Fox-So-Called-News Is GOP TV in the 21st Century

It’s time to stop calling the Fox cable TV network a “News” network and to start calling it what it is: a propaganda network for the billionaires, like Rupert Murdoch, who own the Republican Party.

And, it’s Roger Ailes’ dream of GOP TV come to life.

Even though the network has long called itself a source of “Fair and Balanced News,” the reality is that the network produces content that is anything but fair or balanced. And it’s certainly not news.

Because much of the content that Fox puts out is propaganda for the Republican party and the billionaires that own the party.

Fox spends an inordinate amount of time, according to Media Matters for America, spreading fear and half-truths that promote the agenda of the billionaires.

You don’t have to search very hard for examples of Fox promoting the GOP's agenda that’s simply based on fear, hatred, and Reaganomics for the rich. And it really doesn’t matter what they’re talking about; many Fox reports try to pack as much of the billionaires’ agenda in as possible. They don’t even need the points to make sense.

Just take a look at how Eric Bolling and the rest of the Republican parrots on “The Five” discussed lone-wolf terrorism in America earlier this week.

In one fell swoop the panel manages to dismiss any conversation about overmedication or the state of mental health treatment in America - because that conversation might be harmful to the Republican's sponsors in the pharmaceutical industry.

And they somehow even managed to take a swipe at climate change, rejecting the consensus of all credible climate scientists as nothing more than conjecture and a hokey liberal explanation for everything.

And that was all before Bolling’s actual point: that he’s proud to be Islamophobic and that we should assume that one out of every five Muslims are guilty of possibly being radicalized.

In other words, America still needs to be terrified of the Muslim world. And the real point at the end of the Fox rabbit hole is simply that we need to be prepared to continue our wars in the Middle East, because the invasion of Iraq didn’t make quite enough money for the oil barons and arms dealers who own so many Republicans in Congress.

It isn’t a wild conspiracy theory to say that Fox is a propaganda machine for the GOP, according to Media Matters, it’s a matter of historical record.

Back in 1970, when he was working in the Nixon White House, Roger Ailes had a dream. He called his dream “GOP TV,” and his vision was to run a so-called “news” operation that could rapidly push the Republican issues and messages of the day.

He marked up a memo called “A Plan for Putting the GOP News on TV News” arguing that more and more Americans were getting their news from TV in 1970. And he envisioned the GOP taking advantage of the fact that. In the words of the memo: “44% [of Americans] say TV is more believable than any other medium.”

The memo also detailed exactly how a Republican politician would record a message for their constituents about a hot-button issue, and then how that message would be rapidly edited and distributed so that the message could be in the hands of local stations in less than a day.

The Nixon White House rejected Ailes’ vision because Nixon couldn't raise the funding needed, but Ailes didn’t give up on the idea and apparently managed to share his idea with billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

And now the Fox network, owned by billionaire Murdoch and chaired by Roger Ailes, is one of the most watched cable networks in the country. It surpasses even ESPN in viewership on some nights. And it’s paying off with Republican electoral wins that would have been unimaginable before Fox.

Here's how they do it: watch as Sean Hannity sets up Republican presidential candidate John Kasich to walk back his claim that the GOP is waging a “War on the Poor.”

That’s not journalism. That was a leading question that set Kasich up to give the response that made the Republican party look good. Because Fox isn’t news. It’s a place for Republicans to pander to their base and to tell their viewers what to believe.

And if a Republican strays from the party line? The network swoops in and sets them up to clarify themselves for the base. And if that politician doesn’t take the opportunity to return to the party line? Fox will be there to discredit and disown the traitor to the party.

Just look at the coverage that Trump has gotten. After he called immigrants “rapists” and “drug dealers” the network flung open its doors to let the Donald on so that he can appeal directly to the base. But Fox didn’t press Trump on his statements. Instead, they gave him a safe space to reiterate them.

Which is exactly what Fox does best. It provides a safe space for the Republican message to be repeated and folded into every news story of the day. No matter how outrageous or dishonest that message is.

Sure, they talk about current events. But they only use those events as a frame to push their agenda 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Because Fox isn’t a news channel. It’s a propaganda network.

