Friday, July 1, 2016

Will the Democrats Finally De-Fang FOX?

Suffering as a US Domestic Media Consumer:
 It's Been a Long, Hard Road
It's somewhat reassuring to see the first hint 
that we are approaching the end of the nonsense.

Just as the case with most -- rational --- American media consumers, MeanMesa has watched the dismal "death march" of NEWSCORP's FOX for more than three decades now -- far too long. All along the way the same question hounded these old progressive brains: "Does this ever end?"

For all those painful decades the answer to this question has been a depressing "apparently not."

Here's a brief account of FOX and NEWSCORP's early history:

====================== From WIKI [Wiki article]===========================
Fox News Channel (FNC), also known as Fox News, is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. As of February 2015, approximately 94,700,000 American households (81.4% of cable, satellite & telco customers) receive the Fox News Channel. The channel broadcasts primarily from studios at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, New York.

Which way to the trailer parks?
The channel was created by Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired former Republican Party media consultant and NBC executive Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. It launched on October 7, 1996, to 17 million cable subscribers. It grew during the late 1990s and 2000s to become the dominant cable news network in the United States.

Fox News Channel has been accused of biased reporting and promoting the Republican Party. Critics have cited the channel as detrimental to the integrity of news overall. Fox News Channel employees have responded that news reporting operates independently of its opinion and entertainment, and have denied bias in news reporting.

Numerous commentators have noted that the avid among the FOX audience actually know even less about "current events" than people who consume no media whatsoever. [HuffPost_FOX News Less Informed] MeanMesa's favorite example of this claim occurred on the eve of the 2012 election. Mitt Romney had been consuming the equivalent of a "straight FOX diet." He arrived at the post election rally so convinced that he had won the Presidency that he brought no concession speech. [Romney Shell Shocked by Election Loss - No Concession Speech/ibtimes]

FOX - An Odorous Legacy of Brazen Misinformation
The billionaires finance the fixing of every embarrassment.

The evening was just as embarrassing for Romney's creepy surrogate, Karl Rove, who was also suffering from soaking in the same bottomless pit of FOX misinformation. [Watch it: YouTube] It was an Obama landslide.

So, we've painted a fairly complete picture. All the way through the Presidential campaign FOX and the relentless drivel of Murdoch's paid off "political harpies" never relented for even a minute -- only to reveal the network's effort as completely incompetent once the contest had ended. The same paint brush must still include one last feature on this grotesque artwork. The millions in the FOX audience attributed precisely the same credibility to the network after this disaster.

With FOX and the FOX audience "facts mean nothing." This was the case in 2012, but this was also the case thirty years earlier and four years later. Facts mean nothing.

[Happily, we can already see that things are not "roses, simply roses" for Murdoch's hate machine: FOX Suffers the Worst Ratings in Thirteen Years and That's Not Their Biggest Problem/DailyKOS and FOX News Benghazi Misinformation/mediamatters]

Stepping Into the Fray:
The Democrats Finally Wake Up To the Prospect
 of Creating FOX New's Progressive Competitor
Maybe...just maybe...FOX's death grip can be uprooted,
but chopping the stump into kindling will require imagination and work.

Many of us have entertained the rather "cloudy concept" question of what it might take to replace FOX. Clearly, the creation of an "alternate FOX" with precisely the same toxic demeanor which might present progressive ideas in the same hateful, toxic manner might be appealing, but the new "competing network" will really need to be much more than just that.

Further, the fundamental nature of this "new competitor network" has been somewhat confused by the existing networks' "business practises." Once the corporate domestic media officially embraced Rupert Murdoch's "famous explanation" that FOX's success was a result of a vast majority of Americans holding similar, reactionary political attitudes, the "conceptual mischief" began. NBC, perhaps led the charge with the creation of its violently hybridized subsidiary, the grotesque MSNBC. [Visit FOX - Rupert Murdoch's Seven Wonderful Miracles/MeanMesa]

MSNBC was supposed to become "something," but NBC's executive greed served to abandon the thing to its current nameless, homeless, "waif status" by demanding that the strange new network was to be everything. Absent any sort of network identity, MSNBC has just thrashed about brainlessly, permanently injuring its already wavering credibility in the process.

All this may be interesting, but the question remains: "If the new network is not to be 'created in FOX's image,' what, exactly, will it look like?" 

The First Ideas about the Democrats' New
Progressive News Network
MeanMesa is convinced that they are actually going to do this,
and that they intend to do this pretty quickly.

The new network should, of course, anticipate the FOX's -- and to a lesser degree, also the other domestic networks' -- response to the prospect of facing actual, material competition. However violent that might be at the outset, MeanMesa expects the most vitriolic part of Murdoch's response will be based on the new network's factual justification for its new narrative. Point by point, the denizens of FOX's "free range" hate clan will be slowly resigned back to their cage -- a shabby holding pen inhabited only by what's left of the network's dwindling geriatric faithful, a few immovable political hacks and its other, wandering, "true believers."

MeanMesa doubts that Rupert, already in an unstable state from being continuously inebriated by his own talking points, will find this company of hill billies and bigots particularly social.

Of course, the "essence qualities" of the new network will be dictated by the Democratic Party elite and the project's "financing friends," but MeanMesa can offer a speculative list of goals likely to be incorporated in its design. [It would be an attractive alternative to finance the thing with individual contributions, but timing is critical.] The new network needs to be established, adjusted, inhabited by attractive commentators and functioning as a successful business model in time to enjoy its own large population audience well before the 2018 mid-term elections.

