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I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned. 
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Post I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Yes indeed, I had a lengthy conversation with someone who used to work at Fox (more specifically, he spent a majority of his time working on O'Reilly's show). I spent most of my time listening, because he had a lot to say that was interesting. Fox is a very secretive organization, so I have to say there was quite a bit that I didn't know but found very interesting. A summary:

  • The makeup of the staff is about a 40-40-20 split. 40 percent conservative, 40 moderate, and 20 percent closet liberals. This is for a few reasons. First, Roger Ailes goes out of his way to avoid hiring people who he knows have liberal political leanings. Second, liberals tend to avoid applying there altogether. I was not too surprised by this; having worked as a journalist before, I know firsthand that Fox's reputation in media circles is in the toilet.

  • The pay is really shitty. Ailes is a real cheapskate, with the exception of the top on-air talent. He doesn't pay for good fact-checkers and researchers; most of that work is put on the reporters. However, despite this there's a lot of good people at the channel just trying to make a steady living. Regardless of Ailes' intentions, they don't see themselves as any part of a grand right-wing media conspiracy.

  • Bill O'Reilly is an incredibly complex character. He's a boisterous, larger than life presence who is completely incapable of making small talk, intelligent about some things, clueless about others. I came away convinced that O'Reilly has a brilliant mind for television; he really knows the medium perhaps better than anyone else working today.

  • O'Reilly is also one of the most stubborn people in the business. He is convinced he's right 100% of the time, and has often aired things that are factually inaccurate, but he thinks are right. And if he thinks he's right,there is no amount of factual information that will convince him otherwise. If O'Reilly didn't believe the sky was blue, taking him outside would not help matters.

  • Shep Smith was, in this guy's words, "One of the most awesome people I've ever met."

  • He also had many nice things to say about Megyn Kelly, who he described as friendly, outgoing and very conversational. He also made a point to say that she was very intelligent, something that might not come through on air. Because Kelly, like all of the women on air at Fox, was not hired for her brains, but as eye candy. This makes sense, since most of Fox's audience is horny old men. I have to say I found that rather disturbing.

  • Ann Coulter's on-air schtick is just that - an act. In real life she is extremely pleasant and friendly. I have to say I was not expecting that.

  • Michelle Malkin, who comes across as an uptight bitch on air, is exactly like that in real life. Or, as I was told, "she's one of the most unpleasant assholes I've ever had to work with."

  • Andrew Napolitano is also a really pleasant person.

  • Mike Huckabee's folksy act is just an act. He's a politician, and just as cold and calculating as any of them.

  • Sarah Palin is not as stupid as she comes off on TV. In fact, she's got a good grasp on the issues. This did puzzle me, I must admit. Why would anyone want themselves to be thought of as stupid? The only thing I could think of was that she's made a lot of money by playing dumb, and knows where her bread is buttered.

  • Dick Morris is, to quote, "a huge asshole."

  • Glenn Beck really does believe all the crazy stuff he says on TV and the radio. He's completely batshit, and probably in need of significant psychological help, as he really has no grasp on reality.

  • Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity completely hate each other, and each thinks the other is trying to sabotage their show.

  • Michelle Malkin and Geraldo also hate each other. Apparently, Malkin said something racist to Geraldo, which really pissed him off, and he refuses to appear on air with her.

  • Speaking of Hannity, everything he does is just an act. He is actually rather apolitical. Hannity got into radio at a time when a lot of money could be made by doing right-wing talk, and so he developed a persona that appealed to that crowd. He recites the day's GOP talking points charismatically, but doesn't really believe them. He's carved out his niche and a steady paycheck by doing what he does and is content to keep doing it.

So that's what I learned, and I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:00 am
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Interesting stuff.

So that one episode of the Boondocks where Ann Coulter turns out out to be a nice person and just making shit up for money is actually true? Didn't expect that.

Not surprised Palin was obfusticating stupidity as well.

Also not a bit surprised about Beck or O'Reilly they're two of the biggest nutjobs in existence(even moreso then Donald Trump with all his "birther" nonsense)

I always did feel sorry for Megyn, I could tell she wasn't as dumb as she came across on TV. I also feel sorry for those who get lousy pay.

