Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fox disappears right-wing media's role in forming public's misconceptions about Obama.

Fox News want to know how Obama came to be defined by so many labels which don't actually apply to him and, in some cases, are utterly contradictory. For example, how can one be "godless" and, simultaneously, a Muslim? How can one be "Wall Street loving" and, at the same time, be socialistic?

What's utterly missing from their reporting is the fact that their channel has played a larger role in this defining of Obama than probably any other.

Indeed, whilst discussing the Newsweek story they don't even mention that Newsweek says, "Fox often covers Obama's place of birth and religion more as matters of opinion than of fact."

It's got to be as dishonest a media outlet as Pravda was in the days of the Soviet Union.


The problem is that some of the lies about Obama are gathering strength. In 2008, 13 percent of Americans were under the misimpression that he was a Muslim. Now the figure is 24 percent. One explanation may be that Obama's connection to his Chicago church was fresher in the public mind then. But the deeper problem is a growing number of people who think the president is not just disappointing or wrongheaded but dangerous. More than half of Republicans surveyed (52 percent) think it's "definitely true" or "probably true" that Obama "sympathizes with the goals of fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world." This says more about the mindset of the GOP than about Obama. It reflects not just the usual personal and partisan animus of the age (George W. Bush was subjected to exceptionally nasty attacks from the left) but a flight from facts--a startling disconnect between a quarter of the country and what some of Bush's aides once disparagingly called "the reality-based community."

The blame for this extends from Fox News and the Republican leadership, to the peculiar psychology of resentment in public opinion, to the ham-handed political response of the Obama White House. Whatever the cause, if smash-mouth tactics are validated by huge GOP gains in the midterm elections, then Big Lie politics may be with us for good.

Not that you would know from Fox's coverage of this story that they were even mentioned within the story.

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