14 votes

Do Racists Like Fox News, or Does Fox Make People Racist?

8 comments

  1. patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    Anecdatum - Fox News turned my parents into raving loons. We're talking about a former red-hot communist and a civil-rights marcher who spent 40 years teaching in majority-Black schools. Dad fell...

    Anecdatum - Fox News turned my parents into raving loons. We're talking about a former red-hot communist and a civil-rights marcher who spent 40 years teaching in majority-Black schools. Dad fell for Charles Murray's The Bell Curve in a major way, and Mom started passing along blatantly racist e-mail about unwed welfare queens and Muslim terrorists. I knew things had gone off the deep end when they started referring to old friends with brown skin or Muslim faith as "the good ones".

    I nodded my way through the documentary, The Brainwashing of My Dad, as a familiar story.

    But I believe that the susceptibility factor for Fox News propaganda is social isolation, a particular issue with the elderly. If you don't have constant reinforcement of the bases for trusting people different from you, you'll be vulnerable to messages that amplify distrust.

    Edit for details: This was 2006 - 2008. Dad was largely bed-bound due to a stroke that left him hemiplegic, and he had some paranoiac personality changes that may have been related. The TV was on Fox News all day, all the time. Mom, the former social butterfly of the family, was constrained by caregiving for him, and exposed to Fox just as much. When I visited, I couldn't help commenting on just how distorted their news was, and we started fighting about the changes in their beliefs that I saw. Something as simple as asking Mom not to spam me with racist goatshit became an epic battle. This got to the point that we were barely speaking to each other by the time she died, because of my advocacy for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.

    20 votes
  2. [3]
    drislands
    Link
    While I don't doubt that Fox News is terrible garbage, I'd be curious to see first if there's a proven correlation between watching it and being racist. As it stands, this title is pretty dang...

    While I don't doubt that Fox News is terrible garbage, I'd be curious to see first if there's a proven correlation between watching it and being racist. As it stands, this title is pretty dang inflammatory and makes the assumption that Fox viewers are majority-if-not-all racist.

    ETA: Found this quote, reading into the article a bit:

    Based on an analysis of the American National Election Studies 2012 dataset, we find that white respondents who regularly watch Fox News are more likely to express attitudes of symbolic racism and racial resentment.

    That sounds like what I was looking for. Problem is I'm unsure if the link at the end of that paragraph is to the study, because it's broken from where I am.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      This one? https://www.jstor.org/stable/2669264?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
      6 votes
      1. drislands
        Link Parent
        That's excellent, thank you -- it's interesting to note though that this study is more about local news generally than Fox News in particular. It's good to see there's a basis for the belief that...

        That's excellent, thank you -- it's interesting to note though that this study is more about local news generally than Fox News in particular. It's good to see there's a basis for the belief that the media at large is perpetrating this, at least. I'm trying to be more critical about the information I find these days and it's studies like these that make the difference.

        4 votes
  3. [4]
    EscReality
    Link
    I feel like this is the racist version of "chicken or the egg".

    I feel like this is the racist version of "chicken or the egg".

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      annadane
      Link Parent
      That is racist.

      That is racist.

      1. [2]
        tiredlemma
        Link Parent
        Am I missing something about EscReality's post? Or yours, perhaps. I struggle to find anything racist about the parent comment.

        Am I missing something about EscReality's post? Or yours, perhaps. I struggle to find anything racist about the parent comment.

        4 votes
        1. annadane
          Link Parent
          I'm just being stupid. Ignore.

          I'm just being stupid. Ignore.

          1 vote