The Hypnotic Power of Fox


Fox News is into its second decade of ratings leading lies, deception and innuendo, and still going strong.

Yeah, I know, those who watch Fox are not exactly rocket scientists, right?

Well, not exactly. My father actually is a rocket scientist of sorts, a nuclear physicist to be precise, albeit an old, retired one. And he’s bamboozled by Fox just like other conservatives. 

My conversation with him yesterday was an eye opener, although maybe it would not have been if I actually watched Fox on occasion. I don’t. Dad had seen a clip where Judge Napolitano “explained” how everyone had it all wrong about the new Indiana law Mike Pence was in such hot water over. The law likely would be interpreted by the courts in the long run in a way we could not now predict, so, if I understood my father’s summary correctly, the intent of Pence and his buds in the Indiana legislature should be a non-issue.

I tried to explain to dad that it was the political / moral aspects of the Indiana law that people were questioning, and Fox had succeeded in distracting him into the weeds of Napolitano’s legal analysis.

He wouldn’t buy it. He had accepted Napolitano’s legal analysis, which may have been correct for all I know, and then made the illogical leap (but one intended by the Fox production team) that everyone else speaking out on the Indiana law was wrong.

Consider this example: You witness a man carrying a baseball bat bludgeon another man who had been lying on the grass in front of his home, then empty his handgun into the man, then walk away smiling, telling you that he didn’t know the guy, he just didn’t care much for [the N word]. The incident comes up in conversation at lunch a few days later. Your lunch partner informs you that the victim had suffered a fatal heart attack and was already dead when the assailant arrived on the scene. He then goes on and on explaining to you how the person you’re referring to as a violent, racist thug did not commit murder.

And you’re thinking: “So what? He’s still a violent, racist thug.”

Apparently, that’s not the way the conservative mind works.

It’s the old bright shiny object. And even a conservative rocket scientist can be hypnotized.


    • Good for you, Captain! That is important to do. It is hard to argue against something if you don’t what it is you are arguing against.

  1. We have to put in place a real alternative to the endless, relentless political diatribes from the likes of Fox, talk radio, Redstate, etc.
    We know that the Koch Brothers have already pledged at least one billion dollars for the 2016 election. It is time for people like Tim Cook of Apple, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg to follow the brilliant lead of Tom Streyer and start putting up real money. Most poor and middle class Americans simply don’t have the means to contribute to the debate. We need some enlightened business leaders in America to come forward.

    • There have been numerous attempts to put in place alternatives to conservative media, and they almost all have failed miserably to build a sufficient audience to sustain it. As I have said before, liberalism just doesn’t sell well in main stream America.

  2. I watch Fox often, actually like Shep, and CNN MSNBC. So, Steve, your assumption is wrong. The problem I see with Fox is they’ve lots of poison mixed with some good stuff. Most of their people are blatant sell outs. Most on the right are blatant sellouts for money and/or power. Actually, Steve, I’ll quote Nixon: “Everyone has a price, one just has to find it.” These people have a price and the right wing found it. The absolutely amazing bullshit uttered by Ivy League grads like Cruz, Jindal, Fox anchors, et al, I know is due to being sell outs. I went to the same schools. You’ll literally be laughed out of class if you said such stuff and never graduate. Let’s put it this way, facts don’t depend on whether YOU believe it. Why Christian Science is dying. Lastly, my daughter went to NYU and her former roommate there is now very very famous and worth a billon. She does crazy stuff on stage and once told me if you were paid $100 million to bite the head off a chicken on stage you’d do it too. That’s Fox in a nutshell, they prey on the gullible just like ALL religions, in fact, they actually prey on the religious, like shooting fish in a barrel, a prepped audience. Go figure, Steve, this deduction doesn’t take a rocket scientist, and it so happens I’m actually a rocket scientist, air breathing and solid fuel propulsion to be precise.

