Is Fox “State-Run News?”

 

I have a lot of liberal friends. I do not discuss politics with them, because I value their friendship, and I know how they would respond. I keep them on my Facebook page because I like to keep up with their families and so on, but also I am fascinated by their political posts. Firstly, my liberal friends tend to post a lot of political material, whereas my conservative friends rarely do. Secondly, I’m constantly amazed by the content of my liberal friends’ posts.

My friend “Bob” grew up middle-class. Both of his parents were teachers. Bob went on to earn a Ph.D. in some type of chemistry and apparently is very good at it, because he started his own consulting firm, and has made millions in pharmaceuticals. He is extremely progressive. My point is, his background is similar to mine, he’s very hardworking, and he’s extremely intelligent. So I find posts such as the following to be fascinating, considering the source:

Donald Trump is afraid to answer questions from the press. He only wants to answer softball questions from the state-run media: Fox. He works for us. He will answer to us, sooner or later.

OK, so an Obama supporter is criticizing President Trump for not taking unscripted questions from the press. That’s amazing.

Then, he suggests that Fox News is “state-run media.” I’m of the view that Fox News is more populist than it is conservative, but it is most certainly not statist.

Then, he points out that Mr. Trump (who he has repeatedly said is “#notmypresident” in previous posts) actually “works for all of us.” Well, which is it?

Then, he ominously intones that President Trump “will answer to us, sooner or later,” as if he’s an elitist monarch who refuses to speak to the little people, instead of a loudmouth who seemingly can’t shut up or stop Tweeting.

Again, Bob is brilliant. In chemistry, at least. Which means he is a genius at logic and deductive reasoning. So how is his political thought so delusional? Or even, dare I say it, stupid? I’m not saying I disagree with him — that’s not the point. I’m saying he doesn’t make any sense.

And why is he not just openly delusional, but stridently delusional? It seems that those who make the least sense yell the loudest. Not a new observation, I know, but it seems odd coming from Bob, a man of such towering intellect.

As a devout Christian, I understand the power of faith. And I admire people of faith, who understand that there may be some things they don’t understand but are true nonetheless. So you could argue that Bob is simply a man of faith who is not a slave to logical thinking. I guess.

But this seems different to me. Very different.

How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it?

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  1. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Because no one has ever told him or called him on his stupid behavior.  They all live in an echo chamber.  I deal with Liberals all the time.  I recently called a friend of mine on a post of his.  His response was “‘Blank’ you Dave.  I can believe what I want!”

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mass hysteria. 

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I don’t understand it, but I see it.  In fact, my two younger sisters are perfect examples.

    • #3
  4. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    You might point out that it is true that Fox news is “state run” in much the same way that all the rest of the media outlets are state-run.

    Noam Chomsky once pointed out that there is no need to force the media to take up one single solitary point of view. That when the media only has one meme it could simply be due to “market share” rather than on account of  some secret minister of propaganda. That since all Big Media outlets are corporations, the Big Media outlet will go for the person or people who represent the Globalists’ Agenda.

    That included Fox News. Only Judge Jeannine, Hannity and Tucker have been on Trump’s side since mid summer 2016. Many of the Talking Heads that do the news were for Hillary, just as The National Review went for Clinton. (Jesse Waters and Greg Gutfield also are for Trump, but are only on Fox  over the weekends.)

    I have seen Hannity bashing the Mueller investigation at the exact  same time that the scroll at the bottom of the TV is quoting some Dem about how close Mueller is to bringing Trump down for his Russian collusion.

    • #4
  5. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    I would suggest that he has never actually watched Fox News. It is merely on the list of convenient targets for the leftist agenda, such as “Vote No on (fill in the blank) for Supreme Court.”

    • #5
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I suspect that your friend Bob is suffering from what I have come to think of as Willful Ignorance. People with this affliction simply never wish to hear, read or see anything that doesn’t conform to their own point of view. As others have said, they live in an ideological echo chamber.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Dr. Bastiat: “Donald Trump is afraid to answer questions from the press. He only wants to answer softball questions from the state-run media: Fox. He works for us. He will answer to us, sooner or later.

    I don’t know your friend and can’t say for sure whether this would be appropriate or useful, but I would suggest being generally agreeable but leave him just enough room for doubt as to whether you’re on the same track as he.  Don’t make it a certainty that you are not.  

    For example, you could respond, “He should go back and see how President Obama did it. He could learn from that example.”

    and

    “You mean the deep-state-run media, right?”  

