Friday, March 31, 2017

Has Fox News been weaponized by Russia? Fox News, an enemy of democracy.


Recently Ted Koppel interviewed Sean Hannity of Fox News where he said Mr. Hannity is a danger to America. I have to agree with Ted Koppel, Sean Hannity is a threat to America, but so is the rest of Fox News. ( except Shepard Smith who seems to be the only one on Fox to call out Donald Trump on his Fake News claims.)
Why is Fox News a danger to America? There are a few reasons that justify such an opinion of the news organization, and I will try to name a few hear. The most obvious are that despite the motto “Fair and Balanced” they are anything but, they lean so far right that Fox News is one of the Alt-Rights favorite news sources along with Breitbart. Any news story that paints conservatives in a bad light is either not covered or attacked no matter if hard facts back up the story. There is a definite feel that Fox News coverage is crafted and directed to not so much conservatives as a whole, but the ultra conservatives and the extreme hard Right. What is worse, it is also targeted to the military and law enforcement establishments in such a way that they purposely paint themselves as those establishments only friends in the media and that all other news outlets are anti-military, anti- law enforcement, and not patriotic. What is frightening is that at many military stations Fox News is the only thing on or allowed on television in common areas such as waiting rooms, it is also quite common to find Fox News being watched in workspaces. It would not be a problem if Fox News were a factual News agency and not so much an opinionated propaganda outlet. Fox News does not report facts and lets the viewer decide, they direct the viewer as to what they want the audience to think. Every News outlet whether print, television, or on the internet has opinion shows along with news shows, but at Fox, there is no distinction between the two. Why?
Fox News was started in the late 1990’s by Rupert Murdoch. Everyone knows Mr. Murdoch started with a Newspaper left to him by his father and from that Mr. Murdoch built a vast multimedia empire. Mr. Murdoch became a United States citizen in 1985 to buy 20th Century Fox and own television stations in the U.S. You have to admit that is quite an accomplishment. The thing is Fox News was from the outset intended to be a conservative news organization. Fox News was meant to be an American conservative news outlet. It can be hard to pin down exactly what are Mr. Murdoch's politics, but if you go by the fruits of his labor, he leans right. However, is this the only reason Fox News is so biased to the Right side of the political spectrum? Probably not.
Rupert Murdoch is running the show at Fox News after Roger was forced to leave because of sexual harassment scandals. Is this true? The Executive editor at Fox News and Executive Vice President is John Moody. Mr. Moody is a, or rather was a journalist. At one time Mr. Moody was the Bureau Chief in Moscow for the UPI during the late 1970’s. Considering he was 25 at the time you have to conclude Mr. Moody is someone who knows how to work the system. Is so terrible? Not at all. Now Moody is running the operations and determining what news and how Fox News will report it. It is said that Mr. Moody uses memos to control exactly how the news is reported and to make sure it is held to the conservative ideal; this goes against the “fair and balanced” claim and considering he directs the hosts of Fox News shows on what and how to say. I seriously doubt the “ No spin zone” exists on the O’Reilly Factor. It seems John Moody is not so much an executive editor as he is the director of ultra right wing propaganda.
So far we have looked at some background on Fox News and key players, now let's look at how and why it was weaponized by Russia to divide the country and elect Donald Trump. When crimes are discussed, they speak of MO, motive, and opportunity. Why did the person commit the offense and did they have the opportunity, is asked during the investigation. So what was the motivation for Russia to actively interfere in American politics and the 2016 Presidential Election? This one is multilayered but let us cover two of the more obvious reasons. First, Putin was and is still afraid of Secretary Hillary Clinton, not because he thinks she would start a war with Russia but because he knows she will not back down. Putin has been expanding or trying to expand Russian power and has played to bully and used dirty tricks to do so. Putin knows that Hillary Clinton would keep economic sanctions in place and ask for more to keep Putin in check. Putin knows that since Russia is not communist anymore, he needs a strong economy to stay in power and expand Russian power. Right now the Russian economy is in the tank, and Russian Oligarchs aligned with Putin are hurting from sanctions, so there is pressure to have those lifted, and Russia is not about to withdraw from the Ukraine or any other place so the sanctions can be lifted. America is the driving force behind those sanctions, so that is the obstacle that needs to be removed. Russia cannot go to war with America so they must use other methods. The method chosen would have to weaken America, so the threat of future sanctions are removed. Two ways to accomplish this are: have a Russian friendly administration in the White House that will not keep Russia in check, divide America in such away it will take it off the world stage for awhile and allow Russia to run wild. We have the motivation and are now going to look at the method used and opportunities.
Russia is a fascinating country when you look at the people who have governed over the years. Its history is filled with ruthless leaders, starting with the Tzars, the revolution, the USSR, and The current government. The Tzars had their secret police, after the revolution the communists did the same, after the fall of Communism people in the KGB and others used their positions to profit off the fall of communism and gain powerful positions under the guise of being democratically elected. Also, this government and previous Russian government used their intelligence community to further it foreign interests by meddling in other countries. It is a well-practiced organization(s) that do this and uses political scientists to direct where the operations should be targeted. One of those political scientists is a man named Aleksandr Dugin. Mr. Dugin is an adviser to the Kremlin on geopolitics. He can be extreme in his views. If you want to know what type of person he can be compared to Steve Bannon, in fact, they share similar views, and that is disturbing. Mr. Dugin wrote a book called the “Foundations of