Monday, March 3, 2014

Fox News Brainwashed my Family

Fox News propaganda

After reading my sister's Facebook wall, I came to the conclusion that she thought that people like myself (who were on food stamps) were all a bunch of lazy "takers" on the dole—and preferred being dependent on the government.

When I couldn't find work again after being laid off during the Great Recession, my mother thought there were plenty of jobs to be found, if only people like myself would look for a job—or accept a lower-paying job. She watches Fox News all the time.

A few of my family members claimed they didn't even watch Fox News, but one can tell just by their counter-arguments regarding the unemployed and the number of available jobs that, if not from Fox News, they had been getting their information via other media outlets, those that get their information from parroting Fox News; or from listening to other people who always watch Fox News. One can tell just by hearing all their "talking points" —the ones that are constantly being repeated on Fox News—because the GOP politicians also do the same thing—those who never actually read academic studies, or has very little real knowledge of history, economics or science.

For years, Fox News has promoted the notion that there have been "lots of jobs for lazy slackers", but only when it's convenient for them to do so. Otherwise, they will say just the opposite—that the Obama administration has not done enough to create jobs. Fox News will complain about the number of people on food stamps, but doesn't support raising the minimum wage (so people can get off food stamps). Fox News will say there are lots of jobs available when they are against extending unemployment benefits—but they will also say that the Obama administration has been lying about the real unemployment rate. (There's too many other examples to list here, but many are mentioned in my shamelessly promoted book—Why I Hate Republicans and the Fox News Channel)

I used to watch Fox News all the time, and I once believed almost everything they reported. Some say we like watching and listening to others that agree with our own views and opinions, but Fox News shapes many people's views and opinions. Some people would rather have real news—and like myself, we just want to hear the truth.

So after I lost my job in 2008, I had plenty of time to research statistics, read reports and familiarize myself a lot more with economics and politics. Being unemployed, I wasn't as busy as I once was any more, not like most people who go to a job every day and/or are taking care of a family. And all my research was a real eye-opener for me.

A story at SALON titled "I Lost My Dad to Fox News" is what the author calls "The Fox News Effect" — but it's not just about losing fathers, but about losing mothers, sisters, brothers and other relatives to the Fox News ideological propaganda. The author says we’re losing the nation’s grandparents, but we're also losing others in the younger generation as well. (Just read some of the nasty and immature comments that are left on blogs and Facebook pages, and you can almost hear the Fox News talking points being parroted by young and under-developed minds).

I can relate to what the author says in "I Lost My Dad to Fox News" — because, like I said, I too used to watch a lot of Fox News and once related to almost everything Fox reported. But like the author noted, something changed around the time Obama was elected—and not too long afterward, I too had changed. I began moving farther and farther to the left, and I began watching MSNBC (who I still think gushes too much over President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but at least MSNBC is much less hateful and far more truthful and greatly more intellectual than Fox News).

I noticed that even CNN, who used to be more politically in the middle, has also swung more to the right—insisting that Democrats were equally to blame for much of the gridlock in Washington, when it's clearly the fault of the Tea Party and the GOP's move to the extreme right.

And just like Fox News, CNN regularly has on Tea Party radicals like Ted Cruz and corporate shills like Stephen Moore, who constantly complains that the "statutory" corporate tax rate is the highest in the whole Universe. But he never admits how little they actually pay for an "effective" tax rate—and the CNN hosts never challenge him on this bit of disinformation. When Bernie Sanders was on with Stephen Moore, he was the only one to bring this up. Stephen Moore never complains about corporate welfare, just people welfare.

And CNN also promotes has-been losers and liars like Newt Gingrich, who now co-hosts Crossfire. WTF is up with that? Does he really drive ratings for CNN? If so, that wouldn't speak very well of the American people—unless of course, they just tuned in out of a morbid curiosity (something akin to gawking at a horrible and gory car accident).

Glenn Beck, who used to be at CNN, went to Fox News and helped stir up the hysteria that created the Koch bothers-funded Tea Party. But even Beck's ranting and raving may have become too radical for Fox News—and why they finally let him go. Maybe Fox's ratings had something to do with that, because people like myself were driven away from Fox News and changed our political thinking — moving to the left, and for some, disavowing our previous Republican associations and becoming Independent progressives or "moderate" Democrats.

But those who are still at Fox News — the uber-rich con artist known as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto (etc.) — became millionaires and are paid millions every year to spew what they say on Fox. It doesn't matter whether they actually believe everything they say (although I suspect they do), because they are PAID very much by powerful interests to say those things. Even if those Fox News pundits didn't actually believe what they told their audience, just by telling their closest friends otherwise could be risky for them—because if the word ever got out, it could destroy their careers at Fox News and ruin Fox's creditability (more so than it's already ruined now).

That's why for the last four or five years (since the rise of the anarchist/anti-government Tea Party) I have tried to cross-reference all the information that I hear on cable news with what I read on the internet—to sort through the bias, fear-mongering, partisanship, blathering, misinformation, propaganda, disinformation, fanaticism, pontification, hysteria, nonsense, foolishness, lies and ideology—to dig for the truth (real news).

There's another story at the DAILY KOS titled "I also lost my father to Fox News" which provides some analogies for the cult mentality of Fox News viewers — and it's very interesting as to how closely they compare.

I fear that my own family has fallen into this cult mentality. I love them all (even though they might resent me as a freeloader for being unemployed, on Medicaid and food stamps). But until you walk in someone else's shoes, it's hard to judge somebody else just by watching Fox News. I've caught them in some of the most astonishing lies—but many people still take what Fox News reports as fact and Gospel. That's a shame—because that's also the "dumbing down" of America. When someone has a particular agenda (the Right, representing the very wealthy, CEOs and big corporations), it's very advantageous for them to keep the general public ignorant of the facts to defeat their opposing force (the Left, representing the workers, the poor, Veterans and small business owners).

And no major political party (neither the Democrats or Republicans) can lay claim to being more patriotic or more American than the other—but Fox News would have the public believe that anyone on the Left are all "far left-wing loonies" (rather than progressive Americans like FDR). Fox News would have you believe that people like me are Marxists or Communists or Socialists (or something far worse), and that we are people who are out to destroy America. Fox News has no shame when it comes to dividing America (which Glenn Beck now admits he regrets). But Fox News continues to turn people against one another, including family members, using fear and loathing for anyone not like them.

I'm not President Obama's greatest fan, but like many others, I like the tone in his populist speeches. But Obama has let a lot of people down (including myself):

  • In 2010 he extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich for two years as a "compromise" for extending unemployment benefits for one year.
  • He didn't push for tax reform when the Democrats had the House and Senate in 2009 and 2010.
  • He hemmed and hawed on the XL pipeline from Canada (never telling us that the oil was going to China and would not make us energy independent).
  • He pushed for the TTP trade agreement, while at the same time railed about the offshoring of jobs.
  • He put chained-CPI on the table in a budget deal with the GOP, that would have lowered monthly payments for seniors on Social Security, rather than proposing lifting or eliminating the "cap" for Social Security taxes.

There are many other things——my list is long with disappointments of Obama, but my list would have been much longer had John McCain or Mitt Romney been in the White House. But after watching Fox News and listening to Obama, I believe Fox News is the real "divider-and-chief" of this country, turning Americans and family members against one another.

I still watch CNN on occasion, but not for their political or economic reporting (which now, is also very skewed), but for their national and international reporting of other events, the national weather and special investigative reports—like they did on charities and hospitals. And I still watch Fox News, but only to monitor the propaganda they spew (meaning, their deliberately reported disinformation, as opposed to misinformation)

People like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders (and even globalists and "Third Way" Democrats like Hillary Clinton) are Americans and patriots, not our enemies who are out to destroy America—as Fox News would have you believe. But I can't say the same thing about Fox News, who has not been very supportive of the average American worker, the poor, small business owners and the unemployed.

Let's remind Fox News of all those available jobs after the Great Recession:

But the government has been saying that there are only 3 people for every one job seeker. I would guess that, counting millions "discouraged workers" that are no longer counted by the government in the unemployment rate, there are probably closer to about 30 people for every one job seeker.

When the CBO says "An unusually large number of people have stopped looking for work", that's because a person can't find something that doesn't exist. Remember Albert Einstein, and doing the same thing over and over again—and expecting different results?

So I wish Fox News would stop lying to my mom. They turned her into one of those cult-like Fox News sheeple. That's what really hurts me the most. Being unemployed wouldn't be near so bad if I could at least get my mom to believe me when I tell her why no one will hire me. Otherwise Fox News will have her believe that her son and millions of others like me are nothing but lazy losers who wants to be dependent on "The Nanny State".

* This was also posted at the Daily Kos

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