The main idea exploited by Fox News since its inception was to capitalize on the “liberal bias” of whose existence right wing radio personalities had been insisting since Reagan did away with the “Fairness Doctrine.” Research has since revealed the existence of a strong liberal bias in journalism. What the research did not look into, however, was the most important aspect. Legitimate journalism was strongly biased against the claims of movement conservatives in the same way that science texts are strongly biased against the claims of witches.
The general pattern for the decision-making process is roughly this:
- Traditionally, liberals’ claims are often biased in their favor.
- Traditionally, conservatives’ claims are often biased in their favor.
- The public, in the interest of fairness, gives equal weight to both sides.
- The resulting ideas are often fairly accurate assessments.
Roger Ailes’ strategy seems to be this:
- Allow the liberals to make somewhat biased claims. (i.e. 2+2=3)
- Answer with profoundly biased claims. (i.e. 2+2=39)
- Wait for the rubes to to accept the middle point between the two claims as fact.
Result: the rubes accept that 2+2 = 21
or, perhaps, fait accompli.