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  #1  
Old 10-05-2019, 12:59 AM
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How to effectively combat the Fox News propaganda machine?


It's hard to overestimate the impact Fox News has on the US political scene. It's a highly effective ultra-conservative

Regular Fox News viewers obediently swallow whatever the Fox propaganda machine tells them, including that climate change is a hoax and that the impeachment inquiry is a Democratic witch hunt. And Fox has convinced many/most of them they can only trust Fox News. I'm out of patience and would like to shove every Fox-News-Lovin' climate change denier and impeachment obstructionist out of the way so the rest of us can do what needs to be done. I won't, obviously (Nellie is jelly.), but how do we ever get the truth to these people?
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:01 AM
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:15 AM
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Just wait. In five years, 67% of the Faux demographic will have passed on, so new program material will be developed for whatever audiences can be sucked in. Expect the usual high quotient of female flesh.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
It's hard to overestimate the impact Fox News has on the US political scene. It's a highly effective ultra-conservative

Regular Fox News viewers obediently swallow whatever the Fox propaganda machine tells them, including that climate change is a hoax and that the impeachment inquiry is a Democratic witch hunt. And Fox has convinced many/most of them they can only trust Fox News. I'm out of patience and would like to shove every Fox-News-Lovin' climate change denier and impeachment obstructionist out of the way so the rest of us can do what needs to be done. I won't, obviously (Nellie is jelly.), but how do we ever get the truth to these people?
Of what or whom are you jealous?
  #5  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:17 AM
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It's hard to see how it can happen. Big corporate interests support conservative politicians and conservative politicians support big corporate interests. It's all a big intertangled web and when you try to pull one piece out, the rest of the web resists.

It took a generation to build up this power structure and it would take another generation to slowly dismantle it. And I don't see that happening; most people aren't going to be willing to make that kind of sustained effort towards a goal that's not very clear.

So I think the only thing that will change our current political system is a violent shock. Something like a major economic crisis, a major environmental crisis, or a major war. It will have to be something big enough to jolt people out of their established political beliefs.

And that kind of thing can be very bad. If we're lucky, we'll have a good leader like a Washington or a Lincoln or an FDR who will make the necessary changes while exercising some self-restraint and respecting fundamental values. But other countries have been unlucky and their crises have produced bad leaders like a Napoleon or a Lenin or a Hitler who used a crisis to put themselves in power and destroy opposition.
  #6  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:08 AM
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...the problem is bigger than Fox News.

This is propaganda direct from the President of the United States.

Here is the official twitter account of the White House.

And here is the White House lying to the American people.

Its hard to hide from Fox News. Its easy to be outraged, we can see what they are doing, its out in the open.

But its stuff like this that is happening quietly in the background, that is being micro-targeted directly to both Trump supporters and to people who are easily influenced, that is in my humble opinion a much bigger danger to democracy.

I can not overstate enough how much trouble democracy is in at the moment. Not just in America. And I can't overstate enough how normalised this has all become. The Trump Administration is broadcasting what would be accepted as propaganda if done by any other nation on a daily basis and Americans have just accepted it.

Fox News propaganda is much easier to deal with than State propaganda. Go after the money. Target the advertisers. Call them out loudly and clearly. It won't fix the problem, but you can work your arses off to effectively marginalise them.

But State propaganda? You've only got one solution.

Vote the fuckers out of office.

Not just this current administration. Everywhere. Local council. Mayors. School boards. Fight for the Senate. Hold onto the House.

Pick a presidential candidate who understands what the Trump administration is doing, because getting Trump out of office is only half the job. (And in my opinion Biden would be woefully out of his depth)

Fight voter suppression. Don't base your strategy around appealing to Trump supporters, instead focus on massively increasing voter turnout.

Up until now things have been bad. But the call for impeachment will accelerate things. We are in the endgame now. The volume of propaganda, the blatant lies, is going to increase. And those lies re going to be essentially mainlined directly to those who choose to listen, and you probably aren't going to even see it. In my opinion the next election will be the most important election in American history.

So....no pressure guys.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:11 AM
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I don't know how to combat it, but it's an extremely serious problem that is literally undermining democracy. Fox News viewers and readers live in a delusional world of their own that is exactly equivalent to what happens when a totalitarian dictatorship censors all news and information that is unfavorable to the regime, and fabricates favorable news out of thin air: most people living in such Orwellian dictatorships simply have no idea what's really going on. The only difference is that Fox News isn't devoted to manipulating news in support of a regime in power, they are devoted to manipulating the news in support of Republicans, always.

I don't have a huge problem with some degree of media bias since to some extent all media has a certain degree of bias. But Fox News goes so far beyond mere "bias" that it's a dangerous threat to freedom and democracy, and anyone who thinks they're only "biased" is already in their delusional spin zone. The reality is that they omit essential information and context, they blatantly distort facts, they muddle the difference between news and opinion, and sometimes they totally just make shit up. And a very significant proportion of voters think Fox News is reporting facts.

A good recent example concerns the packet of documents that the State Department inspector general handed over to Congress a few days ago. As most of us know by now, these documents are mostly a compilation of crackpot conspiracy theories and other garbage put together by Rudy Giuliani in an effort to smear Biden and other Democrats. The basic story here being reported by legitimate media is the disturbing length to which the Trump administration will go to smear Democrats with lies and innuendo. And how is Fox News reporting this? They're reporting the various crackpot conspiracy theories and other lies in these documents as if they were actual facts, under headlines like "Files reveal that ..."! And Fox News viewers and readers are eating it up, and after thoroughly opposing impeachment because it's a "witch hunt", next year they're going to go out and vote for Trump, because of how scary evil the Democrats are.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...the problem is bigger than Fox News.

This is propaganda direct from the President of the United States.

Here is the official twitter account of the White House.

