The only people watching FN are the partisan ideologues who have already made their minds up
Perhaps, but there are plenty of people that never pay any attention (like my wife), who all of sudden hear something and thinks its a huge controversy...
The fact that the average idiots accepts "obama's failure" without being able to point to a single tangible thing is proof of the "Foxification" of the average news-viewer...
Fortunately (or maybe not), these "controversies" don't last very long because they are just manufactured noise to distract from the real issues. In the end, do you think your wife would vote for Obama if she hadn't heard about these issues? If the answer is no, than I'd argue FN isn't the far-reaching influence peddler you seem to be suggesting it is. It's annoying for sure and I get the frustration of the blatant disregard for journalistic integrity, but to say it's dumbening the country by polluting people's minds is, I think, a tad alarmist.
I agree with your point about people just regurgitating the nonsense they hear without thinking for themselves, but I don't think it is representative of the average voter (what does "average voter" even mean?). A lot of people take Rachel Maddow's words as gospel too.
Your first paragraph is a bit convuluted... I don't understand your query...
But my wife will vote for OB b/c "he's a democrat", if for nothing else... At the same time, she can easily be swayed to vote against her own interests... I think you give too much credit to average Americans, the fact that what was once considered right wing lunacy is now Tea Party Idealogy is proof in my eyes...
Oh, I see. I thought when you said your wife gets worked up over the controversy you meant she was a steady FN watcher/anti-Obama voter (is that UncleEb's wife?). But if she'll vote for him strictly for party loyalty, than I'd say FN isn't very effective. Sure she may get worked up over it, but if she's pulling the lever for D every time anyway, what are they accomplishing (besides causing you/your wife some relatively minor headaches)?
As for average Americans, I've come to the realization that there are a lot of stupid people and they will do what they want and it's not worth my time worrying about their decisions. I've also come to realize it is none of my business to tell people what is in their best interest because every person's situation is different and I could never comprehend the myriad of factors that go into the choices they make. And, with all due respect to twatts, I find it rather arrogant that people so willingly dismiss others' opinions by saying something like "These people are so stupid to believe these things that I
deem crazy." This was my whole point in noting the similarities of the competing "news" organizations; everybody is crazy and they tend to align with the crazy people that don't sound so crazy to them. Is that so crazy? So I may not agree or understand how anyone could vote for Rick Santourm, I don't by any means fault them on principle because they would vote for a lunatic. I'll mock them, but I don't fault them for what I
perceive to be a misguided belief. As such, I just can't find it in me to assign FN the blame for causing these people to believe what they do. This is likely a product of my faith in free markets, but I think, on the whole, when you get a large enough sample of people they will ultimately get it "right" (whatever that means).
Isn't Fox News the highest rated news channel at this point?
Yes, but that is likely because the FN viewer sees a left-leaning bias in traditional media outlets and as such seeks out "news" that is more in line with their own leanings (i.e., confirmation bias). Also, the opposition outlet always has higher ratings depending on who is in power. MSNBC's ratings were way higher during W (maybe not higher than FN because of the former point, but much higher than they are now).
They may be preaching to the choir and that choir may be solely made up of crazies, but it's a big fucking choir.
the other thing is that if you say things loud enough, and often enough, they become true. So if FN says an hours worth for crazy shit, chances are some of it will stick. People will start talking about it, it will be overheard, become a soundbite, and then become true.
ex - Hussein caused 9-11 (most people don't believe it now, but they did when the war started0, death panels
You mean like "If we don't save these banks the entire financial system will collapse!!"
Also, if you remember, the calls for invading Iraq were been voiced equally as loudly from places like the NYT