How Fox Brainwashed Conservative America | THE POLITICUS

How Fox Brainwashed Conservative America

Rupert Murdoch is the “father” of Fox and instead of following in his father’s reporter/editor footsteps of a valid media source in Australia, Rupert sought out the seedier side of society when he created a series of trashy tabloids in the U.K. in 1969. While he did maintain control of a few publications in his homeland of Australia as well as New Zealand, he had his “eye on the prize” to make money appealing to the lower IQ demographics. As Murdoch’s success continued he also invested in a number of digital publications and continued to expand his version of reporting.

The U.S. market was out of reach for Rupert, as the media was held to a different truth reporting standard. That completely changed in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan vetoed the “Fairness Doctrine Bill”. While his idea was that news reporting agencies should report “opposing views”, this term also meant creating anything that they wanted and calling it “news” and since the media telecommunications companies were required to have FCC licenses, their goal was to have the ability to craft whatever information they desired and defend it under the First Amendment.

In 1996 Murdoch launched Fox News as part of the cable network offerings, operating under the Fox Entertainment Group umbrella name. Murdoch knew that there was a much larger American audience that would buy into everything from the extreme conservative slanted “opinions” packaged as news to outright conspiracy theories.

Apparently, Murdoch was completely correct in his insight, as the so-called “news channel” portended to offer alternative views, spewing that the standard media was biased towards liberal opinions. This was the first of a long list of claims that didn’t stand up to fact checkers or statistics.


Conservatives Believe More News Lies than Liberals

This is not just an opinionated statement, it is backed up with scientific studies. Many of us may have asked why our uncle, father, cousins or associates buy-into the false narratives of Fox. In a previous article that I wrote entitled: “”, I included:

“Conservatives and the extreme left share one thing in common: they live in a bubble of denial and they will believe anything, no matter how bizarre, that appeals to their beliefs. Now this may sound like a glove being thrown down, but let’s address conservatives first. In an article by which stated:

“An interesting study by found that conservatives are more receptive to believing false negative information regarding hazards (relative to benefits) than liberals. This is called negatively- credulity. The study was covered in The Atlantic by Olga Khazan in “.”

It should be noted that the purveyors of these foreign and domestic fake news sites admitted that they couldn’t do the same thing with standard liberals as they were caught when they “fact checked”.

Viewers of Fox often rant the same rhetoric regarding the popularity of the channel. The truth is that those that are conservative watch only Fox, whereas people of middle to liberal ideologies watch a combination of channels. If the latter group watched only one channel it would represent around 75% of the viewers as opposed to the 25% or so that watch Fox.

While people of all ideologies enjoy hearing validation of their personal beliefs, conservatives are the least likely to want to hear anything that contradicts them. There is also a kind of brainwashing aspect that occurs in hearing a lie repeated over and over again. I address this topic in my : Supporting Trump: The Psychology of the Lie

“To find out why so many lies have become not only acceptable but completely believable by the Trump supporters, you have to delve into how our brains process lies. This is explained in a :

‘Upon first hearing a lie, your brain must accept it as truth. Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert has theorized that to do the work of separating truth and lies, our brains first must accept the false statement as if it were true; otherwise, it’s impossible to engage with it. ‘For instance, if someone were to tell us — hypothetically, of course — that there had been serious voter fraud in Virginia during the presidential election, we must for a fraction of a second accept that fraud did, in fact, take place,” [psychologist, Maria] Konnikova explains. ‘Only then do we take the second step, either completing the mental certification process (yes, fraud!) or rejecting it (what? no way).’

If you hear a lie often enough, it starts to sound true. According to what’s called the “illusory truth effect,” the more you hear a false statement, the truer it starts to sound. This is even true when you should know better. In , researchers showed that if people repeated the phrase ‘The Atlantic Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth’ enough times, the Atlantic Ocean did indeed begin to seem like the largest ocean on Earth.’

