The Effect of Fox News: A Case Study

Today I was scheduled to take my car in for its regular maintenance visit. Today is also the day that President Barack Obama was scheduled to make a much-anticipated address at the State Department on the tumult in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was scheduled to introduce him.  The intersection of these two events resulted in an interesting albeit simple and completely unscientific  field study on the effect of Fox News on the human brain.

You see, as I sat down in the car dealership waiting room, the TV was tuned to Fox News. One of the broadcasters said, “coming up later, we’ll look at who is likely to replace Hillary Clinton”. At this point, a woman waiting for her car to be fixed turned to her husband and said, “John, is Hillary Clinton resigning?”

And there it was before me in a simple five-minute incident all the evidence I needed to understand why Fox viewers are for the most part misinformed at best and deranged at worst. The Fox broadcaster made no effort to put this “Clinton replacement” in any sort of context. Folks familiar with Clinton know she has said she will not be Secretary of State for another Obama term. Our friends at Fox didn’t bother to provide that context. On the contrary they floated a “coming attraction” so ambiguous that the unsuspecting viewer might think Hillary was going to announce her resignation right there at the State Department gathering for Obama.

This is typical Fox sleight of hand. “News” by innuendo, thinly veiled editorials. My heart went out to my fellow waiting room occupant. Then my compassion turned to horror as I multiplied her by one million. Think about it. One million Americans getting their “news” from a shameless, fact twisting, media wing of the Republican party. Is it any wonder why so many Republicans wondered if Obama was really born in the United States?

My little field study today convinced me of something I had conjectured for some time now. The only way to keep Fox News “fair and balanced” is to have MSNBC playing on another channel. Incidentally, when my fellow automobile drivers left the waiting room, I did change the channel and left the room tuned to MSNBC. Consider it a small victory for integrity in journalism.

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance

42 thoughts on “The Effect of Fox News: A Case Study

  1. Now, I know you ment this post in good hearted fun. A jab at the right in what you thought was a moment of opportunity.

    Of course, people have had a decade to decide between MSNBC and Fox News. During this decade, the left- from the President down- have attacked Fox News repeatedly. They’ve attempted to exclude them from events, they’ve lied and distorted- like what you just did- things they have said. Fox News has constantly been under attack, yet it is consistently the most trusted and watched cable news channel.

    You could call everyone who watches it a zombie, being a liberal elitist, that would be par for the course for you. But I doubt it. I posted a survey a while ago and it showed that conservative, by and large, were much better informed than liberals. And if the small sample of MSNBC that I’ve shared is any example to the persistent stupidity that flows from that channel, well, there is no wonder why conservatives are more informed.

    P.S. Go back to your mechanics office- the TV’s back on Fox News…

  2. As for your comment at my place, what the fuck?

    Do you really think a speech from the Confederacy- a confederacy made up largely of the political party YOU support- is pithy today? We DEFEATED the Confederacy 150 years ago. Let me say that again: One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago.

    This is EXACTLY my point. I made cogent, pithy arguments relevent to TODAY, and your response is some quote from a Confederacy speech 150 years ago.

    Let it go.

    You were not a slave. Your parents were not slaves. Your grandparents were not slaves.

    Likewise, I was not a slaveowner. My parents were not slaveowners. My grandparents were not slaveowners. My great grandparents were not slaveowners. My great, great grandparents were not slaveowners, which was convienent since the fought for the Union during the Civil War.

    I’d prefer to have this discussion at my place, so I’ll end this here: your problems are TODAY’s problems. The single black mother issue didn’t start during the slave years, or during the segregation period. The abortion rate for blacks didn’t come out of slavery or segregation either. The 50% drop out rate for black males didn’t start during slavery or segregation either. So man the fuck up and stop making excuses.

  3. Since you are so fond of anedotal observations serving stereotypical assessments, let me present this. Tell me, did Stephen’s “cornerstone” speech make his guy rob the 93 year old lady, or was it Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address?

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 48-year-old Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty to two despicable robberies in Center City: an attack on a 93-year-old woman in the elevator of her apartment building, and another attack on a young mother walking her infant in a stroller.

    Both victims were in court Wednesday as defendant Michael Crump admitted to the crimes.

    There was an audible gasp from spectators in the courtroom as the prosecutor described how Crump had knocked the elderly victim to the ground and then kicked her before fleeing from the elevator.

    Crump got four dollars from the woman, but not without a fight.

    “You are supposed to, if you are being attacked, you’re supposed to hand over your valuables and not make a fuss about it,” the feisty elderly victim told the judge. “But my feeling is, damn it, I worked all my life for this money and you are not going to get it. It was only four bucks, let’s be brutally honest about it. The whole robbery was only four dollars. But at the same time it’s my money and I worked for it.”

