http://www.alternet.org/media/how-fox-news-created-new-culture-idiots

I've said for quite a few years now that Fox News was making the douchebags and assholes among us into a mainstream demographic.  And while a brilliant essay on so many levels, I will always cherish it for this brief synopsis of the social psychotic named Roger Ailes, who is single-handedly taking down America for his own amusement and enrichment..  Not for nothing does this scumbag travel in a 9-person security cocoon. 

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

The comment was at least poor sportsmanship. A longtime practitioner of blood sport media politics, Ailes has emerged as its undisputed heavyweight champion. Politics is indeed a rough sport, but there are still boundaries that while crossed are nevertheless there, or sort of there. It is possible to have a minimal sense of respect among fellow sportsmen, seen as equals off the playing field, and even to display grace in both victory and defeat. Ailes’s comment suggests that he makes little effort at this, even as he does make an effort to draw attention to the fact that he cares not. He keeps it personal, on and off the court.

Ailes is a poor sport but not in a set contest fairly won. His main victory was to redefine the whole sport itself — that is to say, to redefine news. While American TV journalism has always walked a fine line between informing the public and satisfying media capitalism’s demands for viewers, ratings, and ad dollars, the line was more or less there, and it represented respect for what some regard as the fourth branch of government and a democratic society that depends on real news. Ailes obliterates that line with his “orchestra pit theory,” which he puts as follows: “If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?” The implication of course being that TV can and should cover the sensation rather than the substance, that it should move still further away from professional journalism and toward infotainment in a pure ratings contest. Fox News has changed the game and won, with an ever-thinner pretext of service. (It has very little actual news gathering and reporting staff; it freely crosses its own purported division between reporting and editorializing; and it now boosts for and even instigates protest movements and financially backs specific political candidates.) For its loyalty and attunement to its fans, it has been richly rewarded with outsized profits and unprecedented political influence.

If we ask why Ailes fought so long and so hard for all this, however, the answer is not simply the ample rewards. His victory lap comment also suggests fundamental contempt. It suggests contempt not just for his competitors but for a society of people who have always counted on news with a lot of information shaped by a good-faith attempt at impartial presentation. Our fundamental need in a democratic society, for each of us to make up our own mind, now goes unmet by the whole media environment. It reflects not the minds of equals deliberating together about what together to do but the tenor and voice of a single asshole’s mind.

Read it all at Alternet

Today, my very good friend Angelo Carusone, (a.k.a. @stopbeck), campaign director at Media Matters and currently working on the DropFox effort at Media Matters for America, announced that Orbitz, the travel agency powerhouse, and a significant Fox News sponsor, has agreed to review all of their advertising on Fox News, a clear signal that big changes may be coming soon.

Alternet broke the details of the story today, and Media Matters has a statement and some additional information on their DropFox site. While DropFox's first campaign against Orbitz was mocked by many Fox apologists, it's presence all over the Internet in the past few weeks was startling to Orbitz, as well as many long-time watchers of progressive activism efforts on the Internet.

This Orbitz review is just the first very big win in a long effort to hold Fox News accountable for the brazen and reckless political operation which they have been conducting, often over airwaves licensed to them by the taxpayers. Carusone's  @stopbeck effort had already succeeded in starving Glenn Beck of advertisers after a protracted, two year battle which Beck often openly mocked, both on the is radio show, and on Twitter. But that guerilla effort, conducted mostly by Carusone alone, with only the help of Twitter and other social media, finally forced Fox News to drop Beck from their lineup earlier his year.

While you may think this DropFox effort seems like a run-of-the mill petition campaign, it has been anything but that by a wide margin. With Media Matters and its many allies, and the brilliant tactics of Carusone and the DropFox team, it seems to be organizing a coalition of diverse interest groups and constituencies – all with a common distaste for what Fox News has been doing to their individual interests as well as our society. It appears that together, and without much fanfare, they have launched a coherent, coordinated and well-implemented pressure coalition that actually works. And one that might be a prototype for many more like it.

Perhaps the most unique thing about the effort is that it is not designed to embarrass or punish advertisers into not advertising on Fox. Rather, it seeks to educate them about how much it is hurting their brand in and among the many consumer communities (LGBT, environmentalists, Latinos, etc.).  It's the ultimate expression of free market principles. There are many places to advertise. Why do it where it hurts the brand that a company works so hard to build and protect?

Clearly the strategy is starting to prove itself. And with a few more outcomes's like this, it will soon demonstrate that Progressives have more power than many have thought when it comes to influencing the corporate forces which have so dominated our public discourse and politics for years. Stay tuned… 

Enough is Enough

We have endured this pretense that Fox News is a legitimate news organization for too long. It's not. It's the 24 hour propaganda channel of the Republican party, and Washington should marginalize and stigmatize it until it withers and dies. (More on this in a later post). 

