FOX-NEWSCORP: A Taste of
"Not So Sweet" History
Was a youthful MeanMesa
one of Rush's "ditto heads?"
Although this post is all about the quite modern concept of finally "neutralizing" the toxic effect of FOX as a "political player" in the American democracy, a very brief visit to the distant past may be in order. When MeanMesa first arrived in Albuquerque -- on the very same day as 9/11 -- the first impression of New Mexico was disturbingly consistent with the, at the time, widespread, subconsciously universal, "cinematic description" concerning the place.
Once the move was completed, this "siesta image" grew even more saturating. Being already what could be generously called a "geezer," when the conditions of everyday living were settled, there was "plenty of time" for listening to the radio.
That meant listening to Rush Limbaugh. By 2001 FOX had established itself as a more or less daily presence on hundreds of radio stations all across the country, and broadcasting and rebroadcasting Rush Limbaugh in "every open time slot," everyday had become a reality. NEWSCORP [the corporate owner of FOX] was shelling out literally tens of millions of dollars to the crotchety, huffing and puffing old bombast year after year.
At NEWSCORP's corporate level the Australian fascist, Rupert Murdoch, had been channeling hundreds of millions of Saudi dollars from the eagerly willing pockets of his partner, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, into content control of hundreds [if not thousands] of American broadcast companies which made "arrangements" to carry not only Limbaugh's show, but dozens of other FOX offerings of a similar ilk. In terms of both his plan for the scheme and the motives which were driving it the billionaire Prince's involvement was understandable.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal: Another major stakeholder has been Al-Waleed bin Talal, of the Saudi Royal Family. In 1997, Time reported that Al-Waleed owned about five percent of News Corporation. In 2010, Alwaleed's stake in News Corp. was about 7 percent, amounting to $3 billion. In 2013, News Corp. had a $175 million (19 percent) investment in Al-Waleed's Rotana Group, the Arab world's largest entertainment company.
After listening to Limbaugh for a few times strictly from boredom, MeanMesa gradually became utterly fascinated with Rush's incendiary, daily "death of America" whining and lamentations. There were no alternate talk shows being broadcast, that is, shows with an alternate bias, and, in fact, this was the first time that MeanMesa had ever encountered anything like what is now called a "talk show," and Limbaugh, thanks to the millions already invested in the FOX scheme, was "on the air and ready to go."
The deception only grew greater from this point. At first there emerged a widely asked question about the scheme's apparent success. Were there really so many Americans who thought this kind of broadcast content was actually relevant? Murdoch was prepared with an almost demonically clever "explanation." [In the words of MeanMesa...]
"The exact reason that FOX and commentators such as Limbaugh are so successful is that most Americans completely agree with what FOX broadcasts. Why, this stuff is so popular that it is literally 'flying off the shelves.' It's only with great, patriotic difficulty that we here at FOX can continue to produce enough of this to even begin to satisfy all these interested listeners."
Of course in this famous explanation Rupert "skipped" over the part about using the Prince's Saudi millions to entice all the local broadcast companies to carry his hateful NEWSCORP message. Nonetheless, this "famous explanation" grew more and more accepted until it began to appear as, in fact, an actual explanation.
In no time at all numerous gangs of patriotic American billionaires noticed this "capitalist phenomenon" and -- in between their Country Club afternoon naps during which they indulged in their own "billionaire wet dreams" about transforming the US into their private oligarchy -- these billionaires quickly figured out that they could "use" something like FOX, and that it would, in fact, become "quite handy." Although Murdoch's scam was losing money hand over fist during this early stage of its life, the billionaires eagerly pumped millions into the game to keep it alive until it had a chance to "blossom into its fully rancid maturity."
Prior to this revelation, the American billionaires had been suffering from a painfully unfair "identity crisis." They couldn't act out as the avarice crazed psychopaths they really were because they were afraid of the, so-to-speak, "guillotine problem," but on the other hand if they attempted to behave in a civilized manner, their "return on investment" would begin to falter. For them FOX's reactionary fear mongering was a perfectly wonderful development, that is, "a shiny new invention which was absolutely the best thing since sliced bread."
FOX had been busy convincing Americans that they were all nothing less than "temporarily disadvantaged millionaires," themselves, and that each and every one of them would be "rolling in dough" just as soon as the Democrats, poor people, environmentalists, gay people, "wrong colored people," immigrants, moochers, terrorists and so on, stopped parasitically "stealing" all their wealth.
