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News The right wing media in the US

  1. Jun 11, 2010 #1
    As a someone looking in on American politics from the outside, I'd like to understand the appeal of Fox News and other right wing media to ordinary Americans.

    In the world's most powerful democracy, I find it incredible that you have media outlets that spew the most egregious propaganda masqueraded as journalism. I find it incredible that people like Bill O'Reily, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh unashamedly and robotically smear anyone they dislike by calling them "socialist-communist" (although this 'comeback' does seem rather inane to me)

    Without wanting to ruffle any feathers, I do realise that I am probably accustomed to a higher standard of journalism, living in the UK, but I do find it amazing how so many people swallow so much right wing tripe hook line and sinker.

    Any thoughts?

    EDIT: What inspired this post was a website and you tube channel I recently discovered, which I urge you to check out:inappropriate source
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2010 #2


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    It's very simple: most of the media leans to the left and people who lean to the right get fed up with it and look for a respectable news source that leans to the right. Foxnews is the closest thing to it there is.
    Rush Limbaugh isn't on Fox and it is very important to separate the commentators from the actual news. Have you ever actually spent any time reading the website or listening to the actual news broadcast (not the opinion shows) or does your opinion come from clipped soundbytes culled together by people who don't like FoxNews? Have you listened to similar soundbytes from FoxNews's less successful mirror, MSNBC? What is your opinion of them? Have you read any of the real op-ed pieces on FoxNews?

    Fox and the right wing radio get slammed by the left because there is no left-wing equivalent, with the closest being MSNBC, which is only a tiny fraction of the viewership. It's not like they haven't tried though. They just don't have the audience. Fear not, though: the left absolutely dominates the print media as much as the right dominates radio.

    Though I don't generally like getting personal, I'll say this about myself: Until the Fort Hood shooting I never looked at FoxNews except when linked by people on this forum attacking something they saw on it. But after the despicable reporting on the incident by the entirety of the left leaning media - even the supposedly moderate outlets such as CNN and USA Today - I went looking for alternatives that lacked their slant. Now I check Foxnews.com almost daily for the perspective from the other side. It's not a great site, but it is necessary to get the full story.

    For stories with no political content, all news sources are basically the same (heck, they all share info anyway) except that some have a little more or a little less sensationalism. For stories that do have political content, they are vastly different between right and left leaning news sources in what they tell and how they tell it.

    One story that got very little traction that I've been meaning to post a thread about is that the White House tried to bribe a challenging Senate candidate in a primary election with a non-paying job offer in the administration in exchange for him dropping out of the election in order to protect a high profile incumbent. It's an impeachable offense - had you even heard about it? Slick Willy had nothing on Obama and we have a democratic majority, so we hear almost nothing about it from the left-leaning media.
    It's a little surprising to hear that since over on this side of the pond, the media in the UK has a heavy reputation for tabloid journalism, particularly in the print media. I assume you're talking mostly about the BBC, which has the reputation for being the UK's CNN - a high quality but nevertheless somewhat left-leaning news source. The bigger difficulty though comes from lack of choices: since your TV news comes from one source, you don't have anything to measure it against.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  4. Jun 11, 2010 #3
    yeah, mostly what russ said (except for the impeachable offense thing). most of the television media is pretty far to the left. even more centrists news outlets like CNN are still center-left. and what most people complain about when they're criticizing the slant of the news isn't even news, it's "editorial" shows (O'Reilley, Olbermann).

    in any case, i don't understand the complaint. unless you've got contrarian voices, you really get no checks and balances.
  5. Jun 11, 2010 #4
    "Right Wing" news media is not all that popular I do not think. It is just more popular than "Left Wing" news media because most "Left Wing" news consumers listen to their news on entertainment shows like Howard Stern, Kevin and Bean, The Daily Show, ect. If more "Left Wing" people were actually interested in listening to/watching the news then there would be much more of it out there and/or the "Right Wing" news sources would try to be more moderate. For example in the area that I live "conservatives" are much more moderate on the whole and the local "conservative" news and talk shows are correspondingly more moderate.
  6. Jun 12, 2010 #5
    It is certainly not necessary to suffer fox in order to get "the entire story".

    I feel very sorry for american people who only speak english. Journalism in the US is very poor.
  7. Jun 12, 2010 #6
    Why is it incredible? It's their socialist agenda, not the person, that is "disliked". The word socialist in this context is used to describe the political beliefs, and therefore the reason for the disagreement, with the person. Why would someone with socialist beliefs consider the word socialist a smear, anyway?

