We live in a country where the most-watched and, in some polls, most-trusted name in TV news (74% of Republicans, 30% of Democrats) is the U.S. equivalent of Pravda. If you don't tune in to Fox now and again you might think I'm exaggerating (a la Mr. Beck) by comparing Fox to the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the former Soviet Union.
You'd be wrong.
Every message broadcast from Fox news -- not only the misinformation spouted from GOP party hack Hannity and radical cleric Glenn Beck, but even the chatty morning show Fox & Friends and America Live with Megyn Kelly -- clearly, carefully and insidiously twist and massage every news story into one that aids the GOP. Pravda never did it any better and made no bones about it. Fox tries to pretend that it's not owned by a famous arch-conservative oligarch and founded and still headed by the GOP's most important media consultant. Or they hope that in the fourteen years since it was launched, we somehow forgot.
John Stewart and Media Matters are doing a great job outing them, but what can the rest of us do?
We can all stop calling them "Fox News" and exclusively call them what they clearly are and have always been: "GOP-TV."
Along with GOP pollster Frank Luntz, GOP-TV has done an amazing job calling a spade a weedwhacker. They trumpet slogans like, "Fair and Balanced," "Death Panels," and most recently, "Reining in big banks is actually bailing them out," again and again and again, on every show they broadcast, until the lies go viral. That's the only way that I can account for the 30% of Democrats who regularly expose themselves to their gassy nonsense. And that's why 63% of the Tea Partiers and 46% of Republicans get most of their news from Ailes and Murdoch (compared to 18% of independents and 8% of Dems, according to the New York Times).
With CNN dying a slow death and MSNBC too small to be a strong enough counterweight, having one political party's semi-official press organ doubling as our nation's dominant news outlet is a grave danger to our republic.
We all need to stick them with the label that fits them best, GOP-TV, in print, TV and on the web, so that no one will ever forget their not-so-hidden-it-would-make-you-laugh-if-Tea-Partiers-weren't-packing-heat-at-Starbucks agenda.
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