You’d think a thing like FOX couldn’t happen in the United States. Although they’re free to be crazy and free to support the Republican Party, you’d think Americans would be too smart to fall for the made-up outrages, dishonest reporting and relentless appeal to our meaner nature. Unfortunately, many Americans are not as smart as we used to assume: a huge swath of Americans (especially elderly white Southerners) believe FOX is just another news media outlet. They aren’t.
What is FOX? Pensitore Review pulled no punches in answering that question back in 2009:
FOX News is indisputably the most popular cable news channel. And yet in 13 years, Fox has never broken a story. That’s okay, because it is not in the news business. It is in the news-shaping business. Its programming is an admixture of right-wing propaganda and fear-porn for feeble-minded paranoiacs, served up by spokesmodels who have no clue what they are reading.
Whew! Could that be true? I report/You decide:
Nixon White House aide Roger Ailes in the 1970′s created fake news stories that favored President Nixon. He shipped these pre-mixed video packages to TV stations around the country at the expense of rightwing extremist Joseph Coors. It was all b.s. all the time, but the TV stations, pretending they had a correspondent in Washington, ran this propaganda as straight news. Now that Ailes runs FOX News, his goals are the same: to spread republicanism by altering the news.
- FOX is a “relentless agenda-driven 24 hour news opinion propaganda delivery system” ~Jon Stewart
- “They’re a Republican brand. They’re an extension of the Republican Party with some exceptions” ~Larry King
- ”[Fox is] widely viewed as a part of the Republican Party: take their talking points and put them on the air, take their opposition research and put it on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news organization like CNN is.” ~Anita Dunn
There are thousands of examples of FOX not just “leaning” in a particular direction on an issue… but actively changing around the words and meanings of interviews to make them seem to say the opposite of what the person interviewed actually said; of lies about what happened; of incorrect graphics…for example, calling Congressman Mark Foley a Democrat when he got caught in gay chatter with pages and calling Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords a Republican when there was an outpouring of sympathy for her after she got shot.
FOX took a sparsely-attended tea-party rally in Washington and spliced in video of a heavily-attended event of an entirely different nature from months earlier.
FOX has gotten caught using image manipulation software to edit the appearance of people they don’t like to make them appear more sinister.
FOX alters poll results to mislead its viewers; in one case, their massacre of a Rasmussen poll on climate change ended up with a poll number of 120%–mathematically impossible, of course, except in FOX world.
On 4-24-09… White House correspondent Wendell Goler cropped a comment by Obama and took it out of context — effectively reversing the statement’s meaning — to falsely suggest that Obama supports creating a health care system “like the European countries.”
A 2010 Ohio State University study of public misperceptions about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” found that viewers who relied on Fox News were 66% more likely to believe incorrect rumors than those with “low reliance” on Fox News ~Wikipedia
A study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes showed 67% of Fox viewers believed that the “U.S. has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization” (He wasn’t. He hated, feared and banned them, but you’d never know that by watching FOX).
Wait, it gets worse: For all other networks and news sources, the MORE you watch them, the MORE you know about the actual facts. Those who view CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, & NPR the MOST, have the BEST grasp of the FACTS. With FOX it – is- the – opposite!! Which is what gave birth to the mocking slogan: THE MORE YOU WATCH FOX, THE LESS YOU KNOW.
In the summer of 2003, 34% of Americans who did not follow the news very closely believed evidence had been found that linked Iraq with al Qaeda before the U.S. invasion. 42% of people who were moderate consumers of FOX news had that opinion. Among those who “watched FOX News very closely” … that number was 80% !! ~Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 118, #4 THE MORE YOU WATCH FOX, THE LESS YOU KNOW!
FOX News’ Happening Now cropped clips of Obama from an April 3 speech in France to falsely suggest that Obama only criticized the United States. In doing so, Happening Now joined conservative commentators and Fox News hosts who have cropped or misrepresented Obama’s overseas remarks to falsely suggest, in the words of host Sean Hannity, that Obama was “blam[ing] America first” and, more broadly, that Obama’s earlier overseas trip constituted an “apology tour.”
Fox News presented a clip of Joe Biden criticizing John McCain’s “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” statement…. Problem is, this was something Biden was QUOTING…from SIX MONTHS EARLIER… but it was edited by FOX to make it seem that Biden was stating it as his own opinion. The bogus clip was introduced by Live Desk co-host Martha MacCallum as comments Biden had made in interviews THIS WEEKEND.
FOX pushed the bogus stat that cap-and-trade would cost “every American family $1,761 annually.” PolitiFact.com has labeled the statistic false and noted that the talking point has been pushed by Republicans.
On 9/30/09 FOX Gregg Jarrett said on the air that the Obama Department of Justice “thinks it’s OK to intimidate white people, not OK to intimidate black people at the polls.”
”If we went back … to the fall of 2008, to the campaign, that was a time this country was in two wars that we had a financial collapse probably more significant than any financial collapse since the Great Depression. If you were a Fox News viewer in the fall election what you would have seen were that the biggest stories and the biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and a something called ACORN.” ~Anita Dunn
A 2011 Kaiser Family Foundation survey on U.S. misconceptions about health care reform found that Fox News viewers scored lower for factual knowledge than other news viewers.