Saturday, December 24, 2011

Truthout's 14 Techniques Fox Uses to Brainwash Listeners

Dr. Cynthia Boaz at Truthout nicely identifies 14 techniques Fox News uses to brainwash their listeners.  The link explains each more thoroughly and puts it all into context.

The first step to brain liberation is to recognize the techniques used to slip ideas into your brain. 

1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. . .
2. Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not like to waste time debating the idea. Instead, they prefer a quicker route to dispensing with their opponents: go after the person's credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity. . .
3. Projection/Flipping. . . It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you're using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. . .
4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview. . .
5. Scapegoating/Othering. . . The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.
6. Conflating Violence With Power and Opposition to Violence With Weakness.
7. Bullying.
8. Confusion. . . The idea is to deliberately confuse the argument, but insist that the logic is airtight and imply that anyone who disagrees is either too dumb or too fanatical to follow along.  . .
9. Populism.  The speakers identifies themselves as one of "the people" and the target of their ire as an enemy of the people. The opponent is always "elitist" or a "bureaucrat" or a "government insider" or some other category that is not the people. . .
10. Invoking the Christian God.
11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. . .
12. Disparaging Education.
13. Guilt by Association. . . if your cousin's college roommate's uncle's ex-wife attended a dinner party back in 1984 with Gorbachev's niece's ex-boyfriend's sister, then you, by extension are a communist set on destroying America. Period.
14. Diversion. 

  Again, the details are here.

Below is a template you can print out and put on an index cards and hand them out to your Fox watching relatives and acquaintences.  Ask them to read the list and see if they can see these things happening on Fox.  Even if they just read this and recognize one or two of these, it's a step forward. 14 Ways Fox Brainwashes Card


  1. Good point, Game, though I suspect she would say it was grouped in with #5 - Scapegoating/Othering.


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