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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:51 AM

Do You Speak Fox? How Donald Trump's favorite news source became a language.

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/09/fox-news-trump-language-stelter-hoax/616309/

Excerpt:

Story by Megan Garber

All happy families are alike; some unhappy families are unhappy because of Fox News. You might have come across the articles (“I Lost My Dad to Fox News” / “Lost Someone to Fox News?” / “‘Fox News Brain’: Meet the Families Torn Apart by Toxic Cable News”), or the Reddit threads, or the support groups on Facebook, as people have sought ways to mourn loved ones who are still alive. The discussions consider a loss that Americans don’t have good language for, in part because the loss itself is a matter of language: They describe what it’s like to find yourself suddenly unable to speak with people you’ve known your whole life. They acknowledge how easily a national crisis can become a personal one. At this point, some Americans speak English; others speak Fox.

Political theorists, over the years, have looked for metaphors to describe the effects that Fox—particularly its widely watched opinion shows—has had on American politics and culture. They’ve talked about the network as an “information silo” and “a filter bubble” and an “echo chamber,” as an “alternate reality” constructed of “alternative facts,” as a virus on the body politic, as an organ of the state. The comparisons are all correct. But they don’t quite capture what the elegies for Fox-felled loved ones express so efficiently. Fox, for many of its fans, is an identity shaped by an ever-expanding lexicon: mob, PC police, Russiagate, deep state, MSM, MS-13, socialist agenda, Dems, libs, Benghazi, hordes, hoax, dirty, violent, invasion, open borders, anarchy, liberty, Donald Trump. Fox has two pronouns, you and they, and one tone: indignation. (You are under attack; they are the attackers.) Its grammar is grievance. Its effect is totalizing. Over time, if you watch enough Fox & Friends or The Five or Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham, you will come to understand, as a matter of synaptic impulse, that immigrants are invading and the mob is coming and the news is lying and Trump alone can fix it.

Language, too, is a norm. It is one more shared fact of political life that can seem self-evident until someone like Trump, or something like Fox, reveals the fragility that was there all along. You might have observed, lately, how Americans seem always to be talking past one another—how we’re failing one another even at the level of our vernacular. In the America of 2020, socialism could suggest “Sweden-style social safety net” or “looming threat to liberty.” Journalist could suggest “a person whose job is to report the news of the day” or “enemy of the people.” Cancel culture could mean … actually, I have no idea at all what cancel culture means at this point. Fox, on its own, did not create that confusion. But it exacerbated it, and exploited it. The network turned its translations of the world into a business model. Every day, the most watched shows of the most watched cable network in the country—a prime-time destination more popular than ESPN—take the familiar idioms of American democracy and wear away at their common meanings. The result is disorientation. The result is mass suspicion. Like a vengeful God bringing chaos to Babel, Fox has helped to create a nation of people who share everything but the ability to talk with one another.

There’s an episode of the office that ends, as so many episodes of The Office do, with Jim playing a prank on Dwight. Dwight, who sells paper with the militant zeal he brings to everything else he does, wins a company-wide prize for his sales record. His reward is to give a speech at a corporate gathering. Dwight is nervous about this opportunity; Jim—here is where he stares directly at the camera—gives him some public-speaking advice. Fast-forward to Dwight, in a cavernous hotel ballroom, breathing heavily into the lectern’s microphone, pounding his fists, and shouting lines from the script Jim had provided him: the Googled speeches of famous dictators. Jim had turned Dwight into something he wasn’t; that was the prank. But the joke was that Jim had also turned Dwight into something he’d been all along. Dwight Shrute has what psychologists might refer to as an “authoritarian personality.” Jim had given him, in a roundabout way, the ability to become himself—dictator cosplay, no costume required. The crowd loved it.

. . . more

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Reply Do You Speak Fox? How Donald Trump's favorite news source became a language. (Original post)
swag Sep 16 OP
redstatebluegirl Sep 16 #1
Midnight Writer Sep 16 #2
Celerity Sep 17 #3

Response to swag (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:52 AM

1. The book about Fox and Trump "The Hoax" is excellent.

Fox has led to the dumbing down of the electorate.

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Response to swag (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 04:10 PM

2. I'm expecting my MAGA friends to start telling me how "herd mentality" will stop the pandemic.

These people will quote word for word something Hannity or Tucker said on their show.

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Response to swag (Original post)

Thu Sep 17, 2020, 07:41 PM

3. K & R

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