This is kind of shocking. It turns out that at least one show on HGTV is as rigged as wrestling and Fox News.
This is kind of shocking. It turns out that at least one show on HGTV is as rigged as wrestling and Fox News.
Sunday mornings tend to be a Republican-friendly time on the TV interview shows, but it remains a scary place for those who are over their head in running for national office, such as Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Bob Schieffer questioned why Romney only appears on Fox:
Once again on Sunday, he hit Ed Gillespie mid-talking point (as Robert Gibbs chuckled).
“You think we’re ever going to see [Mitt Romney] on one of these Sunday morning interview shows? I know he does Fox, but we’d love to have him some time, as would “Meet the Press” and the ABC folk, I would guess,” the CBS “Face the Nation” host asked Sunday.
Gillespie, an adviser to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, pointed out that Romney spoke “to schoolchildren last week.”
I’m sure the school children asked Romney some really tough questions.
Romney has had a hard time in other interviews beyond Fox. Imagine if clips of his past statements were brought up. Romney also has been unable to answer interview questions as to what he will do about the economy or specifically how his experience at Bain is of value. Tricky Mitt–his talk about improving the economy reminds me a lot of Richard Nixon’s secret plan to get out of Viet Nam (a secret which, to this day, nobody knows).
There have been multiple studies which, not surprisingly, show that those who watch Fox are the most misinformed. A survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University found that those who listen to NPR could answer the most questions about current events. Those who watch Fox did the worst–even worse than those who do not watch any media. Daily Show viewers also did well.
People who watch no news at all can answer more questions about international current events than people who watch cable news, a survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMindfinds.
NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets, while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge.
People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category…
The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly…
News organizations’ tone and allocation of resources also apparently affected respondents’ abilities to answer questions. NPR has as many domestic bureaus as foreign ones; its listeners did best on questions about international events. “Daily Show” viewers were next. On domestic questions, people who watched Sunday news shows did nearly as well as NPR listeners.
Yesterday I pointed out how Fox was trying to twist the news with unfounded suggestions of a connection between the bombing plot broken up yesterday and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The suggestion was made with a subtle comment that “It is unknown if the bridge incident was connected to Occupy Wall Street’s plans for nationwide protests Tuesday.” Such a formula would allow Fox to tie any unrelated groups together this way. Not surprisingly, the right wing blogs and Twitter have considerable chatter today falsely claiming Occupy Wall Street was involved in the plot to blow up the bridge.
Further reports on the arrest clarify the lack of a real relationship between those arrested and Occupy Wall Street. USA Today reports:
What sets the alleged Ohio operation apart is its link to self-proclaimed anarchists — with no connections to international terrorist organizations — who believed that members of the ubiquitous Occupy protest movement had not gone far enough to express their displeasure with high-flying corporate America.
More recent plots disrupted by the FBI have focused on traditional terrorist targets — military facilities and crowded public places — with the goal of inflicting mass casualties.
The operation outlined Tuesday in federal court papers described a poorly financed operation by inexperienced players who at times joked about their lack of terror savvy but sought to use the cover of the Occupy campaign in Cleveland to strike a violent blow against U.S. corporate properties and interests.
From the earliest point in a seven-month undercover inquiry starting in October, an FBI informant said the group of suspects expressed “displeasure at the (Occupy) crowd’s unwillingness to act violently.”
Almost immediately after the charges were announced, the Occupy campaign moved to distance itself from the allegations.
Acknowledging that the suspects — Douglas Wright, 26; Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Connor Stevens, 20; and Joshua Stafford, 23 — were “associated with Occupy Cleveland,” the group said in a statement that the five were “in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland.”
Four of the suspects are from the Cleveland area; Wright is from Indianapolis.
Citing the arrests, Occupy Cleveland canceled a scheduled May Day rally Tuesday.
Ed Needham, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, said the alleged Cleveland plot “goes against the very fabric of the Occupy Movement.”
“The Occupy Movement is a social movement rooted in compassion as well as social justice,” he said.
U.S. authorities also sought to separate the criminal case against the five men from a blanket indictment of the protest movement.
“The FBI and the Department of Justice do not investigate groups or movements,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said. “The defendants stand charged based not upon any words or beliefs they might espouse, but based upon their own plans and actions.”