And here is the White House lying to the American people.
Sure, and the extent of it is unprecedented, but the counter to that in a free democracy is a free press, media that exposes the lies and tells people the truth. But in the US today, I would bet that something approaching nearly half the voters consider Fox News to be "the media". As for the real media, the current president of the United States has convinced them it's "the enemy of the people".
  #9  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:32 AM
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Sure, and the extent of it is unprecedented, but the counter to that in a free democracy is a free press, media that exposes the lies and tells people the truth.
...one would think.

But the "free press" in America operate at the whim of their corporate overlords. And many of those corporate overlords don't give a fuck about doing the right thing. Propaganda from the administration isn't treated as propaganda, its treated as a press release and a click-bait headline. And by doing so it just continues the normalization of that propaganda.

The "free press" is often complicit with the administration. Its often unintentional, but that doesn't matter. The free press isn't going to save us. We are all just going to have to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:03 AM
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I don't really agree with that. Do you think the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major newspapers, and CNN, NPR, and the major broadcast networks, don't do real journalism? There's a reason Trump lumped them all together as "the enemy of the people" -- because they tell the truth and threaten his hold on power. The major issue with commercial media (outside of Fox News, of course, which is just a Republican propaganda machine) is their tendency to sensationalize and and a tendency to emphasize stories with big audience appeal over more serious news stories. Sometimes I get better US news coverage from non-US public networks like the BBC or CBC. Still, the major media generally manage to get the job done in terms of informing the public, but you can't force-feed information to those who won't listen. The kinds of wingnuts who support Trump don't read real newspapers or watch legitimate media.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:33 AM
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...one would think.

But the "free press" in America operate at the whim of their corporate overlords. And many of those corporate overlords don't give a fuck about doing the right thing. Propaganda from the administration isn't treated as propaganda, its treated as a press release and a click-bait headline. And by doing so it just continues the normalization of that propaganda.

The "free press" is often complicit with the administration. Its often unintentional, but that doesn't matter. The free press isn't going to save us. We are all just going to have to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves.
To me, a conflict seems to arise when this *free press* is or is part of a larger profit-driven corporation. Corporations exist to make money, bottom line. I dont see much value in vilifying an entire section of our economy as "evil" as we seem to do with corporations and their"soulless overlords"

But, when delivering the news or exercising this free press conflicts with the bottom line, and that bottom line dictates the shaping of that political narrative, the bottom line always will win.every time. Its blatant on propaganda machines like Fox News. But it is much more subtle and therefore insidious, in left of center media sources, including but not limited to cable news like MSNBC.

They soften the edges here, they gloss over little inconvenient details there and in the process write there own narratives. Narratives to attract eyeballs and advertisers. But its not just the money. Its also the ideology propelling these clashing narratives. The ads and the eyeballs and the ideology all, at least at times, take precendence over pure objective fact re the state of the country and the world.

I honestly dont k ow what the solution to this is. Do it ourselves? Wtf does that mean? No idea.
  #12  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:45 AM
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I don't really agree with that. Do you think the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major newspapers, and CNN, NPR, and the major broadcast networks, don't do real journalism?
...I never said that.

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There's a reason Trump lumped them all together as "the enemy of the people" -- because they tell the truth and threaten his hold on power.
Except when they don't.

For example: the framing on this story.

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1179457662414675968

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Originally Posted by NYT Twitter headline
Breaking News: The whistle-blower gave an early account of allegations against President Trump to a House aide who outlined it to Rep. Adam Schiff, who is now leading the impeachment inquiry
That's bullshit framing of that story. Its irresponsible framing of that story. And it was a framing of that story that the Trump administration used to frame further attacks on Schiff. The story is "real journalism." But the story is framed in a way that makes an entirely normal and standard process look suspect. This is what normalisation of propaganda is.

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The major issue with commercial media (outside of Fox News, of course, which is just a Republican propaganda machine) is their tendency to sensationalize and and a tendency to emphasize stories with big audience appeal over more serious news stories.
I don't agree. I think this is a problem: but I think the bigger problem is that most mainstream outlets don't recognize that there has been a substantial shift in what this administration is doing, and they are treating it as "business as usual."

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Sometimes I get better US news coverage from non-US public networks like the BBC or CBC. Still, the major media generally manage to get the job done in terms of informing the public, but you can't force-feed information to those who won't listen. The kinds of wingnuts who support Trump don't read real newspapers or watch legitimate media.
Just have a read of this. Its a twitter thread that is an examination of stories written by Maggie Haberman and makes a compelling case that she is one of many journalists that trade "access" for stories. Here is an absolutely fawning profile of Kellyanne Conway by CNN. The story about Trump wanting to shoot migrants in the legs and to build a moat full of alligators? The story was known to journalists for months. But they didn't report it: until they had finished writing their book. Journalists all over Washington knew about the existence of the Steele Dossier for months but (with the exception of Mother Jones) nobody dared even mentioning it until Buzzfeed finally broke the story and published its contents.

The media isn't going to save you. This article here goes into detail about how many reporters push back against editorial decisions made at the Times. I have no problems with the integrity of most reporters and reporting. But I'm not talking about individual reporters, I'm talking about the corporate entities they report too. They normalise propaganda. They treated Hillary's emails as equivalent (and sometimes worse) than anything Trump has done and they are playing the same sort of games with Biden and his son right now.

The truth is that the "free press" isn't prepared to take on a propaganda juggernaut like this administration. We can't rely on them.
  #13  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:51 AM
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Do it ourselves? Wtf does that mean? No idea.
...by "do it ourselves" I simply mean that "nobody is coming to save us." Not the free press. Not Superman
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:02 AM
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The idea that Fox News is brainwashing an obedient audience of sheeple is akin to focusing on lobbying organizations like the NRA or AARP as fonts of Evil, rather than recognizing that the stances of these organizations strike a strong chord in their constituencies. Their successes reflect genuinely held (if often dead wrong) beliefs held by their audiences/members. Attacking the Evil Groups misses the point.

Fox is merely a more extreme example of what's been plaguing the major media for a long time - framing the news to please a constituency while avoiding hard-hitting editorials clearly labeled as such. This process has accelerated under Trump and ensures that opposing camps seek out their preferred filters. When CNN and the AP blatantly editorialize in their news stories* it just encourages the belief of right-wingers that the MSM is out to get them.

Fox obviously does run commentary aimed at minimalizing or mocking climate change activism, but pretty much plays it straight in much of its actual reporting.

*"but it's twue! it's twue!!"
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:15 AM
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...by "do it ourselves" I simply mean that "nobody is coming to save us." Not the free press. Not Superman
Still kinda murky there. Even if we had an intact, independent free press, they wouldn't have the power to save anyone They'd have the ability to offer us the right tools to potentially save ourselves. But even then, salvation would be a crapshoot.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:24 AM
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Still kinda murky there. Even if we had an intact, independent free press, they wouldn't have the power to save anyone They'd have the ability to offer us the right tools to potentially save ourselves. But even then, salvation would be a crapshoot.
...wolfpup argued that the counter to State propaganda in a "free democracy is a free press, media that exposes the lies and tells people the truth." All I'm saying is that "no, that isn't enough."

And salvation, right now, is very much a crapshoot. To steal from Shawshank Redemption, you can either "get busy fighting for democracy or get busy loosing it all." You simply have to make your choice. I'm not sure what else you want me to say.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:01 AM
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...wolfpup argued that the counter to State propaganda in a "free democracy is a free press, media that exposes the lies and tells people the truth." All I'm saying is that "no, that isn't enough."

And salvation, right now, is very much a crapshoot. To steal from Shawshank Redemption, you can either "get busy fighting for democracy or get busy loosing it all." You simply have to make your choice. I'm not sure what else you want me to say.
Ahhh, thanks for the clsrification. Agreed 100%
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:04 AM
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So Fox News is bad but MSNBC is OK and totally not just as biased as Fox News.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:17 AM
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...I never said that.
Well, ISTM you did, and then went ahead and said it again. My point -- and I stand by it -- is that there are tons of responsible major media that do a good job of informing the public, even if they're far from perfect and sometimes have mercenary considerations like sensationalism, which is why I have more respect for public broadcasters outside the US than most American media. But the NYT, Washington Post, CNN, etc. do fine journalism most of the time, or at least, adequate and responsible journalism. It's odd that you think CNN is kowtowing to the powers that be as they are becoming rather vehemently anti-Trump and have been on the warpath since at least the time Trump tried to ban one of their White House reporters. The Washington Post, for its part, has said that Jeff Bezos has never once in any way meddled with their editorial policy. I really think you're greatly exaggerating the problems with the major mainstream media.
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The idea that Fox News is brainwashing an obedient audience of sheeple is akin to focusing on lobbying organizations like the NRA or AARP as fonts of Evil, rather than recognizing that the stances of these organizations strike a strong chord in their constituencies. Their successes reflect genuinely held (if often dead wrong) beliefs held by their audiences/members. Attacking the Evil Groups misses the point.

Fox is merely a more extreme example of what's been plaguing the major media for a long time - framing the news to please a constituency while avoiding hard-hitting editorials clearly labeled as such. This process has accelerated under Trump and ensures that opposing camps seek out their preferred filters. When CNN and the AP blatantly editorialize in their news stories* it just encourages the belief of right-wingers that the MSM is out to get them.

Fox obviously does run commentary aimed at minimalizing or mocking climate change activism, but pretty much plays it straight in much of its actual reporting.

*"but it's twue! it's twue!!"
It works both ways, so what you say is partly true because part of the appeal of Fox News to the wingnuts is that it tells them what they want to hear. But a large part of the reason they want to hear those things is that Fox has been instrumental in shaping their beliefs, and the problem with that is that Fox does it through deception, materially relevant omission, and outright lies. Did you not read the gigantic thread we have in GD on Fox News?

So again, what you say is partly true for most and is entirely true for the plutocracy and Republican politicians whose mercenary and political interests Fox News serves, but as far as the masses of wingnut ignoramuses are concerned, Fox definitely shapes their world views in major ways. You see it every time one of these slack-jawed morons is interviewed on the street, invariably parroting some absurdly false talking point they heard on Hannity or Fox & Friends.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:13 AM
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So again, what you say is partly true for most and is entirely true for the plutocracy and Republican politicians whose mercenary and political interests Fox News serves, but as far as the masses of wingnut ignoramuses are concerned, Fox definitely shapes their world views in major ways. You see it every time one of these slack-jawed morons is interviewed on the street, invariably parroting some absurdly false talking point they heard on Hannity or Fox & Friends.
Change a couple of words and this could easily be a Trump tweet. Im sure the morons will be convinced by the power of your logic and ethics. Trump isnt the disease, he is the symptom.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:14 AM
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So Fox News is bad but MSNBC is OK and totally not just as biased as Fox News.
yup
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:34 AM
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.... And Fox has convinced many/most of them they can only trust Fox News. ...
Fox didn't do that. The NYT, CNN, and MSNBC destroyed their reputations through their own bad acts.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:13 PM
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Fox didn't do that. The NYT, CNN, and MSNBC destroyed their reputations through their own bad acts.
Ok. I'm assuming you are a fully functioning, fairly healthy, mental fit man who is fully employed and of at least average intelligence. Ok. So given these assumptions, I want to know by what rubric do you grade a news organizations trustworthiness? And please answer me fully and directly without the use of weasel words or vague handwaving.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 10-05-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:18 PM
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@ the OP: Believe it or not, the best way to combat Fox News is actually to convince Trumpers that Fox has gone over to the liberal side. Right now, there is a significant amount of anger among Trumpers who feel that Fox is gradually being commandeered on the inside into morphing into another CNN/MSNBC-like liberal outlet. If that perception takes root, Fox News will crash and burn among its viewership.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:22 PM
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Fox didn't do that. The NYT, CNN, and MSNBC destroyed their reputations through their own bad acts.
Cite please? Don't just throw out a sentence to derail the debate. Please quantify the bad acts from some objective source.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:39 PM
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@ the OP: Believe it or not, the best way to combat Fox News is actually to convince Trumpers that Fox has gone over to the liberal side. Right now, there is a significant amount of anger among Trumpers who feel that Fox is gradually being commandeered on the inside into morphing into another CNN/MSNBC-like liberal outlet. If that perception takes root, Fox News will crash and burn among its viewership.
Well if were just asserting outcomes here, why not go whole hog? The best way to combat Fox News is to actually convince the world it doesnt exist! Or would that be the best way for Fox News to win?? Foxzer Sousay News!! And Poof!! It's gone!
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:40 PM
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It's hard to overestimate the impact Fox News has on the US political scene. It's a highly effective ultra-conservative

Regular Fox News viewers obediently swallow whatever the Fox propaganda machine tells them, including that climate change is a hoax and that the impeachment inquiry is a Democratic witch hunt. And Fox has convinced many/most of them they can only trust Fox News. I'm out of patience and would like to shove every Fox-News-Lovin' climate change denier and impeachment obstructionist out of the way so the rest of us can do what needs to be done. I won't, obviously (Nellie is jelly.), but how do we ever get the truth to these people?
The best way is to simply expose it for what it is. Jon Stewart did a great job of this. There is no shame in calling out bullshit as bullshit, and I wish more standard over-the-air media outlets did so. (Hell, Faux news and the so-called president have no problem calling actual, real things "fake news") The people who are tricked by Faux are misinformed. The answer is to inform them. The problem is, lots of them don't care to be. But if there are those who just naively think they're being informed, perhaps a reminder that they're not could actually help.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:08 PM
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The idea that Fox News is brainwashing an obedient audience of sheeple is akin to focusing on lobbying organizations like the NRA or AARP as fonts of Evil, rather than recognizing that the stances of these organizations strike a strong chord in their constituencies. Their successes reflect genuinely held (if often dead wrong) beliefs held by their audiences/members. Attacking the Evil Groups misses the point.
I think that's like claiming a piece of paper is saying the words somebody wrote on it.

Sure people watch Fox because it reflects their strongly held beliefs. But they got these strongly held beliefs from watching Fox. Look at climate change for an example; do you think the people who believe it's all a hoax are basing that belief on some scientific research that they conducted?
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:20 PM
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The problem is, lots of them don't care to be. But if there are those who just naively think they're being informed, perhaps a reminder that they're not could actually help.
Telling somebody they already know everything they need to know is a lot more attractive message than telling them they need to learn something.

Fox viewer: "Climate control is a hoax."
Non-Fox viewer: "I think you're misinformed. Here's the evidence that climate change is real."
Fox: "Did you hear that? He just called you stupid! He's attacking you! So ignore what he's saying!"
Fox viewer: "Hey mister, I don't like that kind of talk."
Fox: "And all his evidence is just lies put out by the lamestream media! Don't believe it!"
Fox viewer: "And I don't need to hear any of your fake news."
Fox: "And you're an independent thinker who doesn't just repeat what people tell you."
Fox viewer: "And I'm an independent thinker who doesn't just repeat what people tell you... uh... I mean me."
  #30  
Old 10-05-2019, 01:26 PM
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The idea that Fox News is brainwashing an obedient audience of sheeple is akin to focusing on lobbying organizations like the NRA or AARP as fonts of Evil, rather than recognizing that the stances of these organizations strike a strong chord in their constituencies. Their successes reflect genuinely held (if often dead wrong) beliefs held by their audiences/members. Attacking the Evil Groups misses the point.

Fox is merely a more extreme example of what's been plaguing the major media for a long time - framing the news to please a constituency while avoiding hard-hitting editorials clearly labeled as such. This process has accelerated under Trump and ensures that opposing camps seek out their preferred filters. When CNN and the AP blatantly editorialize in their news stories* it just encourages the belief of right-wingers that the MSM is out to get them.

Fox obviously does run commentary aimed at minimalizing or mocking climate change activism, but pretty much plays it straight in much of its actual reporting.

*"but it's twue! it's twue!!"
Jackmannii, of course Fox News is giving a segment of the population news that conforms to and confirms their own worldview. Furthermore, they do it in a way even less-educated people can understand. That's why people with no more than high school diploma are much more likely to watch Fox. Clear back in 1994, Rupert Murdoch had a clear idea of what Fox News would offer, and it wasn't responsible journalism for discerning viewers:

Quote:
Unlike the three established networks, which vied for the same centrist viewers, his creation would follow the unapologetically lowbrow model of the tabloids that he published in Australia and England, and appeal to a narrow audience that would be entirely his. His core viewers, he said, would be football fans; with this aim in mind, he had just bought the rights to broadcast N.F.L. games. Hundt told me, “What he was really saying was that he was going after a working-class audience. He was going to carve out a base—what would become the Trump base."
But those whose views Fox News reflects and shapes were part of the population long before 1996, when FN first aired; they were simply not convinced they were well-informed or mainstream, and they were not the political force they've become. As Fox surged ahead in popularity, CNN was forced to employ some of the same tactics. MSNBC didn't take to the airwaves as the liberal's Fox News until 2002. And Fox News is consistently found to contain more bias than any other news network. So the "Gee, Ma, all the kids are doing it!" defense is a dud.
'

Sure, there's some straight reporting on Fox--covering a hurricane or a 42-car pileup--but what gets reported and what doesn't is also important. Fox had confirmation on the Stormy Daniels story by October 2016 but killed it so it wouldn't interfere with the election.

And its symbiotic relationship with the Trump White House is unprecedented.

Quote:
Joe Peyronnin, a professor of journalism at N.Y.U., was an early president of Fox News, in the mid-nineties. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he says of Fox. “It’s as if the President had his own press organization. It’s not healthy.”
That's putting it mildly. And it's why you should be concerned--very, very concerned.
  #31  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:06 PM
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We, the people, don’t care about trustworthiness. We care about power. That’s why we have rewarded dishonesty and corruption in government for all these decades regardless of who or what party was nominally in control. As long as enough lucre is flowing to the right special interests nothing will change.

The news media are tailored to be profitable by acquiring mindshare. You don’t get mindshare unless you emotionally resonate with your audience.

Last edited by octopus; 10-05-2019 at 02:08 PM.
  #32  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:56 PM
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I just now realized I somehow cut off the last sentence of the first paragraph in the OP. It should have read "highly effective conservative propaganda machine." I guess people could figure that out, but it bothers me that I left a fragment in there. My apologies.
  #33  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:58 PM
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Fox didn't do that. The NYT, CNN, and MSNBC destroyed their reputations through their own bad acts.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A: how Fox News convinces regular viewers they can't trust any other news network.
  #34  
Old 10-05-2019, 03:07 PM
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Ok. I'm assuming you are a fully functioning, fairly healthy, mental fit man who is fully employed and of at least average intelligence. Ok. So given these assumptions, I want to know by what rubric do you grade a news organizations trustworthiness? And please answer me fully and directly without the use of weasel words or vague handwaving.
Come on man. Im holding my breath and im beginning to struggle!
  #35  
Old 10-05-2019, 03:27 PM
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The best way is to simply expose it for what it is. Jon Stewart did a great job of this. There is no shame in calling out bullshit as bullshit, and I wish more standard over-the-air media outlets did so. (Hell, Faux news and the so-called president have no problem calling actual, real things "fake news") The people who are tricked by Faux are misinformed. The answer is to inform them. The problem is, lots of them don't care to be. But if there are those who just naively think they're being informed, perhaps a reminder that they're not could actually help.
That's an idea. I don't know how many Fox viewers watched Jon Stewart. I'm guessing most of his audience skewed liberal even though he also called out liberal politicians' BS. We'd need a viewer vehicle that, like Murdoch's tabloids, is geared toward conservative concrete thinkers who don't like their thinking challenged but that also challenges Fox in a subtle (at first) way. In more fanciful moments, I imagine subliminal messages embedded in NASCAR racers: F-o-o-o-O-X I-I-I-S fa-a-a-AKE n-e-e-EWS.

On a more serious note, maybe the answer lies in online news sources and social media, where most people under 50 get their news, but I'm not sure how that would work. Name the source American Patriots News or something that would appeal to conservatives and frame stories so that they don't put Fox viewers' backs up? Honestly, I think the source would have to BE conservative but a Never Trumper conservative that would strongly appeal to the same demographic while actually giving the whole story AND slowly loosening the Fox stranglehold. AND it'd have to be almost ubiquitous.

Probably not too realistic, right?
  #36  
Old 10-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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Well, ISTM you did, and then went ahead and said it again.
...except I didn't, then I didn't do it again.

Quote:
My point -- and I stand by it -- is that there are tons of responsible major media that do a good job of informing the public, even if they're far from perfect and sometimes have mercenary considerations like sensationalism, which is why I have more respect for public broadcasters outside the US than most American media.
That's all well-and-good and everything but it doesn't mean jack-shit when the people targeted by the propaganda never actually get a chance to see it. We all personally curate what news we consume now. Twitter and facebook feeds show only the things that people want to see. If you follow Trump on Twitter and the Whitehouse and ICE and Fox News and a few other conservative commentators then all you will ever see and hear about is what it is they want to tell you.

The free press is not a counter to this. It doesn't combat this. It runs parallel to this in what is essentially another reality.

Quote:
But the NYT, Washington Post, CNN, etc. do fine journalism most of the time, or at least, adequate and responsible journalism.
Doing fine journalism most of the time really isn't enough right now. Many have argued that the Hillary email story turned the last election. How they cover and how they frame impeachment could turn the next election.

But again: not the point. We are talking about countering propaganda. The free press isn't the best method to counter propaganda, not in today's information age.

I pointed you to the official Whitehouse twitter feed yesterday. Go look at it again today.

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse

Look at how much more propaganda has been mainlined directly to the eyeballs of the people that follow it.

Look at this tweet.

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/statu...42170375303168

Quote:
Originally Posted by the Whitehouse
Millions of Americans lost their healthcare coverage and doctors under Obamacare, after being promised that they could keep them.

Now, radical Democrats are trying to do away with healthcare choice altogether.
Posted two hours ago. By the Whitehouse. Can you imagine that happening under any other administration? Do you remember a couple of years ago at the start of the Trump regime when the Whitehouse twitter feed at least pretended not to be so partisan?

I've just gone to Google News and searched for Obamacare and nobody has covered that. No mention of it at all. The only hit I got was the press release from the Whitehouse. The free press hasn't done anything to counter this bit of propaganda. In the two hours since then the feed has retweeted 5 additional pieces of insanity, none of it countered by the free press.

The free press isn't prepared nor is it able to counter this. Trump & Co are spending millions of dollars on facebook advertising that none of us ever get the chance to see because it isn't targeted at us. The free press doesn't counter any of this.

Quote:
It's odd that you think CNN is kowtowing to the powers that be as they are becoming rather vehemently anti-Trump and have been on the warpath since at least the time Trump tried to ban one of their White House reporters.
That isn't what I said. I said:

"Here is an absolutely fawning profile of Kellyanne Conway by CNN."

Did you read it? Did you watch it?

It was an absolutely fawning profile of Kellyanne Conway by CNN.

This is the same CNN that at one point hired Sarah Isgur as a political editor. (They have since redefined her role)

CNN can be anti-Trump and they can be ANGRY that they tried to ban Jim Acosta and still not be an effective counter to Whitehouse propaganda. Both can be true.