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    • #8
  9. Don Tillman Member
    Don Tillman
    @DonTillman

    Dr. Bastiat: How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it? 

    You are assuming that what your friend’s words are the result of his own thinking and his own positions.  

    Consider, instead, that your friend hasn’t really thought these issues through and is just repeating the party talking points.  

    Is that consistent with observations?

    1. Are these talking points found with a little googling?  Yes.
    2. Are these talking points crafted to be all huffy and use anger as energy?  Yes.
    3. Are these talking points crafted to, as Joseph Goebbels said, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”?  Yes.

    Knowing this, you can probably have a nicer conversation.

    • #9
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    You might point out that it is true that Fox news is “state run’ in much the same way that all the rest of the media outlets are state-run.

    ^This.

    The politico-media complex is An Idea (with a Wikipedia entry) because so many folks testify to its existence. The American right has called it “the Democrat media complex” for years.

    Calling a politico-media complex “state-run media” is hyperbole, of course, but I bet it’s what Bob means. And yeah, Fox News does cozy up to its favored politicians, just as other media outlets cozy up to theirs. So it’s a fair cop. 

    Why hasn’t Bob noticed when his side did it? Does a fish notice the water it swims in?

    • #10
  11. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Liberals don’t think they feel, especially about politics. Since your friends conclusions are based on his feelings and more specifically on how his feelings allow him to feel good about himself, they don’t have to be consistent . Each position he takes is judged indivdually not by a logical analysis but only how it will make him feel about himself .  And tangentially not whether it is effective as to helping those he believes he cares about but ultimately only how good he can feel about himself for caring . That analysis is the only way to make sense of what seem to us to be contradictory or counter productive positions so firmly held by intelligent and very caring people .

    Furthermore this seems to be a matter of nature more than nurture in most instances. So it is unlikely he or any one so inclined can be argued away from this modus operandi . It is more the way he is wired than something he has been taught, most likely.  That is why he reacts with anger when friends who are differently wired try to reason him out of it, it seems like a personal attack to him . 

    • #11
  12. Ruthenian Inactive
    Ruthenian
    @Ruthenian

    Dr. Bastiat: How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it? 

    I also have “Bob” for a friend. My friend Bob is also a successful PhD chemist. We have been friends since college days almost 40 years ago. I used to discuss politics with Bob and then I gave up. When pinned on facts and logic, he would change topics, and would become angry when I would point to him that he was changing the thrust of discussion when cornered with facts. We are still friends, but I no longer engage him when he tries to discuss politics. Not long ago, he told me: “I am peeved with you for your avoidance to discuss politics. How could I show you the error of your way of thinking?”

    Since we have similar backgrounds and yet so diametrically different political views, I have often wondered how this got to be this way. My friend Bob has a very conspiratorial view of the world, and is angry about it. He is logical in chemistry, because the underlying assumptions can be tested for correctness and modified when new data come in. Chemical reactions are not trying to “get” the experimenter. They are what they are. One can’t be logical with politics, if “they all lie and cheat” is the basis for one’s political thinking – as is the case with Bob. In politics all logic is useless when emotions rule.

    I am a godfather to one of Bob’s children. The kid is now in his early thirties and is fairly apolitical. Bob has been trying to get him interested in his kinds of politics but the kid has refused. When Bob asked why, the kid did say something to this effect: “You and Uncle Ruthenian are smart people, and if the two of you can’t agree on what is right, how could I figure it out?” I actually have good reasons to think that he figured it out, but does not want to anger his dad…

    • #12
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Dr. Bastiat: Again, Bob is brilliant. In chemistry, at least. Which means he is a genius at logic and deductive reasoning. So how is his political thought so delusional? Or even, dare I say it, stoooopid? I’m not saying I disagree with him – that’s not the point. I’m saying he doesn’t make any sense.

    One way to try to understand this might be to look at the carnage the right has inflicted upon itself lately. There are a lot of highly intelligent righties still saying the same thing of other highly intelligent righties — even here on Ricochet! — over differences, real or perceived, relating to Trump. We presumably have a lot of ideology in common, and we still are at risk of perceiving each other in this way!

    Your friend isn’t stupid. He’s made different choices from you in what to believe and who to trust where politics is concerned.

    The trust angle is particularly important, and from it, all sorts of seeming illogic can follow. For example, readers who trust National Review more than American Greatness can seem pretty out-of-whack  to readers who trust Am Greatness more than NR, and vice-versa — and that’s over what’s, in the larger scheme of things, a fairly minor difference in ideology and partisanship.