"Fleshing Out" the New Network's Priorities
  • Counter the endless attacks on liberals and the Democratic Party
  • Publicize blatantly unacceptable Republican political antics [also at state level]
  • Dispute right wing misinformation schemes
  • Serve as a public forum to present Democratic Party policy and ideas
  • Break FOX's carefully engineered control of the political narrative
  • Counter the "presumed authority" of the political religious right
  • Offer an avenue of media exposure for Democratic politicians
Here is a transcript of Senator Bernie Sanders outlining this idea -- courtesy of CROOKS and LIARS.

Bernie Sanders: 
Democrats Should 'Start Funding The Equivalent Of Fox News'
By John Amato
[All links remain enabled. Visit the original site - to see the video - here:


Bernie Sanders joined Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and in a long interview touched on a very sore subject for most lefties. The right wing in this country funds and supports outlets like Fox News and the Breitbarts of the internet and Sen. Sanders believes we should fight fire with fire.

He also believes that the corporate media should start covering real policy issues and forgo the pageantry of political campaigns - the he said/she said type of controversies.

[Full transcript via MSNBC]

MADDOW: What's the solution to corporate media?

SANDERS: Uh, I think we have got to, uh, think about ways that the Democratic Party, for a start, starts funding the equivalent of Fox television.

Number two, uh, I think that pressure has got to be put on media to say that you know what, maybe as a nation, the American people are entitled to hear real discussions on real issues. You tell me, you're in the media, what percentage of the media discussions in this campaign is about process?

Who's going to win in West Virginia?

How many delegates does Hillary Clinton have?

What dumb thing did Donald Trump say yesterday?

Rather than why are we the only country in the industrialized world not to guarantee health care to all people?

How much discussion have you heard on TV about the fact that the top 1/10 of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent?

That's the kind of discussion we need and the American people need to be engaged in that. So we have got to demand of corporate media, and that's going to be hard, because this is against their own best interests.

NBC is owned by who?


MADDOW: Comcast, our overlords.

SANDERS: All right. Comcast is not one of the most popular corporations in America, right?


SANDERS: All right. Etc. Etc.

And I think the American people are going to have to say to NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN, you know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.

I was in McDowell County, Virginia, West Virginia, yesterday. People's life -- male life expectancy there is 18 years less than it is in Fairfax, Virginia. Eighteen years. People's male life expectancy is the equivalent of Guatemala.

Do you think this should be happening in America?

I don't think so. But we don't discuss those issues.

So I would hope that the corporate media understands they have a responsibility to our democracy, and without a serious discussion on serious issues, not looking at politics just as a horse race.

MADDOW: As -- as a candidate, you have raised those issues consistently...

SANDERS: Yes, I have.

MADDOW: -- over and over and over again.

SANDERS: Without much success, I must say.

MADDOW: Well, it's plenty of success. I mean you've raised a quarter of a billion dollars, right. You've -- you've driven the...

SANDERS: No, but I mean in terms of the corporate media, I have not...

MADDOW: Every time you get into the corporate media, the voice of (INAUDIBLE) that you (INAUDIBLE) say...

SANDERS: Well, I try to jump in.

[Visit NDN - the New Democratic Network NDN-WIKI]

Is It Crossing the Rubicon or Returning Fire?
Yes, it's new political ground,
 but it's not the first time we've been in this very same place.

Now, very reasonably, we are confronted with "something of a debacle." Are we really comfortable with the idea of creating of the Democratic Party news network -- financed with political money and conceived with a very definite political end goal -- with the stated purpose of confronting a "free market" entity such as Murdoch's NEWSCORP.

Before this idea was ever presented MeanMesa already had a very low regard for the opportunistic scheme of NEWSCORP. The corporation was clearly savagely manipulative, and it has been embedded in election campaigning from before it was even listed on the Dow Jones. The thing had no period of "innocence" at any point in its tortured, destructive, anti-democracy history. 

NEWSCORP had already exposed its hateful, destructive side in other countries before it deemed itself coherent enough for its run in the United States. Murdoch was well known as a fringey, Australian fascist long before he set up shop here. Murdoch's partner's background is also quite appropriate. The Wahabist Saudi Prince essentially belongs to a "billionaire death cult."

If conditions had been different with the players involved, this move might -- possibly -- qualify as a "crossing the Rubicon" moment. For example, this might possibly have been the case if NEWSCORP and its minions were not so brutally dedicated and so completely willing to invest absolutely anything necessary to establish an American oligarchy. However, given the damage that Murdoch and NEWSCORP have so gleefully inflicted on the very heart of the democracy, who cares if any part of this will resemble a "Rubicon moment?"

Are we ready to simply consign ourselves and our future to the miserable reality of life in an oligarchy under the likes of Murdoch and the Prince? That is their dream. It has always been their dream. Throughout both the history of this democracy and the history of the entire civilized world the billionaires have tried this over and over, but they have never been as close to fully accomplishing it as they are presently.


Is MeanMesa's treatment of Rupert, the Prince and the clutch of other ambitious billionaires unfair? Will the Democratic Party's new network really be the equivalent to an unexpected shiv in a dark alley -- A Stalinist scheme to pervert the "free press," undermine "free enterprise" and the sacred foundation of American "capitalism?" Or...does the plan enjoy the full heritage claim used for centuries of being self defense?

Murdoch and his gang devised NEWSCORP and FOX to attack the democracy in its most vulnerable point. The scheme was well designed. It's high time for it to end now.

Additional Reading:

Berni Sanders Wants Dems to Fund New News Network/frontpagemag

Excerpted. A sample of the right wing's hysteria over the possibility of creating FOX's competition. by Daniel Greenfield.

"This would be pretty redundant in general since every news network except Fox News is already a more liberal version of Fox News. It's doubly redundant on MSNBC whose whole premise is that it's a liberal news network. And considering how much Bernie Sanders complains about the Democratic Party, what makes him think that Debbie's DNC Network would be friendlier to his candidacy?"

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