because they have to
but because they want to."
(Malcolm Muggeridge, British author)
Tim Dickinson, at Rolling Stone, said that Fox News has a “viewership that knows almost nothing about what’s going on in the world.” That’s because Fox News viewers actually do not want to know what is really going on in the world. They honestly want to believe the lies that are being broadcast by Roger Ailes and company at Fox News.
Roger Ailes is truly a propaganda genius.
Like Joseph Goebbels and other expert propagandists of the past, Roger Ailes has mastered the art of fear mongering and has successfully tapped into the primal fears of America’s conservative base.
I re-read Dickinson’s excellent exposé on Roger Ailes last weekend. What I found to be most revealing in my second read was not the details of Ailes’ background (which were very well presented) but rather Dickinson’s analysis of the audience that Ailes has so successfully exploited.
Fox viewers are truly ignorant people, according to Dickinson:
“The result of this concerted campaign of disinformation is a viewership that knows almost nothing about what’s going on in the world. According to recent polls, Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of all news consumers. They are 12 percentage points more likely to believe the stimulus package caused job losses, 17 points more likely to believe Muslims want to establish Shariah law in America, 30 points more likely to say that scientists dispute global warming, and 31 points more likely to doubt President Obama’s citizenship. In fact, a study by the University of Maryland reveals, ignorance of Fox viewers actually increases the longer they watch the network. That’s because Ailes isn’t interested in providing people with information, or even a balanced range of perspectives. Like his political mentor, Richard Nixon, Ailes traffics in the emotions of victimization.”
This is quite an achievement for Roger Ailes. Fox News has the highest ratings on cable TV. And, if the average Fox viewer can be justifiably defined by Dickinson’s description noted above, then this means that "one man" has successfully brainwashed the entire rightwing element of American society.
It is safe to say that Roger Ailes is the Pied Piper of the conservative movement - A truly impressive propagandist accomplishment.
Moreover, it appears that the Republican Party leadership has awakened to this realization. As Dickinson said in his closing paragraph:
“[Ailes] has put the Republican Party on his payroll and forced it to remake itself around his image. Ailes is the Chairman, and the conservative movement now reports to him. ‘Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us,’ said David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter. ‘Now we’re discovering that we work for Fox’."
Wouldn’t it be fun to be a fly on the wall during the many Ailes-GOP meetings leading up to the November 2012 presidential election? The GOP Brahmans are going to be forced to kiss-up to this man:
Should be very interesting.