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A borrowed bit of info

          Here’s a piece from a Daily Kos diarist about how Fox News covered the President’s signing of the Health Care Reform Act. Just in case any of you are still harboring any thought that Fox may be either FAIR or BALANCED:

I’m just going to let the facts speak for themselves on this one — to borrow a phrase, I’ll report, and you decide. At issue: the lead segment of Fox’s first “news” broadcast after President Obama signed the landmark health care reform legislation into law.

The segment was almost eight minutes long, but less than half a minute was spent on the bill signing. There was no reporting whatsoever on the actual consequences of the legislation’s passage or the road ahead on reconciliation.

Here’s a tick-tock I put together so you can see at a glance what Fox covered:

First: Kelly spends 50 seconds teasing upcoming segments
      – Release of 9/11 organizer?
      – Brit Hume on attacks on Pelosi, Biden dropping f-bomb
      – Volcanic eruption in Iceland
Second: Kelly spends six minutes reporting five stories
      – Report on air travel overhau-l 65 seconds;
       – Attacks on climate legislation- 35 seconds
       – Obama signs reform bill with Pelosi standing- 25 seconds
       – New poll shows top Democrats like Pelosi are unpopular- 60 seconds
       – ACORN national organization shutting down- 175 seconds
Third: Kelly spends another 60 seconds teasing upcoming segments
     – 9/11 organizer released?
      – Volcanic eruption in Iceland
       As you can see, the story that received the most coverage (with nearly three minutes of airtime) was a report on ACORN folding its national operations. A report on a poll purporting to show the unpopularity of Democrats got more than twice as much coverage as the bill signing.

         I have to admit, I can’t watch Fox News as it airs because if I watch more than a few minutes at a time I want to pull off my ears and climb under my covers forever, so I have to watch the bits and pieces that find their way to YouTube or that are replayed on Olberman or Rachel Maddow or in the lefty blogs.
         Because I can’t watch it for myself, I don’t know how much coverage they actually have given to other stories floating around the blogosphere; the five episodes that the FBI is investigating, for instance, regarding threats against “Democrat” lawmakers’ children who vote for the Health Care Bill.
          I’m curious as to how much coverage they’ve given to the likes of the tea bagger/militia freaks who are advocating (and acting out) throwing bricks through the windows of progressive legislators and organizations all over the country.
          I wonder what the chatterbugs on Fox are saying about the ignorant lunatics who are encouraging those who disagree with Health Care supporters to take their guns to the streets…in particular, the streets of Washington D.C. on April 19….IN HONOR of the Waco/Ruby Ridge/Oklahoma City tragedies, of course. (Whaaaaaaat?)

       My instincts tell me that their coverage has been less than enthusiastic, considering the latest Harris poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, shows how Republicans feel overall about President Obama:
          • 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a   socialist.
          • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
          • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that  Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
          • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
          • Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.” (Again….Whaaaaaaat?)
           The poll also clearly shows that education makes a difference in how people respond to this kind of garbage- people without a college education are much more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped.
           But then again, the Republican belief that only those people deemed by God (or the leaders of the Republican Party) to be worthy should be allowed to be educated reveals its value here.   Because how much easier is it to behave without fear of consequences if “the people” are wallowing in their own stupidity and not paying attention? The strategy of promoting a constituency happy to remain willfully ignorant of actual policy or fact in favor of forming opinions based on personality has had an impact, to be sure, although whether or not that impact is the one they were looking for is still a question.
       I do wonder what will happen when those angry people wake up and realize how much the “worthy” politicians they follow like sheep actually despise them. Or how they will react when they discover that the “information” they’ve been fed has actually been a series of smoke and mirrors intended to keep them in the dark.
       Waterloo, indeed.

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