It’s GOP TV - alive and well in the 21st century - and it’s time we start calling it what it is.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 47 weeks ago


rbjets69's picture
rbjets69 8 years 47 weeks ago


stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 47 weeks ago

It's not a matter of "historical record", Thom; it's a matter of hysterical record. When their reports aren't terrifyingly tragic, or tragically terrifying, they're just plain hysterical! And sometimes hysteria inducing.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 8 years 47 weeks ago

Whoa, what about the msnbc and the left media? They dodge anything that might be counter to there leftist leaning views. The Hannity's and alike are NOT journalists, they are opinonist. The left and right are "OPPOSAMES". The reason Bernie and Trump are doing so well is because OF the Far Left and Far Right Idiology. We are a center left country and have allowed idiots on both sides to prevail. Blasting Fox for it opionists is stupid, listen to Bill O he at least is somewhat balanced but he is also a bit slanted. I have heard him praise Obama and I like that he nails the bad guys on both sides.

You need a little Fox - Cnn - CSPAN - NPR and some reality pills to really get what they, the "OPPOSAMES" are going to do to us center left moderates.

Trump has some good points. Especially on Trade BS. So does Sanders. They should both start a center left third party. That would be really fun to watch!!! May the best truth speaker win.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 8 years 47 weeks ago

True. Fox does give a "Right of Center" perspective of the news. But then, CNN, MSNBS, ABC, NBC, and CBS plus numerious newspapers give the "Left of Center" point of view. Are you saying that there should be no news outlets giving the Conservative perspective or that there should be a balance in either the outlets or that the news should be balanced?

Personally, I think it should be the latter. That's why I usually check out FOX and one of the Left news sites to get a more accurate picture. When I'm seriously interested in a topic, I also check out RT and the BBC.

It's automatically assumed that given that since six corporations own all the news outlets, they're biased. If you're just looking for re-enforcement of your opinion, then obviously you just need to check out either right leaning Fox or left leaning "fill in the blank".

dianhow 8 years 47 weeks ago

CNN NBC CBS - yes even MSNBC of late is NOT far left but more middle of the road. MSNBC ( owned by Giant COMCAST ) is getting rid of some libetrals talkers ( Olberman is long gone ) Most of the time the whole story is not covered... leave out important facts. I began to watch pbs news hour M-F 6 pm central and  for real ' tell it like it is- reporting ' . FACE the nation, Chuck Todd types do not ask the really tough questions , if they did Political guests would NOT return.

In my lifetime I have watched news become profit driven entertainment.. Fox Hannity Kelly & super popular O'Reilly are very opiniated. I do not want their ' point of view' O'Reilly is NOT a journalist, he started at a ' celeb' news station ... GOp stands for busting unions ( lower wages ) defunding, public schools, waging profit driven wars that killed, maimed , wasted trillions, created more enemies and massive un funded debt. GOP laws ( Citizens United Money is Speech Corps are Persons ) & policies greatly favor wealth and are anti middle class, anti union, anti women. GOP pushes to end SS and medicare. .take away hard won safety nets , privatize everything, giving more money and power to Wall St crooked banks , billionaires, lobbyists . GOP hates birth control, women making equal wages. GOP pushes lack of common sense regulations to reign in corp Greed , limit air and water pollution, preferring to allow corps to dump toxins & poison our planet .Libs cons moderates must find common ground to fight our real enemies ...that have almost destroyed middle class and helped push US economy to brink of deep depression. Same as they did in 1900 -1920 's creating the 1929 Deep Depression Gilded Age '

dianhow 8 years 47 weeks ago

meant to add There should be a 'balance' Fox GOP ' news ' and 100's of far right right radio talk shows Own the air waves Most owned by right leaning pro wealth powerful corps Liberal views are much fewer on TV and radio.

