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From Fox News To Rush Secrets Of The Rights Lie Machine


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http://www.salon.com/2013/06/15/from_fox_news_to_rush_secrets_of_the_rights_lie_machine/

 

 

 

One key factor that has altered campaign coverage comes from the corporate right in the form of “conservative” media. If there has been a vacuum created by the downsizing of newsrooms, conservative media have filled it with an insistent partisanship unseen in commercial news media for nearly a century.

 

The conservative media program has been a cornerstone of the Dollarocracy’s — the big money and corporate media election complex — political program since at least Lewis Powell’s 1971 memo. Initially, the work was largely about criticizing the news media for being unfair to conservative Republicans and having a liberal Democratic bias.

 

Although the actual research to support these claims was, to be generous, thin—one major book edited by Brent Bozell actually claimed corporations such as General Electric were “liberal” companies with an interest in anti-business journalism because they had made small donations to groups like the NAACP and the Audubon Society—the point was not to win academic arguments. The point of bashing the “liberal media,” as Republican National Committee chairman Rich Bond conceded in 1992, was to “work the refs” like a basketball coach does so that “maybe the ref will cut you a little slack” on the next play.

 

The ultimate aim of Dollarocracy was, as James Brian McPherson put it, “to destroy the professionalism that has defined journalism since the mid-twentieth century.”

 

The core problem was that professional journalism, to the extent it allowed editors and reporters some autonomy from the political and commercial values of owners, opened space for the legitimate presentation of news and perspectives beyond the range preferred by conservatives.

 

That professional journalism basically conveyed the debates and consensus of official sources and remained steadfastly within the ideological range of the leadership of the two main political parties—it never was sympathetic to the political left—was of no concern. It still gave coverage to policy positions on issues such as unions, public education, civil rights, progressive taxation, social security, and the environment that were thoroughly mainstream but anathema to the right.

 

Key to moving the political center of gravity to the right was getting the news media on the train, and that meant getting them to have a worldview more decidedly sympathetic to the needs of society’s owners. Newt Gingrich was blunt when he told media owners in 1995 that they needed to crack the whip on their newsrooms and have the news support the corporation’s politics. “Get your children to behave,” he demanded in a private meeting with media CEOs.

In the late 1980s, conservatives moved from criticism to participation with the aggressive creation of right-wing partisan media. The first decisive move came with AM talk radio. The elimination of the Fairness Doctrine (which required that a broadcaster provide two sides to controversial political issues) and the relaxation of ownership rules such that a handful of companies established vast empires opened the door to a tidal wave of hard-core right-wing talk-show hosts.

 

By the first decade of the century, the 257 talk stations owned by the five largest companies were airing over 2,500 hours of political talk weekly and well over 90 percent was decidedly right wing.

 

This isn’t your grandfather’s conservatism either. Although some conservative hosts, such as Michael Medved, can be quite thoughtful, just as conservative writers such as William Kristol will sometimes acknowledge when the movement has gone off the rails, the realists are in the minority.

 

For a huge portion of contemporary conservative media, the broadcast begins and ends with the fear card, and it is often played in extraordinarily incendiary ways. Sure, some of the radio ranting comes from lightweights who are only trying to fill the three hours on the all-talk affiliate in St. Louis or Minneapolis. But the most effective purveyors of the venom are gifted and charismatic figures, such as Glenn Beck and Michael Levin, whose fire-and-brimstone moralizing is matched only by their willingness to bend the truth to support whatever argument they’ve decided to make that day.

 

Across large swatches of America, and most rural areas where little journalism remains, right-wing talk radio is arguably the leading source of political information

 

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One key factor that has altered campaign coverage comes from the extreme left in the form of “mainstream” media. If there has been a vacuum created by the downsizing of newsrooms, liberal media have filled it with an insistent partisanship unseen in commercial news media for nearly a century.

 

The liberal media program has been a cornerstone of the Dollarocracy’s — the big union and libweal media election complex — political program since at least Lewis Powell’s 1971 memo. Initially, the work was largely about criticizing the news media for being unbiased.

 

Although the actual research to support these claims was, to be generous, thin—one major book edited by Brent Bozell actually documented how corporations such as General Electric were “liberal” companies with an interest in anti-business journalism because they had made donations to groups like the NAACP and the Audubon Society—the point was to win academic arguments. The point of bashing the “liberal media,” as Republican National Committee chairman Rich Bond conceded in 1992, was to “expose the refs” like a basketball coach does so that “maybe the ref will call fairly” on the next play.

 

The ultimate aim of Dollarocracy was, as James Brian McPherson put it, “to destroy the professionalism that has defined journalism since the mid-twentieth century.”

 

The core problem was that professional journalism, to the extent it allowed editors and reporters some autonomy from the political and commercial values of owners, opened space for the legitimate presentation of news and perspectives beyond the range preferred by liberals.

 

That professional journalism basically conveyed the debates and consensus of official sources and remained steadfastly within the ideological range of the leadership of the two main political parties—it never was sympathetic to the political right—was of no concern. It always gave coverage to policy positions on issues such as unions, public education, civil rights, progressive taxation, social security, and the environment that were thoroughly mainstream but ignored to the right.

 

Key to moving the political center of gravity to the left was getting the news media on the train, and that meant getting them to have a worldview more decidedly sympathetic to the needs of society’s fringe elements. George Sorros was blunt when he told media owners in 1995 that they needed to crack the whip on their newsrooms and have the news support the liberal politics. “Get your children to behave,” he demanded in a private meeting with media CEOs.

 

In the late 1980s, liberals moved from criticism to participation with the aggressive creation of left-wing partisan media. The first decisive move came with Air America talk radio. The elimination of the Fairness Doctrine (which required that a broadcaster provide leftist sides to controversial political issues) and the relaxation of ownership rules such that a handful of companies established vast empires opened the door to a tidal wave of hard-core left-wing talk-show hosts.

 

By the first decade of the century, the 257 talk stations owned by the five largest companies were airing over 2,500 hours of political talk weekly and well over 90 percent was decidedly correct.

 

This isn’t your grandfather’s conservatism either. Although some liberal hosts, such as Michael Medved, can be quite thoughtful, just as liberal writers such as William Kristol will sometimes acknowledge when the movement has made another rational point, the realists are in the majority.

 

For a huge portion of contemporary liberal media, the broadcast begins and ends with the race card, and it is often played in extraordinarily incendiary ways. Sure, some of the radio ranting comes from lightweights who are only trying to fill the three hours on the all-talk affiliate in St. Louis or Minneapolis. But the most effective purveyors of the venom are gifted and charismatic figures, such as Alan Colmes and Ed Schultz, whose fire-and-brimstone moralizing is matched only by their willingness to bend the truth to support whatever argument they’ve decided to make that day.

 

Thankfully, across large swatches of America, and most rural areas where true journalism remains, right-wing talk radio is arguably the leading source of political information

 

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Across large swatches of America, and most rural areas where little journalism remains, right-wing talk radio is arguably the leading source of political information.

But in the mean time...on a TV she bought at Walmart, (where George Zimmerman once worked) Sarah Palin simultaneously watched Fox News about global warming caused by Israel and the effect it has on the peace loving Palestinian people, while she read a article on gun control (and day dreamed about what has a greater impact...same sex marriage or the war on women) as she ate a Chick-Fil-A sandwich... washing it down with a 64 oz Coke, that she bought at a Koch Brothers franchise, right next to the Catholic Church (where the local Tea party meets) which was built where a old growth forest use to be that the Indians used for burying their dead and as a center for redistributing the wealth of the deceased until White Christian European males (who Mitt Romney is a direct descendant of) came and stole their land and planted it with genetically altered crops, than polluted it and never paid enough taxes on it because they were rich and took advantage of the Bush tax cuts.

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