Thursday, November 15, 2007

The latest suck from Faux News

Robert Greenwald has documented the atrocities:

Whoring for Rudy G also:

Of all the allegations contained in former ReganBooks Publisher Judith Regan's lawsuit against her one-time employers at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the most explosive is the first. Regan charges that News Corp. executives wanted to destroy her reputation because she knew too much about her ex-boyfriend, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, and that what she knew could be harmful to the presidential hopes of Rudy Giuliani -- whom she depicts as the preferred candidate of News Corp. and its subsidiary, Fox News. According to Regan's suit, "This smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.'s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani's presidential ambitions."

I had a conversation yesterday with a hard-boiled conservative acolyte who noted his concern about a Clinton presidency as the discussion had turned to wiretapping Americans. This is what he wrote, when I asked him why he favored government surveillance for "terrorists" and didn't realize he had been caught in the sweeping net:

Actually yes, I have a few things to hide....

My offshore bank accounts when Hellory tries to take away all of my assets to redistrbute; My guns when Hellory tries to remove the 2nd Amendment. My medical information when Hellory decides I am not capable of choosing who my medical provider is; my internet and radio, when Hellory decides I should not read or listen to what I want; my voting record when Hellory decides I need to be "re-educated" becuase I prefer to think for myself.

Leaving aside the rhetorically failing ad hominem bastardization of her name (as well as most of the other paranoid drivel), I wanted to inquire as to the lack of concern for Dick Cheney's expansion of the unitary executive concept that lay at the heart of his paranoia, but chose instead to reassure him that nobody was going to be taking his guns away. (That right-wing myth gets trotted out every four years, have you noticed?)

He backtracked, responding that the Washington Post was no honest source of information.

Yes, a denizen of Fox News questioned the reliability of the nation's capital's most respected newspaper. But please note the Mukasey-tortured logic inherent in this conversation: how powerfully dishonest must a person be to believe that Hillary Clinton is going to take away their guns, yet faced with the evidence that the Bush administration has been wiretapping them, refuse to believe THAT?

I mean, "monumentally stupid" just seems too mild a description. Yet that is the precise finding of the research that reveals FOX news viewers are the most uninformed in America:

The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland conducted a thorough study of public knowledge and attitudes about current events and the war on terrorism. Researchers found that the public’s mistaken impressions of three facets of U.S. foreign policy — discovery of alleged WMD in Iraq, alleged Iraqi involvement in 9/11, and international support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq — helped fuel support for the war.

While the PIPA study concluded that most Americans (over 60%) held at least one of these mistaken impressions, the researchers also concluded that Americans’ opinions were shaped in large part by which news outlet they relied upon to receive their information.

As the researchers explained in their report, “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news. Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions. Those who receive most of their news from NPR or PBS are less likely to have misperceptions. These variations cannot simply be explained as a result of differences in the demographic characteristics of each audience, because these variations can also be found when comparing the demographic subgroups of each audience.”

Almost shocking was the extent to which Fox News viewers were mistaken. Those who relied on the conservative network for news, PIPA reported, were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions. In the audience for NPR/PBS, however, there was an overwhelming majority who did not have any of the three misperceptions, and hardly any had all three.”

You know, this is really embarrassing. For the United States of America, I'm talking.

What do you suppose we ought to do about the willful and arrogant ignorance of the conservatives among us? Or would anything we might do be the equivalent of teaching a pig to sing?

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