest, it's just the Big Lie in the year 2011.

As If You Needed More Evidence Fox Is Not News

Fox continues its formal transition to officially becoming the broadcast wing of the Republican Party:
News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, contributed $1 million this summer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that has been running an aggressive campaign in support of the Republican effort to retake Congress, a source close to the company told POLITICO.

It was the second $1 million contribution the company has made this election cycle to a GOP-aligned group. In late June it gave that amount to the Republican Governors Association. [...]

Specifically, the chamber has said it plans to spend $75 million in connection with the 2010 election, and has so far has directed substantial amounts to Republican Senate candidates. As of Sept. 15th, the group had spent $6,747,946 airing more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates, according to a study (PDF) from the Wesleyan Media Project.

What's comical is that Fox still goes through the song & dance of pretending to be a "news" channel. When the Republicans of Fox act like journalists, it's clearly no less of a charade than Stephen Colbert puts on every night at 11:30pm. So why do it? I guess Fox viewers like telling themselves they're not being spoon-fed one big ad for the Republican Party?  

Jon Stewart on Fox News as “Terrorist Command Center”

To review:
Here's Rupert Murdoch.  He owns Fox News. Now, he definitely has ties to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Al-Waleed bin Talal owns the second largest share of NewsCorp, outside of the Murdoch family. He owns 7%, $2.5 billion dollars.  Now, they say he's a liberal Muslim, but he is in the Saudi royal family, which may have ties to funding the Wahhabist mosques, the same particular brand of Islam practiced by some of the terrorists.  And he may have business dealings with the Carlyle Group, whose clients include... bin Laden family, one of whose sons, now obviously I'm not going to say which son, one of whose sons may be anti-American. I'm just connecting this, I'm just reading off the highlighted card.

By the way, after 9/11, Mayor Rudy Giuliani would not... after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani would not accept $10 million from the same Prince Al-Waleed, because he had cited Mideast policy as one of the reasons that we were attacked, which is the same reason they said that the imam down at the Ground Zero mosque was a radical.

So I think that, really, when you look at this card, and you do highlight it in yellow, the only thing you can come up with is: Is Fox News a terrorist command center?  I don't know.  I just don't know.  I'm just saying that you can draw this up.