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View Diary: 'Media Critic' excoriates FOX news EMPLOYEES as working for an outlaw, rogue organization. (124 comments)

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  •  don't be scared by Godwin, sometimes lessons (1+ / 0-)
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    sidnora

    and comparisons can and should be made using the full spectrum of human behavior. ALL authoritarian minded outfits have varying degrees of the same components... just because the 3rd Reich lies at one end of the spectrum does not invalidate the concept of a continuum. This is not either/or digital thinking... either somebody is a Nazi or they are Gandhi... or Christ. No.

    Most Germans were not evil, knowing participants in Hitler's madness. That is just an extreme example. Same with FOX only a few are Amoral, knowing propagandists reshaping facts and reality to serve a cause.

    Any organization that is so large that members of it cannot see the bigger picture will be indirectly participating or contributing in a sense, but only in a sense and not to any real degree that carries blame with it....   the point is they are not personally responsible. Group blame is wrong. So nobody is blaming every FOX employee the same as they would blame Roger Ailes or Rupert Murdoch. Some enterprises run away with themselves... At some point there is no way to stop what it is doing. It has a momentum and can only run its course and stop only by destroying itself by what it is doing. The only problem is the collateral damage it does along the way and how long that can take.

    The examples of this process are numerous. Enron, Nixon's administration, BP (gulf drilling), the Catholic church (and most religions at some point over and over) dictatorships, moribund dinosaur corporations and even the whole human race with what is being done to the planet... in which by extension we all contribute. No single person can say stop. And few who come to see that they find their own contribution, as small and individually harmless as it is, to be too much to bear and they leave it in some way if they can. They are not better than those who choose to "stay" and those who stay are not worse in some way. People do what they have to do... and unless the harm becomes far more direct there is no serious moral choice involved.  Sometimes a "traitor", someone higher up with inside knowledge does do something to step away... (John Deans? ) Whistle blowers and their honorable even noble act is the only reward. They are vilified by man and often live to regret doing it. So those rare birds who are in a position to know and finally find it so abhorrent they do not find some way to walk away quietly but stand up and denounce their employers or their leaders etc. are just not the norm.  Far more people who work for a morally dubious enterprise buy into the kool aid that their organization feeds them about their purpose and can see little reason to doubt it.

    The average person in FOX would tend to be more conservative but how aware they are of how fraudulent FOX is? And what excuses they make to themselves to say exceptions can be made and justified for what FOX does is variable. Those who know exactly how wrong it is and even come up with better ways of twisting facts and presenting them are the really culpable ones. Many more believe that FOX is relatively harmless or is vital as a counterweight to the "Liberal" media arrayed against it...

    No, most FOX employees are doing more indirect things and if they were not doing it someone else could and would do the job. So yes when I say "I cannot judge them too harshly."... that means I do not judge them at all .... very few in any large entity are the ones who shape its overall purpose. A window washer at Enron cannot share blame for inflating energy costs in California... and a FOX photo-copy repair person cannot be linked to subverting public discourse and democracy...
    An IT software maintenance person is not privy to decisions to wiretap and hack personal phones like upper management in News Corps just as a uniform buckle maker in Germany in 1941 is not privy to conferences setting up the Final solution... they are blameless even though their small contributions do help indirectly to illegal acts or worse.

    I hope people understand what continuum and spectrum are... not an on - off switch but a very big analog dial or slider of behavior and awareness... At some point some people are held accountable by law and others are not... there is a dividing line and only a few at the top and direct henchmen are culpable. And it is wrong to assign blanket blame to any who are paid for their labor by or contribute in any way to something that has an immoral or illegal basis methods or aim. I have worked for a global IT company that has caused harm to some (outsourcing etc.)... but at the same time helped a great many too and changed the world for the better in many ways.

    I suppose the bargain each person must make is can I live with this balance or not. Like a spouse who is great in most ways... do you accept the negatives and live with them since the down sides are small and more than made up for by the positives... or are the negatives, though rare, just not bearable in the end and make continued association impossible? That is a judgement each person must make individually for jobs or any other connection... there is no set stark dividing line for most decisions like that. Great evil is rare... petty illegality and corruption is much more widespread and usually well disguised or spun to keep the truth fuzzy.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:45:46 AM PDT

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    •  Thanks for your thoughtful reply. (0+ / 0-)

      But you still give me no reason to believe that you have any special insight into the political views of FN's non-editorial employees, either individually or as a group.

      Fox News is headquartered and produced in New York City, where I live. While we have Republicans here, they are heavily outnumbered. I know one or two wingnuts, but generally Republicans here tend more towards the Michael Bloomberg style than the Fox News style. In addition, communications workers as a group are pretty heavily unionized, though FN of course is not. While not a perfect diagnostic, it is just as reasonable to assume that New Yorkers who work in a unionized industry (even those who do not currently have jobs in a union workplace) are generally liberal, no matter who their employer is, as it is to assume that they share the worldview of the company they happen to work for at any given time.

      I find the whole idea that any company's staff should be assumed to share the management's political outlook pretty dubious. I spent most of my career in a creative role in a notoriously abusive (and non-union) manufacturing industry, and one that has its share of negative environmental impacts, too. I can assure you that my co-workers and I did not see upper management as our allies, either inside or outside the workplace. In fact, we spent plenty of time grousing about how unfairly we were treated and how much we wished we had a union. I feel comfortable stating that most of us weren't voting the same way as our bosses, either.

      And my father-in-law's political views could not have been much more opposed to those of his employer, where he worked for almost his entire adult life. However, neither the right-wing newspaper where he worked, nor the industry where I worked, could even remotely be compared with the Third Reich, either in the depth of its immorality or the level of control it exerted over the political behavior of its citizens. Godwin is about questions of degree, not questions of kind.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:41:57 AM PDT

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      •  Two words "Roger Ailes"... he is the environment (0+ / 0-)

        there or at least sets the tone to a large degree and beyond the vibes and example that top management always has coloring a company.... and people are people anywhere... they have to live with and rationalize everything given the situations they live with... and FOX people wherever they are are no different in principle.

        But consider that people in the NY headquarters will not be immune from the need to not stick out as being too progressive... from hiring to advancement there from the bits I hear people who have any part in the content creation do better if they are more enthusiastically conservative. Others beyond that will of course be more varied... but among those "support" members will be some who either do not care what their company does as long as the paycheck comes at one end with a larger group in the middle who have varying degrees of mild discomfort or rationalized acceptance who do realize they are part of something they are not totally a fan of... to the other end who are entirely happy being part of something they feel positively about.

        How do I know? The Bell curve is a real thing and I have worked in enough companies to see exactly that breakdown in employee attitudes... but with a place like FOX in the current economic climate and the job situation for people in any media company... it will almost certainly be a bit more intense... with more discomfort and more gung ho, types who are fans of their company's raison d'etre.

        This is not just any media company... it has an agenda and Roger Ailes is famously a paranoid about security and a control freak... to think that has little effect on the way the place is run, who gets hired, who has access to what means disregarding the reality of the place... it all WILL make it a bit different from other outwardly similar businesses or big organizations.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 06:46:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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