    • I’m not quite sure what to make of you, Suchindran. You are a rocket scientist, a computer guru of major talent, an English 301 teacher at ASU, you wrote the “blast and effects tables” for U.S. nuclear weapons, you worked in the Bush White House, you flew fighters in Vietnam, and you’re a Cisco CCIE and a UNIX Certified Tech. Yes, I took the liberty of looking you up on Google just to try and gain a better understanding of your postings and wound up more confused than ever. You constantly mention your superior intellect, your attendance at Ivy League Colleges and your varied professional careers, so just who are you?

      One thing you are not is a judge of what constitutes a religion. Fox News is not a religion…it is simply a news source. The fact you don’t like what they say doesn’t change that. The assumption you make that only leftists see the truth is moronic. No one side in these arguments has a monopoly on truth. If you find yourself unable – or unwilling – to acknowledge that the right is sometimes correct, then you have deliberately blinded yourself to the truth and you operate from a position of willful ignorance. No one can help you with that.

      • Steve, I’ve offered once before and I’ll offer again. Debate me live before an audience you choose and I’ll prove to you that you’re totally wrong in every one of your assumptions. Keyboards have severe limitations in logical discussions. Why on line classes will never create intellect at the same level as live classes from great professors and classmates. But I digress; you expound all kinds of stuff here hiding behind a keyboard in comparative anonymity. I never have any respect for anonymous people. How about it? We live here, I bet Donna and Bob and others would love to prove it once and for all whether you’re right or wrong. Let’s settle it, or are you chicken? I’m an engineer, very binary. Either you win or lose, much like when we test a jet engine. Either it puts out 27,000 pounds of thrust or doesn’t. Period. The gauntlet has been thrown. I’m Ivanhoe on the steed, you now pick up your lance or stop typing nonsense and hiding. Let’s settle it in front of your friends and mine, with judges you choose.

        • (sigh!) Suchindran, I am not interested in a debate with you. A debate is simply a smoke screen you throw up to hide behind because you realize no one wants to be bothered with it. You recognize that no grown up is going to take your challenge seriously, so you feel comfortable in extending it. You have used this ploy before as a way to avoid addressing issues that are uncomfortable for you. And after reading your Google profiles, I understand your discomfort.

          The subjects we discuss here are not hard sciences, they are political sciences. The answers are rarely black and white, or right or wrong. There is a lot of subjectivity involved with political solutions to problems which makes answers to the problems more shades of gray. That is a point I make here frequently. When you speak in terms of binary decision making you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I will grant you that many posters on this blog are like you in that they see the answers as being absolutes and they are as wrong as you are.

  3. Fox excels at inserting justifications and rational sounding explanations for it’s stunningly slanted and reality defying claims and perspectives..i am continually amazed at how Fox consumers repeat and recite all the bits and bites faithfully and zealously. No questions have been asked or will be asked.
    maybe it is a certain personality type that latches on, i do not know. i do know it is wrong to call Foxaholics ‘stupid’, as many of them are quite intelligent.. it is just that they have burrowed into the Fox network like ticks, now their whole world is the Fox feed….i have lost a couple of formerly rational friends and relatives to this . they are all absolutely convinced they are the experts on every issue. sad.

  4. i was a little surprised to hear you passing judgement on Fox News without ever having listened to it. I always assumed the other posters here had never watched it and were passing judgement based on hearsay, but not you. I am not sure why I thought that, but I didn’t. I know I know I periodically check out MSNBC and CNN to remind myself what the left is discussing and why they say what they do. I find it invaluable in gaining insights and an understanding into the mindset, if not the rationale and logic, of what they think.

    Of course, if you don’t listen to it, you don’t take any chance that you might find something to tempt you and draw you to the dark side, right? ;o)

    • oh goodness, listening to CNN and MSNBC to find out what ‘the left ‘ thinks? noooo, noooo, noooo. that is laughable.

    • Steve, I don’t ignore everything from the right. I read pieces by Douthat, Will, Brooks, and even Krauthammer on occasion. As I said in my piece, what I learned about Fox was an eye opener for me. I’ve learned a lot about it from other sources, but this was something new. And I considered my source to be reliable 🙂

    • Steve, some of us avoid conservative news sources because we are the targets of their vitriol. I don’t really care to subject myself to some man calling me a slut for three hours, for example.

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