The first step is for all real journalists to watch and read Olbermann's special comment, and use it to launch their own national conversations—as Charles Kaiser has now done in a MUST read essay  — about how this obscene insult to their profession can be knocked off its ghastly pedestal and pushed with market forces into some kind of more responsible new organization—or just driven out of business.  It has completely polluted and distorted most all of our other national conversations, precisely at a time when we need to have them the most.

I am not suggesting censoring Fox. I am suggesting that we kill it with intensive levels of rejection of everything it does and stand for until no decent sponsor will get near it. The @stopbeck movement proves Fox can be hurt. We need to hurt them far more. And fast.

On July 23rd, Keith Olbermann took on Fox News… frontally:

Let me make this utterly clear: What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist — even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.

    What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites… is a manipulation. Not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy. Manipulation of a society, its intentional redirection from reality and progress, to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans…The assassins of the Right have been enabled on the Left.

    — Keith Olbermann, from his Special Comment on Sherrod debacle (below fold )

The Reaction

While long overdue, Olbermann calling out the Fox culprit, unambiguously, seems to be finally bringing forth a reaction from the mainstream journalism community that Fox should have provoked a decade ago.  But if this Google News search is any indication, it's still not getting nearly enough reaction. It's only Monday, but I sure hope there will be more on the level of the remarkable piece by Charle's Kaiser (posted next).

I am going to keep track of what DOES appear here. If you see more, please tweet them to @shoq with the hashtag: #killFox

The Shame of the Fourth Estate — by Charles Kaiser [Essential Reading]

It has become fashionable to dismiss Keith Olbermann as an over-the-top ranter or as the MSNBC host put it himself, “a mirror image of that which I assail.”  But there was nothing over-the-top about his special comment about Shirley Sherrod.  Every word he spoke was true. 

Enough right-wing propagandaby E.J. Dionne

The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story." And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year's election.

Video: Olbermann's Special Comment

Related

"Bernie Goldberg Fires Back"

The Daily Show 4/20/2010 — Length: 11:54

Jon "apologizes" for criticizing Bernie Goldberg and Fox News, but it's only because they're a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.  Do NOT shut this off half way thru. The real punchline comes after the lengthy setup.

Please retweet this with the green button. Once again, Stewart explains what all the rest of the media never can. People need to see it.

 

The Money Shots

Jon Stewart to Bernie Goldberg (with gospel backup singers behind him.)

Bernie Goldberg..

You're criticizing me for not living up to YOUR tag line!

And you dismiss any criticism as further evidence of how the rest of the media persecutes you.

You like to pretend that the relentless conservative activism of Fox News is the equivalent of the disorganized  liberal influence you find at NBC, ABC and CBS.

You may be able to detect a liberal pathogen..in the bloodstream.. however faint.

But Fox news is such a crazy overreaction to that perceived threat,

you're like an auto immune disorder.

I'm not saying the virus doesn't exist in some small quantity.

But you're producing way too many antibodies.

Fox News. You're the Lupus of news.

So I guess what I'm saying to you is this.

So long as "Fair and Balanced" is how you sell yourselves.

So I guess what I am sayin' to you is this:

Go fuck yourselves.

Related

In the new issue, Forbes reports that Glenn Beck admits:

"I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says.

The article is a pretty fun ride, with a few Beck bombshells like that above, but also a few big-duh moments like this one:

"I don't necessarily believe that [what Beck says] is reflective of his own personal politics–I don't even know if he has personal politics," says Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, a trade magazine devoted to talk radio. "I see him as a performer."

Writing about this same article, Think Progress's Zaid Jilani writes: 

This isn’t the first time Beck has suggested he isn’t as radically conservative as he seems. In February he told USA Weekend that “you’d have to be an idiot” to “not notice the temperature change” caused by global warming, and that he thinks mankind may play a signficant role in the phenomenon. Beck has previously described himself as “a rodeo clown” and conceded, “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”
 

Clearly, this is a man with sincere political views, who simply must be heard. Think of his as 21st century Howard Beale;  an outraged common man with a $32 million dollar paycheck sticking out of his ass.

 

 

Frank Rich Writes in today's NY Times:

Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too.

Read; The Rage Is Not About Health Care 

Related

Partisan Crashers: CNN Knows What It's Getting with Erickson

Make no mistake, CNN knows exactly what it's getting with Erickson — and it wants just that. Sam Feist's a spectacularly pompous ass, and his fingerprints are all over this hire; as much as I'd love to wind up eating my words, I can't imagine a scenario in which a blogger uprising from the left would make Feist and CNN reconsider putting Erickson on the air. In fact, they're probably enjoying the immediate rush of attention that they'd counted on all along.


Huffpo's comments are limited to 250 words. That just wasn't enough room, so I posted some of this there, and linked back here. I hope they post it. Obviously, you should read it before continuing.

Chaz,

As one of the more visible of those "left leaning" partisan crashers on Twitter, inundating CNN with "bloodthirsty outrage," I am amused by the sheer volume of words you have just expended, basically saying "Oh, those CNN boys will be boys?"

 Are you so cynical from your years helping these unwholesome whores, that you simply roll over and let them fail or succeed with their gambit without even a token cry of outrage or resistance?  Do you think you're educating us by telling us that they knew full well what the reaction would be to hiring Erickson? That was obvious from the first tweet from Sam Feist, and the cover fire he'd already arranged with his troopers like Ed Henry, who were armed with the corporate talking points before the words hit the first browser.

Your screed is precisely the kind of droll, oh-so-worldly, inside baseball acquiescence to what these concorporate tools do, that gave us Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Malkin in the first place. In 2005, FAIR captured Jon Klein admitting how predictable such muted, weak-kneed reactions from the left have become.

Almost as if bragging about how silly it is to not understand the ratings rationales of the big boys, you sound far too willing to just accept—with nary a word of objection—one of the more influential conservative voices on the web as a regular co-host, just before the most important midterm election of our lifetimes.  And If you think they  hired Erickson just to pilfer a few Fox ratings points, you are more politically naive than he is homophobic. 

Erickson is not "some blogger." Redstate, Human Events, and their parent, are linchpins of a very well oiled GOP message machine that is now cross-connected with a dizzying array of social networks that reach all the way down to the school board level.  All this new Ministry of Untruth needs is a visible minister up there in the pulpit each day.  By allowing CNN to put one of the functioning heads of that machine on TV every night is almost inviting electoral genocide in November. They could only get a more strident and dedicated mouth organ if Rush Limbaugh or David Koch took the job.

Your tone suggests you're almost looking forward to this, as if your media and country were a game, put out there for your snarky-good entertainment value. But on your blog, you also "kind of like Andrew Breitbart," another low-life partisan demagogue doing his level best to wreck democracy while he profits from selling the poison seeds of its demise. Perhaps it wasn't your intent, but that doesn't matter.  You're far too cavalier about sitting up on the hill, from a distance, and watching yet another preventable train wreck happen before our national eyes. My gut tells me you probably have health insurance.

CNN and it's legions of modestly talented pseudo-journalists, and the flaming blowhards like Breitbart and Erickson are not our biggest problem. It's the progressive hand wringers, and oh-so "in the know" insiders, blithely accepting the indignities forced upon us each day, who support and empower the evil that these men and women do to us, our spirit, our nation, and our future.

Instead of pretending you know so much about what motivates the people who once put food in your mouth, why don't you turn your skilled pen toward writing something that exposes what they do—in detail—so others are better armed to combat them, now, and in the future.

You may really enjoy this media meltdown, sliding another steaming heap of corporate re-manufactured slime another few feet down our throats each week.  But some of us have had more than enough of it.

 

I have to wonder how the Founders would have regarded power like Roger Ailes now has.

He has a security detail (not just a body guard). Now, why would a simple journalist, just telling the truth, need a small army to protect him. Got RPG?

Face it, folks. The first amendment was not meant to protect organized sedition of our nation. We need some serious rethink. Especially now that the Robert's court is doing its best to give these gangsters even more power than they've ever had.

Rupert Murdoch: the king of media paradoxes

Of course, Murdoch, through Ailes, a former Nixon aide, has effectively polarized the political dialogue in this country, and Ailes knows the firestorms he systematically sets off. He has become so paranoid about his personal safety that his daily trek to work from Westchester County is fortified by a security force sizable enough for an Arab potentate (Murdoch, by contrast, often walks to work by himself).

Related

The Twilight of the Elites — Chris L Hayes (for Time)

An Ethically-Challenged Capital City?

 

 

 


 

Driven to desperation by the actions of the vicious terrorist Markos Moulitsas, often likened to the infamous death panel inventor, Carlos the Jackal, agent Jack Bauer rigs up an explosive "Uber Rendition Vest (URV)," as ordered by his CTU Commander, Liz Cheney. 

 

Immediately after photo was taken, Bauer triggers the URV, and tosses Satan into some sort of pressure chamber, and the actual rendering begins.

 

The result was not a pretty picture…

 

Backstory

Fox’s 24 Casts “Markos” as a Terrorist

Please do sign-up for this

So you get all the hilarity of their planning missives, as Michael P. Leahy lures all the suckers into one big marketing tent for his goofy Saul Alinsky books with their make-believe history.

Oh, and it may also help screw up AFP/David Koch's bus-buying and booking plans for the big event, too.

From March 9 through March 31 Freedom Loving Tea Party activists
will be traveling to Washington DC to HELP STOP Obamacare.
We need YOUR HELP. If you would like more information, please
fill out the form below and we will be in touch ASAP about how
you can help. THANK YOU! — Michael P. Leahy (#tcot Founder)

Take the Town Halls to Washington.

 

I can't wait to see all 85 gazillion billion trillion Teapartiers all assembled on one block.