Geopolitics” which many claims is used to frame Russian foreign doctrine. The book covers various theories involved in world politics and then goes on how Russia can expand its power and control in different areas around the globe. One key to Dugin’s plan is to weaken America, to divide it on racial and social lines. He even discusses how to do it and which group to target with information campaigns to have the biggest impact. If you guessed he recommended targeting the left leaning liberal establishment to foment some new counter culture revolution, then you would be wrong. No, Dugin suggested targeting Conservatives and extreme right wings to cause trouble. One plan was to stir up the alt-right to put intense pressure on race relations in America if not start a race war. Second to target Conservatives with fake news about Democrats and liberals ( I am a conservative democrat) and make them look unpatriotic and an enemy. To spread fake rumors about Democrats wanting to get rid of the second amendment and take away guns. Create and spread conspiracy theories about Democrats making secret deals and having people killed to cover them up, anything that would make liberals look bad. Even the shootings of unarmed black men or even armed black men were used to stir up hate with Russian bots and trolls working on both sides. Both Law Enforcement and Black Lives Matter were targeted with fake news to drive a wedge between the two furthering the divide. These are a few things used over the last year to divide the country. The interesting thing about Aleksandr Dugin’s plan is that it does not need to have the majority to succeed, just the right audience even if they are in the majority. Why? Because the minority he recommended targeting own guns, feels patriotic, and will threaten anyone they believe is an America's enemy. So all Russia had to do was create an enemy for that minority group of “patriotic” American's to target, illegal aliens, Muslims, black people, liberals, democrats, and anyone not on the Trump Train. ( For your information there were many reports of people insinuating or blatantly stating they would march on Washington (armed) and install Trump as President if Hillary Clinton won. Notice the Democrats marched to protest but never threatened to overthrow the government. Which is the American way? I was among those threatened on the internet for my support of Clinton and opposition of Trump)
Now here is where the Fox News Channel comes back into the picture, and you can see how it hold to what Russia was trying to do. Fox News was weaponized willingly or was played for a stooge to do Russia’s bidding, but we will get back to that later.
During the racial tensions of the Black Lives Matter protests Fox News always fell on the side of law enforcement no matter the visual evidence. If the evidence suggested the law enforcement officer made a mistake, then you could guarantee that Fox News would minimize or neglect that coverage. If anything in the past suggested the person shot had a run-in with the law at one time or another Fox News would guarantee they ran they heck out of that angle and paint that person in a bad of light as possible. During BLM protests Fox News would portray the protestors as cop hating thugs. If a person spoke out to say there needs to be more training and oversight in law enforcement concerning race relations that person was automatically labeled a cop hater or anti-law enforcement. So to Fox viewers, and many are in law enforcement and the military, BLM was the enemy and wanted cops dead. What is worse, is Fox labeled other networks who showed both sides of the story as liberal anti-law enforcement propaganda outlets. ( I am a big supporter of law enforcement with family and friends in that field. I know that like any organization law enforcement represents a cross section of America. I served in the military and can tell you, that despite screening, racists do make it in and some even try to spread their beliefs. )
During the campaign much was made about jobs being sent overseas and the economy. Donald Trump would say Democrats are weak on trade and allow other countries run over the United States and take our jobs and ruin the economy. President Obama was blamed for a failing economy even though economic indicators showed the economy has been growing under the Obama administration and recovery plan. Fox News would cover the rallies and push Trump's comments as if they were true even when Fox News economic analysts knew the truth. Government numbers were questioned as being fake. Fox News promoted Trump’s bogus claims.
During the Syrian crisis which is still going on, other news outlets would talk about the humanitarian crisis and refugees; Fox News would push the view that ISIS would hide among the refugees and would be let into the United States without being vetted;  this is not true because the refugees are not allowed into the U.S. Without thorough vetting contrary to Trump and Fox News claims. Like Donald Trump, Fox News pushed for a Muslim ban. When other news organizations pointed out Trump's Ban did not cover certain countries he had economic ties to but produced some of the most notorious terrorists, Fox let it go. Saudi Arabia was the home to most of the 9/11 terrorists and is not part of Trump's ban. When a Muslim commits an act of terrorism Fox News is all over presenting a view that Muslims cannot be trusted and Islam is evil.
When a racist attack happens in the United States, which is an act of terrorism, Fox News does not address it as such just like Donald Trump, which is interesting because if a person of color commits a crime, Fox is there painting that individual in as bad light as possible.
This blog is getting long, and I still can list tons more examples in showing how Fox News does not just separate itself from mainstream media which the alt- right hates, it aligns itself with the most divisive views and if Trump shares that view they double down on it. Know what we know now, and with more information coming out daily on how Russia used fake news to damage Hillary Clinton and aided Donald Trump you cannot help but question if Fox News was part of the plan. Does Rupert Murdoch’s past and present Russian ties leave him open to Russian manipulation and that is why Fox News favors Trump and is playing down Russiagate? Is Russia using a KGB file on Fox News executive editor John Moody from his time as  Moscow bureau chief to blackmail him now? Are these the opportunities, the assets, that Russia is using and used to Weaponize Fox News? Fox News has a large viewership, but it is still the minority of the population but is the political views and makeup of that minority which makes them dangerous to America.

