Conservative historian Bruce Bartlett, whose specialty is supply-side economics and who served in Reagan and Bush-41 administrations, has collected the results of numerous studies about Fox News and its role in American politics.
The subject is more important than ever, since Fox is rapidly transforming itself from a news agency with a strong conservative bent to an active and powerful force in furthering a Far Right agenda. It staggers the imagination that a “fair and balanced” news agency (as it likes to label itself) would so impose itself on the political system that it not only influences the rules of political debate but reserves for itself the right to decide who gets to be in the debate. Surely this is hubris run amok.
Of all the facts Bartlett records, what most fascinates me is that regular viewers of Fox News are significantly more. . .how can I say this delicately?. . .well, they’re just more ignorant of current events than anyone else. (I’m happy to note that listeners to public radio are the most well-informed, but that’ tale for another day.)
One needn’t pay very extensive attention to Fox to learn quickly that they put a megaphone to any rumor that is anti-Obama, without spending a moment to do any fact-checking. And, the other side of the coin, the folks at Fox are barely able to hint at anything that turns out well for Obama. How many times did they tell us that Obama was taking a trip to India that would cost $200,000,000 each day and occupy one-third of the U.S. navy? How many times did they tell us that Obamacare was already beginning its “death spiral,” without mentioning that people were signing up by the millions?
No agency — even if it doesn’t claim to be a news source — has a moral right to knowingly spread lies and suppress truth.
As an Evangelical Christian, I cannot begin to express my sadness that so many conservative Christians idolize folks like Fox “stars” O’Reilly, Kelly, Hannity and former Fox folk like Limbaugh and Beck. These people are the enemies of reality. How very sad. . .