    We do not have time to work out all premises for ourselves. Life’s too short. We rely on trusted sources for information we’ll basically take for granted, reasoning from it, but not about it. “Question everything” sounds like a noble goal, but it’s impossible in practice. You and your friend reserve your deepest skepticism for different things, at least where politics is concerned.

    • #13
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Ruthenian (View Comment):
    He is logical in chemistry, because the underlying assumptions can be tested for correctness and modified when new data come in. Chemical reactions are not trying to “get” the experimenter. They are what they are. One can’t be logical with politics, if “they all lie and cheat” is the basis for one’s political thinking – as is the case with Bob.

    A trust issue, then. 

    We on the right have some similar trust issues, including distrust of academic studies whose “underlying assumptions can be tested for correctness and modified when new data come in” when we “emotionally” (though it seems pretty reasonable to us) react by believing there are political incentives biasing the data analysis. 

    It’s normal, I think, to be distrustful of political figures. Plenty on both the right and left are. So… which side do you trust less? That will be the side you hate.

    • #14
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Don Tillman (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it?

    You are assuming that what your friend’s words are the result of his own thinking and his own positions.

    Consider, instead, that your friend hasn’t really thought these issues through and is just repeating the party talking points.

    Is that consistent with observations?

    1. Are these talking points found with a little googling? Yes.
    2. Are these talking points crafted to be all huffy and use anger as energy? Yes.
    3. Are these talking points crafted to, as Joseph Goebbels said, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”? Yes.

    Knowing this, you can probably have a nicer conversation.

    Bob believes what his cool friends believe. 

    • #15
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    TBA (View Comment):

    Don Tillman (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it?

    You are assuming that what your friend’s words are the result of his own thinking and his own positions.

    Consider, instead, that your friend hasn’t really thought these issues through and is just repeating the party talking points.

    Is that consistent with observations?

    1. Are these talking points found with a little googling? Yes.
    2. Are these talking points crafted to be all huffy and use anger as energy? Yes.
    3. Are these talking points crafted to, as Joseph Goebbels said, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”? Yes.

    Knowing this, you can probably have a nicer conversation.

    Bob believes what his cool friends believe.

    Or maybe more to the point; what his cool friends will click the ‘like’ button for. 

    • #16
  17. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    Dr. Bastiat: How can someone who is so good at logical thinking be so bad at logical thinking? And so proud of it?

    “The heart has reasons that reason knows not of,”  (or something like that) from Blaise Pascal comes to mind.

    In my Intro. Anthropology course eons ago, the professor began the section on Evolution and Race with the dictum that rule one is that whenever the subject comes up, everyone becomes delusional. I think the intervening years have shown him to have been right.

    Race is not the whole story, but it is big in the case against Trump. (He didn’t help much in the campaign, truth be told.|

    Another theory, though akin: Victor Davis Hanson says that Americans can be very fierce when we get in a fight to protect someone else. In such a passion, we throw off the usual restrains. Maybe your chemist thinks he’s Shane defending some othered outs?

    Another theory: idiot savant? A gift in one area is not a gift in others.

    Or the French answer: amour propre? He wants to keep his standing in his group.

    Anyway, as a man of the left he will no doubt counter with Emerson, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”  He will simply deny the contradictions you noticed.

    • #17
  18. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    just as The National Review went for Clinton.

    Effectively, I guess. But did they actually endorse her?

     

    • #18
  19. rdowhower Member
    rdowhower
    @

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumos

    • #19
  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Dr. Bastiat: I have a lot of liberal friends. I do not discuss politics with them, because I value their friendship, and I know how they would respond. I keep them on my Facebook page, because I like to keep up with their families and so on, but I also am fascinated by their political posts. Firstly, my liberal friends tend to post a lot of political material, whereas my conservative friends rarely do. Secondly, I’m constantly amazed by the content of my liberal friends’ posts.

    I have experienced this also.  All my liberal friends post and say the most outlandish things about Trump.  My conservative friends post almost nothing.  If somebody pushes back on the AntiTrump stuff there is a pile on that ends with the critic blocked or banned from the platform.  While the liberal sticks around whining about the racist, sexist Trump support that had the gall to say something.

    Things have gotten so bad that I almost lost a client of 20 years recently because he thought I went over to the Trump side.  Luckily I was able to convince him I am sufficiently AntiTrump enough to keep from losing the relationship and the others that would have followed.  The world has gotten weird.  I fear it will get weirder.  It seems the liberals have won the culture war and are now having fun killing off the survivors.