    I've asked before on this forum for an accurate alternative to the word "socialist" that means a belief that the economy should be managed, controlled, regulated, etc by government. Anybody have one yet?
  8. Jun 12, 2010 #7
    Its much easier to digest spoon fed nonsense, rather than spend the time to learn about the issues. Joe six pack would rather watch Football, than good news sources. The end result is clowns like Bill O'foolery being popular.
  9. Jun 12, 2010 #8
    CNN is crap - unless you like to watch "Black in America", and techno-wizardry on their big flag screen tvs.

    The only new show on FOX that I like is the Sunday News Hour with Brett Hume and company, which airs on CSPAN radio. That is actually quite good. But all the talk show folks are a bunch of horses asses.

    Similarly, Keith Doperman is a drama queen. Matthews is o.k., but also a loudmouth bully like O'foolery.

    My choices are:
    [2] FOX News hour (on CSPAN Radio, Sundays)
    [3] Charlie Rose

    Side: Someone previously mentioned the Daily show, that is not a news program - it's an entertainment show.
  10. Jun 12, 2010 #9
    Social-liberal, social-democratic...
  11. Jun 12, 2010 #10
    Yes I frequent the fox news website. I've seen more egregious pieces than I care to remember. The combination of sensationalism and spin leads to misrepresentation, which totally undermines democracy imo.

    Yes, there are no "left-wing equivalents" to Fox News - ie. those that slander and misrepresent. But the left wing media is the US is pretty strong - take Democracy Now for example (I won't link to it but do go look it up). I don't consider NYtimes or the Washington Post to be left wing at all, I would call them mainstream. The centre ground in your political spectrum is set way to the right (which is very surprising for a democracy).

    I also sense that most Americans have been conditioned to reflexively be intolerant of left wing views, hence the censoring of the very popular website I linked to (which if you want to look them up on google, has won awards for the Best Political Podcast and Best Political News Site of 2009)

    May be because it has no basis in fact? If you heard about this on Fox news (who clearly have an agenda against Obama), I really think it's probably not even credible, and as such, not worthy of investigation.

    Well, I guess its in our culture to be more neutral and objective in our reporting. We have a stiff upper lip which means we don't do touchy feely sensationalism. Ofcourse we let our hair down when it comes to tabloids:)
  12. Jun 12, 2010 #11
    Yes but it is used by O Reilly and his ilk as a slur. Whenever he gets owned by guest, he robotically shouts and screams these words: "but you're just socialist-communist aren't you".
  13. Jun 12, 2010 #12


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    MSNBC. Less successful, but otherwise a near-exact mirror.
    Perhaps the real problem then is relativity:

    -The center of the US is to the right of the center of Eurpe.
    -Therefore the right of the US is well to the right of center of Europe...
    -...and the left of the US is near the center of Europe, thus you judge it as "mainstream".

    This is just your regional bias setting the reference point.
    It does have basis in fact. The Obama administration first flatly denied it, then admitted something happened and promised specifics - and promised it wasn't inethical/illegal - but hasn't provided them. This was about two weeks ago. In other words, he acknowledged it has some basis in fact, but didn't address it and waited for the media to lose interest and let the issue drop. Again, I ask: have you even heard this before?

    Yes, of course FoxNews is biased against Obama. And other news sources are biased in favor of Obama. So do you think that a legitimate story that paints him in a bad light will get fairer reporting from an anti-Obama source or a pro-Obama source? Obviously, if the issue is already anti-Obama, there is nothing for Fox to spin. But there is something for the liberal media to spin (or suppress). This is exactly why you need to diversify.

    And also - why do you assume I heard it only on Fox? I first heard it locally, since it happened locally. I tracked the story throughout the news, as it went national (it briefly appeared on CNN), then died before Obama (failed to) gives his explanation.
    So.....you like sensationalism but you like objective reporting? You don't see an inherrent contradiction there?

    Again, the issue here is that you've defined yourself and your country/media to be at the absolute center of the political spectrum. The problem is that no such absolute center exists. So while you see America as being to the right, we see the UK as being to the left and both are true, but in the relative sense. Understanding this is critical for proper judging and work-around of people's own bias.

    Know thyself.

    That said:
    I didn't delete the link, but your characterization confuses me - when you say it is "left wing", does that mean you understand it is biased but you acknowledge a liking of biased news/political commentary? Aren't you arguing against your own point here?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  14. Jun 12, 2010 #13
    But by democratic standards the US is absolutely (as opposed to relatively) right wing - this is really the point I was making. I mean, it is an aberration when it's somehow mainstream for ordinary people to vote for policies that are clearly against their economic interests, which is exactly how it is the US.

