A Philosopher's Blog

Foxconsistency

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on March 19, 2014
Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daily Show With John Stewart has, obviously enough, a Fox New fixation. Or foxation, if you prefer. One of the common segments involves showing the inconsistency of the fine folks at Fox by juxtaposing segments. For example, when discussing the $4 billion in federal largess for oil companies, the Fox view was that $4 billion is a drop in the bucket. However, when discussing the $3 billion for food stamps, the same Fox fellow suddenly regarded $3 billion as a huge amount of money. Since 4 is greater than 3, this seems to be an inconsistency. Or perhaps it is a Foxconsistency.  As another example, the folks at Fox routinely rail against Obama being a tyrant, a king and a dictator. The same folks then claim he is weak and engage in a rather bizarre tyrant-crush over Putin-a person who actually does the things that they claim to hate about Obama. That is, being a tyrant and a dictator. As a third example, when the fine Fox folks were discussing the wealthy, they regarded a $250,000 income as seemingly barely enough to get by on. However, when going after the “fat cat” teachers, their pay (about $70,000) was seen as exorbitant. I could go on with example–but I would suggest watching the Daily Show clips laying out example after example of Foxconsistency.

After seeing a multitude of clips like this, I had a small revelation in regards to my dislike of Fox. While I tend to disagree with their political views (which seem to boil down to “rich=good” and “poor=bad”), one of my main issues is with their inconsistency. That is, they do not hold to a consistent set of standards and principles when assessing matters. As in the example given above, $4 billion in largess to oil companies is a tiny thing, but $3 billion in food stamps is massive. However, whether a sum is large or small should be largely a matter of the size of the numbers. Naturally, it does make sense to regard something as costing too much-but the point made by the fine Fox fellow was that the $3 billion was a huge amount. It was not that the food stamps were more expensive relative to a modestly priced largess for the oil companies.

This Foxconsistency serves to rob Fox of a rational foundation for assessment. That is, they are not consistently applying a set of standards and principles and justly finding things to be good or bad. Rather, they judge something to be good or bad and shift their standards and principles as needed to fit that judgement. So, for example, in Foxconsitency a CEO who is making millions earns that money because people deserve to get paid what they are worth…while a minimum wage worker should not be paid what she is worth because it would be bad for business.  However, as suggested above, Fox does seem to have at least a few core principles. One of these seems to be that the rich are good and the poor are bad.

One rather obvious reply is to throw out a red herring or an appeal to common practice by claiming that the liberals or MSNBC folks do the same thing. Or that everyone is inconsistent. While this might be true, it is also irrelevant to the issue at hand. Another obvious reply is to engage in various ad hominems against me. This would, obviously, not provide a rational or effective response to the point made here. What would needed would be a clear argument that Fox operates on consistent principles and that the multitude of clips showing such Foxconsistency are in error.

I realized that I haven’t tossed out any red meat for a while-hence this post.

My Amazon Author Page

My Paizo Page

My DriveThru RPG Page

Enhanced by Zemanta

40 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. T. J. Babson said, on March 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

    It is entirely consistent to be weak at one place and a tyrant at another. A perfect example is a guy who gets chewed out at work and kicks the dog when he gets home.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on March 19, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Here is the bit about the $3 billion:

    What is the cost of this rampant food-stamp fraud that Fox News hounds on? Roughly $3 billion. That, as Stewart said, isn’t anything to scoff at. Perhaps Fox News is reasonable in their panic over $3 billion in waste. Except for the small fact that the same pundit – Eric Bolling – that said he was going to “school” Stewart on food stamps called the $4 billion in tax subsidies and loopholes that go to oil companies a mere “pittance.” So, $3 billion is an outrage but $4 billion is trivial? “What I have learned today from my ‘teacher’ is that $3 billion in taxpayer money is greater than $4 billion in taxpayer money. I think we’re done here,” Stewart said.

    http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/03/jon-stewart-rips-apart-fox-news-attempt-school-him-food-stamp-fraud/359172/

  3. magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 9:11 am

    “The Daily Show With John Stewart has, obviously enough, a Fox New fixation.”

    You and Stewart have a lot in common, Mike.

    Again, “Fox”. Who on Fox? Charles Krauthammer? Ralph Peters? George Will? john Stossel? I doubt it.

    And stop defending Obama. He’s terrible.