‘A constant stream of lies becomes so mentally taxing that your brain gives up. ‘It’s called cognitive load,’ Konnikova writes, meaning that “our limited cognitive resources are overburdened.’ Lie detection is difficult work, and your brain can only handle so much.’”


How Do They Get Away With It?

A very important aspect to take note of is that all news channels have some percentage of questionable reporting, but Fox tops the charts with the least truthful of all. In my same : Supporting Trump: The Psychology of the Lie, I include statistics for how bad Fox really is and that they average only around 18% truth in reporting:

“Over the passage of time, a majority of conservatives turned to Fox as their primary channel of choice, even though those behind the reporting were deliberately spinning information into lies.

This is shows in a :

· 17 (10%)(17)

· 20 (12%)(20)

· 31 (18%)(31)

· 35 (21%)(35)

· 49 (29%)(49)

· 16 (10%)(16)

When presented with this type of fact checking information, conservatives that view Fox will not only deny, but try to relate that other news program lie more and spin the information to a liberal slant. The same Politifact study listed above shows that this is simply not true.

The problem with Fox is that it has devoted many years to the consistent brainwashing techniques that have historically been shown to work. This was seen in real-life action during the 2016 Presidential campaign, when Trump began to oppose any news reporting that he didn’t like, calling it “fake news”. This rhetoric is a throwback to the same ideology that Hitler used when attempting to demean the German news reporting, calling it: ‘lügenpresse’ (false news). Of course, historians also know that number 6 of the 14 characteristics of fascism is to “control the media” and in Germany, as well as other fascist regimes, this led to government controlled news sources that reported only approved information.


The “Fox Effect”

In 2016, Forbes published an on this topic. They included the following information:

“In 2012, a Fairleigh Dickinson University survey reported that Fox News viewers were less informed about current events than people who didn’t follow the news at all. The survey had asked current events questions like ‘Which party has the most seats in the House of Representatives?’ and also asked what source of news people followed. The Fox viewers’ current events scores were in the basement. This finding was immediately trumpeted by the liberal media — by Fox, not so much — and has since become known as the Fox News effect. It conjures the image of Fox News as a black hole that sucks facts out of viewers’ heads.”

Image Source: Forbes

The article continued to say:

“Stereotypes aside, it’s not that Fox News viewers live in a bubble and get all their news from that one source. The average Fox viewer listed 4.5 other source of news they regularly followed. Many also got news from the major broadcast networks, Facebook, and the liberal news channel MSNBC. Nevertheless, those who listed Fox News as one of their news sources had overall lower levels of knowledge on the factual questions. Fox viewers were less likely to know the capital of Canada, the religion of the Dalai Lama, or the size of the Federal budget. They couldn’t find South Carolina on map or name the second digit of pi.”


The Good News: Fox is Plummeting in Popularity

Over the last few years Fox has experienced a series of scandals and embarrassments including sexual harassment within high level ranks and lead reporters that have held a history of spousal abuse. It is a sad statement that even when shown to be “guilty”, these situations do not affect some of the Fox viewer attitudes about the channel.

However, some Fox viewers are beginning to see that they are being sold a “bill of goods” as media sources in the U.S. and around the world are reporting identical stories and Fox is the only one to spin them to something totally different or worse, not report them at all. The most recent example of this condition has been during the RussiaGate investigation by Robert Mueller and his team. On the day of the indictments of Trump associates Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, news sources were including this as a major story. Fox, on the other hand, didn’t bother to report much of it and instead had stories on “”.

Fox is no longer in the number one slot for the most viewed and instead, it is being replaced by MSNBC. This was by the Independent.co.uk with the U.S. Nielsen stats. It seems that Fox viewers are beginning to recognize that they are being duped. When people of all demographics have updates on stories that are pertinent to their lives and the Fox viewers have “no clue”, it’s time to make a change.



was originally published in on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Issue: 

Free Tagging: