The Fox News "Fear and Smear" Mantra

It's long been known to anyone with half a brain that Fox News and their comrades manipulate and distort facts solely for financial and political gain. When there aren’t any facts to twist, Fox News and Co. will just make them up, as needed. I read an interesting article on the Long History of Race-Baiting at Fox News which helped spur my writing today.

Many of us get our news from a variety of outlets: radio, TV, internet, newspapers, and magazines. All of which, at some point, have spelled out in explicit detail the blatant accounts of the lying liars at Fox News. These hosts include, but not limited to: Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Glenn Beck. We should add Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh because they are certainly not exempt here. Also, let’s not forget to include Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes themselves. They are, after all, the masterminds behind the "Fear and Smear" mantra at Fox News.

It doesn't take a hard-core researcher to unearth these lies either. Simply tune into the ‘Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ or ‘The Colbert Report’ to see first-hand exactly the kind of lying, manipulating, demagogging flip-floppery nonsense that goes on not only on Fox News but also in Washington. (Almost entirely from the right-wing tea-baggin’ Republican party, I might add.)

Why do these people get away with flat out lying to the American public and get to call it “news”? Well, it’s in the Constitution, right there in the First Amendment: Freedom of the Press. They can say what they want, case closed, right? Well, not so fast.

Some speech is restricted. In fact, the Supreme Court has, over the years restricted, several classifications of speech. For example, you cannot yell, “Fire!” in a movie theater. You cannot defame someone (this includes libel and slander). Interestingly, the Supreme Court has also ruled out the “right” to say anything that advocates unlawful conduct against the government or the violent overthrow of the government. (We never heard Sarah Palin say “if we lose we should exercise our Second Amendment rights” or Sharon Angle say, “There are Second Amendment remedies” have we?)

Exceptions to free speech have arisen over the years when the government has decided the speech could cause substantial harm to the public, is not speech originally intended to be protected by the Bill of Rights, or other case-specific reasons. In any event, when deciding whether an instance of suppression of free speech is constitutional, the courts must weigh the importance of the freedom of speech against potential dangers if the speech is allowed.[1]

Now I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment. I am also a strong supporter of American Democracy. What the Faux-News “Fear and Smear” mantra does, in my opinion, not only causes significant harm to the public, but also is just plain un-American. What do we do? Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this. Faux-News is not allowed to broadcast in Canada. Why? …because their citizens can see the effects here in the United States. One woman from Toronto writes, “If implemented, this change will throw wide the doors to the lies and manipulation of Fox News-style television; if implemented, this change will usher in an era in which venomous, fact-eschewing news media will shape the destiny of Canada,”

In fact, the CRTC rejected the proposal to specifically allow Fox-News to broadcast in Canada. Read it for yourself ,
Here: CRTC ditches bid to allow fake news
And here: Fox News Lies Keep Them Out of Canada

Canada's Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast ... any false or misleading news." The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the US airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper's proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right-wing network, "Sun TV News" which Canadians call "Fox News North."

I don’t think I am way off base in wanting the Supreme Court to add another restriction to “free speech” preventing corporations that broadcast “News” from blatantly being false or misleading. Until we clean up our “news broadcasts” and make it truly in the interest of the people; we will continue to be a country subjected to the nonstop “Fear and Smear” campaigns coming out of the right-wing Faux-News fund-raising propaganda machine.

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