Friday, March 4, 2011


It looks like Canada doesn't want to allow Fox News-like programming on their airwaves. Their regulators have rejected an attempt to legally permit lying on the airwaves. Canada's regulators have a very good reason for not wanting Fox-like news programs there. They seem to understand that, in many ways, our toxic political environment is driven by paranoid, fact-free, media pundits.

If the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs of our world aren't enough to convince you of this I say we take a quick stroll down Fox News memory lane.

In the clip below we see Fox News pundits doing what is now a standard fear-mongering skit. It really is nothing special (now) since it happens almost every day. Here they do their level best to drum up fears about the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential candidates, and the high taxes and anti-business policies they'll bring to America ...

While this Fox News skit is standard for the network it had absolutely nothing to do with the facts.

If these guys had done their homework someone would have noted during the bile-spewing fest that Wall Street’s record under Democratic administrations has been stellar - especially when it's compared against Republican administrations. More specifically, despite supposedly market friendly Republican policies stock prices have risen more during Democratic administrations, while market volatility has dipped.

Want proof? Check this out.

If you had invested $10,000 in 1901 and kept it in the market only during republican presidencies you would have earned $78,699 by 2005. However, if you had taken the same $10,000 and put it in the market under Democratic presidents, by 2005 you would have made $279,705.

But wait. It gets better.

If you run the numbers between 1929 and 2009 your rate of return under Republican administrations gets even worse. Republican administrations would have helped you earn $11,733 ($51,211 if you exclude the Hoover years) on your $10,000 investment. Democratic administrations, on the other hand, would have brought you a whopping $300,671!

The run the market is on now doesn't make things better for Republicans.

But you wouldn't know any of this if you simply got your information from Fox News and their media hall of mirrors. No wonder people have asked whether watching Fox News makes you ill-informed, and even stupid. It pretty much does. All of this makes what happened in Canada last week so important.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells us that Canada's regulators would reject efforts by Canada's right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news. Why is this important? Because apart from posting misleading head lines, and admitting to trying to manipulate the news cycle, Fox News has sued and won the right to lie in the United States. Put another way, they know what they're doing.

Fox News and the Rush Limbaughs of America have been on a highly successful, but politically toxic, run ever since.

Check out what Kennedy has to say about Canada's Radio Act and how it works against all the nonsense that now comes out of our airwaves after the "Fairness Doctrine" was abolished in 1987. It helps to explain the great divide in America.

All of this also helps us understand how watching Fox News just might leave you stupid, and broke.

- Mark

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