    • WTP said, on March 19, 2014 at 11:33 am

      You and Stewart have a lot in common, Mike.

      Was going to say the same thing. You will notice that Mike (and Stewart) rarely, if ever, take on the much stronger arguments presented by many on the right. Krauthammer (as you mention), Wall Street Journal editorials, Christopher Hitchens (PBUH and GRHS), etc. etc. And where are the multitude of criticisms of MSNBC, which he barely mentions in passing here and with little substantial impact? Of course Another obvious reply is to engage in various ad hominems against me. Because all criticism of Mike’s reasoning constitutes ad hominem but Mike is free to ad hominem others such as Palin, Koch brothers, etc.

      Calling someone out on their BS does not constitute an ad hominem attack.

      Definition of AD HOMINEM

      1
      : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
      2
      : marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions mad

      If one expresses prejudices and fails to engage an issue on its intellectual merits or attacks the weakest possible aspects of opposing views rather than engaging the stronger ones, this is a reflection on one’s character. Especially when one refuses to respond to valid criticisms of one’s arguments or do so via silly, clown-nose-on responses.

  4. T. J. Babson said, on March 19, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Again, it is perfectly consistent to regard $3 billion as a large amount of fraud while regarding the $4 billion in tax subsidies as small as two different things are being compared.

    • WTP said, on March 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

      There is so much obfuscation and sophistry in those numbers it’s a waste of time to even try to discuss them with such leftist tools. Notice how $3 billion in money taken out of the pockets of taxpayers gets treated like tax deductions and credits and such by energy companies, which are moneys NOT taken. Nor is there a discussion of illegal activity involved. The argument also totally ignores the huge amount of net taxes paid by such corporations over time. The story is presented as if money is being taken from taxpayers and given to these oil companies. A fair comparison would be to discuss the amount of fraud perpetrated by food stamp recipients vs. fraud by oil companies. Don’t know who would come out on the worse, but given that Stewart et al didn’t take that (much stronger) argument there, it probably leans toward the welfare/foodstamp fraud.

      Also, if you want to see proof of money actually taken from taxpayers and given to corporations in the energy sphere, look no further than Solyndra, A123, LG Chem, or any number of “renewable” boondoggles. Not to mention that money isn’t coming back in the form of end user taxes, either.

      But Mike won’t argue these points. As his MO, he may come out with the clown nose, or he may make a token effort to defend and then abandon the argument and move on to robot sex. But he will not honestly address these points. And on top of that, he will treat these criticisms as ad hominem attacks.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      That would be another matter-the claim made on Fox was that $3 billion is a lot and $4 billion is a drop in the bucket. I do agree that it is reasonable to also consider the other aspects of the matter. For example, $3 for a candy bar would be a lot fro what you get, but $4 for a decent sub would be a good deal. But to just say that $3 billion is a lot and $4 billion is not is another matter.

  5. magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Funny, has anyone noticed that Mike treats Fox like it is a person, yet vehemently argues that corporations are not people?

    • T. J. Babson said, on March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Good point. Why should anyone expect consistency from a TV Network?

      • magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

        How can you be balanced, and yet consistant? I’m not sure you can.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

          What do you mean? Being consistent means not making claims that cannot be true at the same time and applying the same principles to the same sort of situations. Being balanced means properly considering the views in accord with the merit of their support. So, being consistent seems consistent with being balanced.

          • magus71 said, on March 23, 2014 at 8:32 am

            Balanced, to me, means giving the other side a chance to make its case, even if it’s wrong. Which Fox does better than anyone else. There are several liberals on Fox. MSNBC fires its conservatives. If you looked at Pat Buchanan’s arguments vice Rachel Maddow’s, you’d find a lack of constancy. Thus MSNBC fired Buchanan. i think balance is more important than constancy when it comes to news corps.

            In the case of your argument, did the *exact same person* make the argument that spending on food stamps is different than federal subsidies for oil companies? Are the people saying these things “official spokesmen” for Fox? the Army, for instance, must be consistent. A news organization in the modern day doesn’t. It has several people basically spouting their opinion.

            Also, the truth is not balanced, but it is consistent.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

              Balanced means presenting the view based on the merit of their case. The idea that all sides are equal is a mistake-one pushed by the liberal view that every opinion is equally good.

              Yup-see the video. It was the exact same person.

              True-modern news is info-tainment at best.