The raging bonfire of FOX's ideological propaganda and the billionaires became the happy couple in a "marriage made in heaven." As FOX gradually convinced Americans that being a greedy psychopath was, in fact, perfectly socially acceptable, these previously frightened billionaires found it much easier to "disappear safely into the crowd" when the "crowd" was comprised of these newly convinced fellow travelers.
Murdoch and FOX:
OOOPS! Inciting Anticipated Consequences
Which Could Later Be Convincingly Described as "Unanticipated Consequences."
Oh well, I guess the American people have spoken.
Of course it becomes even more "convincing" when you own every microphone.
Of course it becomes even more "convincing" when you own every microphone.
|Happy memories at NEWSCORP [image]|
Happily, FOX, NEWSCORP, Rupert Murdoch and the Prince were never particularly uncertain about their collective mission. From the very beginning the overall highest priority was to make the nation's transition to oligarchy as painless and obscured as possible -- at least as painless and obscured as possible for the oligarchs.
Well, in no time at all after Rupert proposed his now "famous explanation" the "miracles of political synergy" dropped "straight out of heaven" and landed right in the laps of this stalwart, democracy hating gang. Further, these "miracles" appeared in the form of "wonderful coincidences."
Thankfully, at least for them, these "miracles" along with their "attending, wonderful consequences" arrived so quietly that, at first, almost no one even noticed their startling new presence.
The Seven Wonderful Miracles
Which Visited Rupert and the Prince
Thanks To Murdoch's "Famous Explanation"
|The golden bull comes later. [image]|
Miracle Number One:
Tens of Millions of Americans
Turned Out To Be Incredibly Bigoted Hillbillies.
Granted, NEWSCORP's "basic business presumption" was that millions of Americans were harboring some serious xenophobic issues, especially that they really didn't like "wrong colored" people, and that they could be convinced that all their problems had been caused either by illegal immigrants, moochers or minorities. It was to be precisely these "abnormalities" which NEWSCORP would come to regard as its greatest, most valuable and most promising "business assets."
Aside from Rupert Murdoch's glee at having "discovered" this demographic, the unbridled joy of the Saudi Prince was so great that it could not be contained.
Miracle Number Two:
Hardly Anyone in the United States
Had Ever Studied High School History or Civics.
Normally, a propaganda campaign of such scope and consequences would be a matter of "arguments and counter arguments" such that the success of many of them would, understandably. require energetically "debating" the facts. Well, for our "little democracy hating" gang this turned out to not be any sort of requirement at all! In fact NEWSCORP and its well paid "mouth junk" experts discovered right away that there would be no facts of any sort required to "set the hook" with this hateful propaganda.
Practically no one in the FOX audience knew anything, and practically everyone in the FOX audience would eagerly believe whatever was broadcast. Conveniently, given the FOX network's obsession with embarrassingly biased "news" reporting, the FOX audience ceased making any effort whatsoever to delineate between content claiming to be "reported news" and the rancid talking points of "editorial comment" issuing forth from the network's "mouth junk" movie stars.
Miracle Number Three:
Almost Everyone in the United States Had Been Painfully Bruised and Bankrupted By An Economic Collapse That Hardly Anyone Understood.
Happily, FOX and NEWSCORP had accurate predicted that precisely this almost universal "lack of understanding" would be the case, and that practically any "explanation" of the causes of the collapse would be greeted with "roses, simply roses" by the 2008 recession scheme's dour, perplexed survivors. Naturally, the fist step in the exploitation of the Great Republican Recession would be affixing the blame for it on exactly the people that the FOX audience already cordially hated.
Thanks to plenty of "preparation" propaganda, the cause of the 2008 Great Republican Recession became widely perceived as directly attributable to possible gun laws, abortions, migrants, gay marriage and a few other "festering pimples" which were anxious to break through the surprisingly thin skin of the FOX audience on command. The entire FOX audience was suffering from image wrecking acne in no time, and all these unhappy, pimply little nobodies knew exactly whom to blame.
Miracle Number Four:
The US Domestic Media Gradually "Bought Into" Murdoch's Famous Explanation "Hook, Line and Sinker" and Began to Constantly Insist That There Were Always "Two Sides To Everything"
Murdoch's pitch promoting the idea that FOX's audience was an electoral majority -- or even close to a majority -- gradually grew in resonance across the remainder of the corporate domestic media. Although hardly any of the "inhabitants" of such an imaginary majority could rationally account for their admittedly cloudy ideological ideas, as long as the issues were firmly anchored to grotesque, fact free emotional states, the exquisitely crafted "FOX non-message" was easily able to play havoc with an audience which was somewhat "more stable" in better times.
