The Cult Of Fox News: New Study Affirms Blind Devotion To Cable’s Church Of Disinformation

One of the fundamental methods employed by cults to assure unwavering loyalty is to demand that devotees believe only in the doctrine bestowed by the cult. All others are presumed to be deceivers and unworthy of trust.

With that in mind, consider the results of the new Pew Research study on “Political Polarization & Media Habits.” The year-long research surveyed American news consumers and categorized their relationships to thirty-six sources for news and information about government and politics by political ideology. The differences in the levels of trust exhibited by consistent conservatives and liberals are profound.

The study reveals that conservatives have drastically constrained their access to news to a very few, hard-right outlets. They behave as if any exposure to a conflicting viewpoint would be tantamount to fraternizing with Satan. Consequently, they rely almost solely on Fox News for their information intake. That is how Fox maintains their ratings position, by herding all of the conservative cattle into one corral.

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Nearly half (47%) of conservatives identify Fox News as their “main source” for news. Nothing else even comes close. Compare that to liberals who cite CNN as a main source only 15% of the time with a half dozen other sources closely competing for their attention. What’s more, conservatives obediently trust Fox News by a larger margin (88%) than any other group of viewers. And the only other sources they trust more than 50% of the time are similarly far-right partisans: Sean Hannity (62%), Rush Limbaugh (58%), and Glenn Beck (51%). Of course, none of those sources are objective news providers, or even journalists.

While Conservatives have only four sources that they trust more than 50% of the time, liberals express trust for nine different sources at that rate: NPR (72%), PBS (71%), BBC (69%), New York Times (62%), CNN (56%), NBC (56%), MSNBC (52%), ABC (52%), and CBS (51%). Note that they are all (with the exception of MSNBC) generally regarded as legitimate journalistic enterprises. Except, that is, by conservatives who trust none of them. In fact, conservatives only have greater trust than distrust for twelve of the thirty-six sources in the study. So consistent with the cult maxim, conservatives actively distrust twenty-four (two-thirds) of the sources. Liberals flip that stat, having greater trust for twenty-eight of the sources and distrust for only eight.

The mission of Fox News from the beginning was to divide the nation by ideology. It is why they came up with their “fair and balanced” slogan with the implicit accusation that the other news providers were neither. They deliberately sectioned off their audience and told them that everyone else was lying to them. Subsequently, when they lied to their viewers (which they do constantly), there is no place for them to turn for the actual truth. The Fox version of events becomes the unqualified gospel for their audience/disciples despite being riddled with falsehoods and rancid partisanship. And additional proof of that is seen in the studies that show that Fox viewers are less informed than those who watch other media, or even those who watch nothing at all. And the more you watch Fox, the less you know.

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The correlations to cult status are unmistakable: Proselytize relentlessly (Fox is #1); repeat/preach the cult’s doctrine (anti-Obama, anti-government, Benghazi); reinforce obedience with fear (tyranny, terrorism, Ebola); glorification of idols (Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin); demonization of competing views (Democrats, the rest of the media); and fabricating a comforting home for faithful followers by casting experienced propagandists and appealing, mostly blonde, presenters as reporters. It’s a closed loop society that succeeds by keeping the flock secluded, ignorant, and artificially happy. I just hope they don’t start serving Kool-Aide.


33 thoughts on “The Cult Of Fox News: New Study Affirms Blind Devotion To Cable’s Church Of Disinformation

  1. I’m just not sure of your real goal here anymore – I think you’ve gotten your point across that Fox News is a propaganda outfit more than it is a news organization – but you’re preaching to the choir here. Even I agree with you in general, but I figured that out on my own having stopped watching that network many years ago. What is your goal? Do you believe – which I think to be the case – that if people stopped watching Fox News they would of course become progressives and vote democrat. Your phony concern for the people they have “hypnotized” is transparent. Why don’t you just come clean and tell everyone what you really think – that people don’t really believe in conservatism unless they have bought the fox news presentation of reality. You’re just a broken record anymore – you must be afraid of what the elections may bring and the loss of any chance at enslaving the country in your progressive utopia. As shitty as the republican party is right now – they may actually make gains this November. Maybe you should start paying more attention to your own side and figure out why people don’t like the president and why they may just eliminate any democrat majority for a rotten republican – non conservative- party (in it’s current form).

