Saturday, September 15, 2007
We all may be oversimplifying what is happening at Fox News.
I took a looong bath this morning. Too tired to change the channel, I had a Clockwork Orange Experience .. hours of Faux indoctrination.
The scripting is awesome. Different faces same words. The agenda was the Betray Us ads. Over and over again, with the absurd claim that this is somehow illegal because Move On paid too little for for the ad and isn't this REALLY Hillary's fault? Hypocrisy (and irony) aside, this continual drone of Goebelleseque agitprop MUST be intentional.
Faux' bias is nothing new but the use of Soviet/Nazi era propaganda techniques goes beyond the pale. The image it conveys of mind-blanked listeners being programmed is frightening.
Faux' own polling suggests this tactic is not working, YET.
Yet is an important word here. As a graduate of BF Skinner's class on behaviorism, the methods being used here are right out of the book. I even felt that there was a clever transposition of rewards .. OJ Simpson titillation or such, in juxtaposition just as the classical behaviorist would use opernat conditioning. The pattern is so obvious I have trouble believing that someone at Faux is not intentionally trying to condition the Faux audience.
How intentional is this? There is a website called Brainwashing America that
offers a number of references claiming the administration is using Skinner's methods. I do not believe this. From the glimpses within we have seen, the Bushistas are too unsophisticated to pull it off. But, I have known for years that bug ad firms have beens studying Skinner. My brother told me of classes he took during his MBA at Columbia. Though lacking the rigor of Skinnerian approach, the way he was taught to sell products in the supermarket was as Skinnerian as a pigeon in a box.
The scary thing about skilled behaviorists manipulating the mass media is that there appears to be no legal way to interfere with this. When the First Amendment was written, no one reaized how powerful psychology would become. The line betwee free speech and conditioning is very hard to draw.
Posted by SM Schwartz at 11:43 AM