The ultra-rightist Media Research Center has just completed its four part series purporting to reveal the truth about the George Soros domination of the media. The series was authored by the MRC’s Boone Pickens Fellow, Dan Gainor. The first three parts of Gainor’s project were laughably muddled dissertations on an imagined world ruled by the omnipotent Soros.
The allegations submitted thus far put Soros at the helm of a network of dozens of “major media organizations” with a reach of over 300 million people worldwide. The only problem with Gainor’s theory is that he never proves any it. The entire series is based on phony assumptions, ludicrous extrapolations and tangential associations. For instance, Gainor’s idea of a major media organization is the Center for Investigative Reporting, which is not exactly the New York Times or CNN. What’s more, it is also supported by Rupert Murdoch, whose Times of London is a CIR affiliate. Gainor also lists NPR as beholden to Soros despite the fact that his total contribution to the radio network amounted to a mere fraction of 1% of NPR’s receipts.
The fourth chapter of this faulty thesis runs farther off the rails than the three that preceded it. It focuses almost entirely on Fox News as a victim of leftist hostility. The opening paragraph attempts to belittle criticism of Fox News but actually defines it pretty well.
“To hear the left tell it, Fox News has a ‘history of inciting Islamophobia and racial and ethic animosity’ and tries to ‘race bait its viewers.’ One staffer is called a ‘hit man,’ while his network is accused of ‘attack politics.’ A highly questionable study is hyped by numerous outlets claiming that it ‘confirms that Fox News makes you stupid.’ Fox is called simply: ‘The Liars’ Network.'”
That’s all pretty much true. Fox does have a history of lying, inciting racism, and engaging in attack politics. But one of the items enumerated above hits close to home here at News Corpse. Gainor’s reference to the study that “Fox News makes you stupid” was linked to an article I wrote that was re-published by Alternet. It reported the results of a University of Maryland survey that showed that Fox viewers were significantly more misinformed than consumers of other news sources.
Consequently, Gainor is now alleging that I am part of the Soros-Funded Echo Chamber. To that accusation I would just like to say: “I Wish!”
As usual, Gainor’s logic is riddled with nonsense. His attempt to tie me to this supposed Soros plot demonstrates how far he has strayed from reality. And because he cannot produce an actual link between me and Soros (because there are none), he settles for the connection to Alternet. Then he attaches Alternet to the Soros empire by virtue of their membership in The Media Consortium, which has received donations from Soros. However, the Consortium is a trade association whose members are not beneficiaries of Soros. To the contrary, they pay to belong. Gainor’s argument against my article is summed up in a “disclaimer” he extracted, minus the context, from the study:
“This suggests that misinformation cannot simply be attributed to news sources, but are part of the larger information environment that includes statements by candidates, political ads and so on.”
That statement affirms the integrity of the study that Gainor, nevertheless, disputes. However, the study’s researchers did not insert it to refute their own findings. Whatever effect the statements of candidates and political ads had on viewers, that effect would have been produced across the board, not just at Fox. Yet the study’s results unequivocally show Fox viewers as being the most misinformed even considering the “larger information environment”.
Gainor cites as further evidence of the Soros-left’s assault on Fox News that the blog ThinkProgress “slammed Fox more than 30 times in six months.” No, really? When you calculate that down it comes to one slam per week. If you ask me, that’s a fairly restrained schedule of slamming because Fox broadcasts dishonest, partisan attacks on Democrats and progressives numerous times every day. If ThinkProgress reported on Fox smears only once a day that would come to 180 times in six months. How on earth did they keep it down to 30? I’m gonna have to call them on the Soros Hot Line we’ve all been issued and ask them why they’ve been slacking off.
There is a sublime irony in the primary objective of Gainor’s poorly reasoned treatise. While harboring a compulsive obsession with Soros as a left-wing financier of partisan media (which he never proves), he exhibits a severe blindness to his own rabid partisanship. The media analysis organization for whom he produced this paper is itself funded by right-wing media barons like Richard Mellon Scaife and the Koch brothers (through their Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation). His articles were dutifully re-published by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Fox Nation. And his position at the MRC was endowed by oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens.And let’s not forget that it was Murdoch who donated a million dollars to the Republican Governor’s Association and another million to right-wing Chamber of Commerce.
What Gainor imagines to be a leftist cabal determined to bring down Fox News and advocate on behalf of progressive ideology is nothing more than like-minded authors and activists pursuing an agenda in which they believe. The left doesn’t need Soros to slam Fox. We are fully capable of recognizing unethical journalism on our own and taking action independently.
Much of the rest of America is starting to take action as well. The results of the latest Nielsen ratings book for May 2011, show that viewers are turning off Fox News in growing numbers. That isn’t Soros’ fault – or mine either (though I like to think I played a role). It is the result of Fox’s repeated deceptions and overt advocacy of GOP doctrine. Their decision to flaunt an editorial bias rather than engage in honest journalism is the cause of their problems in the ratings and amongst critics.
So despite Gainor’s delusional paranoia, there is no Soros-funded echo chamber. We are not a zombie horde prowling the conservative mediasphere. Nothing like that exists. You can’t prove it. We are a figment of your demented imagination. However, we are coming to get you, Dan. And your little Fox News too. Be afraid.