Chez Pazienza describes a three hour car journey listening to Fox News on Sirius XM:
The effect of letting its alternate-reality worldview wash over you is exactly the same. It’s honestly like listening to a broadcast from another dimension, one where up is down, inside is out and black is white (well, black is still black — and inscrutably dangerous, but you get the point). Immerse yourself in it for a little while and it’s easy to see how the people who live and die by this crap become, in short order, almost impossible to have an intelligent conversation with. It’s not simply that Fox has a slant to its coverage or distorts the occasional fact slightly to suit its end; the network is almost across the board horseshit and you feel like you’re getting crazier and more frenzied just exposing yourself to it. Like you’re Alex strapped in a chair submitting to the Ludovico treatment. And after a very short amount of time it just becomes numbing.
I experienced something similar debating with Libertarian Seton Motley yesterday on the ‘Alyona Show’ (see my post below). Trying to get through to him was like talking to an alien – he simply didn’t abide by the same basic laws of reality that most of us do. To the Fox News/extreme Right crowd, they simply will not accept government as a force for any good regardless of the evidence. While I would regard myself as a social democrat, I do recognize the uses of capitalism – that it isn’t inherently good or bad, and can beneficial if used correctly (ie. regulated properly). To have reasoned, productive debate, you have to be able to recognize flaws in your own particular belief system and accept merits of opposing arguments. Otherwise, you’re just shouting at each other and nothing ever gets resolved. But then the media thrives off that type of conflict, so it is unfortunately encouraged.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.