Whoppers as Reality

February 13, 2011

One giant, DUH!
From Media Matters:

Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”

Scripted news coverage, not unique to Winston Smith.

(Illustration found here).

Anyone who pays any attention to Fox News and has any sense at all knows this already: “It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”

And apparently, the viewing public does comprehend.
According to Public Policy Polling, Fox’s viewer-ship has greatly declined in the past year, and PBS is now the most trusted news operation in the US.
Liars are in their lairs.

Madness in media is apparently on the upswing and the right-wing is the nastiest of the bunch.
In a study by Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences the use of “outrage talk” is getting more and more prevalent in recent years.
Via Science 2.0:

The term ‘outrage talk’ refers to a form of political discourse involving efforts to provoke visceral responses, such as anger, righteousness, fear or moral indignation, through the use of over-generalizations, sensationalism, misleading information, ad hominem attacks and partial truths about opponents.
If you are left wing, think Michael Savage.
If you are right wing, think Keith Olbermann.

“Our data indicate that the right uses decidedly more outrage speech than the left.
Taken as a whole, liberal content is quite nasty in character, following the outrage model of emotional, dramatic and judgment-laden speech.
Conservatives, however, are even nastier.”

It isn’t just television and radio.
They found outrage language is now common among the nation’s leading newspaper columnists also.
But is it different now, or do older people in journalism and the population simply romanticize the past? Sobieraj and Berry studied 10 widely syndicated columnists during 10-week periods in both 1955 and 1975. They chose these dates to see if the tumultuous period of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War protests and the Watergate scandal led to greater outrage in newspapers at that time.
They found the answer was no.
“Outrage is virtually absent from both the 1955 and the 1975 columns, in contrast to the columns of 2009 which contain, on average, nearly six instances of outrage per column,” said the Tufts scholars.
“The titans of American journalism in 1955 and 1975 remained restrained in their language despite the impassioned politics of protest.”

One major factor not part of the past: There was no nasty, lying, rumor-mongering Fox News, the direct and biggest outrage outlet in all of history.

Watch and listen to Mississippi asshole Haley Barbour on Fox News this morning and get way-outraged.
Or maybe watch Hadley elucidate and be tickled.

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