    Fox News has form when it comes to putting out, quite frankly, lies about Obama. You judge people by what they've done. The NYtimes or WP do get things wrong sometimes, but they never do anything to compromise their integrity, so the argument that you need to turn to Fox News to redress any potential bias does not hold water.

    I wasn't aware I said I liked sensationalism? I do like objective reporting though.

    Yes ofcourse the "left wing" media has a bias. But as I said before, as far as I am aware no left wing media outlet, blatantly misrepresents and lies.
  15. Jun 12, 2010 #14


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    What a laughable idea!

    Most recent example:

    The complete set of BS produced around the Mavi Marmara, and the (a) hapless, sleeping peace activists, (b) who only wanted to freight life essentials to the (c) starving population at Gaza, and that (d) unprovokedly and (e) unnecessarily were butchered by IDF

    (a)-(e) were outright lies.
  16. Jun 12, 2010 #15
    would you care to provide a link to this article?
  17. Jun 12, 2010 #16


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    Pick up your favourite leftie paper on the day of the attack.

    Odds are (a)-(e) are included in whatever article you'll read there.
  18. Jun 12, 2010 #17
    hey you made the claim, I'm asking you to back it up.
  19. Jun 12, 2010 #18


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    No, YOU made the claim, namely that leftist newspapers don't lie.

    Go back to the first reports and see how utterly divorced they are from the reality provided by hard photos, videos, stats that gradually have proven Israel's version to be the correct one.

    YOU are the one who needs a reality check, not at least by making your own effort in disillusioning yourself.

    That is why I won't be doing that job for you.
  20. Jun 12, 2010 #19
    This isn't a thread about Mavi Marmara - but yes, I did follow this flotilla story on BBC news (left wing enough for you?). They did not lie about anything.
  21. Jun 12, 2010 #20


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    Hmm..let's see, the following from Jun 1:
    Inquiry urged into Israel's convoy raid"

    Submitted untruths/misrepresentations in that article:

    1. It wasn't a "raid", but a well publicized operation to uphold a blockade.

    2. "Commandos stormed the ship". No, first, a low-key lowering of 4 IDF with paintball guns happened. These were immediately seized and pummeled, as numerous photos show.

    3. "At least 10 people killed." Wrong. Already the same day, the correct number was furnished, leftie media tried as long as they could to have the death toll at 19 or so

    4. "campaigners say Israeli forces opened fire without warning." A complete untruth spread, without comment.

    5. "The flotilla was carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid". Hmm..no. The Mavi Marmara had absolutely nothing on board.

    6. "The newly created State of Israel soon found itself in a war with neighbouring Arab countries"
    Nice way to obscure who made the attack

    7. "Since 2007, political control has been in the hands of Hamas - a militant Islamic group"
    What's wrong with "terrorist group that has sworn in its charter to eliminate Israel?" Along with the severe repression internally in Gaza committed by..Hamas?

    8. "Regular rocket attacks on Israel from within the Gaza Strip have been blamed on Hamas"
    Insinuating someone else stood behind the rocket attacks. The Chines perhaps, or IDF?

    9. "A limited amount of humanitarian aid is allowed into the region". "Provably sufficient" is less misleading

    10. "Critics of the blockade say it has a particularly damaging affect on the refugee population, limiting food and medical supplies."
    Complete lie. What has shortage of concrete&coriander to do with anything??

    11. " The blockade has led to a growth in smuggling through tunnels under the Egypt/Gaza border"
    Here, Israel is FAULTED for smuggling operations!!

    12. "While Palestinians say this is necessary to get vital supplies into the area, Israel claims is used to supply Hamas with arms"
    It is the 100 truckloads of food passing through Israel every day that carries the life essentials, not tiny tunnels.

    This is such a completely moronic mirepresentation of the required logistics one may wonder what the journalist got in maths.

    An extremely shoddy piece of journalism, from the hallowed BBC

    As for my selection criterion, I just typed in "Mavi Marmara" in the search field, went to the last page, and picked an article at random.

    The other articles are probably equally shoddy.

    Note that the correct narrative was ALREADY in place, and therefore, it is the totally unfounded distrust&suspicion harboured by the left-wing media that allowed the true picture become smeared by leftie&islamist lie campaigns.

    Fortunately, in this case, the independent evidence was so overwhelming, and quick in coming, that the orchestrated smear campaign against Israel has been halted.

    Until next time.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
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