            • T. J. Babson said, on March 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

              I still think it is not inconsistent to regard $3B of fraud as a large number, but $4B in tax subsidies as a small number.

              Thousands of people die every day, but if 20 people are killed in a mass murder we are shocked.

            • magus71 said, on March 25, 2014 at 6:34 am

              Additionally, food stamps are far from the only form of welfare that brings fraud. There’s a lot more. How many people work under the table and still get welfare? Federal housing?

              A different topic, but it’s difficult to quantify the damage done to society when that society makes living in poverty easy. In a country with as many opportunities as America, we should be encouraging people to get off welfare, not bragging about how nice we are to them by giving them some measly food stamps to trade in for cigarettes.

      • WTP said, on March 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

        Or, alas, a philosopher?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I use “Fox” as a short hand for writing out the names of the specific Fox folks. I’m not engaging in reification.

  6. WTP said, on March 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Also, “enjoyed” this:
    the folks at Fox routinely rail against Obama being a tyrant, a king and a dictator.

    Really? “routinely”? Thanks to Mike’s constant rantings about Fox News, I’ve been watching it more lately. Mostly just Chris Wallace on Sunday mornings and sometimes The Kelley File. Rarely other times. While there are a few on Fox (and I’m excluding guests here, as to do so would be inaccurate yes?) who have expressed such sentiment, usually it’s comparing Obama to a king or dictator based on his acting without congressional authority, etc. This is significantly different than saying that he is a dictator or king. You would think someone who considers themselves a philosopher, especially one who is quite the equivocator himself, would appreciate the difference.

    • WTP said, on March 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      And just for kicks (gotta find a way to shorten these compile times) I did a google site search on the words “fox” AND “news” on Mike’s site and got:

      About 887 results (0.35 seconds)

      • magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        interesting. I did the same and found this comment I made in 2011:

        “If by interests you mean things you care about–ok. But in the case of the last two wars 99% of American’s lives are not measurably any different. In Vietnam there was a draft, so many people who didnt want to to in the mililtary were. But now, it’s volunteer. Probably a smaller percentage of people fighting in two wars than in any nation’s history. Just a guess, but I think it’s probably true. ‘

        I’m for a 10 year period of military isolationism, just to show the world how bad things could truly get. I don’t agree with the way we prosecuted the Afghan War–even the people at the top are starting to see that nation-building was not the way to go. But America’s mere existence keeps a dozen or so wars from breaking out. I think we should back off for a while, like making a kid go to bed without supper. Makes him appreciate what he has a lot more. Europe would have to spend on its military; most of the countries in NATO don’t even spend the required 2% GDP for membership–even Germany and Britain.

        But, many countries don’t fight each other not because they fear their enemies, but because they fear American intervention. We already see what’s happened to the world when it thinks America has a weak leader and is distracted by two conflicts.

        It’ll be worse in 2 years.”

        https://aphilosopher.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/capsizing-the-ship-of-state/#comments

  7. apollonian said, on March 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Mike: u’re surely at philosopher’s best when u begin w. perceptory observations and then conclude fm there, and of course, ur conclusion is correct about FOX–only question now is why–for FOX isn’t stupid; they do all this deliberately w. distinct purpose.

    Thus FOX is Israel-first, neo-con operation, OBVIOUSLY–that’s their PRIMARY purpose. “Conservatism” is mere pretext by which to establish justification and to sucker and gull the goyim for sympathy. Thus Jews play it both ways for the Judeo-Christian (JC–see Whtt.org and TruthTellers.org for expo) hereticalists/traitors on the “right,” most powerful single interest group among gentiles; homosexuals and illegal aliens on the “left.”

    Only place I’d disagree w. emphasis is where u say, for FOX, rich = good; poor = bad; this would only be secondary, for FOX Israel is good; Palestinians and others are “evil” and “anti-semitic,” etc.

  8. magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Off topic question for everyone here: Do you think that America’s education problems are predominantly caused by the schools and teachers or by our culture. By culture I mean kids that don’t care about learning and all of the myriad reasons behind that.

    As a tertiary question: Why do countries like Japan seem to do so well?

    I had an argument (more a discussion I guess) about this today.

    • apollonian said, on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Are u serious?–after all my detailed expositions upon the utterly corrupted society in “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler, which is now so horrifically controlled by ZOG for purpose of dumbing-down the people, drugging them, preparing for extermination according to AGENDA-21–and u still can’t figure it out??????????????????–U’RE THE PROBLEM, MAGUS, and people like u, who live in ur own little subjectivist dream-world where u’re a hero of moral virtue–that’s the problem.