Quote:
The Washington Post, for its part, has said that Jeff Bezos has never once in any way meddled with their editorial policy. I really think you're greatly exaggerating the problems with the major mainstream media.
I'm not exaggerating at all. I've consistently said that by and large they do good journalism. But good journalism isn't enough. And the lapses are important and big enough they actually make a difference. Good journalism isn't enough to counter the flood of propaganda that has been unleashed by this administration. There is too much of it. Information overload. Its all over the place and its happening under the radar.
  #37  
Old 10-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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That's an idea. I don't know how many Fox viewers watched Jon Stewart. ...
...
Yeah, that's why I think over the air broadcast sources are good. You're online idea is good, too. I think a lot of these numpties are getting turned online. 4-chan, Alex Jones, etc. The old folks in front of their TVs, not so much.
  #38  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:04 PM
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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A: how Fox News convinces regular viewers they can't trust any other news network.
I almost never watch Fox News (I don't have cable). The other networks have done plenty to erode the trust the public (once) had in them all on their own. Set aside the partisans for a moment; just look at the independents: 20 years ago, 55% of them trusted mass media. Today it's only 36%. I don't think independents got that way by watching Fox News 24/7. Do you?
  #39  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Cite please? Don't just throw out a sentence to derail the debate. Please quantify the bad acts from some objective source.
It's not 'derailing' the debate, it is the debate. Posts #2, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #14, #18, #19 ALL referenced other media outlets prior to my post #22. As for cites, I'm not sure what you'd like. I posted a graphic in my previous post showing the decline in independents' trust in the media. How about these quotes from posters in this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
... But, when delivering the news or exercising this free press conflicts with the bottom line, and that bottom line dictates the shaping of that political narrative, the bottom line always will win.every time. Its blatant on propaganda machines like Fox News. But it is much more subtle and therefore insidious, in left of center media sources, including but not limited to cable news like MSNBC.

They soften the edges here, they gloss over little inconvenient details there and in the process write there own narratives. Narratives to attract eyeballs and advertisers. But its not just the money. Its also the ideology propelling these clashing narratives. The ads and the eyeballs and the ideology all, at least at times, take precendence over pure objective fact re the state of the country and the world. ...
Ambivalid calls the "left of center media sources" "subtle and therefore insidious". The only word I'd quibble with is "subtle".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
... Fox is merely a more extreme example of what's been plaguing the major media for a long time - framing the news to please a constituency while avoiding hard-hitting editorials clearly labeled as such. This process has accelerated under Trump and ensures that opposing camps seek out their preferred filters. When CNN and the AP blatantly editorialize in their news stories* it just encourages the belief of right-wingers that the MSM is out to get them.

...

*"but it's twue! it's twue!!"
Jackmannii can see that CNN and the AP editorialize in the their news stories. So do many of the rest of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
... It's odd that you think CNN is kowtowing to the powers that be as they are becoming rather vehemently anti-Trump and have been on the warpath since at least the time Trump tried to ban one of their White House reporters. ...
If wolfpup can notice that CNN is "on the warpath" and "vehemently anti-Trump" then I imagine a great many independents and conservatives can detect the same bias. People know CNN isn't playing it straight.

If you don't trust our fellow dopers, here are some additional cites:

NBC - Media bias against conservatives is real, and part of the reason no one trusts the news now

NY Post - Former NPR CEO opens up about liberal media bias

WaPo - Why bias gets worse, not better, in the MSM

’60 Minutes’ Lara Logan Calls Out the MSM on Their Bias

Would you like me to recount some of the MSM's recent fuck-ups?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-05-2019 at 06:27 PM.
  #40  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:29 PM
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Ok. I'm assuming you are a fully functioning, fairly healthy, mental fit man who is fully employed and of at least average intelligence. Ok. So given these assumptions, I want to know by what rubric do you grade a news organizations trustworthiness? And please answer me fully and directly without the use of weasel words or vague handwaving.
I don't have a "rubric" and I don't "grade" news organizations' trustworthiness. Is that a direct-enough answer for you?
  #41  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:46 PM
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Mainstream media, with and without Faux, MADE Tramp, giving him billions of bucks worth of free coverage; and he has enriched them greatly, driving audiences to them.

Commercial US media function to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. Faux delivers rabid audiences; not-quite-so-rabid networks deliver slightly less rabid audiences; in all cases, the audience is the product. Tramp delivers product. Do not expect media to kill their orange golden goose.

How to counter Faux propaganda? Reinstate a fairness doctrine on electronic media whether broadcast or wired. That worked when I was in radio (1970s).
  #42  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
I almost never watch Fox News (I don't have cable). The other networks have done plenty to erode the trust the public (once) had in them all on their own. Set aside the partisans for a moment; just look at the independents: 20 years ago, 55% of them trusted mass media. Today it's only 36%. I don't think independents got that way by watching Fox News 24/7. Do you?
I hope you'll read my post through. I'll be as concise as I can.

1. Look at the poll (The link to the pdf is in the Gallup article that contains your graph. That graph allows only three choices for respondents: GOP, Dem, or Independent. When instead respondents identified as conservative, moderate, or liberal, the percentages who had little or no trust were very different:

76% of conservatives
57% of moderates
36% of liberals

Clearly, some conservatives self-identify as independents, not Republicans. And conservatives tend to watch Fox News.

2. Fox routinely lambastes "mainstream media" and clearly doesn't consider itself part of the MSM. In fact, to both FN and Trump, mainstream media is synonymous with media critical of Trump.

3. You're also assuming the question meant respondents didn't trust any media, when a Knight-Gallup survey last year found that

Quote:
Americans appear to differentiate the trustworthiness of news organizations — 67% say they trust only some news media organizations, but not others. Meanwhile, 1% say they trust all news media organizations, 17% say they trust most and 16% say they do not trust any.
4. Yes, many Americans distrust the media. And I agree that some media sources need to do better at accuracy. Fox News has an egregious record for inaccuracy, yet seldom if ever airs or prints retractions. It's done far more than its share to poison the well.
  #43  
Old 10-05-2019, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Mainstream media, with and without Faux, MADE Tramp, giving him billions of bucks worth of free coverage; and he has enriched them greatly, driving audiences to them.

