When I was a child I used to have one of those little Jack-in-the-Box toys. Remember them? It was a little square box with a trap door on the top and a grinder on the side I would turn, causing it to play the song “Pop! Goes the Weasel”. When it got to the end of the song, the trap door would pop open on a spring mechanism and a clown would pop out.
I was reminded of my childhood toy when I read this article in Media Matters about FOX News (also known as Fake News, Faux News, Fixed News, Fictional News, False News, Bovine Feces News and numerous other more accurate descriptions.) A former employee of FOX has stated that FOX news is nothing but a propaganda machine.
“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”
It is not a true news organization, or at least it’s not like the news organizations I grew up with, in the heyday of professional journalism. Walter Cronkite on CBS, Huntley/Brinkley on NBC, Harry Reasoner on ABC, all of them emulating the great Edward R. Murrow. You trusted these news organizations to tell you the news, impartially, with very little slant (they’re human – there will always be some slant). And even if they weren’t exactly unbiased, you knew they weren’t making it up, they weren’t consciously spinning the news to influence opinion in a particular political direction.
Times have changed.
This employee has said that FOX had no compunction about being the mouthpiece of a political side. It started out spinning the conservative viewpoint, then graduated to spinning the Republican viewpoint, and finally to the official viewpoint of the Bush administration, and adversary to the Obama administration. And they do this all under the banner of “fair and balanced”. This has been known for years, but this is the first time it’s been confirmed by an employee of FOX.
“It was a kick ass mentality too,” says the former Fox News insider. “It was relentless and it never went away. If one controversy faded, goddamn it they would find another one. They were in search of these points of friction real or imagined. And most of them were imagined or fabricated. You always have to seem to be under siege. You always have to seem like your values are under attack. The brain trust just knew instinctively which stories to do, like the War on Christmas.”
So FOX is just a propaganda machine, bought and paid for by conservative, Republican interests. Whenever something happens in the world that is newsworthy, FOX is like that Jack-in-the-box from my infancy. Instead of getting something new, unique and informative, impartially rendered, you get the news stuffed in a can, which is then wound up until a clown pops out of the top spouting the same old conservative, Republican line. It’s the same thing, over and over and over. You can rely on it.
But like a child, the ignorant and gullible in the American populace squeal with delight every time FOX pops out of the can, believing that they are being given impartial, unbiased access to the world.
The joke’s on them.
Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel 1