STOP Framing "us"

How a select few of "them" are Framing all of "us"

Archive for the tag “fox news lies”

Mitt Romney “frames” President Obama for his plan to “End Medicare as we know it.”

In an article written by Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, it was reported that Mitt Romney and a radical conservative group 60 Plus, simultaneously launched attacks aimed at President Obama and Senate Democrats for attempting to “end Medicare as we know it.”

Sam Stein pointed out that the most glaring omission in the Mitt Romney attack was “a mention of Romney’s own plan, which would create an optional voucher system for beneficiaries.”  A plan that is, “far more likely to “end Medicare as we know it” than what the president’s proposed.”  An optional voucher system is basically code for privatize it, which would mean that those who would stand the most to gain would be members of the “privileged sector.”

The conservative group 60 Plus focused their attack on the Democrats that are up for re-election in the Senate.  This attack consisted of a television ad accusing Senate Democrats of slashing Medicare benefits.   In reality, “the 60 Plus Association is spending millions of dollars to distract voters from the Republican plan to privatize Medicare which would make seniors pay thousands more for their coverage,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

The trick is to literally “frame” the opposition (ie, President Obama and Senate Democrats) for GOP actions to end Medicare, and then endlessly repeat the linguistic frame of “end Medicare as we know it” on Fox news in order to convince as many people as possible that this misinformation is accurate, or should I say “fair and balanced.”

Once this occurs, and enough people are convinced, or duped into believing the George Orwell Party’s lies, then the GOP is free to hand the purse strings of Medicare over to the “privileged sector.”   As a consequence, the money needed to provide for the sick and elderly in America to sustain their daily living will be used to create the latest feeding frenzy in the Wall Street Casino, where only the house wins!

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How consuming too many “frames” can lead to a nation of “smart idiots”: The hazard of believing in misinformation

In his recent article, The Republican Brain: Why Even Educated Conservatives Deny Science — and Reality, Chris Mooney describes the differences in beliefs held between Conservatives and Liberals on the issue of global warming.  He also touches on other tea-party favorites, such as the belief that President Barrack Obama was not born in the United States, and that he is a secret Muslim.  The outright misinformation campaign being waged by Fox news and other corporately controlled media outlets is leading to what Chris Moody calls the “smart idiots” effect.

What he found by looking at various studies is the paradox that more education among conservatives leads to even further belief in the misinformation propagated by radical right wing conservatives in this country. With respect to the growing resistance to accept what climate scientists have confirmed, (that the planet is warming due to human activity of burning more and more fossil fuels), “Again and again, Republicans or conservatives who say they know more about the topic, or are more educated, are shown to be more in denial, and often more sure of themselves as well- and are confident they don’t need any more information on the issue.”

In an attempt to describe what accounts for the “smart idiot” effect, Chris Mooney had this to say, “For one thing, well-informed or well-educated conservatives probably consume more conservative news and opinion, such as by watching Fox News. Thus, they are more likely to know what they’re supposed to think about the issues—what people like them think—and to be familiar with the arguments or reasons for holding these views. If challenged, they can then recall and reiterate these arguments. They’ve made them a part of their identities, a part of their brains, and in doing so, they’ve drawn a strong emotional connection between certain “facts” or claims, and their deeply held political values. And they’re ready to argue.

Not only does this explanation confirm the recent study showing the more you watch Fox news the less you know, but it sheds light on what I would call the “framing effect.”

“In fact, there is even research suggesting that the most rigid and inflexible breed of conservatives—so-called authoritarians—do not really become their ideological selves until they actually learn something about politics first. A kind of “authoritarian activation” needs to occur, and it happens through the development of political “expertise.” Consuming a lot of political information seems to help authoritarians feel who they are—whereupon they become more accepting of inequality, more dogmatically traditionalist, and more resistant to change.”

This activation, I would argue, is felt upon being exposed to right wing “frames” and cause one to fall victim to the “framing effect”, where only the frames make sense, and all other facts that don’t fit the frame are rejected.  The more right wing political knowledge Conservatives acquire, (ie, the more exposure to these frames) the more adamant the rejection of the facts that don’t fit the frame, and the more likely the “smart idiot” effect will be found.

Government programs are working to benefit nearly half of all Americans, so radical Conservatives are trying to put a end to this by “Framing” them as “Entitlement programs” that should be eliminated.

Ed Shultz did a segment last Friday on the Ed show highlighting our lack of knowledge when in comes to the role of Government in providing benefits to average working families, called what Government programs?

As is turns out, 48.5% of Americans, nearly half of all people in this country benefit from Government programs.  The problem is that the very people receiving these benefits are not aware of it!

According to a New York Times poll, 44% of people receiving Social Security, 43% of people receiving unemployment benefits, and 40% of people receiving Medicare benefits claimed they have not used a government program. As correctly pointed out by Ed Shultz, “almost half of the people who collect these entitlements do not recognize that they are using Government programs, and Republican candidates feed off of their lack of awareness”

This is accomplished through “framing.”  The social safety net benefits described above, as well as other middle class benefits are being framed as “entitlements” in order to convince people to vote against their own well being by supporting the elimination of these so called, “entitlement programs.”  The “entitlement program” frame suggests that your hard-working tax dollars are funding the bad habits of lazy people who don’t want to work!  Even worse, this frame suggests that the Government is behind this effort to weaken our nation by giving people things they feel entitled to rather than requiring them to earn it like everybody else.

Let’s forget for the moment that entitlements like Social Security, for instance, are called entitlements for a reason.   Working people pay into this Government program their entire lives, and thus are ‘entitled’ to receive these benefits when they retire.  Despite this reality, the word entitlement is literally being redefined by the radical right wing in this country to fit the frame described above in order to justify the elimination of any benefit not going to the top 1%.

Watch how effective this framing effort has become.  Pay particular attention to how the rhetoric of the “entitlement program” frame is used to convince people that the benefits half of us unknowingly receive and depend upon are somehow destroying America.

Mitt Romney – “Even if we could afford the ever expanding payments of an entitlement society, it is a fundamental corruption of the American spirit.

Rick Perry – “I will work every day to try to make Washington D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can”

Newt Gingrich –  “It is the left, which has abandoned and betrayed the poor, because its safety net is actually a spider-web and it traps people in dependency.

Michelle Bachman – “Were deluding ourselves if were embracing a dependency culture.”

Rick Santorum – “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

If only the people in the NY times poll knew that these radical Conservative politicians were talking about them!

Ezra Klein pointed out in this segment that, in some cases, “The most expensive Government programs are not the one’s for the poor,” but involve other benefits such as home mortgage interest rate deductions, and not paying taxes on employer provided healthcare benefits.  These are benefits that most people don’t even think of as Government programs.

The problem is that we are not aware of these facts!  Instead, we are becoming aware of the frames, which are repeated constantly on Fox news and other corporately controlled media outlets for the sole purpose of convincing us to vote against our self-interest by supporting Government programs that will strip us of these benefits, and shift costs from big businesses and the super-wealthy to average working families.  If the frames are successful at convincing people, then we will soon have no social safety net, we will pay even more for healthcare costs, and we will not be able to deduct our mortgage interest during tax season, among other benefits we do not currently recognize as being a result of Government programs.

 

 

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