Opinion

Rolling Stone slimes Fox

Photo of Mark Judge
Mark Judge
Author, A Tremor of Bliss

I know this is like noting that the pope was seen praying, but Rolling Stone magazine just trashed Fox News and its chairman, Roger Ailes. Still, the piece, “The Fox News fear factory,” which was written by Tim Dickinson, is worth examining, if only for what it reveals about its author. It is a textbook example of projection — the phenomenon of a disturbed patient accusing someone of all the things that the patient himself is guilty of.

Reading Dickerson’s piece reminded me of G.K. Chesterton’s observation that “the maniac is not the man who has lost his reason — it is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” Many of the folks in asylums actually have very precise, circular, and reasonable — to them — ideas of how the universe works. Of course they are the reincarnation of the Marquis de Sade, and the CIA is piping messages into their cerebrum through the microwave. It’s what makes everything make sense.

And to the left, Fox News is an all-encompassing toxic cloud over America, a chimera that will destroy the nation, a Grendel. This belief is in fact a religious faith more than anything else. This explains how Tim Dickinson can write such a sloppy piece in Rolling Stone, and how he can be praised for it. Nobody on the left is going to criticize one of their own for attacking the devil.

Dickinson is reciting liberal catechism, not hunting for facts. In the entire 10,000 words, he doesn’t quote a single supporter of Fox News. He claims that Fox leader Roger Ailes “is deeply paranoid,” citing as evidence the fact that Ailes has a security detail and carries a gun. According to Dickinson’s logic, Fox under Ailes is a propaganda machine that stirs fear of Muslims and bangs the drums for war, yet Ailes is paranoid for thinking that Al Qaeda may target him. Then there is this passage:

To watch even a day of Fox News — the anger, the bombast, the virulent paranoid streak, the unending appeals to white resentment, the reporting that’s held to the same standard of evidence as a late October attack ad — is to see a refraction of its founder, one of the most skilled and fearsome operatives in the history of the Republican Party.

I’m sorry, but it is simply not possible to take seriously the “journalist” who wrote that sentence. If you’re going to accuse a network of being angry, bombastic, virulently paranoid and racist, you need to cite some hard examples. For instance, if I was to claim that suspended MSNBC host Ed Schultz is a misogynist and a fat angry bastard, I would offer a few examples: his calling conservative Laura Ingraham a slut, his jowly face, his hysterical meltdowns when taking about conservatives. If I was to call NBC’s Michael Isikoff a shrimp, it would be based on the fact that I am only 5’ 7” and I once stood next to Isikoff and looked down on him. In short, Dickinson needs to define paranoia, racism and white resentment, and give hard examples of exactly when this happened. He needs to give us some facts.

Instead, Dickinson offers a bio of Ailes garnished with the usual liberal paranoia. He accuses Ailes of “blurring the line between journalism and politics,” and astonishingly has nothing to say about how liberals do the same thing — has Dickinson never heard of George Stephanopoulos? Jay Carney and the platoon of journalists who now work for Obama? MSNBC? NBC? Dickinson brings up Willie Horton, never acknowledging that Horton was first the creation of Al Gore. He claims that in the 1984 campaign Ronald Reagan “ditched the facts” — about everything. Dickinson claims that in 1988 Roger Ailes “rigged an interview [with vice president George H.W. Bush] about the [Iran Contra] scandal by insisting on an odd caveat: that the interview be conducted live.”

Insisting on doing an interview live? Why, that’s right out of the Goebbels playbook.

  • BigRmv

    I wonder what the Rolling Stoners think about the BBC? Must be an off-shoot of Fox when they report the same stories about Muslim terrorists, poor economic times, or the president being stuck in 2008, eh? I smell conspiracy!

  • Pingback: Open Thread: Rolling Stone’s Descent into Liberal Paranoia | Matrix Blog

  • Jamo

    I have to turn off most FOX News programs, especially Bill O’Reilly, because of the way they cater to the left. They invariably show re-runs of John Stewart, Whoppie and the girls of The View, and other leftist MSNBC and cable news shows, and then proceed to discuss them as though they were discussing news. Instead, they sho7uld be ignoring those wombats and offering their own programming.

    FOX continually allows leftist ideologues like that intolerable Congressman Weiner, and others of his ilk, access to the air waves with their treason, blubbering, lies and self righteous crap when they should be given no voice at all and instead probably should be incarcerated for bribery and treason.

    I really cannot abide most of what FOX News presents and I have to turn it off and watch a Brewers game instead.

  • Delmarjackson

    I am a democrat and fairly liberal. I watch fox news because they have a different narrative on the immigration issue than the MSM. The mainstream media has only one narrative or story on immigration, all immigration GOOD, anyone that wants less immigration like me is very very BAD.

    I do get tired of Fox commentators always talking about lowering taxes and saying the poor never pay taxes, while ignoring the tax immigration places on the working poor. Democrats want more immigration for future voters and way too many republicans and Libertarians want more immigration for the cheap compliant labor, all the while ignoring the social,economic and envirionmenta costs to the communities.
    It amazes me to see republicans run from the immigration issue while dooming their party demographically, I guess there is a reason they are the stupid party.

    • BigRmv

      @DeimarJackson

      You wrote: “It amazes me to see republicans run from the immigration issue while dooming their party demographically, I guess there is a reason they are the stupid party.”

      Well, aren’t you just the sweetest, non-judgmental person? j/k

      I’ve always wondered where this attitude comes from. The one that’s so pervasive on the left–that Republicans are mentally inferior.

