Fox News, the No Embarrassment Zone

fox news pollSome of my fellow lefties are high-fiving each other over a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll that says Fox News viewers know less about current events that people who don’t watch any news.

Bless their hearts. The lefties think the survey will abash “Faux News.”

Fox News is a no embarrassment zone. I imagine most Fox fans will trash the poll as more “liberal elitism.” You know, left-wing, elitist, egghead college professors out to make God-fearing, patriotic regular Americans look bad.

Anyway, the survey is old news, according to the liberal media watchdog group, Media Matters.

MM says a half dozen other polls going back to 2003 show the more you watch Fox News, the less informed you are.

MM claims that the Fairleigh Dickinson survey is more proof that “misinforming people” is “one of the unique features that defines” Fox News.

I agree. So does my union buddy David Nickell, who teaches sociology at the community college where I teach history. But David warns: “The more people criticize Fox News, the more its viewers believe what Fox News tells them: ‘We are giving you the truth and the ‘liberal media’ [presumably including ‘liberal’ pollsters] is lying to you.’”

berry craigA fierce anti-intellectualism fires much of the Fox faithful. They’re not troubled by the serial goofs and gaffes of GOP presidential hopefuls like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry.

Hey, Fox fans don’t know – and don’t care — who’s president of “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” either. They “know” what really matters: President Obama is a Kenyan-born, closet Muslim-Marxist who hates America and loves One World Government.

Besides, Fox News isn’t really out to inform. Fox News is the Republican Party’s propaganda ministry. As such, it hearkens to the partisan press of early America .

Back then, papers preached the party line and shamelessly slanted the news. Unlike Fox News which claims to be “fair and balanced,” the partisan press made no pretense of objectivity.

Most old-time editors and publishers were party hacks of Federalist, Jeffersonian, National Republican, Whig, Democratic and Republican persuasions. Often as not, they flat lied in print to make sure their readers voted right.

Fox News isn’t about enlightening viewers either. It functions to help elect Republicans by pandering to the prejudices, stereotypes and conspiratorial fantasies of its viewers.

Berry CraigThe Fairleigh Dickinson survey ought to shame Fox News and its fans. Any other news network would be appalled at the Fairleigh Dickinson survey and would try to do something about it.

Fox News will stay the course. It will remain the GOP’s echo chamber and shill. The willingly misinformed will keep tuning in.

Berry Craig

Published by the LA Progressive on November 24, 2011
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About Berry Craig

Berry Craig is an emeritus professor of history at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah and a freelance writer. He is a member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1360, the recording secretary for the Western Kentucky Area Council, AFL-CIO, and the author of True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon and Burgoo, Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War, Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers and Hidden History of Western Kentucky. He is a native of Mayfield, Ky., where he lives with his wife of 33 years and their 20-year-old son.