[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Bill O'Reilly was all giddy last night about the news that in the wake of the seat-shuffling that followed Helen Thomas' departure from her front-row seat at White House press conferences, Fox News has managed to nab a front-row slot (the AP was awarded Thomas' coveted spot).
BillO even implied that he'd be coming down and making things rough on Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Ho ho ho ho hah.
But as Lynn Sweet's report notes, Fox was awarded the spot over two other superb news organizations: NPR and Bloomberg. Indeed, both are at least legitimate news organizations and not the brazen propaganda outlet that Fox News has become.
If you want a clear example of just how openly Fox now propagandizes, check out the house ad it was running all day yesterday, touting speculation about what strategy is most likely to hurt Democrats and help the GOP:
Fox has been able to get away with being a propaganda organ while pretending to do real "news" because of the cowardice of real working journalists, who have simply failed in their supposed role as the profession's "internal policing" mechanism.
This was exemplified, really, by the White House press corps' craven surrender to Fox's campaign to get that front-row seat, even though every working journalist in that room knows that at the end of the day, even a semi-decent guy like Major Garrett has to answer to Roger Ailes. Every one of them knows, too, that Fox churns out right-wing propaganda as a 24/7 operation.
But they will never do anything about it.
I was reminded, incidentally, of the old seven techniques of the propagandist, identified back in the 1930s:
· Name Calling: hanging a bad label on an idea, symbolized by a hand turning thumbs down;That describes Fox News' daily "news" operations to a T.
· Card Stacking: selective use of facts or outright falsehoods, symbolized by an ace of spades, a card signifying treachery;
· Band Wagon: a claim that everyone like us thinks this way, symbolized by a marching bandleader's hat and baton;
· Testimonial: the association of a respected or hated person with an idea, symbolized by a seal and ribbon stamp of approval;
· Plain Folks: a technique whereby the idea and its proponents are linked to "people just like you and me," symbolized by an old shoe;
· Transfer: an assertion of a connection between something valued or hated and the idea or commodity being discussed, symbolized by a smiling Greek theater mask; and
· Glittering Generality: an association of something with a "virtue word" to gain approval without examining the evidence; symbolized by a sparkling gem.
More here on these techniques. The details in particular describe Fox.