When I came to US few of my working colleagues, who are passionate supporters of the conservative party here recommended me to watch this news house for the true news of US. And I did tried, for one hour. Tricked by the word news in the name of the channel I was expecting news, instead, I got bunch of the commentaries, during the time when other news houses report the news. The commentaries I heard during that hour were very inflammatory and reminded me much on the rhetoric I heard in my country when different sides were trying to satanise the “other ones”.
I just finished watching the film called “Outfoxed”. Basically, it confirmed what I already seen with this Fox news house. This house is brainwashing propaganda source for the conservative party and they use fear as the main tool.
The way they present the current events in their shows reminds me so much on the brainwashing I was exposed in my ex-country; during the Communist regime, prior, during and after war.
Typicality of this kind of “presenting” the current events is marked by “Us against Them” attitude. “Our side” is portrayed as good and angelic, while anyone who do not support “our side” 100% is seen as the evil. In my country it was easy to make distinguishing between “good” and “bad” guys, the good one were belonging to a certain religion, the bad ones were everyone else.
Fox news has a problem, they cannot make such easy division. But they found the solution. I find quite ingenious how Fox News use of the “Them” term. They are truly masters in manipulation. Fox news will use very general, undefined, terms to describe the bad side. Those terms are so nicely picked that viewers can apply them to what ever “them” they like, even if the “them” is that annoying neighbour down the street. In essence the terms they use are so general that anyone who listens the Fox News can put what ever definition of the terms they thing it is appropriate, and it is irrelevant if those definitions are different from the intended definition of the news house itself, or if some other conservative supporter has completely different idea what those definitions should mean than you do. Everything goes. Truly good idea. I think Fox news did break the envelope in how to manipulate the population in the democratic society.
I have to say that one of the positive sides of going trough the war, for me, is attaining the “resistance” to such politic manipulations.
And if you wonder which news I follow to learn about events in USA, well, the ones from international news corporations who still have an option to just give you the news, without any brainwashing commentaries. After all, I prefer to use my own brain to form the conclusions. Although I have to say that, according to my boyfriend, there is a news house in USA that does the same. I usually listen that one when I’m at his place. ( http://www.kqed.org/ )
Anyway, when I was discussing this with my boyfriend (he’s an American), he said with the touch of the resignation that people in my country knew that news there are not to be trusted. Actually, that was not true. The fact is, that all those propaganda-news always play that good-evil card, making the audience fell good and victims of those evil “them”. That happens under the strongest dictator regime too. The catch is that dictators push too far. And only then, when the ruling establishment pushes too far, smarter part of the population realises that there is something wrong with the news. (There is another good manipulation on the side of the Fox news to combat this. They declared all smart and educated people in their country as evil. And people here are buying it. High education is seen as bad thing.)
For the majority of the population to sees this manipulations, takes much, much longer time. Basically, the country needs to be near the bottom or at the bottom for the majority of the population to say wait, they are lying, things are not as those news say. Then, usually some kind of uprising starts. The catch is that if the manipulation ruling establishment is well versed in the manipulations they will know how to use those events so that ruling establishment can leave the troublesome country with the smallest possible loss. I saw that happen, it always does happen in situations like this. Judging by the expertise Fox news shows in their manipulation, my guess is that they will successfully accomplish that task too, when the time comes.
Unfortunately, there are part of the population that never sees it. Usually because their personalities. Those are people who are always right and always good, regardless what they do in reality. For such people that division good-evil is essential for their psychological survival, and such people have to be good in their own eyes. Those are people who end up being fundamentalists or extremists.
But the most bitter part of all, is that when those manipulations reach the level Fox news now applies, there is no turning back. When the populations are so divided as they are now in US there is no turning back. Especially here when education and IQ are seen as something evil. I am still surprised how come that the ruling establishment do not see this, how come that they do not see that they are literally destroying their own country. My boyfriend argued that they do not care because they will be able to leave the country on time. Hmm, I doubt that, because I saw, trough the history of the human societies that, true, the rich rulers do manage to escape the main trouble, but they pay a lot in process, sometimes much more than average "peasant" from their country of the origin. It is not very likely that US ruling establishment will manage to do something different.