The question may be asked, what am I intending to do this year with my blog. What’s the point? I recognize, at the outset, that I’m mostly preaching to the choir. It’s not likely that my blog will change any minds. For those of you who are in my camp, the blog may provide you with a little extra ammunition, with some arguments that you might not have thought of. For those of you who are on the fence, who are looking for reasons to come over, the blog may provide you with a little extra incentive. But for those of you who are firmly in the Fox News camp or anywhere near it, this blog is unlikely to move you in any way.
Still, I do have a couple of specific objectives that I hope to accomplish.
– First, I would like to “draw back the curtain” — in the Wizard of Oz sense — on right wing propaganda. The more we get information out that exposes how the right wing engages in propaganda, the less powerful it becomes. It’s like with magic. The more one exposes a magician’s tricks, the less likely that people are to believe it as true. We may admire the magician’s skill, but we don’t have to believe that it’s real.
– Second, I would like to provide a new slogan for Fox News. The network, as most of you know, has for years used the slogan “Fair and Balanced,” which Fox News went so far as to trademark. Fox News slogan should be “Intended to Enrage, not to Inform.” Because that is what Fox News really wants to do. It’s use of the “Fair and Balanced” slogan is, in some ways, an ideal way of showing how right wing propaganda works: and that is to repeat a bald-faced lie without any compunction or regret, until people actually buy what your saying, no matter how preposterous it is. Fox News has accused the mainstream media, especially the major TV networks and National Public Radio (NPR) of having a liberal bias. And to be sure, these media do tend to have a very mild liberal bias, may a few degrees left of center. (That very slight bias is also contradicted by what is generally a clear pro-corporate bias in the mainstream media.) Fox News justifies itself as being a “ballast” to this supposed bias, except that Fox News is about 180 degrees to the right of center. This is overcompensation in the extreme. In addition, Fox News’ slogan obviously implies that the network itself is “fair and balanced,” while the network’s extreme slant can only be justified in terms of its alleged effort to provide ballast for other media sources.
– Third, I want to continue to draw the line between doctrinaire religious belief systems and the anti-scientific and distorted political positions that they generate. The anti-scientific nature of this belief can be demonstrated through the use of the “Conservapedia,” the right wing’s response to the content-neutral Wikipedia, because actual scientific facts — such as the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming — make conservatives so uncomfortable, and make many of their positions so indefensible, that they have found it necessary to create an “alternative universe” of scientific facts. In a country where a large majority of the population literally believe in heaven and hell, in the existence of angels, and in the creation of the world in seven days, this is also just dangerous. Dangerous and very sad.
In reality, political discussion in the United States has been stunted for years. The discussion spans the spectrum from the extreme right to the moderate left. The extreme left was silenced years ago. Republicans have, to their credit, managed to shift the “center” of this discussion to the right, so that the compass of political conversation is no longer pointing in the directions that it should. I would love to be part of the group that “recenters” that compass and provides some ballast for Fox News and their allies, by exposing the propaganda that masquerades as news.