This is a frustrating, terrifying and insightful look into the propaganda machine that has been built by Rupert Murdoch. The hundreds of news channels, cable channels, papers and magazines that Murdoch owns (and fills with his personal right-wing anti-fact agenda) reaches a STAGGERING 4.7 billion people. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately and being able to force your biased viewpoints down the throats of more than half of the worlds population is pretty fucking similar to what I would call ultimate power.
As David Brock, the President/CEO of Media Matters for America, says about Murdoch/Faux News:
He doesn't believe in objectivity, he has contempt for journalism I think. They wanted all news to be a matter of opinion because opinion can't be proven false. And I think that's very dangerous because if people don't have a set of facts they can agree on, I think it's difficult to reach a consensus on what's correct public policy.
A few weeks ago, when I was supposed to be absorbed in study for my Brain, Biology and Evolution final test, I instead found myself riveted to a free (yes, totally free) book called The Authoritarians. It’s by a psychologist called Bob Altemeyer (this is his website, it has a few additional pieces involving Obama’s elections on there as well) and it’s focused on a specific group of people labelled, unsurprisingly, the authoritarians.
It’s a fairly terrifying book, outlining the reasons for the recent rise in political extremism and explaining the seemingly impenetrable viewpoints of modern hardcore conservatives.
OK, what’s this book about? It’s about what’s happened to the American government lately. It’s about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It’s about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It’s about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It’s about how the “Religious Right” teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country. It’s about the United States standing at the crossroads as the next federal election approaches.
“Well,” you might be thinking, “I don’t believe any of this is true.” Or maybe, you’re thinking, “What else is new? I’ve believed this for years.” Why should a conservative, moderate, or liberal bother with this book? Why should any Republican, Independent, or Democrat click the “Whole Book” link on this page?
Because if you do, you’ll begin an easy-ride journey through some very relevant scientific studies I have done on authoritarian personalities--one that will take you a heck of a lot less time than the decades it took me. Those studies have a direct bearing on all the topics mentioned above. So if you think the first paragraph is a lot of hokum, or full of half-truths, I invite you to look at the research.
And the research is fucking scary. As Altemeyer says: Continue reading