Foxidation: A Form Of Brain Atrophy Linked To Fox News Viewing

ar128637313070928Liberal V Delusional has always been a main theme here in ZanoLand. Instead of just covering known cognitive distortions and how they relate to today’s politics, I would like to submit my own term for beer review ….uh, peer review. I have already covered political propaganda for years, and yet I still have no idea why these techniques are so wildly effective on reasonably intelligent people. This is supposed to be the Age of Information, so how does AM radio and rightwing media still appeal to so many? Stranger still, their audiences wait frothing at the mouth for their next erroneous prediction. Assical Conditioning? Make no mistake, it’s happening on the left as well. I have stood by the mixed effectiveness of such tactics on liberals, until now. Millennials are gullible little shits and the gap is quickly closing. In fact, I think they’ve already replaced mine with a Spencer Gifts.

Soon we will live in a land where both political sides will have little to do with reality. You don’t think it’s happening on the left? The Bernie phenomenon is certainly a symptom of a widening disease. Amidst the fervor of his campaign he exaggerated a bit, and young people, new to the political process, bought every word… hook, line and freethinker. This is a bad portent for the future, as they are the future. A guy was just arguing on Facebook that Bernie actually won. He won 22 states, dude, so if the U.S. had 43 states you would have a case. A looming Texit could help those numbers (but don’t F with Route 40! Save the Texas panhandle, so we can all still get somewhere else). Kidding, folks, Texas is going purple! …but only because of the current restraining order against Oklahoma.

The cognitive distortion most employed by the left is the catastrophizing of any free speech deemed offensive. Everything is a flippin’ micro-aggression these days (and hear I thought that’s when gangs of plankton beat up amoebas for their lunch money). Soon our young liberals will only be able to digest 100% USDA pluralistic namby-pambyness (PNP). Whereas a certain amount of cultural and social sensitivity is important, if you get PTSD from a Trump sign, you’re grossly dysregulated. You don’t need a Safe Space, you need a therapist. Try exposure therapy. Start with a T while listening to Yanni and then each week add another letter until you have spelled TRUMP. Remember to use aromatherapy and your favorite stuffed animal for that last scary session. This works with snakes too, like Ted Cruz.

Warning: once during an exposure therapy misunderstanding… Oh, I can’t comment (charges are still pending).

When liberal comedians are being asked not to come back to campus for an “offensive” joke, we have a problem. Years ago I felt you could never get two liberals to agree on anything. For the most part libs were fiercely independent thinkers, ranging the full spectrum from ultra to moderate to ultra-menthol. Today we’re seeing a shift left, primarily because of the media, our educational institutions, and an increasing aversion to Republican “thought”. Whereas most of that is a good thing, this political correctness gone wild is the dark side of this movement.

Of course, I prefer harping on the incessant wrongness of conservative-types. But that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We all want to stick with our team. Certain psychological studies suggest when we watch sporting events, we don’t see the infractions perpetuated by our own team as clearly. Essentially, we see what we want to see, here. Whereas I have been critical of the left, I still marvel how the right remains so oblivious to their own deplorable record.

Warning: that hyperlink just goes to the DC Sewage Treatment Plant website.

Whereas libs understand how MSNBC is where they go to get liberal news, Foxeteers are still laboring with the misapprehension that they’re fair and balanced. Thus my new cognitive distortion, Foxidation. An increase in stress and anxiety can actually further distort thinking (how stress decreases cognitive capacity, here). So the whole package of cognitive distortions already employed by the right actually create an ongoing feedback loop. Republicans do better in an environment of fear.They create as much fear as possible through each and every news cycle and, in return, their constituents display even more distorted thinking. It’s self-amplifying. This is how Fox News talking points continue to make sense, despite the evidence. So tactics like they’re coming for your guns! both increases fear as well as gun sales. It’s win-win.

Why am I so stuck on this stuff? I identified many years ago how illogical one of our political parties was becoming and predicted it would lead to our undoing. Even though I have unearthed a bevvy of reasons, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the right’s ongoing confidence in the face of reality (this link also goes to the DC Sewage Treatment Plant website). Republicans tend to dismiss facts and then show little to no supporting evidence for their own questionable views. They hyperlink back tokidding, they don’t hyperlinkand it’s a good thing too; they would probably permanently crash the Breitbart.com website. How can they possibly believe the whole world is wrong on climate change? This is a potential mankind game-ender (PMGE). If I got everything wrong I would like to think I’d adopt some level of self-reflection, especially in the face of my own pending extinction. The Republican media is forced to spend their entire show on a single liberal misstep, while the main stream media can easily refute the whole Republican shebang. Don’t google shebang. Some things are worse than the DC Sewage Treatment Plant website.

Add this to the Fox News effect and you have a problem, or:

“The Fox News effect increased Republican vote share by more than 3.5 percentage points in the 2004 election and more than 6 percentage points by 2008.”

—Ethan Kaplan

That’s some scary elephant poo. Republicans should have very little political influence in 2016, but Fox & Friends are keeping their zombie party alive via a substance I call Foxal Matter (yeah …same link warning). Whereas MSNBC is getting just as bad on the left, it’s thus far not been as effective:

  1. MSNBC has only one third the viewership.
  2. More of their viewers tend to supplement their browsing with other media outlets.

My similar prediction back in the day, here, and Slate’s take this week, here. All conservative “points” throughout this life long debate have proven to be drivel. No one is going to take your Bible or your guns, so when the shit hits the fan enjoy a nice passage before blowing your head off. Exodus: Chapter You? There’s one notable exception: conservatives have always perseverated on the collapse of our cultural morals (which I am a proud contributor) as well as the rise of minorities. And although the Bernie people are starting to piss me off, there’s no excuse for the Greatest Generation voting Trump for their final act. Oh how the mighty have fallen …and they can’t get up.

[Life Alert/Viagra joke removed by the editor.]

Now the GOP is even blaming Dems for the Trump phenomenon, here. They are painting the rise of Trump as an over the top reaction to counter all the atrocities on the left. What’s so horrible? Is it the steady economic growth? The low unemployment rate? Low gas prices? Deficits reduced as compared to percentage of GDP? More people insured? Equal marriage opportunities? Agrabah’s nuclear ambitions thwarted?

I can see why Trump is so necessary in light of this frightening plight. Liberals got radical too. In fact, post W., they elected a competent black guy, twice. Crazy kids. Why not take ownership of your own inherent ignorance? Why not start to identify the fact that those anointed Republican brain trusts have a track record as bad as their brainless base? Trumpster diving? Whereas ignorance is starting to flourish on both sides, take heart liberals, I am also predicting they will never get as bad as the GOP. Republicans have too big of a head start—Oh, and thanks for defunding Head Start!

 

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