Monday, May 29, 2017

FEAR & UNbalanced: Confessions of a 14-Year Fox News Hitman

Tobin SmithFollow
Founder ChangeWave Research &, 14 Year Fox News Pundit, investment newsletter and NYTimes Best-Selling Author, humble.
May 26, 2017 ·15 min read


in 2000 when I started at Fox as a paid contributor (aka “hitman’) and asked my new boss (like my pal Joan Walsh from asked him in 2000 as well) “So Roger tell me…who is your Fox News target audience and what turns ’em on?”

What he told me . . . of course “off-the-record” . . . should not be shocking. But now that he is gone, it’s time to be real and tell the truth about Fox News . . about everything I lived and experienced in my 14 years as a paid contributor and part-time anchor on Fox Business Network.

According to Roger:

“Toby . . . I created a TV network for people 55 to dead,” Ailes said.

“What does our viewer look like?

“They look like me…white guys in mostly Red State counties who sit on their couch with the remote in their hand all day and night.”


. . . he perpetrated the biggest TV scam ever . . . against the most vulnerable and gullible senior Americans . . . one that makes the game show fixing scandal of the late 50’s look like a tea party.

The media obsesses on the obvious: it’s not just that in Roger’s alternative world “visuality” mattered; the competition was audio-only conservative talk radio so adding another media dimension was core strategy. But what mattered most at Fox was to create an entertainment product out of political/military/economic news and opinion that

By careful design and staging Fox News manipulated (and ultimately addicted) the most vulnerable people in America to the most powerful drug cocktail ever: Visceral gut feelings of outrage relieved by the most powerful emotions of all . . . the thrill of your tribe’s victory over its enemy and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.

Sure women in Roger’s world were mostly blonde and wore short tight skirts and lower cut tops with makeup and hair right from a high end strip club. “Visuality” as Roger always said counts big for TV ratings.

Many times when I was on set Roger would call down from his 2nd floor office packed with TV screens to tell female anchors during breaks (“I have a call for you from the Second Floor) to “tart it up — tits up and necklines down.”


The outcomes for Fox’s “panel debates” have ALWAYS been carefully fixed by the producers so that the home team (i.e, the conservative panelists like me) ALWAYS won.

MORE simply: The staged gladiatorial-like rhetorical fight to the death the Fox viewer loves to watch are ALWAYS fixed by the show producers for the conservative actor to win…always.

Just like pro-wrestling, the panel opinion programs are carefully staged and choreographed by Fox producers so the viewers home team (in WWE language the “Baby Face”) always wins over the “Heel” aka the poor pathetic “libtard.”

“Fair & Balanced” was not just an ironic tagline…the opinion debate segments have always been a staged scam. . . with a scripted narrative and story line almost exactly like pro wrestling.


The other reality of Fox opinion programming is even more diabolical than simply fooling old people into believing they are watching a “fair fight”:

The goal at Fox News is explicit: Produce outrage inducing partisan performance art in sufficient emotional intensity to produce enough pleasure/dopamine to get their dopamine addicted viewer the high the need until the NEXT Fox News opinion program.

Neuroscience has known for years that “news junkies” or “political junkies” were in fact addicts…junkies…who got their addictive dopamine hit from the emotional roller coaster of unbridled outrage followed by the dopamine releasing experience derived from the thrill of watching the victory/denouement of the ideological apostate.


Yes one part of the Fox News strategy is the tried and true conservative media narrative to insulate their audiences from opposing views — in part, by continually denouncing the mainstream media(i.e., other news sources) 24/7/365 as “liberal, biased, and not to be trusted.”


But Fox News takes their viewer addiction strategy and techniques to a much more unseemly level (that the academic liberal “studies” like this Yale news release miss). At Fox it’s not just turning politics and partisan tribalism into performance art — the Fox programming scam is WAY more contrived and even sinister: Their game is to simply manipulate the emotions and trust of their elderly and gullible senior audience.

To sell Fox New’s “Big Lie”, Fox manipulates and stages everything it does in opinion programming to create/facilitate actual addiction. The master Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would be impressed at the lengths Fox goes to in staging their partisan performance art aka propaganda-like programming.


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