Fox News self-brainwashing Republicans into fringe party
Former adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan an George H.W. Bush and economist Bruce Bartlett appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He discussed the paper he wrote titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” In that paper he said the following.
The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance. For the first time, there was a news source available virtually everywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a conservative tilt. Finally, conservatives did not have to seek out bits of news favorable to their point of view in liberal publications or in small magazines and newsletters. Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters. Soon, it became the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.
Bruce Bartlett elaborated to Brian Stelter. “Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people. When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily,” said Bruce Bartlett. “And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.”
This isn’t the first time Bruce Bartlett has justifiably slammed the Right. He has excoriated Tea Party followers in the past as well.
Bartlett is right about Fox News. What he should further elaborate on is the reality that many of the supposedly liberal stations tend to follow Fox News’ lead on selecting the daily narrative. They are not only self-indoctrinating their followers but the entire traditional mainstream news media.