Something I've been wondering a lot lately is how is it that Faux News became more powerful than other news organizations when most of what they do is blatant advertising for the right-wing and the fringe groups of our nation? And then it hit me today - it's because it's aimed at people who can't program their VCRs.
For the past 15 years liberals, people with educations, and the young have been moving away from television as their primary source of information. For example, my own son watches his favorite TV shows on his computer, checks out videos and music on his computer, talks to his friends on his computer, and you get the idea. I do the same. As you can tell from all the links I give, I go all over the place to find out what's happening in the world. And that's what people of my generation and later are doing.
Sure, there are exceptions, but for the most part we liberals are a group of people who get their information from podcasts, weblogs, video uploads, and social networks - all before even considering to turn on a television set. Usually by the time you read this column when I post it late in the day Pacific Standard Time there will have been ample opportunities to have gone to many sources to get the information I'm after, and I almost never turn on the TV until after the column is posted.
Because by the time the news comes on I already know more about the stories than are going to be presented in a 30-60 minute sequence of sound bites.
But you see what this is? It's about actively seeking out the news and the information. It's not just the young, but people with the wherewithal to go out and get the information by and large are left-leaning. Again, there are exceptions, but we prefer not to simply have our news spoon-fed to us, which is what television encourages.
I don't watch a lot of American television, because it spoon-feeds you the information without the need for any interaction. I despise reality TV in almost every form, I hate most sitcoms because they rely in the humor of embarrassment, and I hate most dramas because they're designed to manipulate your emotions (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is well-acted and all, but it makes me want to puke). Faux News is this philosophy taken to the nth degree, where you are not expected to think. You could be told anything and you're expected to believe it because it was seen on TV. That was barely true when Walter Cronkite was around and it certainly isn't true now, and yet a sizeable portion of our population still wants to believe it. TV is intellectually lazy, and when you're not actively engaged in a story you tend to veer politically to the right. The things that the right is saying about many events and political stances make no sense at all, and yet it gets treated as gospel by those not encouraged to think about it.
Television Viewers. And because the major pundits are all on television, they have a vested interest in getting you to keep watching. This past weekend every major talk show talked about the events in Wisconsin, and yet only one show even made the slightest pretense of showing the point of view of the union workers, and even then by only inviting one guest from the unions to balance out the other 5 from the right.
but if you're too lazy to figure out how to program your VCR, you're probably too lazy to realize that this is what happened - that the news was fed to you in very controlled doses, with no pretense of depth despite having "serious" names attached.
Kirk Douglas rocks! You know…
Looks like the Republicants are stupid and petty about everything.
Somebody please tase Paul Wolfowitz until his ears shrink.
Is he using a union welder?
Could saving California be this simple?
And because I love you, the people who won the Oscar for best original score.