      I’ve got o-so-many intelligent, well educated Republican friends. Few if any watch NASCAR. Some are police and fire captains, military men, teachers, attorneys, pilots, engineers, accountants, small business owners, and musicians (although the musicians have to be careful not to express their views around the RS crowd). In fact, our previous Republican president, GWB, had degrees from Yale and Harvard–the same Harvard that the current Democratic president is purported to have a degree from.

      So, I have to ask: Where do you get your “facts”?

  • leereyno

    The reason why leftists hate Fox news is because the ideas the left believes in can only prevail when they go unchallenged. This is why they work so hard to pervert language and criminalize dissent. They’re basically a quasi-religious death cult masquerading as a set of overlapping political philosophies. And just like every cult before them, they fear contrary information because it encourages they people they have brainwashed to question their indoctrination.

    In sort, they hate and fear Fox because Fox presents the viewpoints that the left has been so successful in stifling elsewhere.

  • leereyno

    “He accuses Ailes of “blurring the line between journalism and politics,” and astonishingly has nothing to say about how liberals do the same thing”

    This is a tacit admission that Fox does what Dickinson accuses them of. Instead of saying “Well you do it too! nana-nana-na-na!”, how about offering up an argument that amounts to something? How about detailing the ways in which Fox works to be even-handed in its reporting of political issues, unlike the Marxist Socialist Media. This is a prevalent theme through much of your article, and you pass up the opportunity to reiterate that point here.

    Partisan hackery is bad no matter who is doing it. Being equally guilty of something wrong doesn’t make you the good guy, but one of the bad guys. By offering up a tacit admission of Fox’s guilt, you weaken your entire argument.

    I don’t believe that fox does “blur the lines between journalism and politics.” It is impossible to report on political issues in an apolitical way. But you can work to tell the truth, and to limit how much your own emotional attachments to the topics in question color how they are reported. Fox does a good job of this, the leftard media outlets don’t even try.

  • Cyberball2072

    Fox is successful because it does something none of the other do. They give both sides of the argument and they do not ignore news that will hurt the party they generally lean towards. The MSM does not do this, that is why the ignorant parasitic class watches it.

    If it walks like a liberal, is uneducated like a liberal, sucks off of society like a liberal, it must vote democrat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conor-McCartney/16802823 Conor McCartney

    This article is really frustrating me. I can’t tell if he’s being ironic in the last two paragraphs or not.
    http://socialmoderatefiscalconservative.blogspot.com/
    Because, if he is being Ironic. Then this is one of the best pieces I’ve read in awhile. It’s not very often that people nail comedic irony.
    At least I hope he is being ironic. Because If he isn’t, then he essential does exactly what he is accusing the Rolling Stone article of doing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conor-McCartney/16802823 Conor McCartney

      Seriously, is he being ironic in this piece?

    • minicapt

      1. No; ‘irony’ does not mean ‘I am confused, please explain’.
      2. If he had wanted to exercise ‘irony’, the writer would have included photos of Roger Ailes and Jann Wenner for invidious comparisons.

      Cheers

      • cmccartn

        So he’s not an ironic genius.. He’s a bit of a doofus?

  • jmk1502

    Fox News is a wonderful source of comedy, on par with “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”. The only difference is that Fox purports to be a serious news outlet. It is very interesting, from a pyschological standpoint, to watch the different idealogues on Fox try and convey their message: O’Reilly tries to come across as somewhat neutral, but the other night when Jon Stewart came on his show, he got (gets) exposed. Hannity is just a shameless partisan hack, spewing venom at every turn. Then you have brainless Palin, aw shucks Huckabee, talk slut Laura Ingraham, and fascist John Stossel. Fair and Balanced. Lies and the lying liars that tell them.

    • jjsmithers

      “when Jon Stewart came on his show, he (O’Relly) got exposed”

      Jon Stewart did not just “came on his show”, you nitwit. O’Relly invited him.

      Do you think all of the opposing voices FOX has on just barge in and force their way onto the FOX programs ?

    • maingive

      So a Libertarian who opposes excessive government intervention and promotes and believes in individual Liberty is a fascist?
      Oh I get it – you’re making a JOKE! HAHA! If it weren’t so funny I would think you’re and ignorant boob! HAHA!
      Comments like that just totally nullify any point you might be trying to make. You know that don’t you?

    • BigRmv

      Ah, JMK1502, I’ve been waiting for one of your toxic posts. Got an awful lot of spittle running down your chin, dontcha?

      Tell me, though, why no tirade against the Jews this time as per your M.O.? Is it because you can’t praise Jon Stewart and attack his heritage at the same time without everyone suspecting you for a hypocrite? Fear not, JMK! We already know about you from previous comments.

      Rant on!

  • mwrg

    There’s no better way to earn your street cred in the Liberal Psuedo-Intelligentsia than to shout something about Fox News into the echo chamber.

    News flash: Fox News is biased! It’s also most likely the primary source of news in this country for the majority of Americans.

    Now, why is that? Instead of recognizing that the majority of people don’t feel their getting the full story from virtually all other mainstream sources, folks like this writer will make the claim that this country is populated with nothing more than a bunch of clueless rednecks. And behold! It fits right in with the Left’s narrative and feelings of superiority any way.

    Little do they understand that it is this very elitism which makes a publication like Rolling Stone irrelevant, and Fox News the success it is.

    • cmccartn

      There’s no better way to earn conservative street cred then to say “Liberal Psuedo-Intelligentsia”
      It shows those Liberal Education elites, that you aren’t going to conform to their rules, like for spelling (pseudo)