    • “Do you believe – which I think to be the case – that if people stopped watching Fox News they would of course become progressives and vote democrat.”

      Few would be so naive to think that to be the case and I’m sure Mark isn’t either. What I think would happen to people who stopped watching fox/hate media would be the ability to develop a sense of empathy. Clearly, there are exceptions but with empathy one is able to see things from different perspectives which would indicate critical thinking skills. With those skills there’s no telling what good things could happen.

      As far as shitty republicans go, they may very well make gains in November; the odds were always in their favor. And you’re still going to vote for them…..aren’t you? (See Einsteins definition of insanity)

      • By the way – you should always state in your response – you are a federal government worker and you have a financial interest in propping up any ideology that supports your financial well being – since it so clearly impacts your beliefs in who/what you think is right. Well you don’t know what I will do on voting but here it is in a nutshell – it’s between not voting at all or voting with someone who I agree with. Since there really isn’t anyone I agree with, it appears I won’t be voting – which is hard since I’ve voted in every election since 1992. If you’re suggesting I vote democrat since i dislike the republican party as it exists now – no way – that makes no sense at all. The lesser of 2 evils argument really doesn’t work anymore as they are both equally rotten – and they are. You prove my point though in your question about my voting – somehow hating the republican party should translate into a vote for a democrat – that’s really dumb and is why your lot doesn’t really understand the tea party push – which is to wrestle the republican party away from the big government – corporatist politicians that run the republican party today – not just vote for an ideology that is totally devoid of the freedom and limited government beliefs we hold as the only truth (ie vote democrat because we hate the republican party – no way). Why the hell should I vote for an ideology that I don’t agree with in any way – can you answer that?

        • Let’s see. One party is 98% corporate whores (The GOP) and the other party is at most, 50% corporate whores and the rest beholden to its voters.

          Hmmm…. who to vote for.

          The false equivalence meme is old, tired, inaccurate, woefully ignorant, and self-serving if you just happen to lean right wing.

          • Classic sucker – you keep on believing if it makes you feel better. 50% bad is still bad in my book – assuming I buy your logic.

            • And you keep right on handing elections to the greatest evil by not voting for the lesser evil and see where it gets all of us.

            • There is NO difference between Republicans and Democrats anymore – you’re clinging onto beliefs that no longer hold true – they are both bought and paid for by special interests – don’t you get tired of being fed these losers on the ballot.

        • I’ve been a proud gov’t worker since the Carter administration and “reaped” the benefits of said employment under both republican and democratic administrations but I don’t like to brag. (Working for peanuts wasn’t my preference but I sleep well and my children were provided for.) Good of you to note my service, thank you.

          If you’re suggesting the teaparty is anything but corporatists, you haven’t been paying attention. As soon as it hit the ground, it was taken over by the super pacs and Koch brother money. There isn’t anything grassroots about it. It’s ideology favors rich people and no one else.

          Your voting options do seem to be limited, however there are third party candidates available. But the silver lining is if you don’t vote you have ensured that you haven’t voted against your own self interest so you have that going for you. Glass half full thinking. FIFY. ????

          • I must admit – your honesty about being a proud government worker is good for you – I may not agree with the idea for me but at least your not being a hypocrite. The Tea Party may be many things, but it’s first and foremost a backlash against the GW Bush republican party. I pay attention much more than you may think – you’re buying into the leftist anti tea party beliefs. The Tea party is more about having Republicans not sell out and do things opposite our historical beliefs – which are individual freedom and limited government. Donny Deutsch actually hit it on the head one time – he said a lot of republicans are posing as conservatives, he got it exactly right. Mark and his attempts to paint it as something is consistently wrong, but no worse than any other leftist activist liar out there.

