Politics: Discussing the misinformation

There seems to be a huge difference in political ideas and thoughts over the same issues today. Most of this has to do with the current president Barack Obama. Some see him as a true American hero, first African American president, a visionary. Others see him as a communist, the next Hitler, Karl Marx, etc. Then there are the issues. Some see the health care bill as overdue, a small step towards universal health care, others see it as an unconstitutional mandate worthy of death threats and vandalism. I often ask myself, how can there be this enormous gap in the understanding of the issues, and of this man Barack Obama?

It’s easy to write it off as ignorance. It’s easy to say one side is clearly wrong and stupid and they can’t be helped etc. But that’s just generalizing and it’s often incorrect. Sure, there is a small percentage of people like that, that can’t be swayed with logic or reasoning, they think what they think and that’s that. But, that’s not what the majority of this is about.

In my opinion, this misinformation and hatred is a direct result of one major “News” network, Fox News. There are different opinions on this network as well. Some see it as a joke, not worthy of anyone’s attention. Others see it as the only “Fair and Balanced” network, and the criticisms are just bias from the “lamestream media.”

But let’s examine Fox News, with actual facts. Fox news is a cable news network, created in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch. Now I’ll get to him a bit later. It’s most well known hosts are Bill O’Reily, a conservative “Traditionalist”, sexual harasser, verbal abuser, and equates gay marriage with marriage to a turtle. Sean Hannity, a conservative, who once called Obama “Fancy” and “Watches too much TV” for using Dijon mustard, an inexpensive mustard made in America (He showed the Gray Poupon commercial), and Glenn Beck, a…well, seemingly a complete wackjob. It’d take me a whole other blog to write about Beck’s ridiculous statements. But I’ll get to him later.

Nearly everyone else on Fox News has similar sentiments towards Democrats, Liberals, and Barack Obama. Rupert Murdoch claims that ALL other news networks are biased, except his, although later on that night when asked the question to name ONE democrat on Fox News he couldn’t name anyone. He also claimed that Fox news shouldn’t be supporting the “Tea Party”, a right wing movement with talking points ripped straight off of Fox News, and with essentially the tea party queen, Sarah Palin, as one of their “analysts.” Fox News has been a “corporate partner” to the tea party movement since its inception, covering them with very positive stories and with slogans like “Americans are standing up.” An inception, I might add, that was recently discovered to be a tool of certain individuals to make money and for political gain. Shocking.

Easily the most astounding, slanderous and completely nonsensical comments about Barack Obama and the government come from Glenn Beck. Beck has compared Barack Obama and his policies to Communism, Maoism, even Nazism. He’s called progressives the cancer of America. He…Well, I can’t even do justice to properly explain what he does, I’ll have to show you:

…That’s seriously his most used form of arguments. Somehow using letters from words he put up there to imply that the government is becoming an “Oligarhy”. By the way, it is spelled Oligarchy, with a C, and when corrected on that he took it as the people helping him uncover the Oligarchy in America. Amazing.

But wait…Here are some interesting quotes from Glenn Beck. Beck insists that he “could give a flying crap about the political process.” And that “We’re an entertainment company,” He also states “if you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”

Wow, well that completely discredits him as a political analyst right? He said so himself, no harm no fou…Oh wait. Still, everywhere there are people defending his talking points, people showing up to rallies carrying signs of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache, calling his a communist, etc. Why? It’s supposed to be entertainment right?

Hence the reason I am writing this blog. I feel like the majority of Americans want to be into politics and understand the important decisions so they try to watch the shows and read the news but they can’t understand a lot of it. There’s a lot that goes with it, Taxes, Health care, liberal, democrat, conservative, right wing, left wing, summits, senators, speakers, debates, analysts etc. When you turn on a channel like MSNBC or CNN, it’s easy to get lost. However, when you turn on Fox News you have a self proclaimed “Rodeo Clown” like Glenn Beck explaining conspiracy theories on a chalkboard like a kindergarten class, which is not only easy to understand, the black and white fear mongering, the one layer “journalism”, but it’s also interesting and scary if it’s real. Fox News does one thing well, and that’s report on something in a very one sided simplistic manner. Then, they have slogans like “Fair and Balanced” and “We report, you decide” to make it seem like it’s a real neutral news network. So you have 2 things, very motivated people who believe all of this and will fight for it in every way, and regular people who just don’t know any better.

Then, you have a third thing. Word of mouth. The biggest reason I believe these ideas get a wide spread as they do. You’re not going to casually go up to someone and go “Hey did you see that 7 hour health care debate? The financial structure Barack Obama laid out was brilliant” But the people on the other side are filled with outrage and crazy ideas, so you hear “Obama, what a communist Muslim. I can’t believe he’s turning our country into Canada or Russia.” So people who have absolutely no knowledge of politics hear this, again and again, from friends and family members, and they join with it. So you have a complete army of people spouting out ridiculous rhetoric, and they really don’t know any better.

And now what you’re seeing is a revolt, people are sending death threats to senators for voting for policies from Barack Obama, throwing bricks through windows of public officials. We’ve seen this kind of hate before with the Oklahoma City Bomber, and now we have a huge “News” organization fueling the same anti-government sentiment. It’s a serious problem, and one I’m not sure how to fix, other than to write a blog like this and show it to anyone I think fits the misinformed category. So I go.

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~ by Adam Hughes on April 25, 2010.

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