Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Fox News is Disgusting

Full disclosure: I am not currently a Ron Paul supporter. Nor am I a registered Republicrat or Democan. Moreover, my readers will know that I hardly discuss politics here and that’s largely because I see politics as a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of activity, and talk is particularly cheap in that domain. However, being that I DO blog about media, and being that I do think Ron Paul is an intelligent man worthy of respect, the treatment he received on Fox News is worth objecting to. Over on the Daily Paul, there is a video post of an interview with some ass from Fox News and Ron Paul. I think my favorite part is when the journalist asks “I want to remain clear, you’re against taxes.” This is neither clarifying anything or even a reasonable representation of anything that Ron Paul had said up to that point. Either this journalist did no research before meeting Ron Paul, or he has an agenda set by Fox to obfuscate the positions of candidates that Fox does not approve of, or he’s an idiot. Whichever one it is, he should not be on television reporting the news.

By the way, I posted this under the “Advertising” section of the blog because that’s all the commercial news is anymore: advertising. Commercial news is news about sponsors delivered by public relations companies, shrill and inhumane examinations of personal tragedies, and propaganda for the owners’ agendas and the companies that pay their bills. CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, ((You’ll note that I will not link to these organizations, I’m so sick of them. And anyway they almost never link to their Internet sources.)) they don’t even get the facts remotely correct anymore, and their prioritization of entertainment and sensationalism over important facts is virtually surreal at this point. The new British Prime minister came into office today, but on CNN, one of the top articles is “Girl, 7, Says She’s Trapped in Boy’s Body.” Who the f**k cares! I hope she and her parents work that out, I do, but the world is at war.

McNeil/Leher, the BBC and CBC are responsible and thorough in what they cover and their allegiance is to the facts precisely because they are not funded primarily by commercial interests. If they want to do a story on the oil companies or MacDonald’s they don’t have to worry about those companies or their subsidiaries pulling their advertising. It’s clear to me that it’s the economic incentives and the system in place that allow for these informational distortion whirlpools to exist, but what I don’t know is how we get rid of them. Public policy is going to be incredibly hard to significantly change so long as the public debate is as vacuous as this:

“The immigration bill is amnesty. You can tell by looking at it.”

“No, no, it’s not amnesty. We wrote it and made sure it wasn’t”

“But it’s amnesty! I read it and that’s what I think. And amnesty won’t solve anything!”

“You see but it’s not amnesty because I just said that it wasn’t.”

Ironically, this one reason why I can’t support Ron Paul. His attitude that markets can solve everything is called into question by the very treatment he received on Fox. When commercial and private interests run the public airwaves and news, that interview (ignorant and politicized) is the kind of garbage you get fed to you. For what it’s worth I have BS in economics and I can tell you extreme Libertarians out there that markets do not always solve everything, and that is especially the case when information is not already transparent.

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