Former FOX host Tobin Smith explains why the network decided to attack and slime courageous Purple Heart veteran Vindman when he came forward as a witness in the impeachment proceedings.
It’s simple. According to Smith,
I can explain the art and purpose behind throwing a Purple Heart veteran under the Fox News bus. First, we must talk about narratives. In my time at Fox News, narratives were weapons of mass emotional manipulation, what the Nobel laureate Robert J. Shiller defines in “Narrative Economics” as “contagious stories” — as he put it in a paper of the same name, “a simple story or easily expressed explanation of events that many people want to bring up in conversation or on news or social media because it can be used to stimulate the concerns or emotions of others, and/or because it appears to advance self-interest.” One recent report said that we find information or misinformation “22 times more memorable in narrative form.”
There’s little in this world that has the emotional manipulative power of a good tribalized — us versus them — narrative. It’s a contagion, and thanks to social media, or “participatory propaganda,” highly viral.
He explains that every day, FOX executives traffic in conspiracy theories because they get ratings. Period. People LOVE conspiracy theories so the fact that they are false or damaging doesn’t play into their calculus. They are willing to cold-bloodedly destroy the nation to make ratings and money.
The Fox News counternarrative model is as simple as it is cunning. The segment producer’s job is to get the answers to two questions: What is the most emotionally engaging story we have right now (in 2019, that’s the most recent damaging attack — House impeachment hearings — on President Trump). The next question is, how do we construct a counternarrative that includes as many existing other believable meta-narratives as possible?
The hunt for the killer narrative starts with the “Morning Memo” to the producers. It shares the interpretation from the vice president of news of the highest-trending articles on Foxnews.com and Drudge. In the old days, the memo from the C.E.O. Roger Ailes dictated the narratives of the day. The next move is to get a few Fox News contributor regulars — elected officials and paid pundits — not just to deliver the new counternarrative but also to wrap it inside an existing or new meta-narrative.
This is outrageous. FOX is destroying the US and harming democracies and progress and human rights and the environment all over the world. They are deliberately constructing a universe of falsity, counter-narratives — it’s revisionist history in real time, lies to promote their vision and of course excite their “base” and get ratings and money.
We need to stop referring to this phenomenon as “tribalism.” Tribes are families, that’s all. And people with various philosophies about government can and do and MUST co-exist in democracies — it’s the very nature of the beast and it adds to the lively stew that makes a nation creative, prosperous, vital.
This is something else. This a hostile takeover of the US using techniques perfected by Joseph Goebbels and practiced by Donald Trump and other totalitarian dictators.
Warping the truth has nothing to do with tribalism and everything to do with the destruction of human rights, democracy, freedom.
Warping the truth is an instrument of war.
The Murdochs for some reason have decided to make money by destroying a great nation and harming as many people as possible in the process. I don’t understand their motives. Roger Ailes is dead but this poison leeches into the system nonetheless.
And now, FOX is indulging in openly antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as promoting “alternative facts” about the Russian attack on our elections.
The phenomenal and courageous Dr. Fiona Hill described this as a new “Protocols,” which of course harkens back to Czarist antisemitism that painted a dark portrait of the Jewish people as manipulators of history. Now we have George Soros, the new “international Jew,” who is routinely blamed on FOX for the Ukraine situation, he is said to control the State Department by their contributors and also Rudy Giuliani.
Given that Vindman is Jewish as well as several other players including, I understand, Marie Yovanovitch and Zelensky himself, the dimensions of this acquire increasingly dangerous dimensions. So it isn’t just the crafting of a counter-narrative and the exploitation of people’s love of CT, we’re seeing in real time the resurrection of ancient prejudices and the targeting of real people, true American patriots, all in the service of some xenophobia and bizarre and destructive world view unfortunately embodied by our President!
It’s appalling and it has to stop.
Does The First Amendment allow for the misuse of our priceless freedom to destroy that very freedom? We mustn’t permit enemies of the United States to use our own Constitution to destroy us. But the fact is our Attorney General himself seems unwilling to enforce the law. The counter-narrative is read aloud in House Intelligence Committee hearings. In the face of Dr. Hill’s assertion that false narrative involving Ukrainian “election meddling” in 2016, which help nobody but Putin, Devin Nunes once again recited Ukrainian election meddling conspiracy theories.
How can we get back to the truth with this going on?