Tuesday, October 19, 2004

O'Reilly/Fox News in context

When writing about O'Reilly's exploits, I was also thinking about his tendency to twist information - and then claim to be the "No Spin Zone" (my ass). This got me thinking about how this "happens":

O'Reilly has always relied on what I call "Information Entropy". This theory basically shows that information itself - even strongly researched information - has a strong tendency to exponentially break-down over time, and comes close to being forgotten (though not completely). This is linked to the dillema that media stories (true & untrue) dissolve and are forgotten after a month. This is also linked to the American TV viewing audience having the attention span of a fucking tit-mouse.

When I look at media news sources, I often give huge bonus points for those sources that put events in historical context; Reminding us about the origins of events, and that these events dont happen in a vacuum. The New York Times - with all its faults - is simply the best at taking an event and following it back chronologically. NPR - despite claims of bias - is also good at this.

Fox News is always consistantly the worst. I really dont care where they stand ideologically - I would be pissed no matter where they stood. Fox News is constantly flashing events across the screen as if they were completely novel occurances that seemed to happen only because God wished them into being. No context. No background. No sources. Just BANG!: "Terrorist Attack", "<<Alert level: Orange>>", "Ten Commandments removed - commentary by Jerry Falwell", "Janet Jackson's titty - played in a loop all this week". This leads (and owes its growth to) this simpleton garbage redneck logic: Why do they hate us? Because we are free; Why do they fight us? Because they are evil. Why does Fox News do this? Because we bend over for it!

O'Reilly not only abuses this, but outright uses the viewing public's ADD to his advantage. Often O'Reilly will literally Re-write history: Claiming he is an independent, being confronted with information that he is a registered Republican, Screaming "character assassination", and then claiming that he never said he was an independent in the first place! THEN he lets the story die (& the information dissolve) and claims AGAIN later to be an independent!

Moral to this story: Remember that they can only re-write history if we are complacent enough to let them do so. So pay attention people! Dont bend over to pick up the soap! Keep your eye on the ball, and watch for the double-reverse!

PS, does it seem odd to you that the terrorism alert level, since its inception, has never dipped below "Elevated: significant risk of terrorist attacks"? We have not yet been at "Guarded" or "Low"... is this for real? Or is just to cover the gov's ass if one happens, and keep us scared shitless in the meantime.

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