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Everyone knows that Fox News is a delivery vehicle for rightist propaganda and disinformation. But did you also know that Fox News provides an object lesson on how to talk to viewers of Fox News (who would know better)? It requires a unique style of communication that has more in common with childrens' books than with a mature dialogue of substance.

Take for example...

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Let's set aside the tragic and senseless loss of a perfectly good cartoon beer. That, while unfortunate, could happen to anyone. I myself had an imaginary Klondike Bar get away from me last week. But there are more profound matters in evidence here.

In this video, Jenna Lee, an anchor on the Fox Business Network, employs a touch screen monitor to illustrate the complexities of the economy. Many television journalists use this technology, but most endeavor to have it enhance their presentation. They will display charts or other graphic objects and, through juxtaposition and visual association, they strive to clarify their reporting and add to their commentary.

Fox News, however, has different needs. They know that they cannot burden their enfeebled fan base with difficult facts and data. The Fox method is not to inform, but to simplify, so that even the most intellectually challenged viewer can grasp at least part of the report.

Notice how Lee takes advantage of the expensive video display she is using. When she gets to the part of her script that discusses the cost of cookies, she pulls a virtual cookie from her virtual shopping cart and enlarges it so that everyone watching at home knows precisely what she is talking about. Look at that, it's a cookie! She does the same with the uncooperative bottle of beer. Sadly, she fails with the jar of peanut butter, so I wonder what the confounded home viewers must have thought without their visual aid. And when her screen froze I imagined something similar occurring in the brains of the audience.

On other TV news networks they generally presume that their audience knows what a cookie looks like and that explicit visual clues would be superfluous. But on Fox, no such presumptions are employed, and for good reason. Considering the fact that their audience still believes that President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim who advocates euthanasia for the elderly, and that Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber are statesmen, Fox really has to gear their programming to the toddler demographic.

This is another explanation for the fierce loyalty of Fox News viewers. Where else can they get remedial news broadcasts that permit them to feel adequate and capable of (mis)understanding current events all by themselves?

Originally posted to KingOneEye on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:17 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The GOP's Fox News problem (11+ / 0-)

    The tension between the business interests of the conservative-industrial-complex and the Republican party is real. There is a huge amount of money to be made by selling to a segment of the country that alienates the critical middle that every party needs to occupy to remain a national force. And so the success of the movement risks the failure of the party. And the failure of the party - its permanent isolation from power - only fuels the resentment and alienation that make so much moolah.

    This is the GOP's Fox problem. You ride that fox; it eats you in the end.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:24:04 PM PDT

  •  "That happens sometimes" (3+ / 0-)

    "Don't you just hate when that happens?"

    What an idiot

    If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

    by tacklelady on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:38:11 PM PDT

  •  Whereas at primary and secondary school there (4+ / 0-)

    was always one bully, or a few, whose entire purpose for living was to mock, to criticize, to start rumors, to make people fear them. It was most often an attempt to get attention, be the one every one knew about and spoke about. Some people would cower in their shadow, and try to be this persons friend, but the well adjusted ones knew this was a person with issues and some tried to help, but most avoided.
    In civil society these type of people can eventually come around, as it is counter-productive in any co-operative group for one person to 'stand over', or try to spoil anything that is trying to be achieved through this type of attitude, through fear.

    Foxaganda hires these type of people and encourages them. It is a channel of bullies who see only that criticism and making people live in fear gets you ratings.
    I had the misfortune today of having Glenn Beck playing in the cab for 1/2 an hour on the way to the hotel. I asked the driver to leave it on as I have just finished his "Common Sense" book. Glenn is a walking contradiction who plays by the rules of the manipulative bully. Claiming on the radio that political parties are like going to McDonalds with a broken drive through. Both the GOP and the Democratic party are the same McDonalds, or something like that. I guess your point about Kiddy TV could be applied to this example. And I wonder what McDonalds thinks about this anecdote.
    BTW I still haven't really figured out what he was talking about only that he is trying to demonize both parties, taint them with the same brush. In other words they messed up, Fox that is, and now want to make sure both sides are considered equally responsible for what is happening right now to America.
    Glenn Beck, Fox's resident anarchist.

    "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

    by Unenergy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:41:57 PM PDT

    •  Don't let Beck's disingenuous assault... (5+ / 0-)

      ...on both parties fool you. While he frequently says the problem is both, he never has anyone on his show that is anti-GOP - only anti-Dem.

      It is mask of fairness and balance that doesn't fit very well.

      btw, you read Common Sense??? What for? Was it the only thing in bathroom stall?

      ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••

      by KingOneEye on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:47:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope, I read it because I was considering (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingOneEye, trashablanca

        contrasting it with Barack Obama's "Dreams from my Father."
        One lifted the spirit and taught me things about myself, episodes that paralleled things which have happened in my life. That has created a logical basis for why America is the way it is.
        The other pretends to analyse historical events and continuously raises fake issues to try to motivate people to quite simply rebel without a cause.

        My reason for reading, I have to try to understand why completely ordinary people, like those protesting the discussion on health care, believe what they are doing is sensible when it quite clearly is not. Beck's book has taught me how a snake oil salesman is able to use one genuine historical event to get you to agree with an outrageous proposal.

        On the other hand Barack Obama:

        "The Painting depicts a harpist, ...a woman who at first glance appears to be sitting atop a great mountain. Until you take a closer look and see that the woman is bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single string. Your eye is then drawn down to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and depravation."
        "It is this world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folk's greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere... That's the world! On which hope sits!"
        "And yet consider once again the painting before us. Hope! Like Hannah, that harpist is looking upwards, a few faint notes floating towards the heavens. She dares to hope...She has the make music...and praise God...on the one string...she has left!"

        Only in reading this did I understand what happened to demonize Reverend Wright was as wrong as anything that Foxaganda has ever done. That the network is there only to kill the laughter in childrens eyes. But that if you understand both sides of the equation, maybe it is possible to help people see the bigger picture.

        "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

        by Unenergy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:08:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you read any of the other books (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trashablanca, Unenergy

          on Beck's reading list?

          I've read pages of enthusiastic discussions on the Beckian message boards, but haven't had time to wade in myself to read any of his recommended stuff - it looks to be revisionist Christianist anti-liberal looney stuff.

          •  I am not interested. I read his book because I (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trashablanca, blue armadillo

            spent time with friends from Australia who are now living in Louisiana and whose American friends are very much in line with Beck's way of thinking. So I wanted to see what in fact the likes of Beck is offering. Because I don't believe people are that illogical without cause. So having read his book I understand what he is doing.
            Fox do it too.

            Its where here look at this example of something that went bad, went wrong, now hate this thing right now because it will happen to you.

            There are no personal anecdotes in Glenns book, and in fact I am not quite sure he in fact wrote everything contained within as the things he tries to get the reader to do read as the anarchists manifesto. Revolution is necessary he says, but gives no alternative or searches for any solutions.
            Very dangerous words to read for people who don't know any better.
            Plus I've decided to reject all the negativity anyway. I cancelled my Foxaganda, all my cable TV in Australia and am donating the monthly cable charges to a good cause. One that looks to make the world a better place pro-actively, not look for things which are wrong and for someone to blame for this.

            "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

            by Unenergy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:38:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, Beck is full of manufactured rage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and paranoia, but you are quite right that he offers absolutely no answers to anything.

              Good for you to get rid of the negativity - I try to monitor Beck and his mob but sometimes all that hate and frothing really gets to me.

              I've been worried about the Beckian influence for a long time...he is a dangerously muddled zealot with a big platform and frothing fans.

              I do hope the majority of Amricans can see through his insane act and realize his fans are as loony as he is.

              •  I've just been watching the Specter town hall (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blue armadillo

                and think that many of Becks talking points have caught on.
                It is relatively directionless outrage. I think that the Democratic leaders need to tap into it.
                Robert Greenwald just provided a few ideas where he said that like the fire department, the police department the profit motive in health care is counter intuitive to ensuring a good outcome - that is they make more money the sicker people are and the more coverage is denied.

                I don't know how to help Americans see the fabrications being presented as fact when so many media outlets are playing the same talking points. But I can see how frustrating it must be for people who want America to be a better place for everyone when you have the likes of Beck spewing a whole lot of negativity consistently and people believing it.

                "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

                by Unenergy on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 08:01:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  "whoa where did my beer go....? (4+ / 0-)

    Dont'cha just hate when that happens. Kind of summarizes how one should feel about Fox.

    Every second it is on the air - "Dont'cha just hate when that happens"

    When you get to a fork in the road - Take it ---- Yogi Berra

    by volleyboy1 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:47:22 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry maybe I'm sick (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, iowabosox, trashablanca

    but that kinda screamed sexual imagery to me.  Boobs and a d*ck waving at the "cookies." Anyone else, or do I need counseling?  

    -6.25 -5.3 Don't do the next best thing, do the best thing next.

    by dansk47 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:52:40 PM PDT

  •  Hey, don't forget (5+ / 0-)

    This is the station where the "Lincoln-Douglas debate" became the "Lincoln-Douglass" debates (they substituted a picture of Frederick Douglass for Stephen Douglas in their picture, and not ONE person on the ClusterFox staff caught the error), and one Fox Newsie asked if they had "video" of the event.


    Are you sure the silly graphics are just for the VIEWERS??

    You want a public option? Sign here!

    by Diogenes2008 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:27:38 PM PDT

  •  for some reason... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the space where the video goes is just that--space.  i checked over at newscorpse, and the same thing.  is it just my computer?  i refreshed a couple of times, and still nothing but a big white space.

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:42:30 PM PDT

  •  An affiliate in Texas recently ran a story on how (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, Noor B, mayim

    .... gluten intolerance and celiac was caused by corn and rice.

    It's caused by eating the proteins of wheat, rye, and barley, and only if your special celiac/gi  genes get triggered by another thing in the environment to have your digestive system have trouble breaking down those proteins in them.

    They used for their source a "Dr." who, when I checked, was a doctor of Chiropathy.  You know, those people who do spinal adjustments.... not a medical doctor.

    This story received all sorts of attention from the celiac/gluten intolerant boards, including rebuttals from researchers at major universities,  but not exactly the form of attention they were hoping for from their special version of it.

    The ditzy "reporter" was as dumb as a brick, set a record for her mistakes, and claimed to have it herself, so she "knew all about it"  when she emailed a reply. She made Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who recently did a ghostwritten book with a few minor mistakes, look like a PhD.

    Where do they find these people.... anything for money.  

    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:35:45 PM PDT

  •  So utterly bad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingOneEye, trashablanca

    This kind of stuff is the worst nightmare of a tech person showing off new technology for the first time.  

    But this was a national news network broadcast.
    Unbelievable that they didn't have the bugs worked out.  

    My god, the whole thing seemed unrehearsed.  While I was distracted looking at those HUGE cookies, she was rattling off a bunch of numbers (big mistake) and then she started to lose it when she talked about the price of beer by the pint. Who buys in their beer in bottles by the pint?  

    This video reminds of the amateurish early days at my local television station when they started to use green screen technlogy.  The on-screen people (and/or the director) failed to notice when clothing sometimes included green, and the background image would bleed through in different parts of clothing.  When that happened, you stop listening to what they're saying.  Same thing with that hilariously bad Fox clip.

    •  Boy, if you think it's bad because... (3+ / 0-)

      ...of it being new and unrehearsed, you are really gonna be shocked to learn that this wasn't new at all. Jenna Lee has been doing these reports for months. I just now got around to writing about how lame her application of the tools were. But she is no novice. The beer glitch was just a (happy) coincidence that it occurred on the segment that I chose to write this piece about. It's always this lame.

      ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••

      by KingOneEye on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:01:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the note (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I do a lot of IT work including training. I'll save that clip as entertainment during a session break, and will look for more.  A nice treasure trove to mine.

        I rarely, rarely watch anything that's Fox (except their sports) because it takes only a couple of minutes before they say or do something awful. Just recently I tuned in while a reporter was talking about how the stimulus plan included lines of credit for small businesses.   But then she inserted her own editorial analysis saying that small businesses would be better off with a tax cut--employment taxes specifically. She was absolutely, absolutely wrong, but I can imagine how uneducated viewers would soak that up like a sponge.  Fox spews the stupid on purpose.

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