      • magus71 said, on March 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        For everyone’s edification: ZOG is Zionist Occupation Government,

        apollonian: you need to read some JRR Tolkien and have a beer. I’m a proponent of personal responsibility, not a hero of moral virtue. There are no giant conspiracies and that’s what makes our problems so difficult to address.

        • apollonian said, on March 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm

          Magus Needs To Snap Out Of It

          Magus: like I say–u need getting a clue. Do u know what the US Federal Reserve Bank COUNTERFEIT scam is all about?–answer, no–for u don’t understand fractional-reserve banking, do u?–of course not.

          Did u know JFK was killed by means of conspiracy of these powers behind the Fed?

          No “giant conspiracies”?–so what was Jefferson talking about, in such detail, in Declaration of Independence?

          Ever hrd of Gulf of Tonkin incident, by which LBJ and co., LBJ being one of the principals behind JFK assassination, lied USA into Vietnam quagmire?

          Have u hrd about Sandy Hook conspiracy?–an amazing fraud whence entire US gov., including Connecticut state gov. have colluded upon a hoax, along w. the mass-corp. “news”-media, for purpose of overthrowing 2nd Amendment and US Constitution. Bost. Marathon bombing of last year was another of these big-lies, among a series of such frauds.

          US gov. is run by criminal conspirators who mass-murdered over a million Iraqis, thousands of Afgans.

          Ever hrd of 9/11?–does it occur to u a jet airliner cannot possibly skim the ground only a few feet off surface at alleged speed of over 500 mph?

          Hrd about the LIBOR scandal?–hrd about ENRON overcharging people and citizens of California back in early 2000s?

          U’re wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too smug, magus–ignorance is NOT bliss, comrade.

    • wtp said, on March 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      I believe they, like most of our problems, are predominantly cultural. The schools, the students, and education in general are declining on the broad scale due to declining standards. You will still find, within our poorly run overall public school systems, some very good teachers and good students. Even in some cases even the curriculum is doing well. A school where I mentored last year, I was mentoring 7th graders in Algebra. Algebra in my day was not taught until at least 8th grade. It is heartening to me how well educated the students who try are. The rest are in pitiful shape. The culture destroys desire to succeed. Students don’t see much beyond the rock star, sports star, movie star roles. It’s either that or McDonald’s as far as most understand. And when such is reinforced at the college level by certain professors, what can you expect? I could go into much more on this subject, just not much time now.

      As for Japan, been there/seen that. Not much has changed there in 20-25 years. They’re stagnating and the earthquake/nuke problem didn’t help. They do well in a static environment, but they get left behind creatively. They’re not very adventurous nor seek out new challenges. Of course there are exceptions and I am stereotyping to some degree, but with the Japanese it’s not terribly inaccurate to do so. And given their abysmal reproduction rate, I don’t see much chance of a spark there any time soon. Not that for most countries I put much stock in declining populations, but with Japan it’s doubly dangerous as they have very little immigration and their culture is very closed for a modern industrial society.

      • T. J. Babson said, on March 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        I agree the problem is primarily cultural. The root of the problem IMO is that elite lefties are unwilling to criticize women or minorities for poor life choices.

        Stable marriages and stable families are the key to fighting poverty and raising successful kids.

        • magus71 said, on March 20, 2014 at 5:35 am

          “The root of the problem IMO is that elite lefties are unwilling to criticize women or minorities for poor life choices.”

          That was exactly the argument i made.

        • WTP said, on March 20, 2014 at 9:23 am

          Also, on the other side of the carrot/stick, lefties are perfectly willing to criticize those who made good life choices. Either for being “sell-outs” or “illegitimate” or “lucky” or “evil”. They start from the premise that if one is successful, one must have become that way through some illicit means. The damage this does to society is immeasurable. Yet they do so all the while being supported by the productivity of the very people they criticize.

          • T. J. Babson said, on March 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

            “They start from the premise that if one is successful, one must have become that way through some illicit means. The damage this does to society is immeasurable.”

            Agree. For example, Mike does this all the time, and I’m not sure he is even aware that he is doing it.