While violence is far more often associated with right wing extremism, there are extremists on both the left and right who will resort to violence. This demonstrates a key difference between the left and right. The right is dominated far more by their more radical elements as compared to the left, with many on the right willing to ignore the problem of right wing violence. Occupy Wall Street is to the left of the Democratic Party and many liberal groups but has not shown the degree of extremism seen on the right. As noted above, the local Occupy group immediately repudiated the use of violence and did not try to defend those who promoted violence. Many liberals have also shown concern about the violence occurring at the Occupy demonstrations. Other liberal bloggers join me in having concerns about the tactics of Occupy Wall Street and want a clearer repudiation of the use of violence in demonstrations nation-wide.
In contrast, when there have been discussions of right wing violence, it has been common for many in the conservative movement to show reluctance to dissociate themselves from those who promote violence. We saw this in the reaction of conservative bloggers to a report from the Department of Homeland Security on far right extremists. We were reminded of the frequent use of violent rhetoric by the conservative movement following the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. Ron Paul has pandered to neo-Nazis and white supremacists to raise money, bringing in elements to the conservative movement which would have been ostracized in past years before the move by the conservative movement to the extreme right. Will the conservative bloggers who falsely accuse Occupy Wall Street of being involved in a bomb plot speak out against the real problem of right wing violence?
The FBI has broken up a plot to blow up a bridge. Fox’s web site used this as an opportunity for a slur against Occupy Wall Street. The last line of their news story says:
It is unknown if the bridge incident was connected to Occupy Wall Street’s plans for nationwide protests Tuesday.
It is unknown only in the sense that there is no reason to connect Occupy Wall Street with an anarchist group planning a violent act. By the same logic it might be said that it is unknown if the bridge incident is related to anything planned by Fox, the Republican Party or any Tea Party group. However, Fox’s goal is to spread false narratives, such as that Barack Obama is a Muslim socialist and that Occupy Wall Street is a terrorist organization. Neither fair nor balanced. Certainly not true, but discrediting Occupy Wall Street is consistent with the conservative movement’s top priority of redistributing wealth to the ultra-wealthy.
Incidentally, while I wouldn’t try to confuse Fox with a terrorist organization, there is something both uncomplimentary and true which can be said about Rupert Murdoch today In the UK, members of Parliament are saying that Rupert Murdoch “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” and showed “willful blindness” to what was going on at News Corporation.
Returning to the bomb threat, MSNBC News did not mention Occupy Wall Street but the article does say:
The five were “controlled by an undercover FBI employee,” and agents had them under extensive surveillance for a long period of time.
On the one hand I have questions as to the degree to which the FBI is taking credit for, and utilizing resources for, stopping terrorist threats which might never have been meaningful without FBI involvement. On the other hand, publicity such as this might spread mistrust and paranoia among would-be terrorists, making them afraid to cooperate with others out of fear that they might be FBI undercover FBI agents.
Update: In light of the reports of violence at some of the demonstrations today, I would add that while I have sometimes been displeased with the tactics of Occupy Wall Street, there is no comparison between demonstrations (even those which do unfortunately become violent) and acts such as bombing a bridge. Occupy Cleveland canceled May Day protest plans following the news of the arrests to avoid “any implications in this nonsense.”
“New Jersey Mayor Corey Booker last night personally rescued a woman from a burning building. Or as Fox News reported it, ‘black man loots house, steals white woman.’” –Bill Maher
“BREAKING: Fox News Wins Pulitzer for Fiction” –Andy Borowitz
The differences between left and right have increasingly become a matter not of differences in opinion but in differences in facts which are accepted. This has been studied the most with regards to science, with conservative belief in science now hitting new lows. This has also been commonly seen with high profile issues ranging from false conservative beliefs that Saddam threatened the United States with WMD or was involved in the 9/11 attacks to their false beliefs that Barack Obama is a Muslim, a Socialist, and someone born outside of the United States.
Conservative rejection of science is most striking to those who understand that science is the best way to study the world around us based upon verifiable facts, but Republican anti-intellectualism is not limited to science. They promote a revisionist history to justify their policies, and promote economic views which have no basis in any sensible economic theory, even ignoring the actual economic views of capitalist economists they claim to follow. If Adam Smith were to come back to life, he would die laughing over the economic views which today’s conservatives promote, often claiming they are based upon his views.
Chris Mooney, who has written a lot on this topic, has an article in Mother Jones coinciding with the publication of his new book on The Republican Brain. Studies have shown biological differences between conservatives and liberals. These differences certainly might have some influence as to the ideology someone holds, but I suspect that this is something influenced by both nature and the influences on an individual. Therefore we see far more liberals on the coasts then in the deep south.
Kevin Drum raises the question of why American conservatives are more anti-science than those in Europe. Similar questions could be raised based upon time. At some times, such as during the McCarthy era, conservatives were as fanatic as those today, while at other times the bulk of the conservative movement tended to be less extreme. William F. Buckley, with all his faults, would probably have tried to keep the Tea Party followers out of the conservative movement as he did with the Birchers. Barry Goldwater was so repulsed by the direction that he saw the conservative movement moving that he considered himself a liberal in his later years. If Ronald Reagan were still alive and alert I suspect he would do the same.
I think this also comes down to the importance of environment impacting on possible biological factors. While other factors are at play, there are two main characteristics of today’s conservative movement which makes them more likely to reject facts. First, the conservative movement consists of alliances which have a vested interest in ignoring facts. This ranges from the religious right to those being duped into denying science change to support the interests of the petroleum industry.
Secondly, today’s American conservative movement has a propaganda machine which might be powerful than has ever been seen in human history, with the ability to get conservatives to internalize and spread beliefs which are totally irrational. Fox has been far more successful in promoting misinformation than the propaganda machines of Hitler or Stalin. In many ways the American conservative movement is far closer to the authoritarian movements of the 20th century than to any beliefs held in the past by Americans. Unlike Hitler and Stalin, the conservative movement does not need to eliminate the trappings of democracy when they can fool their followers into thinking that they are promoting freedom and limited government. Orwell certainly saw this coming.
Some people would prefer to list, and perhaps interact with, enemies than friends. A new Facebook app, entitled EnemyGraph, allows them to do so. If Facebook was around in Richard Nixon’s day, he could have listed all his enemies but would have had no need for listing friends.
The most common enemies are well deserving of this list:
The ten most popular enemies among EnemyGraph users currently include Senator Rick Santorum, Justin Bieber, Westboro Baptist Church, Internet Explorer, Fox News, Farmville, Racism, the Twilight Series, Nickelback, and Rush Limbaugh.
Apparently their attacks on sex and women moved Santorum and Limbaugh high up on the list.
At the moment the app is down, needing to move to new servers due to higher than expected demand.
We already knew that right wingers were out of touch with reality based upon their views, but who knew they were so out of touch with reality that they had no idea that antagonizing a group making up over 50 percent of the population could backfire. From Radio-Info.com via Think Progress:
When it comes to advertisers avoiding controversial shows, it’s not just Rush From today’s TRI Newsletter: Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” The list includes carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway). As you’ll see in the note below, those “environments” go beyond the Rush Limbaugh show
“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory...They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).’
This is an even dumber move than Rick Santorum losing Catholic votes by attacking John Kennedy and the First Amendment.
Think Progress notes the comparison to Glenn Beck:
The advertising flight is reminiscent of Glenn Beck’s Fox News program. After major companies refused to advertise on Beck’s show in light of racially insensitive comments, he was left with just fringe businesses like survival seed banks and gold sellers. Not long thereafter, he left Fox, reportedly under pressure.
John Avlon has more at The Daily Beast:
This is big. According to the radio-industry website Radio-Info.com, which first posted excerpts of the Premiere memo, among the 98 companies that have decided to no longer sponsor these programs are “carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm), and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway).” Together, these talk-radio advertising staples represent millions of dollars in revenue.
Valerie Geller, an industry insider and author of Beyond Powerful Radio, confirmed the trend. “I have talked with several reps who report that they’re having conversations with their clients, who are asking not to be associated with specifically polarizing controversial hosts, particularly if those hosts are ‘mean-spirited.’ While most products and services offered on these shows have strong competitors, and enjoy purchasing the exposure that many of these shows and hosts can offer, they do not wish to be ‘tarred’ with the brush of anger, or endure customer anger, or, worse, product boycotts.”
There are already tangible signs that the three dozen national and local advertisers that have pulled their ads from The Rush Limbaugh Show are having a financial impact.
While many major businesses want nothing to do with Limbaugh or other right wing extremists, there are still people out there who defend people like Limbaugh. Despite all the awful things Rush Limbaugh has said and done, at least he has done one thing of value. Thanks to Rush it is now possible to determine within seconds whether a person is a scumbag by seeing if they are defending Limbaugh on their Facebook page.