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Tue, 21 Dec 2010 17:28:23

Now we learn that people who watch Fox News are more likely to be misinformed than people who don't watch any TV at all, and that scary fact applies equally to self-identified Republicans and Democrats.

I don't watch a lot of Fox News. It's too hard on my brain and digestion. But only a brief sojourn in the land of "Fair and Balanced" is enough to explain why the poor souls who watch it are so confused and filled with fable instead of fact.

It's non-stop, lizard-brain-level entertainment disguised as news.

If all TV news has joined the circus, then Fox is the freak show outside the big tent, where the likes of O'Reilly, Hannity, Huckabee, Palin and Beck mesmerize the suckers and the rubes with sleazy tales of Obamacare death squads, two-hundred-million-dollar-a-day presidential trips to India, anchor baby terrorists and the secret agenda of American Muslims.

And like any good sideshow attraction, they're loud and rude, bullying their guests, wrapping themselves in phony piety, fretting over national security and questioning the patriotism of anyone who has the gall to question the latest slander they're passing off as fact.

So, why don't the people watching see through these bozos? The answer is, they'd rather be entertained than informed.

A substantial number of Americans have given up on the system thanks to the marvelous job the right wing has done over the last three decades denigrating our government and anyone connected with it, regardless of how qualified, hard-working and honest they might be.

Americans have been manipulated into an anti-government cynicism that despises parties, politicians and bureaucrats alike. So, why not veg out in front of your flat screen and let Murdoch's myrmidons feed your prejudices and stoke your anger?

And who benefits? The rich and powerful who thrive off a sedentary and suspicious electorate is who. They prosper off the hopelessness of others, always fearing that the American people will wake up some day out of their Fox-induced haze and put things right in this country.

Will it happen? The chances are remote, but the first step in claiming our freedom is pressing the "off" button on the remote we're holding in our hands.

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