I knew Malkin was a total bitch in real life, no surprise there(didn't know about her being racist, though that's not surprising either).

Interesting that Hannity and O'Reilly hate each other, I would've thought they'd be best friends?



I'd be interested to hear from someone who worked on Rush Limbaugh's show to see if he truly is as much of an asshole and a moron as he is on his show.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:37 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Vex, how do you define nut job/ idiot/ moron? Bill O'Reilley, and Hannity, and Rush, and especially Trump have made more money than you can comprehend. They certainly aren't stupid.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:19 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
I challenge your assumption that people can't make money and be morons at the same time.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:49 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Vex, how do you define nut job/ idiot/ moron? Bill O'Reilley, and Hannity, and Rush, and especially Trump have made more money than you can comprehend. They certainly aren't stupid.

So more money automatically means someone is more intelligent? :?

Yeah not so much, if that was the case Paris Hilton would be a Harvard Honors graduate.

I don't care how rich they are, that alone dosen't make them smart(not Rush or O'Reilly anyways), they may have a good hand for business, but they're complete morons when it comes to actual common sense.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:56 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Paris Hilton inhereted everything she has. Her dad certainly wasn't stupid. And yes Ken, please show me a moron who is rich. Winning the lottery or family money doesn't count.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:04 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Paris Hilton inhereted everything she has. Her dad certainly wasn't stupid. And yes Ken, please show me a moron who is rich. Winning the lottery or family money doesn't count.
Justin Bieber.

Here's the thing, though: I have a sneaking suspicion that you and I have differing definitions of "moron".

In your view, how moronic somebody is has an inverse correlation with how much money they make. By that metric, there is no example I can cite to you that will contradict your view.

In my view, how moronic somebody is has more to do with how ignorant they are, how narrow or limited their perspective is, how their behavior runs in opposition to their ultimate best interests and the interests of those around them. Often, people with a lot of money have done moronic things in pursuit of that money.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:11 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
I don't watch a whole lot of Fox News, but the little that I do see is when The Young Turks do stories on their stories. Shep Smith always seemed like a reasonable man. Most of the other people... not so much.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:13 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Really liked reading that first post.

Ann Coulter, no matter how she is off the air, is a bomb throwing threat to sensible conservatives. Listening to her, I'm reminded of this quote from Roger Ebert's review of Dice Rules:
Quote:
It could not be more damaging to the career of Andrew Dice Clay if it had been made as a documentary by someone who hated him.


Who cares if she's a nice person, pleasant and friendly? She could be single-handedly saving orphans from a burning orphanage, she's still the kind of persona that is copied by that little douchebag who salivates over greedy strangers.

I don't have much exposure to Fox News as I don't watch it, read their comments section, or have much of anything to do with people that I assume would enrage me. The exposure I do have comes from the unreliable soundbites and filter from Jon Stewart. Both he and Colbert spend too much time on Fox News, anyway. They're an easy target.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:08 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
The thing is though that Ebert was mistaken in his review of Dice Rules, the "Diceman" was all just an act and Clay was nothing like that in real life.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:57 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
It just makes me wonder: When did conservatism become an ideology of idiocy? When I was younger, the Republicans were the party of smart people. Now they're the party of dumb people. It makes me wonder what caused the change. They say it started with Reagan, but while you can call Reagan many things, stupid is not one of them.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:09 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
As a big benchmark, I would point to the nomination of Kennedy in 1960. The Republicans attempted to mobilize the Protestants as a voting bloc behind Nixon, with the rather silly justification that Kennedy would be the American arm of the Pope's leadership or some paranoid nonsense like that. I suppose it worked in the sense that the Republican Party got to identify itself with the spiritual high ground, though it obviously didn't succeed as an anti-Kennedy strategy.

