The Fox Job

Another excerpt from  “Assholes: A Theory”  by Aaron James is up at Alternet.  It discusses the role of Fox News  in warping our national discussion on policy.  Study-after-study has shown that Fox News watchers actually know less than people that pay no attention to news.

A study conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, found that the average American was able to correctly answer 1.8 out of four questions on international news and 1.6 out of five on domestic.

Fox News followers however only answered 1.04 domestic questions correctly, which is worse than those who said they watched no media at all – which stood at 1.22.

“These differences may be small, but even small differences are important when we’re talking about millions of people,” said Dan Cassino, political scientist and poll analyst. “We expect that watching the news should help people learn, but the most popular of the national media sources – Fox, CNN, MSNBC – seem to be the least informative.”

Fox’s business model is not to inform but to muddy the conversation via traditional propaganda methodology.  The use of personalities that spew ideology is just one way that Fox dumbs down the nation and–in James’ words--creates “a New Culture of Idiots”.   Here’s a telling analysis of Neil Cavuto in exchange with Ron Blackwell using moves that James says is classical asshole behavior. It is also a power move that prevents real information from getting to the Cavuto audience.

Cavuto fully grasps the difference between job creation and net job creation, and he knew full well what point Blackwell was making. He therefore cannot be classified as a mere “ass,” with the suggestion of donkeylike stubbornness of mind combined with obliviousness to basic concepts or the social situation. Cavuto in fact staged a ploy: a dodge. He shifted attention away from the point made to the qualifications of the person making it in order to score dialectical points with the audience.

This is at the very least an asshole move. One often can permissibly shift attention in a conversation, but here it is at best unclearly justified. Interrupting Blackwell several times and then accusing him of not answering his question does not count as even half-cooperative discourse, not even by the low standards of American politics. Even that would not have been so bad if Cavuto had meant to initiate something like a meta- conversation between the two speakers, a conversation in which Blackwell could have later complimented the tactic of diversion with a “touché!” or “well played, sir.” Cavuto betrays no hint of metacooperation. He simply feels entitled not to wait his conversational turn. He does not have to actually listen to an opposing perspective, even from the person he is talking to. Cavuto could perhaps argue that the host must exert heavy control over the terms of debate, because polite terms will not do. Or maybe he feels justified in his bullying as long as he is scoring points in a kind of televised game show, with influence, profit, and fun as his justly deserved reward. Either rationale could constitute a sense of entitlement — something like the right to rule, or at least to shut the opposition out, while taking the moral high ground.

Cavuto and other FOX personalities are not interested in the news, a conversation about policy, or presenting alternative viewpoints.  They are only interested in bloviating whatever thoughts–no matter how misguided or wrong–float about in their minds.  Bill O’Reilly is another prime example of an asshole that isn’t the least bit interested in news, facts, or true discussion.  He frequently turns the mic off when his victims refuse to bow to his views.  James shows how all Fox personalities–even those responsible for just doing the news– have the same basic approach.

It is not just Fox News commentators but Fox News itself that has the appropriate, in-your-face, I’m-entitled-to-do-this,especially-because-you-dislike-it vibe. Which should not be surprising from a tightly controlled outfit in which everything flows from a single source, chairman Roger Ailes. Ailes has personal flaws that do not necessarily make one an asshole but that clearly shape the coverage, including his paranoia and his extreme politics. We find more telling evidence by considering the man in a happy moment, a victory lap. In an event celebrating Fox News’s success, Ailes said of the competing networks’ talent, as though sharing in the agony of their defeat: “Shows, stars, I mean it’s sad, you know? . . . I called and asked them all to move to the second floor wherever they were working. Because when they jump, I don’t want it to hurt.” By which he meant that he wouldn’t mind at all if his competitors not only lost the contest but felt humiliated enough to kill themselves. He meant of course to gloat but also to show his contempt. He meant to broadcast his contempt and to have a laugh about his being in a position to advertise it.

Roger Ailes–who just signed a new contract with Fox–is probably most responsible for the zombie cable news station.

