Monday, February 25, 2013

News or Propaganda? Who Cares?

If you missed the story late last week, editor at large Ben Shapiro broke a story indicating Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel took money from a group called "Friends of Hamas.”  The “scoop” was picked up by FOX News and reported as fact. Unfortunately for everyone involved, there is no group called Friends of Hamas and the story was blown up from a joke made by someone to a GOP source. What’s interesting in the aftermath is that a) Shapiro and reject the idea that they did anything wrong by publishing the story as an allegation, and b) FOX News had the sketchy editor Shapiro on a show acting as a knowledgeable Washington pundit.

What the Media Matters article fails to point out is that in the conservative media bubble, news and propaganda are the same thing. What we consider news; reasonably objective stories based on verifiable facts, is not what the conservatives consider news. For them, it’s only news if it embarrasses Obama, makes liberals look bad or makes America look good. Facts are not part of that equation. Studies have clearly shown that FOX News viewers are the least well-informed consumers of television news. So it should come as little surprise that Shapiro sees nothing wrong with his unfounded smear of Hagel. 

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