That begot the mobilization of Christians as a bloc under the banner of family values, which, as far as I know, had never been done before. Christianity wasn't really a homogenous thing until it was identified as such for political purposes--prior to that, you had much more discrete identifications as Protestant, Baptist, Catholic, or whatever, which all sort of duked it out in the political arena. Someone at some point decided that all Christian denominations are close enough to be thought of as one big blob of voters when there are conservative values to be upheld.

That begot the current situation of Republicans having to cater to an increasingly stubborn subset of Christian fundamentalists who sincerely believe that the Earth has only been around for a few thousand years, that scientists are secretly in league with each other to corrupt our youth, and, most batshit insanely, that Christianity itself is under constant threat by insidious secular forces.

Religion itself doesn't correlate strongly with anti-intellectualism as far as I know, but anti-intellectualism is endemic in both fundamentalist teachings and in people whose sense of identity is heavily wrapped up in fundamentalist religion. You cannot claim to be a well-informed, worldly, critical person and believe that the Earth is just thousands of years old. You just can't. To be blunt, it is catastrophic ignorance at best, if not stupidity outright.

J-Kunz can check me on this. He's in a better position to speak on the historical developments of the major parties.

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:54 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
It just makes me wonder: When did conservatism become an ideology of idiocy? When I was younger, the Republicans were the party of smart people. Now they're the party of dumb people. It makes me wonder what caused the change. They say it started with Reagan, but while you can call Reagan many things, stupid is not one of them.

I think it started with the election of Bush Jr.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:38 am
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
It just makes me wonder: When did conservatism become an ideology of idiocy? When I was younger, the Republicans were the party of smart people. Now they're the party of dumb people. It makes me wonder what caused the change. They say it started with Reagan, but while you can call Reagan many things, stupid is not one of them.

While I was too young to really remember Reagan directly, he comes across as a George W. type conservative populist to me. The Reagan soundbites you can find on youtube etc certainly don't support the notion he was an intellectual. Didn't he technically have near full-blown Alzheimer's during his 2nd term? It's all a bit before my time.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:42 am
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
nitrium wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
It just makes me wonder: When did conservatism become an ideology of idiocy? When I was younger, the Republicans were the party of smart people. Now they're the party of dumb people. It makes me wonder what caused the change. They say it started with Reagan, but while you can call Reagan many things, stupid is not one of them.

While I was too young to really remember Reagan directly, he comes across as a George W. type conservative populist to me. The Reagan soundbites you can find on youtube etc certainly don't support the notion he was an intellectual. Didn't he technically have near full-blown Alzheimer's during his 2nd term? It's all a bit before my time.


I lived through the Reagan era, and I can say for sure that he knew how to pander to the crowd, but he was not a moron. He could speak intelligently and articulately. But there certainly was an element of conservative populism to Reagan.

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Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:37 am
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Just discovered this post. Glenn Beck has always seemed nuts to me. CNN restrained him for the time he was on there. Fox let him off the leash. Therefore letting Glenn Beck go nuts. If you watch him on The Blaze you realize how nuts he has become.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:55 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Big_Mike wrote:
Just discovered this post. Glenn Beck has always seemed nuts to me. CNN restrained him for the time he was on there. Fox let him off the leash. Therefore letting Glenn Beck go nuts. If you watch him on The Blaze you realize how nuts he has become.


I find Beck rather sad. He needs help and will likely never get it. When you're that wealthy, most of the people around you are yes men who won't tell you what you need to hear. I hope Beck gets the help he needs, because mental illness isn't a laughing matter.

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Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:33 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
And yes Ken, please show me a moron who is rich.

Have you checked out the hip-hop music scene over the past 5 years or so?

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Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:22 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Ragnarok73 wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
And yes Ken, please show me a moron who is rich.

Have you checked out the hip-hop music scene over the past 5 years or so?

Or all those "Real" Housewives for that matter.


Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:00 pm
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Post Re: I met someone who used to work at Fox News. What I learned.
Vexer wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
And yes Ken, please show me a moron who is rich.

Have you checked out the hip-hop music scene over the past 5 years or so?

Or all those "Real" Housewives for that matter.


I find this to be the most brilliant example of quotation marks you've ever used. :D

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Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:13 pm
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