He has made clear in past interviews that he believes the country is at a crossroads. Whether we’re looking at a second Obama term or a Romney administration, Ailes wants to be engaged as head of a news organization whose commentators reflect his aggressively political views. Various Republican presidential contenders, including Mitt Romney, felt the need to meet with Ailes during the primaries, and a couple of them—Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum—had been on his payroll.

Ailes has made Fox News a propaganda arm of the Republican Party.  He sees that all Republican candidates are treated with kids gloves and lets his hosts put up all kinds of lies and misstatements–no matter how egregious–just because of his ideological agenda.  The deal is that lots of sheeple watch the station and listen to the lies.  Hence, the results of the studies.  Fox Watchers are basic no-nothings.  Fox executives make a lot of money on all levels of the marketing scheme.

The notion that Mr. Ailes might decide to retire has intrigued many media observers this year, especially after he hinted that he might not stay at Fox News. Mr. Ailes is widely credited with the financial and cultural success of Fox News, the highest-rated cable news channel and a megaphone for conservative commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The channel now rivals the broadcast networks during some big news events, like thepresidential debates this month.

The terms of the new contract were not released. Mr. Ailes is already one of the highest-paid executives in television; he has received a base salary of $5 million and a bonus of $1.5 million a year for several years, as well as millions in compensation based on the financial performance of Fox News, according to public filings by News Corporation.

In the fiscal year that ended in June, for instance, Mr. Ailes received $9 million, paid in cash rather than stock, as a reward for Fox’s record earnings. Furthermore, he received $4 million in stock awards tied to the performance of Fox Business. His total compensation for the fiscal year was $21 million, making him the third-highest-paid executive at the News Corporation, behind the chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, who made $30 million, and Chase Carey, the chief operating officer, who made nearly $25 million.

Here’s a recent example of Fox lies and distortions from Steve Benen at Maddow Blog.  There’s been plenty of them during this election cycle.

This visual actually aired, without a hint of irony or shame, on Fox News today, as if it presented accurate, legitimate information to its audience. Media Matters’ Zachary Pleat called it “dishonest,” but really, that’s being overly generous. I’m more inclined to say Fox News is deliberately deceiving its viewers, assuming they won’t know the difference.

There are two main elements to this. The first is the notion that the “real” unemployment rate nearly doubled on President Obama’s watch. To arrive at this figure, Fox News began with the standard U-3 unemployment rate from January 2009, and then compared it to August 2012 U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want to work full-time and those who’ve given up.

The only reason to equate a U-3 rate and a U-6 rate at the same time — a classic apples to oranges comparison — is to wildly mislead people. It’s about as honest as saying a team that scored two touchdowns loses to a team that scored three field goals, because three is greater than two, and when you weren’t looking, we decided to count by how many times each team scores.

The truth, for anyone who’s interested, isn’t hard to find.

Fox News is the perfect example  of a set of people that can’t win an argument based on merit, facts, or logic.  I actually believe that this sort’ve warped reality is what’s brought us the candidacy and campaign of Mitt Romney who appears to be able to say absolutely anything to anybody based on his current audience and needs.  He knows that he’s got an entire media empire behind him that basically does the same thing. We’ve had everything from Moderate Mitt to Severely Conservative Mitt and it appears to me that the Fox Nation has been so numbed by the cable station’s ability to lie and deceive, that can’t tell one Mitt from the other and they don’t know enough to discern the lies.  Fact-checking is anathema to Fox and the Romney Campaign.  They’re partners in deception and the resulting assholes and idiots are set lose on the country.  We now live with Fox Zombies.  Watch this Youtube. It’s an interview with Romney supporters at an Ohio Romney rally.  This is the FOX Nation of zombies.  BE very afraid.

70 Comments on “The Fox Job”

  1. ANonOMouse says:

    That video is a riot. That damn Obama. Secret Muslim, atheist, communist who’s using drones to spy on people in their yards and sending in Buddhists to take away their freedom.


