Tag Archive for Fox News

Propaganda Techniques Fox ‘News’ Uses to Brainwash

The following is heavily excerpted from an article by Cynthia Boaz that appeared on Truthout.org. Italicized portions are direct quotes from the article “14 Propaganda Techniques Fox ‘News’ Uses to Brainwash American.” Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University.

There is nothing more sacred to the maintenance of democracy than a free press. Access to comprehensive, accurate and quality information is essential to the manifestation of Socratic citizenship – the society characterized by a civically engaged, well-informed and socially invested populace. Thus, to the degree that access to quality information is willfully or unintentionally obstructed, democracy itself is degraded.

The 14 most oft-used methods by which willful ignorance has been turned into dogma by Fox News and other propagandists disguised as media are described in detail here. These techniques help to explain the simultaneously powerful identification the Fox media audience has with the network, as well as their ardent, reflexive defenses of it.

The good news is that the more conscious you are of these techniques, the less likely they are to work on you. The bad news is that those reading this article are probably the least in need in of it.

1. Panic 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….it is the fastest way to bypasses 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 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,…

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….

4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview….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. …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.

7. Bullying.

8. Confusion. …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….

9. Populism. …The speakers identify 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….

10. Invoking the Christian God. …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….

11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. The message must be repeated cover and over, it must be everywhere….

12. Disparaging Education.

13. Guilt by Association.

14. Diversion. …when on the ropes, the media commentator suddenly takes the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability….

The fact that a lot of people believe something is not necessarily a sign that it’s true; it’s just a sign that it’s been effectively marketed.

As honest, fair and truly intellectual debate degrades before the eyes of the global media audience, the quality of American democracy degrades along with it.

Arrogant Ignorance — Your New Year may not be so happy

By Stephen Pizzo, @ Buzzflash

No more coddling morons!

Ignorance - the new family 'value'?

The last few years have been unnaturally kind to America’s willfully ignorant. Fox News provided aid, comfort, voice and encouragement to America’s once (wisely) silent-moron demographic.

Now the dumb-and-dumbers out there not only believe the unbelievable, the unverifiable and the unreal, they believe it all with prideful swagger and aggressive pushiness. Arrogant ignorance is no longer an oxymoron — it’s a growing political movement.

Thinking Americans have been complicit in this since we don’t like making anyone feel uncomfortable by challenging their cherished beliefs. And the commercial media has taken moron-coddling to a new level. When was the last time you read a story in which the reporter aggressively challenged utter nonsense and provably untrue “facts?”

Instead of challenging these geysers of stupidity, the commercial media treats them as “balanced views.” Since when has stupidity and ignorance amounted to “balance?” The answer is, only recently. Well, not in 2011.

Morons beware. You will be challenged, and challenged publicly. My goal will be to embarrass every willful, strutting moron that makes the mistake of crossing my path, and continue after them until they retreat back to their comfort of their own kind and stay there.

When I’m done with them even our craven, value-vacant politicians will no longer give their kind the time of day.

And forget al Qaeda. If you want to fight terrorists who have already caused more damage to America than bin Laden could dream of, then tackle the terror of politically empowered ignorance that’s alive and well right here at home.

Denier dementia: a weather forecast

Might it be in the water? Could it be in the air? Or more likely it’s a matter of a unique dementia that strikes those who listen to rightwing talk radio or watch Fox News. The climate change deniers are on a roll because of the blizzard of 2010 on the East Coast. And they are getting ready to roll right into Longmont and Denver Metro with the forecast of the first winter storm of the season. The logic goes something like this: If it’s cold anywhere, then there is no such thing as global warming.

Watch Sam Seder’s most remarkable “weather forecast.”

Memo to Jon Stewart

At the finale of Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,” Jon Stewart asserted, “But we live now in hard times — not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.” That depends, Mr. Stewart, that depends.

The purpose of the Rally to Restore Sanity was to shine a spotlight on the caustic discourse on 24-hour cable television. Mr. Stewart, it will be there after the election as it was before the election. There’s money to be made. And MONEY is what now drives America — not values, not value.

For two years we have been subjected to obstructionism from the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. We have been subjected to the Tea Party and the lunatics that attend their rallies, proudly displaying their racism and promising threats of violence if they don’t get their way on November 2nd.

False assertions of socialism will be replaced by genuine fascism if Republicans should have their way. They’ve made no secret of this. They don’t call it that, but their agenda shouts it. However, as long as Barack Obama holds the presidency, there will be no totalitarianism to seal the fate of the nation.

Amongst the crowd of attendees estimated as high as 250,000, a sign emblazoned with the Fox News logo, hoisted by an attendee at the rally, read “This is my comedy channel.” The other side of the sign, illustrated with a Comedy Central logo, read: “This is my news channel.”

Don’t give up, Jon Stewart and your alter Stephen Colbert.