Thursday, January 31, 2008

Digging the dirt on Fox

By Libby

I've been trolling the national news for a couple of hours this morning and it's all too much horserace coverage, obsessing endlessly over minutia that won't matter in a couple of weeks, much less by November. By far the most interesting piece I read was this prologue to Naked Launch, Dan Cooper's expose of the slimy underbelly of Fox News as personified by (the evil) Roger Ailes. Pay no attention to the pseudo-intellectuals in the comment section, who clearly can't follow complex storylines, this is a easy read and a fascinating look behind the closed doors of the dreaded MSM.

Worth a read in full, but here's a few choice cuts to tempt you over.
Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation's New York headquarters, was what Roger called The Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.
Lots of people have dissected the Fox News Channel for evidence of bias. They're all missing the point. Of course it's biased. As you read ahead, you'll understand that in a manner never before understood. This is the point: Fox News is about indoctrination, not bias. The indoctrination was always hidden, as it is in the best advertising. Roger Ailes spent much of his life running political campaigns. He was never a journalist, and in fact he despised journalists. Fox News is not journalism, it’s a political campaign.
By 2005, with the Iraq War worse than ever, the Fox News Channel increased its total viewership 31% over the same date the year before. President Bush had rewarded Rupert Murdoch for creating Fox News by allowing him to own two TV stations in New York City along with the New York Post newspaper. This sort of multiple ownership has been granted to no one else, and flies in the face of previous government regulation of media control. Money was pouring into News Corporation thanks to Fox News Channel's two revenue streams: cable subscriber fees and revenues from commercials. And Roger Ailes was reportedly earning $8 million dollars a year.
The insidious part of this plot is that the other stations, having seen Fox profit from their perfidy, sought to emulate them rather than fight to expose their fraudulent tactics. Money talks and nobody walked away in much deserved disgust for the perversion of their former profession. Thus, we were assaulted by a perfect storm of cheerful stenography that propped up an immoral administration and fostered a disastrous occupation.

The good news is that the chill winds of harsh reality have blown away the smoke and cracked the mirrors that reflected Ailes' fevered visions. Fox News falters. The bad news is, as long as we allow media consolidation to proliferate, there's little hope that the next number one news source will reflect a more responsible mindset. Nothing will change, unless we demand it. [via]

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