For over 20 years now, Fox News has spent much of its time serving as nothing more than a conservative propaganda machine pretending to be a cable news channel. From their overly patriotic graphics, to their laughable catchphrase “Fair and Balanced,” it’s been a very effective tool at turning the Republican Party into a modern day political cult.
One of the downsides to pushing propaganda, pandering to paranoia, and embracing borderline insanity is, eventually, you’re going to reach a point where your audience may ultimately turn on you. That’s the thing about preying on emotions — it tends to make people very irrational, if not outright hostile.
That’s what I found incredibly ironic (and absolutely hilarious) about a recent Fox News article/segment by Howard Kurtz complaining about backlash he and the network received after publishing a poll showing how unpopular Donald Trump currently is.
Much like CNN, NBC News, the Washington Post, CBS News, and most other mainstream media entities, Fox News conducts polls tracking every president’s approval rating. Trump claims that practically every negative news report and poll about him is “FAKE NEWS!,” but he rarely includes Fox News in his rants against the mainstream media. While I’m sure that doesn’t shock anyone, seeing as Fox News has served as a quasi version of state-run media for his administration, it does create a rather interesting conundrum: What happens when Fox News can’t spin the truth about Trump?
Cue the most recent Fox News poll showing Trump’s approval rating at a pathetic 40 percent, down 5 percent from last month. The poll also indicated that 68 percent support a special counsel to oversee the Russian investigation, and 53 percent say his agenda is coming apart.
Needless to say, this didn’t go over very well with the pro-Trump folks to which Fox News lies and panders.
As Kurtz wrote:
A Fox News poll came out the other night, and I tweeted some of the findings about President Trump.No analysis, no commentary. Just a few numbers.“Trump approval at 40%, down from 45% last month. 53% say his agenda is coming apart; 44% say he’s shaking up Washington.”And: “68% approve of DOJ naming a special counsel, 29% disapprove.”Well, you’d have thought I had called for the president’s impeachment.I practically got buried under an avalanche of angry tweets.Most of them didn’t seem to want to engage in an actual discussion. They just attacked me, Fox, and polling in general.
He then listed several tweets he received accusing the poll of trying to manipulate people, not polling Trump supporters, and one person even calling Fox News “liberal.”
Gotta love it.
What followed next was Kurtz complaining about these people not understanding simple facts or how scientifically-sound polls work:
Many are so persuaded that the media establishment has it in for Trump that they don’t want to hear contrary information. They are tuning it out.I know this because of the comments I get if I analyze anything from, say, the New York Times or Washington Post, even if the stories turn out to be true. And Fox News is no longer immune to these complaints.The Fox poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 people with a 3-point margin of error, was hardly an outlier. In the last two days, Gallup has Trump’s job approval at 39 percent, Quinnipiac at 37, Ecoomist at 40 and Reuters at 37. The exception is Rasmussen, which puts Trump at 48 percent.
Hm, maybe the reason why many of these folks are convinced that the “media establishment has it in for Trump” — is because that’s exactly what a lot of the people on his network are constantly telling them. Every day I watch Fox News, someone on the network parrots Trump’s “FAKE NEWS!” argument. Hell, Sean Hannity has become nothing more than an Alex Jones-level conspiracy theorist in his desperate attempt to defend Trump. You can’t condition people to think anything and everything negative about Trump is “FAKE NEWS!” then get upset when they turn on you for daring to report something they don’t want to hear.
But this got even better. After admitting that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (which I’m sure drew even more backlash) he had this to say:
The troubling thing here is that we no longer agree on a common set of facts. Conservatives and liberals are increasingly in their own silos, turning to their own opinionated media sources and constructing their Facebook and Twitter feeds the same way.If everything is fake news, then the role of news in fostering intelligent debate is decimated.
Does he know what network he works for? Because it sure doesn’t seem like it.
Kurtz can act as if he’s living in some alternate universe where Fox News isn’t mostly a conservative entertainment network, but that doesn’t change reality. The backlash he experienced by posting the results of this poll is a direct result of the over 20-years worth of lies, propaganda, and fear-mongering his network has perpetuated.
For Kurtz, someone who wrote this joke of an article defending Trump just the other day, complaining about too many people thinking everything is “FAKE NEWS!” — when that’s what many folks on the network he works for claim while defending Trump — is irony that even the best writers can’t make up.
The truth is, Fox News is in a lot of trouble. After creating the “monster” (aka the modern-day conservative cult) that helped “elect” a con man like Donald Trump, it’s now turning on them. Their ratings are down, they can’t report anything factual against Trump because that’s not what most of their audience wants to hear, and the disgustingly sexist culture of the network over the last two decades has led to the downfall of their CEO and most popular on-air personality.
Watch Kurtz’s comments below via Fox News: