Sunday, September 20, 2009

Treason and FOX News

Treason- the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

Treason is a dangerous word, and not to be used lightly. Indeed, betraying the trust of someone, or in FOX news' case, millions of viewers, has disastrous consequences. But when treason applies to the #1 most watched "news" channel, this means tens of millions of people are subjected daily to propaganda masquerading as "fair and balanced" journalism. If you're reading this critically, as I hope most of you are, I suspect you'll be wanting a few examples of the treason to which I refer. First, allow me to illustrate treason through a familiar frame.

Schoolyard Bullying
Bullies are known to push you around for having no reason to do so, other than to make a scene for those watching. While bullying is looked upon with disdain, nobody wants to challenge the bully, lest the bully start to focus his aggression towards you.

But when bullying happens outside of the schoolyard, is exacted unreasonably upon a multitude of victims, and happens on a "news" channel (referring to FOX as an actual news channel would be equivalent to putting a candle in a pile of excrement and passing it off as chocolate cake) it turns into treasonous propaganda.

Take a look at the FOX Nation homepage on 9/11. That was indeed a black day in our nation's history, where around 3,000 people died in NYC, Washington and Pennsylvania. It is remembered somberly as "Patriot Day," where flags go up in towns nationwide to memorialize those who were killed. Indeed, 9/11 is seen as off-limits, and using such an event to gain political advantage should rightly be looked at as tasteless and appalling. But those two words seem to be a mantra for those in FOX's newsroom.

Notice the graphic of President Obama's face next to a picture of a plane slamming into the twin towers on 9/11. Now notice the caption. "Administration moves to downplay 9/11." Even before clicking on the story to read it, one who isn't viewing critically would already have established animosity toward the president. I'll explain this more bluntly to let how offensive and wrong this is sink in.

FOX Nation is using a picture where Americans are literally dying in a fiery plane crash to directly antagonize the president. FOX is directly capitalizing off of the murder of Americans to inflict political harm. This is the epitome of patriotism corrupted.

After the president has been effectively antagonized, the graphic then shifts to Obama's face next to the Trojan Horse with the words "Trigger Option" between the two. The frame is then evoked of Homer's Iliad, where the Greeks pretend to surrender to Troy, but instead hide soldiers inside a wooden horse to wreak havoc on the city once the horse is inside.

Readers with any literary knowledge to draw upon would see that FOX Nation is deliberately framing the president's health care proposal as a ploy on the American people, poised to attack when they least expect it. Those not viewing the page with a critical eye accept that frame unconsciously, especially after Obama was antagonized in the previous graphic, using a sensitive issue as a political weapon.

An ACORN story also tops the headlines on 9/11. The focus on ACORN has always been a central point for FOX, aiming to tie the president to the organization even though his association with them was years ago and has no relevance to the activities of a few members of the group.

They report, they decide. The American people already have their minds made up for them by FOX.

Bullies don't stop picking on their targets until they get their nose bloodied. The Obama administration dismisses FOX news at their own peril; millions are privy to FOX's 24/7 bullying of the president and the progressive electorate. Until Obama rolls up his sleeves and lobs some shots back at his aggressors, he will be remembered as Jimmy Carter was, when he failed to stand up to the emergence of the neoconservative movement in the 1970s. He will be remembered as John Kerry was in 2004; a veteran of the Vietnam war was called unpatriotic by draft dodgers in the White House, who actually got people to go along with them.

Both of those men were too gentlemanly and polite to engage the neoconservatives on their own turf, and they suffered permanently because of it. FOX will get away with their bullying until progressives in this administration refuse to tolerate it any longer.

FOX's Love Affair with Deception
Deliberate deception is nothing new to the FOX network and it's affiliates.

In the link above, investigative reporters with a FOX affiliate in Florida went after Monsanto after it was discovered that the agribusiness giant was putting harmful chemicals in school milk along with milk that went into grocery stores. Monsanto, one of FOX's biggest advertisers, told the affiliate to silence its reporters. When the reporters refused at the insistence of the sales department, they offered a compromise.

In the video I linked to, you can see just how thoroughly their story was censored by the corporate lawyers that ran the station (and their news coverage). After 83 revisions that took away words like "cancer" and "health risk," Monsanto still wasn't satisfied. FOX even offered to buy the reporters' silence in exchange for killing their story. This was a news organization that sought to suppress the news 83 different times in exchange for corporate profit and ad dollars from their sponsors. For most commercial TV news organizations, reporting the news is secondary to making money.

Long story short, the reporters took FOX news to court on the grounds that they were deliberately manipulating the news and information that people depend on daily. The courts ruled in FOX's favor, because it isn't technically against the law to lie to people in the news.

FOX news censored the truth and suppressed the truth from getting out, because their bottom line was Monsanto's money, not journalistic integrity. This is but one example of FOX's allegiance to the corporate elite as they antagonize the truth with lies.

Bush's White House and FOX News: Partners in Crime
FOX has been recently accusing media outlets for being buddy-buddy with the President, due to all the press coverage he gets. This is particularly ironic, because FOX news gave Bush all the friendly coverage he could handle while he was in office.

But FOX's support of the Bush administration is no longer privileged knowledge, thanks to former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan's book. While on Hardball, McClellan openly admitted to the Bush White House feeding FOX news their agenda and talking points, then having commentators like Hannity and O'Reilly air them as their own opinion. The White House would then congratulate FOX on a job well-done.

MATTHEWS: Did you see FOX television as a tool when you were in the White House, as a useful avenue for getting your message out?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I make a distinction between the journalists and between the commentators. Certainly, there were commentators and others, pundits, at FOX News that were helpful to the White House...It wasn‘t necessarily something I was doing, but it was something that we at the White House, yes, were doing and getting them talking points and making sure they knew where we were coming from...

MATTHEWS: ...You were using these commentators as your spokespeople?

MCCLELLAN: Well, certainly. I mean, certainly.

The "Fair and Balanced" Illusion
It should be obvious to any media consumer that FOX news is simply a mouthpiece for the right. They have been proven to lie, manipulate and distort the truth, as seen in just this particular analysis alone. But it would be easier to dismiss the FNC as just another madhouse full of loons were they not taken so seriously by the American public. They insist on calling themselves "Fair and Balanced" while proving themselves time and again to be anything but.

If there need be another example of FOX's blatant lying, bullying and hypocrisy, look no further than the ad they took out in newspapers recently, that attacked major media outlets for not covering the Saturday tea party march in Washington. They even went so far as to say they expect an apology. As you can see via the link above, even MSNBC sent reporters and film crews to the gathering of 50,000 who marched against their own self-interests last weekend. CNN's Rick Sanchez went out of his way to lambast FOX for taking out a full-page ad to blatantly lie to the people.

The difference, Sanchez says, is that while other media outlets indeed covered the event, FNC was the only "news" organization that promoted the event, as they did with the Tax Day Tea Parties. FOX even had the audacity to put their name behind the event.

This is the part where my critical readers say, "Wait a minute, Carl. MSNBC and CNN lie just like FOX does! Why aren't you attacking them!"

Indeed, CNN has it's own share of lying pundits like Lou Dobbs, and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC focuses intently on attacking the conservative movement. But the difference between places like MSNBC/CNN and FOX is that while Dobbs and Maddow make it clear that their shows are commentary and opinion, FOX slides opinion into coverage that they insist is "Fair and Balanced."

If FOX can get away with calling their treasonous coverage "Fair and Balanced," reckon I can logically call Free Chicken and Beer "Scripture" without suffering any consequences?


Nah, probably not.

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