There is only Info-tainment in service of a political agenda. Wherever you think you wanna be on the standard spectrum, you can find a thousand "news" outlets to help you confirm your bias. There are still some places you can go to get fairly old-school, evenhanded reporting - Christian Science Monitor, McClatchey, AP (kinda), et al - but they're mostly pretty boring. And there's the problem as I see it. We've come to see straight up news as boring. We want spice; a little salsa. And a really smart guy like Roger Ailes knows exactly how to give it to us.
By Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone
To watch even a day of Fox News – the anger, the bombast, the virulent paranoid streak, the unending appeals to white resentment, the reporting that’s held to the same standard of evidence as a late- October attack ad – is to see a refraction of its founder, one of the most skilled and fearsome operatives in the history of the Republican Party. As a political consultant, Ailes repackaged Richard Nixon for television in 1968, papered over Ronald Reagan’s budding Alzheimer’s in 1984, shamelessly stoked racial fears to elect George H.W. Bush in 1988, and waged a secret campaign on behalf of Big Tobacco to derail health care reform in 1993. "He was the premier guy in the business," says former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins. "He was our Michelangelo."Lots of great take-aways in this thing, but I think my favorite is the term "liberal bigots". It has a great ring to it, and captures the perfect combination of conservative self-loathing, white-bread aggrievement, and guilty projection.
Dwell on this for a moment: A “news” network controlled by a GOP operative who had spent decades shaping just such political narratives – including those that helped elect the candidate’s father – declared George W. Bush the victor based on the analysis of a man who had proclaimed himself loyal to Bush over the facts. “Of everything that happened on election night, this was the most important in impact,” Rep. Henry Waxman said at the time. “It immeasurably helped George Bush maintain the idea in people’s minds that he was the man who won the election.”And the Big One: DumFux News has become the model, so it probably just gets weirder for a good long while.