  2. RalphB says:

    If you haven’t seen it, you might want to check the B-roll of that video I posted in the last thread. It was on “social issues” and at least as bad as the one in your post.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Thanks ralph, I’m going to check that out. I love a good laugh.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      The B-roll was almost as fun to watch as the 1st one. The pot-bellied guy who said that being gay was a “choice” seemed a bit conflicted, didn’t he? When people tell me that being gay is a choice, I always ask them to tell me about the moment they made the choice to be straight. That always shuts them up.

      • RalphB says:

        That would always work if they had any common sense at all!

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Great rejoinder Mouse.

        I loved it when that guy said that it’s not natural. If it was it would happen “in nature.” Then the interviewer said – “it does.”

        What’s sad is that these people don’t have to defend their beliefs. Their answer is “just because.” Yet there’s controversy with climate change when 97% of climate scientists agree that fossil fuel usage by humans is advancing/causing climate change. So “we” have to defend facts, while they just have to say “I believe” in the make believe bull$shit.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “So “we” have to defend facts, while they just have to say “I believe” in the make believe bull$shit.”

        True dat!!!

      • “I always ask them to tell me about the moment they made the choice to be straight.”

        Hm. It was either my first sight of Julie Newmar in her Catwoman outfit or my first glimpse of Ann-Margret in “Kitten With a Whip.” Now, it’s not as though I DECIDED to be straight at that time; I wouldn’t have known what the term meant. (Did anyone use it back then?) But something started to happen then. Girls suddenly didn’t seem so yucky.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I only have two words for that Joe, Sophia Loren. But I knew I was gay well before I ever saw Sophia. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And to your question about the terms straight/gay, I was grown and living a gay life before either word became part of our conversation when discussing homosexual & heterosexual.
        The first words I heard to describe homosexuality were queer, dyke, fag and butch. Now the word gay is used to refer to both male and female, although a lot of people call women lesbians. It’s all so confusing. 🙂

  3. RalphB says:

    Someone let the nuts loose? This is out of hand.

    TPM: Authorities Detonate 2nd Suspicious Package At Florida Early Voting Site

    Authorities in Winter Park, Fla. have detonated a second suspicius package found near an early voting site on Saturday, a spokersperson for the Winter Park Public Library confirmed to TPM.

    “They detonated it 15 minutes ago,” Mary Gail Coffee said. “No update on what it was.”

    The lead poll worker at the site called police around noon on Saturday after an unattended lunch box of some kind was found near the polling site. Law enforcement officials brought police dogs and a robot capable of taking x-rays to the scene, but were unable to determine the contents of the first package, so they destroyed it in a controlled detonation. It is unclear where the second package was found. The library has been evacuated, and voting at the site suspended.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Did Blackwell really say “you’re an asshole?” to Cavuto on the air?

  5. Pat Johnson says:


    And you guys wonder why my head is spinning from this crowd of absolute morons who haven’t clue but will be voting on November 6th?

    The fact that there are so many out there just like them is another frightening aspect that putting the nation into the hands of their candidate with them cheering from the sidelines is enough to have me join that thing danlgling off the building in NYC for perspective.

    This is the base of the GOP. Uninformed bubbleheads who could very well ease Romney over the top based on nothing more than sheer willful ignorance.

    Fox News has done its job well in appealing to this crowd. Stupid cannot describe the utter emptiness of these people.

    Beware the Buddhists who are sneaking into this country to take you religion away. Holy Christ on a cracker!

    • dakinikat says:

      even scarier … the reproduce … thankfully, that demographic is going bye bye which is why they’ve also taken to voter suppression, registration fraud, and the Fox Job to rile them up to GOTV

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Pat……The Rupert Murdoch is throwing Chris Christie under the bus, telling him that if he doesn’t recant his praise of Obama that he will be responsible for the next 4 years. Does that smell of desperation? When I heard that I thought, GAME OVER.

        • dakinikat says:

          Yeah, and Rove’s looking to blame Hurricane Sandy … when they are all pointing fingers away from themselves it’s pretty much an indication of a lost cause …

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Let the finger pointing begin

  6. dakinikat says:

    Okay, this is interesting from Dow With Tyranny!

    Romney Knows It’s All Over


    Today, for the first time in memory, the Republican Party failed to deliver the weekly radio address to stations. Romney taped it, but never distributed it. He’s just going through the motions now and riding out the embarrassment that’s coming his way on Tuesday, probably worrying about how harsh the attacks from the far right on him and his world will be once AP calls the election for Obama. Romney’s closing argument is, basically, vote for me or the House Republicans will wreck the economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Sounds to me like a clarion call to defeat Republicans running for Congress. Even with unrelenting GOP obstruction of every single attempt Obama and the Democrats have made to fix the horrendous economy Bush and the GOP left, the final jobs report before Tuesday was more terrible news for Romney (and great news for America): 171,000 jobs added in October, coupled with sharp upward revisions to the prior two months data brought the average over the last three months to 170,000.

    • dakinikat says:

      The part I like I lot:

      This week one of Romney’s horrid campaign surrogates, Newt Gingrich rented his list out to an advertiser who sent out an e-mail to the Newtster’s supporters telling them Romney can’t win and that conservatives have to start thinking about 2016 (when, they claim, Obama will try to run again). “The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president. What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.” And Paul Ryan is looking for a job as a professor (or a K Street lobbyist) after a possible double-defeat Tuesday.

      Tuesday, it isn’t enough to just defeat Romney. It’s just as important to defeat Republicans running for the Senate and the House, particularly the ones who set their party’s agenda– not the ineffectual clowns the DCCC is pursuing. The vulnerable senior House Republicans most important to defeat Tuesday are Paul Ryan (WI), Buck McKeon (CA), Eric Cantor (VA), Fred Upton (MI), Mike Rogers (MI), Joe Pitts (PA), Ed Royce (CA), Patrick McHenry (NC), John Kline (MN), Darrell Issa (CA) and Dave Camp (MI). Those are the ones, along with Boehner and Cantor, who set the policies in the House. America would be far, far better off without any of them back in office.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Gingrich booboo-slipup-email = Game Over!!!!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Rachel Maddow was talking about Ryan’s plans to be a prof. last night, but I don’t think he even has a Master’s degree. What would he teach?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “What would he teach?”

        Aerobics? I can’t believe everyone thinks he’s so damned smart. I think he’s a first-class phony.

      • Fannie says:

        What would Ryan teach, well at Oral Roberts he is likely to teach a class called inside the right’s vagina………….

    • RalphB says:

      Matt Latimer, former Bush aide, says it’s all over.

      Daily Beast: Mitt Romney’s Delusions of Victory

      Years ago I worked on a political campaign in Michigan. We were losing, badly, but our campaign manager didn’t believe it. To him, every devastating setback was a secret boost to our efforts, every sign of failure proof of our imminent victory, every poll that hurt us was rigged in favor of the other side. “They aren’t going to know what hit them. We’re right where we want to be.” This was the constant refrain. A number of people on the campaign, especially the young and inexperienced, believed him. The rest of us didn’t make many sudden movements when he was around. Still there was something endearing about his total, damn-all-the-evidence conviction. He owned his crazy.

      A similar phenomenon is happening in this year’s election—except it’s not exactly clear which side has gone, as we used to say, Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. I do, however, have my suspicions.

  7. pdgrey says:

    I’m back from work for a little while. BB, I glad you front paged that video.

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    Just watched the Obama campaign event in Milwaukee, via Live Streaming Video. He was fired up. I watched a Mitt Romney event earlier, and he looked like a man forcing himself to look energetic.

    After Obama finished talking he waded into the crowd in a way I haven’t seen an incumbent do since Bill Clinton. Obama loves to talk to and to shake hands with people, it’s a genuine expression for him and it shows. He was so surrounded by people you could see the stress in the eyes of the SS who were trying to keep the people from swarming him. It was something I haven’t seen in years.

    I saw JFK in person in the spring of 1963 and he was the same way in a crowd of people. He wanted to talk to and shake hands with everyone. Watching Obama made me remember and that memory made me nervous.

    • RalphB says:

      For a while Obama seemed tired, now he seems bouncy and energized. Definitely caught a second wind for the final sprint.

    • peregrine says:

      In part, it may be the Hurricane Sandy effort on Obama. He knows how much the victims need him and he must be getting vibes that all of us supporters need him and his vision. He is the only one protecting us from political devastation and ruin. Gawd almighty, many people, including myself, have been transmitting that message to him through the airways from the beginning of the primary and ghastly debates of the dertnged party 10 months ago. Message received.

  9. RalphB says:

    Steven D with a comparison worth making on super storm responses. Teahadists come out about like you would expect.

    booman: Occupy Sandy v. Trump & Tea Party

    Hey, isn’t it great that Occupy Sandy is there on the ground to help out the people still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As The Troubadour’s Daily Kos rec list diary progressive activists aren’t waiting for the 1% to jump in and help their fellow human beings. Which makes me ask the question: where is the Tea Party and its “heroes” in this time of national crisis?

    Remember Donald Trump and his pledge of $5 MILLION Greenbacks if Obama released his school records? The darling of the birther movement? What has he done for New York and New Jersey? Well …

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s another article about how Romney can’t win.

    At a rally this morning in New Hampshire, I asked a senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser what the campaign had planned in the final crucial days. His answer was swift.


    He said it with a smile and a laugh, but it also carried an understandable and inevitable tension, which is visible not only among top campaign staff, but even with the candidate’s wife herself.

    Delivering a basket of baked goods to the press on the campaign plane this morning before takeoff for Iowa, Ann Romney — normally relentlessly sunny and confident — appeared emotional, almost vulnerable, as she reminisced about the all consuming campaign and reflected on its uncertain closing days.

    “It’s been a long road,” she said. “It’s very touching for me. It was very emotional when I gave my last sort of address by myself, because I hear the voices and passion of the people out there that are really hurting, and they are etched in my mind and my heart, as they are with Mitt.”

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “It’s very touching for me. It was very emotional when I gave my last sort of address by myself, because I hear the voices and passion of the people out there that are really hurting, and they are etched in my mind and my heart, as they are with Mitt.”

      That was likely the very first time either of them has been in a situation that required prolonged day in and day out interaction with the common folk. I’m sure it won’t take her but a couple of hours on Wednesday to get her rose colored glasses back on and to fly on back to Trafalca, the beach home and the garage with the car elevators. So sad!!!

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I had the same reaction when I saw Ann just now on MSNBC as she addressed a crowd. She looked resigned to the fact that Mitt was going to lose. A commentator just noted that it was an emotional moment for her. Ann did compose herself & put on a “happy” face at the end of her speech. I think she knows it’s over.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I think they believe they have already won. The polls are giving them enough reason to accept this.

        It is the turnout that will make the huge difference. Just hope there is enough turnout on our side on Tuesday but if the polls have me confused it is probably giving them comfort to believe there is still a chance.

        I don’t see the Romney dynasty giving up that easily. Not after the amount of time and money they have expended over the last 18 months.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    National Journal: Todd Akin has been arrested 8 times outside abortion clinics and once had to be carried out by police.

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    Just for a change of pace:

    They just interviewed some voters outside a local mall, asking why they would vote for Romney.

    One “genius” said that he has been out of work for almost one year and that Romney has promised to create 12 million jobs. The reporter then went on to ask him what he did for a living and he said that he had been a dishwasher at a local restaurant that had closed.

    Had he been looking for work she asked. Well, not really, he still has a few months to go on his unemployment.

    Now to be perfectly frank there are quite a few places locally hiring for someone with this guy’s skills. Grocery stores need help. Signs are up at CVS and WalMart for help. McDonald’s has signs in most of their stores locally. For someone whose skills are as a dishwasher, there seems to be enough entry level positions to apply for.

    But this person apparently is “holding out” for Romney and one of those 12 million jobs that will propel him into a mid management position complete with benefits!

    I am not trying to denigrate anyone personally, but there are jobs within your range that you could apply for if nothing else.

    I guess this guy failed to receive the memo regarding “personal responsibility”. Just waiting for one of those 12 million jobs to kick in.

    I give up.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Do people like this man really think that Romney would’ve have pushed Congress to extend unemployment benefits? None of the Repugs in Congress wanted to do it & they got dragged over the line of approval kicking, screaming & crying the whole way.

      Gawd, I cannot tolerate STUPIDITY!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        It’s amazing isn’t it?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        It is amazing Pat. Obviously this guy doesn’t know that Romney thinks he’s a freeloader.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        If I go into moderation one more time because I login with an email address error, y’all are going to ban me.

        Sorry, but I have to keep my old desk top temp files cleaned out or it goes into gridlock. I need a good PC mechanic or new computer, but I can’t afford either right now.

  13. ecocatwoman says:

    Hope ya’ll are watching MHP’s special. Sandra Fluke & Sen Barbara Boxer were on. Sorry I’ve forgotten the title of the special but it’s all about women. She did have a disturbing poll showing that Obama is at 49% with women & Romney at 48% in a national poll.

  14. dakinikat says:

    Rupert Murdoch Outs Himself

    Robert J. Elisberg

    Keep in mind that Rupert Murdoch is the owner of Fox News. And yes, while not everyone considers Fox News to be an actual news organization, Fox News itself likes to contend publicly and vociferously that it is. That it’s “Fair and Balanced.” That it merely reports the facts and lets you decide.

    Real journalists. Fair. Balanced. Unbiased. Impartial.

    But now, the guy who heads all that just told you, publicly, that he believes anyone who helps the Democrat has to take the “blame for next four dire years.”

    Now, no matter how much you may or may not agree with that assessment of the next four years — do you think that statement is unbiased? Presuming you’re unbiased enough to be fair and balanced about it, of course.

    Consider for a moment if the owner of CBS, NBC or ABC wrote something similar about Mitt Romney. That they said if some Democrats was helping the Republican nominee, “Must re-declare for Obama, or take blame for next four dire years.”

    There would be howls so loud you could hear them in the Cayman Islands.

    And you know, they’d be right.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I thought the same thing when I saw Murdoch’s quote posted earlier today. Murdoch has definitely outed himself. Now if he would go back into his cave & draw some pictures on the walls & leave the rest of us alone.

  15. ANonOMouse says:

    One more good National poll to help end the night on a high note.

    “President Obama moved to 50 percent in Saturday’s edition of Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling’s (PPP) national tracking poll, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney seeing 47 percent nationally,”

  16. ecocatwoman says:

    dak have you seen this: The princess’ tomb was unearthed in Egypt along with tombs of 4 officials. She was the daughter of a king, who the antiquities department knows nothing about.

  17. pdgrey says:
    Ohio Secretary of State
    The Free Press has obtained internal memos from the senior staff of the Ohio Secretary of State’s office confirming the installation of untested and uncertified election tabulation software. Yesterday, the Free Press reported that “experimental” software patches were installed on ES&S voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. (see Will “experimental” software patches affect the Ohio vote?).

  18. SophieCT says:

    Fox News knows no bottom. RE: the piece you posted on the Fairleigh Dickinson study–Fox’s response (from your link) was:

    Fox News responded by focusing on Fairleigh Dickinson’s academic record – Forbes ranked it 585 out of 650 US colleges.
    “Considering FDU’s undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country,” a Fox News spokesman said, “we suggest the school invest in improving its weak academic program instead of spending money on frivolous polling – their student body does not deserve to be so ill-informed.”

    When in fact (from MediaMatters):

    The University is proud to be ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 650 four-year undergraduate institutions in the United States, out of more than 2,700 universities.