Modern day Republicans are always talking about how much they love Ronald Reagan. I mean, they practically worship the guy. In fact, even though Reagan has been dead for more than a decade, a recent poll indicates that top contenders for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination say that he is the best living president.
Well, despite the current GOP’s obsessive Reagan worship, at least on of his top advisers does not believe that this crop of cooks is anything Ronald Reagan would want anything to do with. This especially stretches to their propaganda machine that somehow manages to pass itself off as a news network, Fox News. Bruce Barlett, an economist who was an adviser to first Reagan, and then the first President Bush, recently published a paper in which he blasted Fox for the damage they are doing to his party. Entitled How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics, the paper warned that the radical fringe conservative candidate that are being propped up by Fox and the GOP a large is not representative of the nation’s electorate at large. He also said that watching Fox all day is “self brainwashing” for their devotees.
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In an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Bartlett discussed the paper and his theories surrounding the havoc Fox is wreaking on the GOP, saying:
Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people. When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily.
And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.
Bartlett went on to lament the fact that because liberals didn’t have their own network for quite some time, that this isn’t a problem for us. He’s right of course. I’ll also go on to say that liberals who watch MSNBC with the same devotion as conservatives who watch Fox have a much healthier outlook on the whole thing anyway. For one thing, MSNBC’s slogan is “Lean Forward.” They don’t pretend to be something other than what they are: a left-leaning network. Fox, on the other hand, has a slogan that says that they are “Fair and Balanced.” Of course anyone who isn’t living in the aforementioned bubble knows that Fox is in no way fair, balanced, or even at all truthful.
Liberals do not take the opinions on MSNBC as gospel truth. We watch Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, and all the rest because they share our viewpoints. We don’t pretend that it isn’t a skewed point of view, and neither do the people who run and appear on those shows. Everyone involved, from the viewers to the producers to the hosts, see and take it for what it is: a network that espouses liberal viewpoints, not unbiased news.
Fox viewers on the other hand glue themselves to conservative talk radio and their beloved shows like Fox and Friends and The O’Reilly Factor like robots, and let those blowhards gin up unfounded fears based on bigotry and lies, and they lap it up like dogs without bothering to once step away, think for themselves, or, heaven forbid, turn on another network. To that end, Bruce Bartlett is right. That is the very definition of brainwashing, and this fringe media has turned the GOP and its followers into a radical group of laughingstocks who are completely out of touch with the rest of America, and with reality.
Watch Bartlett discuss the atrocity that is Fox “News” below:
Featured image via video screen capture from Raw Story