Commercial US media function to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. Faux delivers rabid audiences; not-quite-so-rabid networks deliver slightly less rabid audiences; in all cases, the audience is the product. Tramp delivers product. Do not expect media to kill their orange golden goose.

How to counter Faux propaganda? Reinstate a fairness doctrine on electronic media whether broadcast or wired. That worked when I was in radio (1970s).
You think a so-called fairness doctrine can work with internet publishing and social media? I don't see how you'd enforce that.
  #44  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:22 PM
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I don't have a "rubric" and I don't "grade" news organizations' trustworthiness. Is that a direct-enough answer for you?
You didnt answer anything. So, no, its not a direct-enough answer, since you didnt answer. Im surprised you'd ask me such a non-sequitur word salad tho. Do you need me to rewrite my question using fewer words and with fewer syllables?

Because you either genuinely struggled with reading comprehension or you are trollling. Back up your claims mane! If you cant back up your challenge to the hive mind, then you arent challenging the hive, your just shaking it to get those in it angry and riled up. Which anyone, anywhere, can do without any truly held political beliefs or ability to defend the side he's claiming to represent.
  #45  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
You didnt answer anything. So, no, its not a direct-enough answer, since you didnt answer. Im surprised you'd ask me such a non-sequitur word salad tho. Do you need me to rewrite my question using fewer words and with fewer syllables?

Because you either genuinely struggled with reading comprehension or you are trollling. Back up your claims mane! If you cant back up your challenge to the hive mind, then you arent challenging the hive, your just shaking it to get those in it angry and riled up. Which anyone, anywhere, can do without any truly held political beliefs or ability to defend the side he's claiming to represent.
This is a warning for personal insults and accusing another poster of trolling.

[/moderating]
  #46  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:49 PM
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If wolfpup can notice that CNN is "on the warpath" and "vehemently anti-Trump" then I imagine a great many independents and conservatives can detect the same bias. People know CNN isn't playing it straight.

If you don't trust our fellow dopers, here are some additional cites:

NBC - Media bias against conservatives is real, and part of the reason no one trusts the news now

NY Post - Former NPR CEO opens up about liberal media bias

WaPo - Why bias gets worse, not better, in the MSM

’60 Minutes’ Lara Logan Calls Out the MSM on Their Bias

Would you like me to recount some of the MSM's recent fuck-ups?
I believe this is a poor characterization of the facts. Yes, I have the impression that CNN is definitely anti-Trump, but so what? They clearly distinguish news from opinion -- the pieces they publish that are not straightforward news reports are clearly labeled "Opinion" or "Analysis" and most of what I subjectively perceive as anti-Trump bias comes from the quantity of those. And most importantly, they don't lie. They deal with facts. And I could easily say the same thing about other world-class news organizations, like the New York Times or the New Yorker, which is in a class by itself for both journalism and literature.

I'll say it again: the problem with Fox News isn't the bias, since there's some degree of bias everywhere. The problem with Fox News, simply put, is that they lie. Like Trump himself, they lie often, egregiously, and shamelessly. When they're not lying, they're reporting half-truths by selectively omitting important facts. What legitimate news media are doing may or may not at times be considered biased, but what Fox News is doing is more akin to the propagandizing and censorship of totalitarian dictatorships. At times it's so extreme that it's downright comical, reminiscent of the Soviet-era Pravda at its worst, or Baghdad Bob.

As for all the links about alleged liberal media bias, there's a nuance here that's being trodden over. I think first of all, realistically we should substitute "contemporary Republican" for "conservative" in order for such an argument to have any merit even worth discussing. One has to wonder why such an alleged liberal -- or anti-Republican -- bias exists, if indeed it does. Are all journalists born with a genetic predisposition to liberalism? I would suggest what most journalists -- and certainly all the ethical ones -- have in common is a bias for facts and truth, not ideology. And maybe the problem with contemporary Republicanism is that it's so far removed from reality (witness Trump's incessant, habitual lying) that its survival now requires large dollops of deceit and spin, and hence the disconnect from institutions interested in reporting the unvarnished facts.

And if this is true -- and indeed even if it isn't -- the solution for Republicans to perceived liberal bias is to establish media with a Republican bias, not to establish media that constantly lies as a matter of standard procedure. Yet that's what we find every time we look at Fox News, or Breitbart, or Newsmax, or anything that Rupert Murdoch has ever got his hands on. And those things are a danger to democracy, not because they elect Republicans, but because they engender a dangerously ignorant, uniformed public that is unfit to govern itself.
  #47  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:38 AM
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Mainstream media, with and without Faux, MADE Tramp, giving him billions of bucks worth of free coverage; and he has enriched them greatly, driving audiences to them.

Commercial US media function to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. Faux delivers rabid audiences; not-quite-so-rabid networks deliver slightly less rabid audiences; in all cases, the audience is the product. Tramp delivers product. Do not expect media to kill their orange golden goose.

How to counter Faux propaganda? Reinstate a fairness doctrine on electronic media whether broadcast or wired. That worked when I was in radio (1970s).
A FD cannot be instituted on non FCC regulated media. The government does not regulate its medium and the 1st Amendment prohibits them from abridging freedom of speech.
  #48  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:41 AM
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This is a warning for personal insults and accusing another poster of trolling.

[/moderating]
Man, this is shitty. I thought i was careful not to call Ditka a troll, i tried to attack his posts and asked him, in response to his posting which asserted self immolation of the reputations of mainstream news sources as being the reason why people turned to FoxNews for trustworthiness in journalism, what rubric he used to score the trustworthiness of news organizations (you know, in order to inform this opinion). I also requested that his answer be a fully formed straightforward answer to a fully formed, straightforward question.

