Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bob Shrum: "Fox Creates An Alternative Universe"

In an interview with President Obama in the October 15, 2010, issue of Rolling Stone, editor Jann Wenner asked, "What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for our democracy?" The president responded that Fox has "...a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world."

Ed Schultz asked Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist and NYU professor, about Obama's comments. Shrum stated that Fox maintains a "conscious strategy of deception and fear," employing such items as "non-existent death panels, aiding and abetting the birthers, people like Glenn Beck saying that the government is considering forced abortions as a means of population control." He also said that Fox is "at the service...of people who...want to elect officials...who aren't going to make them pay their fair share of taxes or live up to their environmental or financial responsibilities." Ultimately Fox "create[s] an alternative universe" where "the debate is about non-existent things." Watch:

As an example of that "alternative universe," David Asman of Fox Business's "America's Nightly Scoreboard" states that for "a lot of voters," the November elections are about a "stark choice: socialism versus capitalism." Asman includes the "bailouts, the government takeovers, a huge increase in government spending, taxpayer-funded transfers of power from independent corporations to unions and bureaucrats." So bailouts to keep the auto and banking industries from going under are equated with "takeovers," and the stimulus, whose aim was to jump-start the economy (Paul Krugman has repeatedly written that the stimulus was too small) was just spending for the sake of spending. As to the "transfer of power," Asman provides no examples. No matter; he accomplishes his purpose of instilling fear by invoking the evil buzz words "unions and bureaucrats." Watch Asman from the Fox alternative universe:

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