With the little breath remaining of the watchmen, they are fighting back. It’s hard; they’re already down but they’re not willing to call it quit. Their job is not finished.
To most Republicans, reality doesn’t matter; translation, news doesn’t either. I am not making that up. The latest survey reported that most Republicans trust words from the Trump’s administration more so than what the news media reports. Seriously! No kidding. I am too shy to make those things up. That should be cause for concern, at least to those (the rest of the Republican Party, the Independents and the Democrats) who care about the country. However, it’s a story for another day.
In this series, we set out to discuss how Roger Ailes, FOX’s former CEO, managed to drastically transform an industry whose primary duty was to watch over government’s officials; the industry is now nothing more than a propaganda machine, FOX unequivocally the voice of the Republican Party. Masqueraded as a news organization, Mr. Ailes has gradually shifted FOX’s audience to accept gossips, conspiracy theories as news. To that end, he had done an excellent job.
Today, it is near impossible to converse with a Republican individual – especially FOX’s consumers, aren’t they all? – and be able to apply logic in the conversation. The individual’s education level is unimportant; even people with a doctorate degree seems deprived of logical reasoning. You’d be luckier to go through the eye of a needle than to rationalize with a Republican as Jesus would say.
Despite having zombified the Republicans to accept suggestions and obey commands from FOX, Mr. Ailes is no genius; he has tapped into the goldmine of Republican characters: if it sounds good and can help destroy the other guy, it’s good enough. Roger uses a very simple approach: to lie, to lie some more, to re-enforce the lie, and re-enforce it some more until it becomes impossible to separate the lie from reality. Don’t believe me; watch FOX for a couple of hours, and let’s talk. Oh! Please bring a “logical brain” to the conversation.
Over the years, FOX’s audience has grown so accustomed and so hungry for that type of delivery they have become addicted and unable to move away even when the (conspiracy) theory is so blatantly wrong and ridiculous such was the case of Obama not being a US citizen but the gossips lived on in FOX’s environment for eight years.
FOX is without a doubt the pioneer of fake news but its hosts prefer to refer to the conspiracy theories as “news analysis”. For instance, the debate over Obama’s citizenship was initially framed by FOX’s hosts as: is it possible for someone’s parents (hint: baby Obama) to have registered the baby as US citizen by mistake? Well, let’s bring the experts to talk about it. Needless to bore you (to death) how many experts have filed through FOX’s programs over the years to dissect the “COMPLEX” issue of US citizenship. But suddenly, upon Obama exiting the Oval Office, the topic lost its importance. Gossips, intrigues, conspiracy theories – for FOX’s audience, no need to scratch your head over the meaning of all those big words, they all mean FAKE NEWS – are sellable items.
The problem is not so much FOX or Roger Ailes, it’s the impact his approach has had in the news industry. FOX is not a NEWS organization, that’s already established and proven many, many, many times but because its audience beg the differ, that creates a not so small problem for the news industry. How does the rest of the news industry compete with FOX? It is not a fair fight. Having recognized the problem, the news industry has been going through a series of changes it hopes would help undermine the “masqueraded as news” FOX’s conspiracy theories but it’s a very tall order; Mr. Ailes had given a very huge head start to FOX. But all hope is not lost.
Stay tuned for the next column to follow the news industry in the “do or die” fight against FOX and all fake news organizations.
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