Skip to main content

Fox News Sean Hannity program on April 15, 2014
Media Matters went through the painstaking research of calculating just how much time Fox News primetime hosts have spent during the past two weeks covering deadbeat cattle rancher Cliven Bundy's dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over his refusal to pay grazing fees for the last 21 years like every other cattle rancher in Nevada, and the numbers are staggering:
Led by Sean Hannity, Fox News has devoted 4 hours and 40 minutes of its prime-time programming to cheerleading for a Nevada range war.
The reason for the coverage is obvious: Even though the real story amounts to nothing more than a guy who doesn't want to pay his bills, Fox was able to spin it into a clash between a simple cattle rancher and a Leviathan federal government, creating a storyline guaranteed to enthrall their conservative audience.

Sure, turning Bundy's story into a symbol for something which he has no business representing required Fox to invent a narrative disconnected from reality, but what's the harm in a little bit of storytelling? Well, there's a serious answer to that question: The harm is that by making Bundy into something that he is not, Fox created a flashpoint for dozens of extremists, turning what should have been a run-of-the-mill law enforcement operation into a dangerous standoff featuring scenes like this:

Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management's base camp, where cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy are being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada April 12, 2014. The U.S. Burea
Fortunately, nobody got seriously hurt. But you can bet that if tragedy took place, Fox would be right there, covering the story they helped to create.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site