Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How Fox News Created Frankensteins Trump & Cruz -- and Destroyed the Republican Party

It had to happen. This is how Fox News created Frankensteins Trump & Cruz -- and destroyed the Republican Party.

It all started with the simple idea that Rupert Murdoch had - to create a conservative news outlet with a singular point of view. Murdoch is a billionaire Australian-turned-American who owns news outlets worldwide.  He created the national Fox News channel (not to be confused with local Fox channels that stick to traditional local news and don't run opinion pieces) and hired Roger Ailes, former Nixon aide, to carry it out. They wanted to give conservative viewers a "one stop shop." And they did.

It worked so well that it did something they didn't expect.  It sheltered a large chunk of America from different views based on facts and reality. By doing so it created a Frankenstein monster that is now threatening the very existence of the party it was intended to help.

Eventually, with a singular point of view even Attila the Hun looks too moderate. That became evident when Donald Trump could go on TV and make rude and crude remarks about Megyn Kelly, a Fox News anchor, and it only boosted his appeal to viewers who share that view. What other candidate can gain by degrading women?

As a result the two leading presidential candidates are the most extreme ever seen in a campaign -- candidates who actually encourage violence at campaign rallies against protestors, candidates vowing to bar an entire religion from entering the U.S., pledging to kill even the families of terrorists, break international laws and turn sand into nuclear "glass." When have we had a presidential candidate "win" by calling Hispanics "rapists" and "murderers" and then comparing sexual body parts and wives?  It's worse than a Rotten Tomatoes movie, but its all too real, and scary for our future as a rational democracy. 

What went wrong? 

"Fair and balanced" fell by the wayside. Fox viewers were trapped in an alternate universe where the only way to "shine" was to be more extreme than the other guy. Party primaries pushed candidates to the extremes of rationality to the point of absurdity, bringing out candidates in 2012 who had to go on TV to claim she wasn't a "witch" and men who said there was "legitimate rape." We didn't think it could get worse than that. But it did in 2016.

We had one candidate, Marco Rubio, accusing the president of deliberate sabotage of America's economy, ignoring the fact that the GOP Congress vetoed every jobs bill and infrastructure project President Obama proposed that would have produced millions of jobs for the very same semi-skilled people anxious about their jobs today who support Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz.  Ironically, they are voting for the same people who created the situation they are unhappy about. To this day no GOP candidate even wants to raise minimum wages that would benefit blue collar workers more than anyone.

But on Fox News, the problem is not the failure of Congress to act, despite members cared less about the economy than they did in scoring political victories by deliberately slowing down job growth. GOP leader Mitch McConnell said on day one of the Obama presidency they wanted a one term president by God!  The people wanted JOBS.  Those two goals are opposite, so the GOP left our infrastructure in tatters, lead pipes in Flint, 58,00 bridges rusting into collapse, no job retaining or education investment to fill the 3 million available high tech jobs that many blue collar Americans don't have the skills to fill.

Yet Fox & Friends blamed the president.

Fox News even ignored the fact that the GOP made shipping jobs overseas a tax deduction! They even made it possible for a company to send ten employees out of 20,000 based on places like Houston to another country, then declare they weren't a U.S. company in order to stop paying a fair share of taxes, making our deficit worse!

Did Fox News explain this to its viewers? No....

The Great Recession of 2008 began this spiral down in the GOP when the economy collapsed in late 2008 in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. Years of unpaid for tax cuts and unpaid for wars, trillions in borrowing and an out-of-control speculation on Wall Street and "anything goes" mortgage financing finally collapsed the economy.

Millions of the same blue collar workers who today are "mad as hell and won't take it anymore" are supporting the same republican party that offshored their jobs in the Bush administration and even provided tax deductions for doing so!  They are the same ones who fight against raising a feeble minimum wage that would help those struggling on the bottom of our economy who feel left out in today's economy.

So, Fox News, it was YOU that created this monster that tore open Pandora's Box to unloose the beasts like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who want to turn the world into nuclear glass as they debate their wives and body parts on the world stage.  It's scaring the hell out of Americans and the world alike.

Take your O'Reilly's and Hannity's and Fox & Friends and look into the mirror Fox. You have created an ugly image of our beautiful country that is so much better than the twisted narrow world view your candidates represent.  Such extremism will destroy your party that is almost unrecognizable from fascism and Europe's right wing nationalism.  

When you get back to promoting decency and more moderate presidents and candidates such as George HW Bush, then you will deserve to use the slogan "fair and balanced."  We don't need a Pravda for the GOP; we aren't Russian oligarchy.

Michael Fjetland, BBA/JD, Author
Better Times Ahead April Fool
"Agenda for American Greatness" - America's solution (free, at the link)

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