    • Steve, you don’t give a shit about my mission. All you care about is posting your repetitive and delusional rants against government slavery. Talk about a broken record! But just to humor you, I don’t believe that if people stop watching Fox they will vote democratic. I believe they will not be so consumed by lies when they do vote.

      As for the election, whatever gains the GOP may make this year (and senate control is not a certainty) will be short-lived. They will be defending 24 Tea Party seats in 2016 to the Dems 9 seats. Dems will have a larger majority in 2017 than they do now. And a spanking new Dem president.

      • You are right, I really don’t give a shit about your mission – I find it humorous that you actually suggest (and these idiots buy it) you have a mission beyond pushing your ideology, You are full of shit…but you dont need to worry with this bunch…they cant see past you BS. Keep lying to yourself and everyone else. And as for the GOP, I’m sure you’re right – but BHO won’t be president and no one can predict the future as to who will be the next president. Even if it’s Hillary – she is just as much a corporatist as anyone, so we’ll be in the same boat. Stop blowing smoke up your own ass and see the Federal government and these so called leaders for what they are – tools for the uber-wealthy to steal our money – and with ideologies like yours, it won’t be too hard since we’ll all be slaves of the feds – just as you like. A true conservative ideology would solve the problem – but that would require the Federal Government to power down – and neither you nor the super rich will allow that.

      • Long before Fox News there was a Republican Party, and there may continue to be long after Fox is (hopefully) gone. The network has done no favors to the GOP by glorifying Republicans and their policies at the expense of the Democrats’. It does not create an informed electorate that is critical to a functioning democracy. Add in the sloppy reporting based on half-truths and/or dubious sources, biased story selection, and disregard for journalistic principles, and you have a recipe for ignorance. And if conservatives really believe that the mainstream media leans liberal, which they also believe is unfair, then what is inherently “better” about a news station that does the exact same thing, except for the other side? And does it not bother the Fox News devotees that the whole operation is run by a former professional political propagandist? Do they really believe that Roger Ailes cares anything about bringing factual, quality information to the Fox News audience?

  2. I hope they do start serving Kool-Aid. Will be the best thing for their viewers and the planet.

  3. Spot on!!! The majority of the people I work with are of this brainwashed phenomenon. And yet a very few of them are aware of how they are perceived, in that they know they are viewed with skepticism if they mention watching fox too loudly. (Like the racist that won’t use the n-word unless in the company of other racists).

    I also find hilarious the blank look on their faces when they are presented with facts about this or that because generally it is the first time they will have heard said facts. They are so used to the deception from fox and other right wing media it’s hard for them not to believe that anything “left” is an evil plot to destroy the country.

    • No. You apologize for your death wish comment, or your credibility doesn’t exist.

      • Oh my. Whatever shall I do, where should I go? How evah will I survive?

        Frankly, my Dear? I don’t give a ding dang gum whether you get hyperbole or not.

        Fox “news” viewers are already brain dead, and everyone save them knows it.

        And that’s more than good enough for me.

        • Fox News viewers are smarter than the Newscorpse thug brigade will ever be.

          • Thanks for revealing your appalling mental aberration.

            • The truth is never an appalling mental aberration. Burping death wish comments onto a blog might be, though.

  4. The reason Fox Propaganda News does what it does is because it works. Just ask any of those Social Security and Medicare receiving elderly tea-baggers with the signs that said “Keep your Government hands off my healthcare!”
    They simply feed on the inherent bigotry and racism that plenty of white folks have toward minorities and reassure them that it’s OK to feel that way whether it’s irrational and unfounded or not.

    • I hope I never become one of those old people who is afraid of the future; of the younger generation; of people who don’t look like I do. I want to embrace the future, not spend my last days nursing a futile wish for a return to a time that never was…

    • Yet another lie. Fox News is not racist. That designation might belong to the network that employs Al Sharpton.

      • What a clueless troll you are.


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