It has been proven in multiple studies that consumers of conservative media (particularly Fox News) are significantly less knowledgeable about current affairs than those who favor other media or even those who consume no news at all.
Nevertheless, it is conservatives who whine incessantly about an illusionary liberal media bias. It is astonishing how they can convince themselves that these giant, international, multi-billion dollar, conglomerates are somehow aligned to a socialist ideology that would rob them of their wealth and independence.
As if the present ignorance of the right-wing masses were not already disturbingly severe, a group of conservative organizations and authorities just issued an open letter calling on their minions to “Tune out the Liberal Media” and cease their exposure to the evil leftist press. The letter enumerates a set of perceived grievances and concludes with this desperate appeal:
“We the undersigned – representing millions of Americans from our respective organizations – are now publicly urging our members to seek out alternative sources of political news in order to make an intelligent, well-informed decision on November 6.”
Oh great. Now the least informed segment of society is being coerced to voluntarily make themselves even more stupid by constricting their media access to a narrow and partisan assemblage of right-wing propaganda and blind conservative boosterism. That’ll help.
The aforementioned list of grievances in the letter is a tired collection of debunked conspiracy theories, misrepresentations of news events, and Republican talking points. Certainly the audience to whom the letter is directed has already been sufficiently misinformed on these matters. So what goal do the letter’s co-signers have in beseeching their readers to abstain from watching a more diverse selection of media? The only plausible purpose is to insure that they remain untainted by alternative viewpoints so that they can be more easily manipulated by their conservative masters. Obviously there is some lack of confidence in the ability of conservatives to digest broad-based information and make up their own minds.
The signers of the letter are a who’s who of right-wing disinformation, starting with the head of the uber-rightist Media Research Center, Brent Bozell. Other notables include Gary Bauer, President of Campaign for American Values; Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks; Laura Ingraham, National Radio Host; Amy Kremer, Chairman of Tea Party Express; Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council; and, of course, Rush Limbaugh. These are the people who are complaining about bias in the media? And their appeal was posted as a news story on the front page of the Fox News web site where there has never been a hint of bias.
I think it’s a great idea to sequester the lunatic fringe to an asylum inhabited by their own kind. Then they won’t bother the rest of us with their delusions of Kenyan usurpers, climate science deniers, and fables of Jesus riding on dinosaurs. They can amuse each other with their shared distortions of reality, listen to Ron Paul books on tape, and swap stories about their gold coin collections and dehydrated survivalist dinner packets.
We’ll be here taking care of things while they’re gone, and tending to the problems of the real world. Should they ever decide to rejoin us they will find history, and diversity of opinion still in tact.