    • #20
  21. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Things have gotten so bad that I almost lost a client of 20 years recently because he thought I went over to the Trump side.

    This is why I still write as Dr. Bastiat.  I sometimes consider entering the public debate.  But I need to earn a living. 

    You could describe my continued anonymity as cowardice.  And you would not be wrong. 

    But it’s nasty out there. 

    • #21
  22. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    I find this subject fascinating because I have known many people like “Bob.”  Human intelligence is a funny thing.  People can be super smart in some areas and total dunces in other areas.  World Chess Champion “genius” Bobby Fischer was nearly helpless in his life outside of chess, yet he was considered the greatest player who ever lived up till his time.  His political rantings showed that he had almost no knowledge of what was going on in the World, and just as little knowledge of human behavior.

    I read an article in “The Skeptical Inquirer” many years ago that went on to demonstrate that Einstein was not the great rational thinker that everybody thinks he was.  It pointed out that Einstein, a pacifist, supported the Soviet Union in its early development as being some sort of hope for mankind.  Like many people, Einstein was at first unaware of the genocide going on in their concealed system, but when he finally found out about the massive killing, he refused to change his mind.

    There is something that confounds rational intelligence, known as “emotional intelligence.” It is akin to “common sense.”  When someone is not in control of their emotions, all rational thought just flies out the door.  It doesn’t matter how “smart” you are, without emotional intelligence you are unable to use your smarts.  Every one of us has at least one thing that sets off our emotional buttons.   This peculiar trigger may seem totally innocuous to another person but it has a powerful impact on you, and it works aggressively to obscure your rational  thought.  Working to eliminate these buttons makes one healthier mentally.

    I’ve noticed that Leftists in general, are not in control of their emotions as much as Conservatives are.  This is why you see more Leftists engage in shouting, speaking over others, chanting, long tirades, and terminating friendships for political reasons.  It is not surprising then, that they are unable to assimilate factual information that you and I take for granted.

    • #22
  23. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Historian Friedrich Meinecke, writing about one factor that led to support for Naziism:

    “It often happens nowdays…that young technicians, engineers, and so forth, who have enjoyed an excellent university training as specialists, will completely devote themselves to their calling for ten or fifteen years and without looking either to the right or to the left will try only to be first-rate specialists. But then, in their middle or late thirties, something they have never felt before awakens in them, something that was never really brought to their attention in their education–something that we would call a suppressed metaphysical desire. Then they rashly seize upon any sort of ideas and activities, anything that is fashionable at the moment and seems to them important for the welfare of individuals–whether it be anti-alcoholism, agricultural reform, eugenics, or the occult sciences. The former first-rate specialist changes into a kind of prophet, into an enthusiast, perhaps even into a fanatic and monomaniac. Thus arises the type of man who wants to reform the world.”

    I don’t know about your friend in particular, but I do think the above description is applicable to many Americans who have become ‘progressives’ after years of having no particular interest in or knowledge of politics and political philsophy.

    • #23
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Things have gotten so bad that I almost lost a client of 20 years recently because he thought I went over to the Trump side.

    This is why I still write as Dr. Bastiat. I sometimes consider entering the public debate. But I need to earn a living.

    You could describe my continued anonymity as cowardice. And you would not be wrong.

    But it’s nasty out there.

    Self-destruction in the service of talking politics online would be pointless. It also wouldn’t pay the bills. 

    This is an advantage for the leftist child-thugs. 

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    TBA (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Things have gotten so bad that I almost lost a client of 20 years recently because he thought I went over to the Trump side.

    This is why I still write as Dr. Bastiat. I sometimes consider entering the public debate. But I need to earn a living.

    You could describe my continued anonymity as cowardice. And you would not be wrong.

    But it’s nasty out there.

    Self-destruction in the service of talking politics online would be pointless. It also wouldn’t pay the bills.

    This is an advantage for the leftist child-thugs.

    Southern slaveowners thought most of their slaves were happy and loved their masters. Never mind that they also feared rebellion.

    Then came Emancipation. There were surprises.

    We’re getting to a point where leftists elites fear rebellion, but also will be surprised when they find out what people really think.

