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Now I understand the existence of Fox News - Journal of Omnifarious

Nov. 18th, 2006

08:30 pm - Now I understand the existence of Fox News

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Rupert Murdoch's media properties have in general always catered to the most base impulses. Married with Children, for example, and almost the entire lineup of REGAN, a subsection of Harper Collins. I also believe The Simpsons was from the same impulse, even though the show has turned out to be quite brilliant satire.

Now, a publisher he owns (by two levels of proxy, but still) is publishing a book by OJ Simpson detailing how he might've committed the murders he's accused of, if he'd actually done it. OJ, of course, stands to make millions off this book (if he hasn't already). Which is really quite a vile and disgusting thing IMHO, but it certainly does appeal to many people's base instincts.

Ruper Murdoch also happens to own Fox News (again by one or two levels of proxy). It is my feeling that he picked up this media property for the exact same reason he chose to air Married with Children and to publish this book by OJ Simpson.

On a rather different note, Bill O'Reilly is on the moral outrage warpath. This is hard to take seriously since, of course, the parent company of the news network he works for is who's peddling it. Of course, he spins this as a tale of both the 'elite media' ignoring the issue, and the far left trying to falsely pin it on his company. Which is really quite an impressive amount of contradiction and misdirection in a few short paragraphs. Of course, many in the Fox News viewership will be willingly duped because it's what they want to hear, but...

I have a theory about this. Actually, I have two. The first is less cynical than the second, even though both rank pretty high.

The first theory is that expressing moral outrage like this is like the password for club membership. In order to be a member of the Republican club, you have to say the right things at the right times and get angry at the right people for the right things. The Democrats do this too. For example, NOW never uttered a peep about president Clinton's behavior, even though you know they would've been all over a Republican president who did the same kinds of things (and I'm talking the allegations of sexual harassment while he was a governor, not Monica Lewinsky since that was apparently fully consensual and didn't involve an abuse of his power as president). So, apparently, this kind of thing is part and parcel of American politics today.

The second theory is that this is all part of a large marketing effort by Rupert's organization to peddle the book. The more it's mentioned, the more people will buy it, even though they know it's a piece of utter trash that should never have been published. And that most of the people on Fox News know they spew garbage and do it because it can be sold to a certain segment of the American populace.

Current Mood: [mood icon] cynical