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Michael Vestal POLS 1100 Dr. Josh Gold 04/14/2014

Critique Paper
One of the more interesting topics of the democratic debate is on public opinion. One major factor on the publics opinion comes from mass media. The article I chose to critique is in great relation to mass media using political propaganda to push fourth the elites agenda. How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory: The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside Americas Unfair and Imbalanced Network. By Tim Dickinson; May 25, 2011. This article shows how a large news source can manipulate the publics opinion to suit one mans agenda. This article starts with offering some background on Ailes. He had many ailments as a child and his parents were divorced. As a teenager, he drank heavily. He tried out for the Air Force ROTC, but was rejected due to his health. So instead, he joined theater in college. He found his calling in television. Starting out as a gofer, he rose to executive producer by the age of twenty five. He met Richard Nixon back stage on the set of Mike Douglas, in 1967. To Nixon, it appeared that Ailes was a natural and thought he had found the man to market him to the public. While working for Nixon during his campaign, Ailes developed his knack for

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manipulating political imagery. In doing so, he would bypass journalists and go straight for the people. He staged questions that would make Nixon shine to the public. This form of manipulation would set the tone for how he would run Fox news. It would seem that at an early age Ailes learned the art of manipulation. His early work in television helped him develop the idea that TV taps into the viewers emotions. With this knowledge he was able to form tactics to use the media to push an agenda. He told the Washington Post in 1972, I know certain techniques, such as a press release that looks like a newscast. He was very arrogant at a young age and was not afraid to express his desire to manipulate the public. After Nixon, he went on to work with other presidents such as Reagan and Bush sr. working with Bush during his campaign; he rigged an interview with Dan Rather. He used tactics that he knew would play on the viewers emotions rather than focusing on the negative issues surrounding Bush at the time. Ailes said, Forget the figures and the facts and move to the offensive as quickly as possible. Ailes work with presidential candidates and their campaigns is nothing more than manipulation to get the man he wants into office. He uses his tactics in a dishonest manor only caring about his agenda. He gets personal satisfaction out of being able to manipulate the masses to get what he wants. How is the public ever expected to be taken seriously if our opinions are being formed for us behind the curtains. In 1992, Ailes came out publicly saying that he was done with politics. He claimed that he hated politics as his reason for stepping away from them. However this was a lie. He did not

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quit politics. Just one year after he quit politics, he consulted with Big Tabaco. He made secret deals with Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds to help combat health care reform under the Clinton administration. Throughout the years, he was paid a retainer to insure that he would always be ready when big tobacco needed him. These secret deals further show Ailes dishonesty. He first, publicly announces that he is done with politics to pursue his career in the entertainment business. Then still pursues secret deals with tobacco companies giving aid to push his own agenda to crush health care reform. After a successful career with CNBC, he gets out of his contract and teams up with Rupert Murdoch to form Fox News. Rather than being paid by cable companies, to insure an audience, Fox News pays cable companies to broadcast their channels. This guaranteed them an audience. Ailes uses this media out let as a propaganda machine. He uses fear tactics for his own agenda. He only uses journalists that already have a right winged bias. If he thought that a journalist was too liberal, they would be fired. He feeds the public exactly what they want to hear. He knows his target audience and appeals to what they want. His ultimate goal is to shape the public opinion. This type of mass media propaganda is unfair to the American public. We should be able to trust our news sources to make informed decisions on our political matters. One would think that a media giant such as Fox News could be trusted and a credited source for political news. However, the people behind these giants control these media outlets to get what best suits their needs. The public cant be trusted to make informed decisions when the information they get is nothing more than propaganda aimed towards an agenda.

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This article sheds light to the fact that the Elite Democrats have little faith in the publics opinion. They aim to shape our decisions by misinformation and fear tactics. They can make us believe that we should go to war with another nation without cause. Mass media helps push the elites agenda. Mass media can manipulate the American people for one mans agenda. Before this class and before this article, I watched Fox News and trusted the information I was getting. I will not make that mistake again. This article was very informative in regard to the effects mass media has on public opinion.