            • WTP said, on March 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

              It’s all just a big game to him. Hence the line I realized that I haven’t tossed out any red meat for a while-hence this post. There’s a certain arrogance there that I find quite insulting. Is the purpose of this blog to discuss real issues and their philosophical basis or is it just a big game of sophistry? Given that Mike is entrusted with educating Florida’s young people, it’s a game with serious consequences. He reminds me of teenage pranksters who try to laugh off the damage they do when someone/thing gets hurt. OK for teenagers, shameful for adults.

            • apollonian said, on March 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

              Moralism/Pharisaism Between Scylla And Charybdis: Israel And The Homosexuals

              Mike makes an effort to practice and preach philosophy such as he knows it. Thus it’s most important for Mike to push moralism/Pharisaism, which he genuinely seems to believe in as legitimate ideal. And this moralism then requires metaphysics of subjectivism (“free” will)–which isn’t easy, u see, as it’s absurd–for anything goes in subjectivism, don’t forget.

              Mike also has to navigate btwn the Scylla and Charybdis of thought-control as it’s manipulated to work in favor of homosexuals and Israel, both of these backed by BIG-money source of US Federal Reserve Bank COUNTERFEIT scam, which rules the corrupted culture, purpose being to serve Israel against any other interest, even while pretending to be allied w. USA, and outright destruction of Western culture for the homosexuals–these cannot be substantively criticized, don’t forget.

              Thus moralism/Pharisaism must be used and applied most carefully in relation to these primary imperatives, (a) destruction of Western culture and (b) Israel. Note some of the neo-cons are wary of destroying USA too quickly for purposes of Israel–many Jews want to keep gentiles around in order to continue living-off their blood, u know.

              That’s the great quandary for advocates of ZOG–should West be destroyed quickly, for benefit of homosexuals, or more slowly for benefit of Israel? Moralism/Pharisaism potentially has lots to say in midst of this earth-shattering controversy, surely.

            • WTP said, on March 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

              Or, one might say that

              Mike’s own inconsistencies serve to rob him of a rational foundation for assessment. That is, he is not consistently applying a set of standards and principles and justly finding things to be good or bad. Rather, he judges something to be good or bad and shifts his standards and principles as needed to fit that judgement. So, for example, in Mike’s mind a CEO’s who is making millions is just given that money because …well he doesn’t understand why…while a minimum wage worker should be paid more because it makes Mike feel better and the numerous costs and decisions involved in meeting customers’ needs are something way beyond Mike’s ken. However, as suggested above, Mike does seem to have at least a few core principles. One of these seems to be that the rich are evil and the poor are good.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm

              I do not make that assumption. While the classic Ring of Gyges argument is appealing (that being unjust is a more effective way to be materially successful), it is clearly possible to succeed through virtue. A just system would, in fact, ensure that the virtuous and competent would triumph over the wicked and competent. However, the use of injustice does seem to provide an edge in many matters.

            • WTP said, on March 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

              A just system would, in fact, ensure that the virtuous and competent would triumph over the wicked and competent

              Yes, and unicorns and rainbows would make these objective decisions as to who was virtuous and competent vs. wicked. Thus it would follow in such a just world that the great philosophers of academia would triumph over the wicked Koch brothers and such. Buried within Mike’s comment here is his inability to comprehend why freedom and capitalism work while “managed” societies fail. Unicorns don’t exist.

      • magus71 said, on March 20, 2014 at 5:41 am

        But you would admit that the culture in Japan emphasizes education and earning?

        • magus71 said, on March 20, 2014 at 6:10 am

          *learning

        • T. J. Babson said, on March 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

          Yes, to some extent. But Japanese culture has some weird pathologies that I would not like to see emulated anywhere else.

        • WTP said, on March 20, 2014 at 9:19 am

          Agree, but their emphasis is a bit overboard. Also what TJ said. Much better than the alternative, however. Excluding possibly the Burakumin, etc. stratification.

          What is interesting about Japan’s culture is that if you listen to most humanities, lib arts, whatev professors, their description of American culture is more fitting for what one sees in Japan. Yet many of such would hold Japanese culture, it being non-white/non-western/non-european as being superior to our own.

  9. magus71 said, on March 25, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Since we want consistency, are we as appalled at the number of heroin overdose deaths in America as we are about cars accident deaths, since auto crashes seems to be the way we justify a shoulder shrug at 9-11.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/03/heroin-america-s-silent-assassin.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: