The Dam at Otter Creek

I'm shocked I missed it when it first came out, but Jon Gabriel's piece on the left's Fox News obsession is really good.

For me, Twitter is less a social-media service than a six-year-long political argument with no sign of ending. In myriad (and meaningless) keyboard battles, I’ve tangled with progressives on economic policy, foreign affairs, elections, pop culture, social issues, education reform and countless other topics.
The fact is, I don’t watch Fox News. Okay, I DVR “Red Eye” (which isn’t really news) and watch the occasional yell-fest when a friend’s on the panel. But cable news in general doesn’t do much for me or most other people I know.

I recently visited two older relatives who watch Fox News non-stop and at high volume to cope with hearing issues. After 12 hours of dire headlines, testy commentators, and panicked “breaking news” alerts covering days-old developments, I wanted to lock myself in a soundproofed room with the Good Book and a fifth of Jack. It was exhausting.

Obviously Fox tops the rankings of TV news, but are most conservatives wedded to the channel? I appreciate it for providing an all-too-rare perspective on world events, but I’d rather be catching up on the game or watching sweaty chefs make a dessert out of cuttlefish, sidewalk chalk and Jolly Ranchers.

When I chat with liberals, I never assume they watch MSNBC because, well, who watches MSNBC? And every time I flip by CNN, they’re playing Anthony Bourdain reruns, most of which I’ve seen four times.
I don't get Fox News. As I wrote at the time of its collapse, I never got SUN News Network either. But Gabriel nails how it's all about "withering coup de grâce" they can throw on the end, as if that's the solution. Why, if people stopped watching that channel nobody would have the opinions expressed on it.

I think this has a lot to do with the left's lack of original ideas and prone-ness to groupthink to begin with. As the immortal Catherine McMillan reminds us, liberals leap at the chance to be part of a mob while conservatives don't. You have to really push some serious button a lot of times to get conservatives to do anything in a large group, and even then they start splintering apart almost immediately. Getting Wildrose and the Alberta Alliance to merge was a monumental feat, frankly.

So because liberals follow whatever codswallop they're fed and then pretend they loved every last drop of it, they assume conservatives must act the same way, in much the same way that conservatives are convinced that sensible appeals would get a liberal to agree with a good public policy idea. But it's not. Fox News publishes stories from a perspective that the liberal media abhors, then people who agree with the perspective or even aren't totally angered by it hear the story and then incorporate that new information into their own mental analysis and ideology and opinions. Because that's how conservatives work.

It's a tough one for liberals to get, mostly because they're unhinged.