Trump plays ( manipulates ) the corp owned media like a violin. Many Sunday TV news shows give tons of air time to the right wing view. Drudge report far right talk. GOP candidates Cruz Jindl Jeb Walker Kasich have same agenda Privatize everything Lower wages by busting labor ' Being anti labor means Pro LOWER WAGES. anti workers rights. De dunding public school education- limiting womens automony - passing pro wealth laws / policies...deregulation, trickle down economics , lack of safety rules , FYI Obama admin has deported more ilegals than Bush ever did Reagan gave total amnesty in 1986 Wonder why he did that ? Lots of low wage workers for greedy corps . Easy to fix illegal imigration Heavily fine employERS who Hire them .

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 47 weeks ago

Paul Hosse and flyguy360 -- Would you please tell me where those left wing stations are (other than FSTV)? I would like to hear more about net neutrality other than the lie that it means that they cannot charge more for download speed. I would like to hear more than 4 or 5 hours a year about the disaster of global energy capture (AKA global warming; definitely do not call it what the billionaires want us to call it i.e. climate change). I would like to hear more about how well the economy does whenever the top tax rate exceeds 50%, which is probably the only thing the left should want. I would like to hear more about how disastrous the trade agreements have been. I would like to hear more about throwing white CEOs in jail that hire illegal immigrants. Do any of those "left wing stations" talk about how card check could save our country?

DoctorObvious 8 years 47 weeks ago

Fox is simply propoganda designed for old white people. It endlessly mines the past as America's 'Golden Time'. However, the very things that made that time special (mass employment, home ownership, affordable college enducation) were because of progressive tax rates, strong unions and a shared vision of what was important (education, social safety net, etc). Fox has done a masterful job of mobilizing these folks (out of fear and hate) to actively disassemble the very society that their generation built to attain comfort and/or wealth for themselves. Do as I now say, not as I once did. Good luck with that.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 47 weeks ago

DoctorObvious, dianhow, chuck, mathboy, stecoop - Excellent comments. And thank you Thom.

Our occupation has me in many people’s homes on a fairly regular basis. It horrifies me to see how many TV screens have FOX on them. That shit is poison. Owned by fascist olicarch who aren’t even American, from Australia and Saudi Arabia!! Right-wing extremist foreigners telling Americans how to think. Ain’t that special.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 46 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Our occupation has me in many people’s homes on a fairly regular basis. It horrifies me to see how many TV screens have FOX on them.

AIW - More alarming is the number of fast food resteraunts (here in Indiana) that have their televisions tuned to Fox news. It's a conspiracy!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 46 weeks ago

Half of Texas believes that the United States military is conducting exercises related to eventually esatblishing martial law in Texas....that's what it is to be right of center in Merica now. Those of us left of center believe and vote for politicians who want do things like ending tax breaks for companies shipping our jobs overseas. The Republican Party filibustered against such a terrible blow to the Fascists.

Fox News fuels the Right of center madness with falsehoods, deceptions, and all manner of distorted content, which amounts to nothing more than hardcore propaganda. MSNBC doesn't even come close to what could be described as left of center propaganda.......There is no comparison....if you base your reality on Fox, and refuse medication, please surrender your drivers license before you hurt somebody. .

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 46 weeks ago

Reply to #11: stecoop, when I worked out at the local gym they had FOX on their TV screens all the time. I began turning off the TVs unless it was obvious that someone was watching... until people started complaining. So then I resorted to changing the channels. And I made sure the owner of the gym knew who owns FOX and how offensive FOX is to me.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 8 years 46 weeks ago

You bring up some prime examples of "OPPOSAMES". Both GOP and DEMS do the same things. Take money - finance next re-election, take money, let lobbist and staff write laws, take money- finance next re-election. So follow the money...period. If we keep elections and politics to three weeks a year and cap the money, give free tv time to all equally. Change the tax code to a flat tax for ALL income or institute a consumption tax. The country gets back to being a country and not a money machine for the "OPPOSAMES".

Media Companies make a lot of profit money off political ads. They do not have to pay for production, it is basically no-risk revenue and provides little real value to the audience.

Or founders never had the concept of this type of campagins

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 46 weeks ago

flyguy8650 -- Why would you want a flat tax? Considering all taxes, that is what we currently have. It isn't working. Why would you not want a highly progressive tax like we had between 1930 and 1980. It worked.

Other than that, I agree with everything you say.

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