    The elderly victim did lose a valued photo of her husband, who died five years ago, and that clearly still hurts more than the bruises and broken finger.

    Crump pleaded guilty in a third case, a pickpocket crime, earlier this week. He is in custody and will be sentenced in July.

  4. gorilla said –
    “The single black mother issue didn’t start during the slave years, or during the segregation period. The abortion rate for blacks didn’t come out of slavery or segregation either. The 50% drop out rate for black males didn’t start during slavery or segregation either. So man the fuck up and stop making excuses.”

    Hear! Hear!

    Not because it offends me the way it offends you, gorilla, but because I believe the drunk can’t get sober until he believes in his heart-of-hearts that he is a drunk.

    When the black community “mans up” as you say and says, “The Man can’t fix our problems because they are not his to fix; they are OURS” then blacks as a whole can advance. As long as they are caught in this (very seductive) blame game and finger-pointing, they will stay exactly where they are: nowhere. They might want to look at the Vietnamese immigrants for some inspiration if they have forgotten how to do it.

    And it’s not IMHO completely a racial thing; race is an easy way to categorize *some* of the problem children. If you want to see whole generations of German-Scots-Irish who have been infected by this rot born of the Welfare State, go to West Virginia, my former home state. It’s disgusting; even my brother’s children have regressed to the mean. And I mean “mean” in *all* of its mean meanings.

  5. In case anyone cares… our intervention in Libya is now officially illegal, and Dictator Obama is in now violation of the War Powers Act.

    Now continue your outrage/disgust over the way some dumb woman interpreted what Fox News said while she was only 1/2 listening.

  6. “I did change the channel and left the room tuned to MSNBC. Consider it a small victory for integrity in journalism.”

    A small victory for journalism would have been to turn the TV off….

  7. Much of the programming on FNC is unwatchable. The overt bias of some of the Fox personalities isn’t even subtle. Some of them really need a good talking to. Many of them don’t belong on the air. That behavior shouldn’t be condoned, and if in fact it’s encouraged, well then they are just as bad as MSNBC.

    The programming on MSNBC is unconscionable. Maybe they’ve gotten better but I’ve seen some pretty slimy stuff and some downright wretched personalities on that channel. And for serious – do they do the news? At least I can listen to Shepherd Smith without feeling like I need to take a shower afterwards.

    I can’t wait for 5:00. The weekend really needs to get here already.

    Yes to #12. Huck, you do have a way.

  8. “The overt bias of some of the Fox personalities isn’t even subtle.” -me

    Haha. Isn’t that like saying the ugly shoes aren’t even cute?

  9. R –

    I just read a great post at Fat Grannies, referring to another blog, where the blogger suggested getting blowup dolls, filling them with helium and releasing them tomorrow. The devout would think the rapture was coming and they were Left Behind!

    OMG can you imagine the fun you could have?

    Where can I get some of those damned things by tomorrow? Why didn’t I think of that!?

    I’m worried about the poolman. I think he is getting ready.

  10. A small victory for journalism would have been to turn the TV off….

    A saner word has not been written.

    Anyone who watches this fabricated crap that goes for journalism on tv and believes in it, needs to get away from it for awhile and check in with the real world. These “news programs” use fact and fiction alike to promote the narrative. I have in the past experienced both profound and preposterous from the very same source. For the most part, the fourth estate is now a brothel that is peopled by prostitutes.

  11. I’m worried about the poolman. I think he is getting ready.

    Don’t worry about me. I’m always ready. But I got plans for this Sunday, already.

    Maybe He’ll call us tonight.
    That would catch ’em with their pants down, eh? 😆

  12. But rabbit they saaaayyyyy that they are fair and balanced. And they call themsleves Fox “Newwwwwwzzzzzzzzzzz.”

    By the way, I get a big kick out of your “oh the humanity!” posts. Puts a smile on my face.

    Uh, Tex? Isn’t your daughter done graduating yet?

    Come onnnnn weekend!

  13. I debated chiming in but after another Amstel decided I just had to.
    Rutherford I find only your parting shot of changing the channel to be humorous,all else is bleah.
    What of the Hartford Courant the paper of record in the Nutmeg state? What of your vaunted public education system? There are a lot more better candidates for failure in your waiting room episode than Fox.