Listed are links used for this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Dugin a starting point for information on Dugin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-03/who-is-alexander-dugin-the-man-linking-putin-erdogan-and-trump

https://qz.com/871975/aleksandr-dugin-putins-favorite-philosopher-is-a-big-fan-of-donald-trump/

http://arctogaia.com/public/osnovygeo/ this is Dugin’s book on his site. You can use Google translate. It is a very long book.

http://www.reuters.com/article/murdoch-russia-idUSL2E8E7HJN20120309

https://www.ft.com/content/a615f0ce-ed90-11e6-930f-061b01e23655 ivanka trustee for Murdoch’s daughters

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2085878,00.html Rupert Murdochs Russian billboard

https://www.forbes.com/profile/rupert-murdoch/

https://www.ft.com/content/74408ae0-eeb3-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6 Murdoch sat in on times interview of Trump

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-russian-rupert-murdoch-2014-11

https://www.rt.com/business/murdoch-fears-about-russian-investment-climate-not-matched-by-investment-flows/ Russia Today article confirms Murdoch investments in Russia but did he sell?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Moody_(journalist) driving force behind Fox News note Moody served as Moscow bureau chief for UPI in the past. More than likely there is a KGB/ FSB file on him because of his position.

Fox News is owned by 21st Century Fox Entertainment after split of NewsCorp
Sent request to UPI for dates Moody was stationed in Moscow and why he was transferred

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-fbi-russia-probe-far-right-news-sites-20170321-story.html