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The Gullible Ones Who Watch Faux News

August 23, 2016

Jim Rutenberg, media writer for The New York Times, nailed one of the problems with the electorate in a column this week.  Writing about how Sean Hannity looks like a reporter behind a desk on FAUX News while all the time pimping for Donald Trump allows for –how shall I say it–the cerebrally challenged to eat up a whole line of utter horse rot. What are offered as ‘facts’ are in fact something quite different.

I am one of those who think following the defeat of Trump this November that an audit needs to be made of our educational systems to understand how in hell so many uneducated rubes have been created in this nation.    Who can honestly tell me that anyone with a dose of common sense or one iota of intelligence could stomach even a couple minutes of Sean Hannity without seeking the remote to stop the crazy or blush that some one might catch them wasting time with such a lightweight?

Yet the overnight ratings show that there are more gullible people in this nation than most of us would care to think possible.   There are times we need to weep for our nation.

On other days, he has lent his prime-time platform to wild, unsubstantiated accusations that Hillary Clinton is hiding severe health problems. He showed a video of a supposed possible seizure that was in fact a comical gesture Mrs. Clinton was making to reporters, as one of them, The Associated Press’s Lisa Lerer, reported. He also shared a report from the conservative site The Gateway Pundit that a member of Mrs. Clinton’s security detail appeared to be carrying a diazepam syringe, “for patients who experience recurrent seizures.”

A simple call to the Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor, as I made on Friday, would have resulted in the

People in Mr. Hannity’s audience of 2.5 million who are inclined to believe the health allegations, and who believe the mainstream media are covering for Mrs. Clinton, are unlikely to be impressed by the Secret Service’s explanation.

That’s the ultimate result of the hyperpoliticized approach Mr. Hannity and so many others use in today’s more stridently ideological media: A fact is dismissed as false when it doesn’t fit the preferred political narrative.

But while this informational nihilism appears to have hit a new high, the last two weeks have signaled the start of a possible reckoning within the conservative media.

First there was The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens, who, after trading insults with Mr. Hannity over Mr. Trump, said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” that “too much of the Republican Party became an echo chamber of itself.”

Those who spend an inordinate amount of time “listening to certain cable shows” and inhaling the conspiracy theories promoted on “certain fringes of the internet,’’ he said, wind up in a debate that’s “divorced from reality.”

Then there was the conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, who lamented in an interview with the Business Insider politics editor Oliver Darcy, “We have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media.”

That criticism was often warranted, Mr. Sykes said. But, as Mr. Sykes said, “At a certain point, you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.” Therefore any attempt to debunk a falsehood by Mr. Trump, he said, becomes hopeless.

  1. August 24, 2016 11:43 AM

    It speaks volumes when someone thinks The New York Times is far left. Or when that person compares the substance of the Times with Faux News. Simply laughable.

  2. August 24, 2016 11:28 AM

    That is hysterical the far left leaning new York times complaining about a far right news agency. Neither the times not fox hold creditability in the news Dept

  3. August 23, 2016 8:15 PM

    The other thing, Peter, that I have witnessed over the last say, 20 years, is that the more means we have to gain info with tablets and gadgets the higher the % of people who are grossly uninformed. The seems to be an inverse ratio to how much is available to know and how little people do know.

  4. August 23, 2016 7:38 PM

    Right here in Wisconsin, I know a number of people who seriously believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by the Federal government and that the US never landed on the moon (“Neil Armstrong? Did you ever hear from him again?”). To call these people ignorant dishonors the word. I have always said that the difference between Wisconsin and Minnesota is that our neighbors to the northwest value education, whereas many Wisconsinites view it with suspicion. No one is more sorry than I that current events are proving me right.

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