  14. In honor of Rapture Day, I give you lines from War Games (1983)

    Colonel Joe Conley: This is Crystal Palace. Are you still on?
    [no response]
    Colonel Joe Conley: This is Crystal Palace. Are you still on? Is anyone there?
    Colonel Chase: That’s affirmative, sir.
    Airman Dougherty: Yeah, we’re here! Jesus H. Christ! We’re still here!

    Looks like we are still here. What a surprise.

  15. “@thinkprogress If Herman Cain picks West as running mate, Obama should dump Biden and run with Oprah! 🙂 2 hours ago”

    Why’s that?

    “@thinkprogress which nimrod on Fox said that? I guess the logic is only way to beat one black man is with two black men? 2 hours ago”

    Are you suggesting that Cain is an Uncle Tom who would need another token black to defeat the only black in America who is a genuine politician?

  16. Huck, I know it’s near impossible for you to do this but you needed to see the tweet from @thinkprogress that I was answering with my tweet. Their tweet stated that according to Fox News, if Herman Cain picked Allen West as his running mate, he could beat Obama.

    So you need to not question me … but question what Fox’s logic is.

  17. Twitter is so funny. We use it to bicker and spread rumors other folks use it to start real revolutions.
    As for the Cain West combo the only non Twitter =reality is that ONE Fox persona ,Angela McGlowan ,made the statement in a gig with Colmes.
    I think the most telling thing is how folks on the Left like Colmes,C&L and others show how open- minded they are about anything browner than the crust of a slice of Wonder bread if it has an (R) at the end of their name.

  18. We, Democrats, sure did like Michael Steele, to this day, we don’t know what you Republicans were thinking, but thank you.

  19. Alfie, so true on the dichotomy of how we use Twitter vs the rest of the world. Point taken. Also … thank you … in my tweet, I asked @thinkprogress who at Fox made the statement and I never got an answer.

    As for being open minded, I truly believe if the GOP drafted Colin Powell for POTUS, liberals would be hard-pressed to show the same disdain they show for the likes of Cain, West or Keyes.

    And of course, NOP is right … Steele was the gift that kept on giving.

  20. Rutherford, your posts suck lately.

    Actually Rabbit, I kinda thought the post before this one was pretty good.

    Kinda hard to judge stuff when you’ve got all that silver blinding your eyes. Hey … what do you think about that LinkedIn IPO? Did you get on board that bad boy? 😉

  21. I’m too lazy to track down who here made the comment about Chris Matthews calling Obama Batman and Gingrich the Joker but suffice it to say I was watching Hardball that night and I cringed when Matthews made the analogy. In his defense, Chris did say at one point “ok Obama’s not Batman”.

  22. On the overall topic of Fox vs MSNBC, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, despite MSNBC’s clearly liberal slant, I still feel they lie less than Fox does. I haven’t done a study, but I submit if you track both channels over a 24 hour period, you will catch Fox distorting, suggesting or outright lying at least 50% more of the time than MSNBC.

  23. “In his defense, Chris did say at one point “ok Obama’s not Batman”.

    Always doing the right thing, aren’t they?

    “I still feel they lie less than Fox does.”

    Who can argue with that?

  24. NOP, Her Holiness Fat Granny is not preparing for a European cruise in June and crossing her fingers that the adoption will go through soon. 😉

    PS, I enjoy your posts immensely when you’re not trying to get Tex to yank on your pigtails.

  25. My complaint (s) against both Fox and MSNBC have to include the bad acting, the facial grimaces and the shouting, oh gawd. CNN, just thinks they are the story, embarrassing, especially when you are old enough to remember when they used to spent enough money to cover most of the Globe.

  26. Sorry. Won’t take any study seriously that singles out Fox if they don’t mention MSNBC, period. Anyone who thinks MSNBC is a ‘check’ on Fox is seriously deluded.

    MSNBC is just as bad as Fox. In fact, in some ways- worse than Fox. Let’s call it what it is- MSNBC tore down Hillary Clinton in the 08 primaries to make it easier for Barack Obama. MSNBC went on a smear campaign against Sarah Palin, that actually continues on today, to make things easier for Obama in the general.

    You can’t say with a straight face that Fox promotes Republicans without admitting flat out that MSNBC does the exact same thing for Democrats.

  27. Integrity? I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m not a fan of Fox by any stretch- both MSNBC and Fox give PCW plenty of material, though- but there’s no way in hell MSNBC, with it’s blatant, over the top cheerleading for Obama in 08, the fact they continue a 3 year smear campaign against Sarah Palin, the fact that Chris Matthews- who used to be a journalist I respected until he and Keith Olbermann went all tingly all over Obama, still has a job there, shows that the words ‘integrity’ and MSNBC should never, ever be used in any proximity to each other…IMO

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