Psychological Projection: A psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else.
For an alleged “news” network whose entire business model is misrepresenting facts, disparaging ideological adversaries, and deliberately twisting the truth beyond all recognition, to brazenly attack a competing network with allegations of similar behavior, is the textbook definition of “projection.” It is also unethical and uproariously funny.
Fox News dedicates its entire broadcast day to unfair distortions and dirty tricks. In recent weeks they have falsely accused President Obama of waging a war on religion for supporting women’s access to contraceptives; weakening the institution of marriage by voicing support for same-sex couples to wed; and unconstitutionally altering immigration law for exercising prosecutorial discretion to prevent young immigrants who broke no law from being deported.
Fox News has been caught airing Republican National Committee talking points as if they were news items, complete with the original RNC typos. They have distributed memos instructing anchors and reporters to use specific language that was advantageous to the GOP. Just a few weeks ago Fox aired a four minute campaign-style video that was an open attack on the President. Fox received so much criticism from the public and their peers that they tried to surreptitiously dispose of it, but not before it was captured and posted online for all to see. That’s the nature of the beast that we are dealing with here.
Yesterday MSNBC broadcast a video that accurately portrayed Mitt Romney as shocked by the technology at a convenience store sandwich counter. The video showed Romney describing his adventure ordering lunch, and using that experience to advocate for the ingenuity of the private sector. Fox News is now alleging that MSNBC inappropriately edited the video to unfairly create an impression of Romney as out of touch with average Americans. Fox said…
“To MSNBC viewers, it appeared to be a 49-second video clip introduced by veteran anchor Andrea Mitchell to illustrate her contention that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is ‘out of touch’ – what viewers didn’t know was that MSNBC had selectively edited the clip, manipulating viewer perception and keeping them from hearing Romney’s full message.”
First of all, Romney doesn’t need MSNBC’s help to create that perception. The man known best for saying that he likes to fire people, that his friends are NASCAR team owners, that his wife drives two Cadillacs, that corporations are people, and that he’s not concerned about the poor, is more than capable of demonstrating his own obvious alienation from the huddled masses who don’t happen to have a quarter of a billion dollars.
More to the point, however, the quote attributed to Romney is precisely how MSNBC portrayed it. Here is the whole thing with the part that was edited out in bold at the the end:
“I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad – you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier – here’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.“
It’s plain to see that the editing in no way changed the context or meaning of Romney’s remarks. With or without the extended segment, Romney was expressing his surprise that such sandwich assembly technology exists. And as if to underscore Romney’s unfamiliarity with the common touch-screen device, he referred to it as a “touchtone” keypad, reminiscent of old telephones from his youth.
Also, in his remarks Romney was making a comparison between a form required for a medical provider’s compensation, and a sandwich order at a convenience store. That is a stupendously inapt analogy. One involves an over-the-counter purchase of a cheap sandwich, while the other involves perhaps thousands of dollars and the need to insure correct administration and to prevent costly fraud. To be sure, there is plenty of room for improvement in how the government operates, but processing health care applications for doctors’ services is not the same as ordering a turkey on rye with mayo.
Fox News simply has no moral authority to judge the reporting on other networks. They have abandoned all pretenses of journalistic integrity and made it clear that they only exist as a propaganda tool for conservative corporations, politicians, and wealthy power elites. For a more accurate impression of the Fox News brand of fairness and balance, watch this video complied by Talking Points Memo.