How else can one make such a statement without there being some way to determine what influences viewership shifts in mainstream news sources? He was doing nothing more that giving his opinion, so i asked him how he arrived there.

His utterly empty, snide response which was nothing more than a petty, irrelevant attack on my choice of two individual words used in my question posed to him, was basically just him ignoring me altogether. Because he had nothing to back up.his opinion. Nothing to back up his posts, the fact of which seemed to clearly delineate his posts in this thread from those who post in good faith. I dont understand how i could have tackled this problem any other way. And i thought i had taken steps to stay within the rules.

I had taken a self imposed sabbatical of a couple weeks that had just ended like a day and a half ago. I was really getting engrossed in the threads and i have been enjoying myself. To get a third warning in *such* short succession is deflating and i think im just going to leave. Something isnt jelling right with me and this board anymore.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 10-06-2019 at 12:44 AM.
  #49  
Old 10-06-2019, 01:57 AM
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You think a so-called fairness doctrine can work with internet publishing and social media? I don't see how you'd enforce that.
I don't know how either. Can a rule specify fair time for varied opinions to be presented? Fortunately, I'm not tasked to write that.

I recall listener-sponsored KPFK in early 1960s Los Angeles providing free airtime to many POVs: mainline Dems and GOPs, American Communists, Quakers, American Nazis, Catholic archdiocese, John Birch Society, Socialist Labor, Minutemen, Provos, more. All got scheduled half-hours. Nobody had to demand equal time. Commercial KHJ-TV ran a tamer version with less range and ranting - still entertaining.

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A FD cannot be instituted on non FCC regulated media. The government does not regulate its medium and the 1st Amendment prohibits them from abridging freedom of speech.
FCC was created by Congress "to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable." Wired and wireless - I guess EPA handles smoke signals. Congress decides just what and how FCC regulates, and it has changed over time. Most standards are technical. Few are content-based. I note that regulation of social media is a hot topic worldwide now. We'll see how it proceeds.

The FCC's basic mandate is to serve the public interest. How is that working?

Ah, freedom of speech for all... except for incitement, libel, fraud, violent threats, false emergency or crime reports, false or medical adverts, limited government staff speech, mandatory workplace notices, etc. And beer labels - highly controlled.

A media Fairness Doctrine need not censor, need not rule, "Don't say A;" only, "For X bandwidth of Y presenting A, Z gets X bandwidth to present B". Something like that. Policy wonks can work out the details. The benefit of following that rule? The medium owner can retain their valuable cash-cow license to use regulated space.

Faux has stopped calling themselves Fair And Balanced so that's one less lie.
  #50  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:47 AM
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I would say that there's a general issue in the modern day that I'll call the "free market problem".

The free market wants to give people what they want. If it does that, the people reward it and that reward money goes towards finding new and better ways to give people what they want.

The central problems with that are that what people want isn't always the best thing for them (or at least not when delivered in unconstrained dosages), "enjoyment" is addictive - regardless of source, it doesn't have to be food or drug nor sex, and this system has a positive feedback loop with a shortening cycle as technologies like data mining come into being.

Overall, this is a bigger problem than Fox. News media is not the only field where this problem is manifesting. And nor is it fair to say that Fox is the only problem child in the moment we live in and - whether that is true or not - it's dangerous to say that it is the only problem child that can be produced or that the free market will only produce the issue on one side of the political spectrum.

In general, the solution to this sort of thing - I hate to say it - is government intervention. The tragedy of the commons, races to the bottom, etc. are all problems which are solved by government regulation, oversight, incentivisation plans, etc.

In terms of what that would look like, I would say that there's a supply side solution that is problematic but would probably work and there are a variety of demand side solutions.

On the supply side, the solution would be to use government intervention to make the news media be less entertaining, better researched, more factual, and more nuanced.

The First Amendment rules a lot of possible options for "intervention" out, in the case of false and propagandic news. That I have been able to think of, it really only leaves incentivisation.

Whether it's an ideal methodology or not, I don't believe that there is any solution - other than hoping that some quirk of the free market will kick in and course correct on its own - other than to have the government offer sufficient quantities of free money to the media as a reward for being truthful, non-biased, and having done proper in-depth investigation as to be worthwhile as to offset the funds coming in from the free market.

I can detail how such a system would work that would resolve nearly all complaints with the general approach, if anyone is interested.

The demand side solutions - trying to reduce interest in false media - are generally going to be less direct. Or, at least, all of the ones that I have thought of are.

Possibly, education could help. If you teach kids when they're young about how our diets are crap because of the free market problem, maybe they'll be able to accomplish avoiding it. I don't know. I do know that that's an area where we've tried to deal with a free market problem through education, so the results of that will let us know for other things.

But even if that does work, it only works for future generations and it will take some doing to accomplish since there's going to be a lot of pushback against teaching, in schools, that kids shouldn't watch Fox. Not to mention, again, the First Amendment.

The more practical demand side solution (that I've thought of) is simply to make politics more boring. Too boring for people to be interested in it.

In general, that means fixing voting systems to encourage bland, uninteresting candidates rather than provocative and exciting ones, reducing the amount of government drama that can be or is made public (e.g. by making the inner goings ons of government secret), etc.

As addicts, that all sounds horrible of course.

Fundamentally, the free market has discovered that we love team sports and melodrama. Making politics boring is like telling people that you're going to swap out their football games with golf. Your addiction will convince you that it's bad, undemocratic, helping corruption, etc. to change our systems in any way that would help to make politics more boring.

Again, I can give recommendations, should anyone be interested.

In general, I recommend working along all paths. That way if one fails, you still have the other. I would work on both the demand and supply sides, even if we have to accept with each solution that you can't make everyone happy.

Making people happy isn't the goal here. In fact, removing a bit of happiness from the world is exactly the goal.
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