Further, describing the FOX offering as a "non-message" is appropriate. The network's airwaves were only very infrequently bothered with any actual policy proposals, and instead were fitfully consumed with frightening conspiracies, frightening "interpretations" of contemporary news happenings and buckets of hate filled rhetoric squarely placing the entire blame for every grudge or quiet fear onto this or that target within the population. As the line dividing FOX's "news reporting" and its penchant for violently hateful rhetoric faded ever farther into the fog, the network's talking points became perpetual phobias for FOX's intentionally frightened, yet continuously more faithful minions.
The predictable result was that the domestic media's blind assertion that there always existed "two sides to every problem." Unhappily, this bad habit gradually elevated the Murdoch side to a credible "side-hood" when the Murdoch side wasn't actually even a side at all. Murdoch's talking heads expressed far less interest in addressing solutions than assigning blame.
Miracle Number Five:
When the Media Became Entirely Saturated With Murdoch's Talking Points, the Moribund Democratic Party Became, Painlessly and Permanently, Even More Invisible.
Face it. The Democrats have been on a decades long "boring streak." MeanMesa assumes that the Party leadership simply didn't notice that the Democratic side of things had been plunged into a media black out during the Reagan era. This well engineered "plunge" turned out to be quite durable.
Of course Democratic Party policies have continued to be effective and beneficial to the majority of voters, but as the Party's ideas steadily grew even less "news worthy," the Murdoch machine turned the very name "Democrat" into something vulgar. The fervid FOX audience now equates a Democrat with a convicted traitor. If the actual facts describing our government were interesting, the Democrats might have had better luck keeping their brand out of the crematorium of media invisibility.
Such an effort would have required not only more inspired leadership, but also some sort of flair at generating political drama. The Party leadership is shockingly unimaginative. The Republicans gained control of the government for a number of reasons, but the absence of any particular image of the Democrats in the minds of voters led a majority of them to not even read below the "R" section on their ballots.
Miracle Number Six:
As the Plan to Divide the Country Became Complete,
Political Discourse Became Extinct.
One of the fundamental ideas present in the foundation of the country's democracy was that the voices of various interests among the electorate would engage in persuasive discourse with the ambition of "attracting" the opposing side to ultimately vote in a different way. One of the founders, Thomas Jefferson, even dared use the term "educated electorate" in his logical defense of the early country's adoption of wide spread enfranchisement.
Unhappily, what served at the time for a meaning to "educated" has been replaced by mindless talking points and propaganda. The end result is that, for example, a progressive such as MeanMesa enjoys almost no chance at all of "persuading" a Murdoch-style reactionary to adopt a more progressive position. The converse is also now an unpleasant truth. In fact there seems to be absolutely nothing among the positions of the Murdoch-style, talking point reactionaries which is the least bit attractive or interesting to a progressive such as MeanMesa.
Even a casual mention of "reaching across the aisle" instantly begs its own question: "Why?"
Miracle Number Seven:
Once Convinced That Everything Had Become a Problem,
"Leadership" Became "Problem Solving."
Americans failed to remember that, at one earlier point, "leaders" were expected to "lead" the country away from problems rather than simply waiting for the next calamity as an opportunity to publicize their "problem solving" ability. [For example, think of 2008, ISIS or the "post BREXIT" world economic disintegration.]
There is a chilling difference between "leading" and "reacting." For example, think of a driving instructor charged with teaching a teenager how to drive. Instead of presenting "general leadership" ideas about driving's "big picture," this instructor remains silent until a crash is imminent. Then he screams and grabs the wheel, jerking the car out of harm's way at the last instant. Following this, rather than perhaps pointing out the young driver's mistake, he commences to boastfully describe how cleverly he had intervened.
The American democracy was intended to be placed in the hands of a leader who can guide the nation along its path -- avoiding or preventing as much as possible what he or she perceives to be potentially dangerous developments. While pursuing this goal, such a leader continues to "steer the ship of state" on a calm, organized, steady course toward prosperity and security.
Problem solving is very handy when there are problems, but the remainder of the time should be dedicated to making our way to somewhere we want to reach.