To the editor:
I’m writing in response to the June 17 letter by Jonathan Ring titled “America was not founded on racism.” In it, he made two central points: That in 1776 the United States was not founded on racism, and that during the recent nationwide protests antifa has been a leading instigator of violence. Both assertions are ridiculous on their face, and are worth neither the time nor space for a rebuttal.
The larger and more serious question is, where is such nonsense promoted? The ideas of individual citizens don’t spring up out of nowhere; they need to be nurtured by outside sources of information, including the news media.
The twin fallacies regarding our nation’s founding and antifa bear all the earmarks of Fox News, and more specifically, the “infotainment” shows hosted by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Greg Gutfield, Jeanine Pirro, and others. These personalities are not in the news business; they are more like class clowns whose job it is to get the audience (mostly white and middle-aged) riled up against the horrible liberals. How do I know this? Because I watch these shows. I’m not afraid to turn my TV dial to Fox News, even during prime time, when Hannity rules. I want to see what they’re saying. The network has some responsible anchors, including Bill Hemmer and Chris Wallace. I also watch CNN and MSNBC. I read The Wall Street Journal as well as The New York Times. I try my best to hear all sides of a story. I figure that if I hear multiple viewpoints, some version of reality will come to the surface.
Viewers of Fox News should know who the boss is. The Fox Corporation is owned by the Murdoch family via a family trust with 39% interest. Rupert Murdoch is co-executive chairman, while his son Lachlan Murdoch is chairman and CEO. News Corp, its sister company, holds Murdoch’s print interests, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post.
Since Rupert Murdoch arrived in New York in 1976, Donald Trump and the Australian media mogul have been close friends, if such a word can be used to describe any relationship with this notoriously transactional president. They quickly learned that they could help each other, and during the 2016 campaign the Fox media empire was instrumental in electing Trump to the White House. Since then, despite a few minor spats, the alliance has been rock solid; and today, Fox News acts as the de facto propaganda platform for the Trump administration.
To be a responsible voter, each and every citizen has an obligation to be well informed, and in today’s fractured media marketplace, it’s dangerous to consume news and infotainment from a single biased source. Start with our own Gloucester Daily Times, and work outward; and by consuming legitimate news sources from all points on the political compass, a clear picture will emerge.