Bill Maher made media folks in D.C. uncomfortable by speaking the truth about how Fox News has polarized America.
Maher said, “I wonder, people always talking about Washington, and politicians can’t get along. I think maybe that it’s the people who are polarized, and the politicians just reflect that, and I feel like the reason the people are so polarized is Fox News. I think of all the things that changed in America, Fox News changed the most. Used to be the John Birch Society came to your door once a year, now they’re in your TV, in your living room everyday, and we don’t even know how to talk to each other. It’s like we have a language barrier, because what they are hearing on Fox News. To sane people, it’s like what? Saul Alinsky, we don’t know who that is.”
Panelist Andrea Mitchell pointed out that the members of Congress are not reflecting the American people. Republican Haley Barbour brought up the right’s favorite media boogeyman, Bill Maher. Jerry Seinfeld said that Maher’s argument would be better if he said that he each side only listens to their own side, and to blame it all on Fox News didn’t seem completely fair.
Maher knocked down the idea that he is opposite of Fox News, “With all due respect, the opposite of Fox News is not really me. It’s MSNBC, which does not get near the ratings of Fox News, because I think there is something in the conservative brain that wants to hear the same thing over and over, and doing the same thing over and over.”
It is a debatable whether or not Fox News is solely responsible for the polarization in the country. In my view, the country was already polarizing during Bill Clinton’s first term before Fox News was on the air. What is undeniable is that Fox News has moved the media to the right. Fox has injected Republican talking points and conservative conspiracy theories into mainstream political media coverage. Fox News has destroyed the media’s objectivity. Because of Fox, journalists don’t view it as part of their jobs to challenge Republican lies anymore.
Fox News has been able to reinforce and exploit the political polarization in the United States. It is impossible to say with certainty that Fox News started the polarization, but they have definitely reinforced and expanded it. Bill Maher went to D.C., and he discussed something that the mainstream corporate media doesn’t want to hear. The media, led by Fox News, has fed and worsened the political polarization in this country.