Faux News: The Cult of Ideology

Fox News, also known as Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda machine claims to be “Fair and Balanced”, which seems like the most ridiculous moniker for a news network like Fox. Fox and their biased reporting first came to my attention after watching Michael Moore’s documentary, Fahrenheit 911. Moore illuminated Fox’s role in prematurely reporting G.W. Bush’s controversial victory in the Florida 2000 elections.

To most people this would have gone unnoticed, but in retrospect, this premature reporting seems consistent with Fox’s attempt to influence our elections and further control the minds of their minions. Prior to Fox’s emergence as a conservative news network, most people relied upon CNN as their primary source of political news coverage. But over the past 10 years, Fox became a powerhouse by capitalizing on the conservative movement and shrewdly differentiating themselves from CNN and MSNBC and in the process developed a cult like following.

One of the attributes of a cult involves subtle brainwashing and propaganda, which is something that Fox has perfected. I was watching Bill O’Reilly’s show recently and he was delivering his usual dismissive and caustic commentary about the “Liberals, Bill Maher, Obama, etc.”, but I noticed that as he spoke, the background graphics changed like flash cards with every buzzword he delivered. With each point, he would look in the camera and say things like “Socialist Plot” and a picture of Bill Maher would appear. As he continued his buzzword laden rant, whenever he mentioned “Government Takeover” a picture of President Obama would appear.

To the avid Fox News fan, this would have been totally normal, but to a casual observer it was extremely odd to see this kind of blatant brainwashing taking place. I immediately thought of those strange 1960’s Sci-Fi movies where people were kidnapped and brainwashed by constantly bombarding them with mind control videos. Clearly, Fox is employing these types of psychological techniques to further invade the psyche of their already devout viewers. The objective of this type of programming is to create a chasm of ideology between conservatives and “others”.

By creating a cult of ideology, Fox is able to espouse their views and provide a forum for the GOP, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and their constituents to subvert the current President and provide legitimacy to asinine issues such as President Obama’s birth certificate and his faith. Fox News knows that it’s easy to convince believers who are ready to believe, but now their network is facing a backlash.

Fox’s ratings have declined over the past two years and they’ve seen the departure of their premier Right Wing Nut, Glenn Beck. Beck was forced out of his position due to declining ratings and outside pressure from activists on their advertisers to get rid of Beck and his polarizing show. Jon Stewart a frequent critic of Fox News, has surpassed Fox News in his ratings because he appeals to a more centric audience.

At the height of the 2008 Presidential election, Fox enjoyed phenomenal ratings by capitalizing on the anger of the Tea Party and the overall opposition to President Obama’s election. However, they have lost viewership because of their wholesale support of the Tea Party, including organizing events for the nascent party. As support for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party has quelled, Fox’s ratings have also fallen.

Young viewers are more likely to watch Jon Stewart’s tongue-in-cheek political commentary and lampooning of both parties as opposed to Fox’s rabid pontification of GOP ideology. Fox in their attempt to align themselves with the GOP has sealed their fate with the rise and fall of this party and has seriously damaged their credibility as an objective news organization that claims to be “Fair and Balanced”.

Barrington D. Ross



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