    • #25
  26. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    It seems hard working serious people, especially those who studied stem are busy and distracted and without the historical cultural background that we used to take for granted.  They get their information and views on these matters by osmosis from the –yep– state run media and peers. There’s no easy fix.  Certainly not argument or correction.  Only gutting the administrative state, the educational bureaucracy and somehow changing our institutions of higher learning to institutions of higher learning.   There is a First Things article last month contrasting liberal arts departments with STEM.  The latter is vibrant and well funded.  Liberal arts are just dying as the cultural marxists gut them.  The problem is those stem student take a course or two in Liberal Arts and have peers from them.  It’s a disease that takes root among those ignorant of the richness of our cultural heritage.

    • #26
  27. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    People who use the term “state-run television” have never actually lived in country where there is truly state-run media. 

    As usual, the hysterics of politics too easily overruns the logic capabilities of the human mind. When I encounter it I usually ask them, “Do they leave you out of the concentration camp during the day? Haven’t they disabled your Facebook and Twitter accounts? Damn them. They are the lousiest fascist dictatorship evah!”

    A fascist or communist dictatorship does not allow opposition voices. When there’s a 500-channel universe and 490 of them are run by progressive liberals there is no state television. When there are no filters on your internet run by the government, when Facebook, Twitter and Google are all privately owned and run by progressives? Please.

    • #27
  28. I. M. Fine Coolidge
    I. M. Fine
    @IMFine

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Your friend isn’t stupid. He’s made different choices from you in what to believe and who to trust where politics is concerned. The trust angle is particularly important, and from it, all sorts of seeming illogic can follow

    This is the key, I think. Trust. Who and what does one trust and to what/whom do you bestow credibility.

    Aristotle had the persuasion thing worked out perfectly: It’s a balance between logos (reason), pathos (emotion), and ethos (trust/credibility). The Left is mired in pathos at the expense of logos. (And humbly, the Right must at times work to not neglect the pathos aspect of arguments – at least if the end goal is persuasion.) But ethos – ah, there’s the rub. When so many of the Left’s traditional sources of credibility (academia, the press) have been consistently denigrated and exposed as not credible, they turn inward. Already lacking in logos, this is a losing argument. (At times I sure wish Aristotle was around today. Where/with whom do you think he’d be writing?)

    • #28
  29. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    EJHill (View Comment):

    People who use the term “state-run television” have never actually lived in country where there is truly state-run media.

    As usual, the hysterics of politics too easily overruns the logic capabilities of the human mind. When I encounter it I usually ask them, “Do they leave you out of the concentration camp during the day? Haven’t they disabled your Facebook and Twitter accounts? Damn them. They are the lousiest fascist dictatorship evah!”

    A fascist or communist dictatorship does not allow opposition voices. When there’s a 500-channel universe and 490 of them are run by progressive liberals there is no state television. When there are no filters on your internet run by the government, when Facebook, Twitter and Google are all privately owned and run by progressives? Please.

    Indeed. Holocaust survivors are the ones who are most incensed by these inane stupid liberals spouting off their Nazi-metaphors. With the most righteous indignation possible.

    • #29
  30. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Human beings are not perfectly rational.  We have rational capabilities.  But more often we rely on instinct rather than reason.

    If you are in a dark room and I shine a flashlight in your eyes, your pupils will constrict.  This is an instinct that you have.  Instinct is more powerful than we often realize.

    I think back to when I was in high school.  I was a Leftist when I was that young.  I thought that Reagan, who was serving his 1st term as president at the time, was a servant of the rich and the corporations.  I thought of socialism as equivalent to fairness and capitalism as exploitation.

    A few months after graduating from high school, I changed my mind.  I decided that socialism was unworkable and destructive while capitalism delivered economic abundance.

    But in order to have my mind changed, I had to be willing to look beyond my own experience.  My own personal experience did not provide enough information for me to discover the pitfalls of socialism and the advantages of capitalism.

    During my transition from Leftist to conservative, I read a book about American military involvement in Vietnam written by a Left leaning author.

    However, this  Leftish author did leave a few breadcrumbs of information that got me wondering about whether socialism could actually work.  It mentioned that years after America left Vietnam and the communists won, Vietnam was facing starvation.

    So, I started thinking, “Are there any examples of socialism that have resulted in high standards of living?  Is there any socialist society that I, personally, would like to live in?”  One conservative pundit said that the great socialist society is always “the one we are working to create” but never one that has been demonstrated.  It used to be the Soviet Union, then it was Cuba and then it was Vietnam and then Nicaragua.  But the success of socialism always resided in the future.

    So, I changed my mind.  But that’s because I was curious about the facts.

    Most people aren’t curious about the facts.  They have faith in what they already believe.

    • #30
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