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Column: 'The Fox Effect' worth reading by both progressives and conservatives

Earlier this month it was reported that News Corporation, the parent firm of Fox News Network, had a 47 percent increase in profit. Net income, driven largely by its cable TV properties in America -- like Fox News -- was $937 million in the third...

Ralph Doty
Ralph Doty

Earlier this month it was reported that News Corporation, the parent firm of Fox News Network, had a 47 percent increase in profit. Net income, driven largely by its cable TV properties in America -- like Fox News -- was $937 million in the third quarter alone.

This, despite the hacking scandal that has consumed News Corp in Great Britain and literally destroyed the European arm of the corporation.

And USA Today, News Corp's American newspaper, isn't doing much better. Have you noticed how very thin the national newspaper has been lately? Not many ads.

But the Fox news network is making money hand over fist. What is its secret? According to the national bestseller book "The Fox Effect," it is the network's ability to harp on big lies and make them stick.

Authors David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt's main thesis is that Roger Ailes has turned the network into a propaganda machine. And they have evidence to back up their allegations.

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Their culprit is Roger Ailes, a longtime conservative operative who was hired by Rupert Murdock to head up the network.

The authors demonstrate in the book that Ailes used his extraordinary power to spread a partisan political agenda that is unlike the widely held "standards of fairness and objectivity in news reporting." Indeed, they debunk the slogan of Fox Radio news that its reporting is "fair and balanced." It is anything but, they contend, not by what they include in their reporting, but by the stories they include for airing in their four minutes of news every hour.

"The Fox Effect" features, among other things, transcripts of leaked internal memos to show how the network slants its reporting and drums up marginal stories to consciously manipulate established facts, which maligned former President Bill Clinton and now President Barack Obama.

On a personal note, I have often wondered where some of my friends got their info on their cockamamie allegations against President Obama (for example, they still harp on the President's birthplace and his religion). This book confirms that they are watching too much Fox network.

So many past and current world dictators have used the "Big Lie" to make their points. They reason that if an exaggeration or lie is repeated often enough, people will believe it. That seems to be the philosophy of the folks at Fox and it's working.

No wonder MSNBC went liberal News Corp to counter the ultra-conservative bent of Fox.

Both "news" networks have no shame.

The Fox Effect is a book worth reading by both progressives and conservatives. It will open some eyes.

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Contact Ralph Doty at rdoty2154@aol.com .

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