Salon has a wonderful piece up called "I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria," and it's just about the saddest thing you'll read today.
My mother has to come to family dinners with a written list of topics that can't be discussed, but it really doesn't matter what's on it because everything comes back to the cult mentality instilled by Fox News. Let's consider this article and comments through that mentality below the twisted orange emotion of the children of Fox News viewer.
Cult members are “focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.”Father Lost to Fox:
He defended with stridency his choices, citing his favorites, like Stuart Varney, “The Five” and the great Charles Krauthammer.
“Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged,” and there can be pressure or social punishment when there is disagreement with the “boss.”
Father Lost to Fox:
When I finally pulled the handle for Obama in 2012, my father could not believe how far I’d fallen.Cult mentality:
Members are taught to “rationalize” the conduct of the leader in matters they have always “considered unethical before,” under the guise that the “end justifies the means.”Father Lost to Fox, from PA-C:
My grandparents were pacifist Mennonites. Until they started watching FoxNews.Cult mentality:
I was unaware of the change until I saw an 8x10 picture of George and Laura hung prominently in their kitchen.
"Grandma," I said. "Why do you have this?" knowing full well they had to have donated to the campaign to get it.
"I just think he is a good, godly man."
"He started two wars."
"I know, I know..."
"The leader “is preoccupied with [raising] money.” There is always a need for increasing finances. New projects are ever in the planning. Members are strongly encouraged to greatly sacrifice for the leader’s current pet enterprise. There is little pressure let-up; members of the group must be kept revved up on a continual basis.Father Lost to Fox:
Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid.Cult Mentality:
The cult leader always takes the major credit for the movement’s accomplishments. Members become psychologically dependent upon him. “What would we ever do without our leader?,” is the cult mentality."Father Lost to Fox, from tigercrane:
This happened to my stepfather, too. He was never a nice man, but as he got older he became more and more hateful. Milton Friedman was a gateway drug to him in the 1980s; by the end of the 1990s he only watched Fox News and listened to Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy. He stopped going to movies because they were made by liberals. He and my mother had planned a tour of Europe for several years, but he backed out because he didn't want to go among European liberals. He had grown up in a moderately conservative church, but he started espousing far-right religious views that hadn't been a part of his upbringing. He made himself into a virtual prisoner in his own home, with Fox News blaring from the television all day. It was disturbing to see, and rather sad how he cut himself off from life like that.Cult Mentality:
"The cult leader generates within his members “a polarized” mentality. His people evolve an us-versus-them outlook. Little by little, he criticizes other groups with which his members might tend to associate, undermining confidence in them, attempting to discredit anyone who could have influence over his flock."Father Lost to Fox:
“Global warming is your religion,” he says. Because I’m an atheist, calling me religious is the worst insult he can summon, so he uses it often.Cult Mentality:
My father sincerely believes that science is a political plot, Christians are America’s most persecuted minority and Barack Obama is a full-blown communist. He supports the use of force without question, as long as it’s aimed at foreigners. He thinks liberals are all stupid, ignorant fucks who hate America.
"The cult leader has a clearly defined anti-authoritarian disposition.Father Lost to Fox, from Jules McH:
His previously utopian outlook on life is being supplanted by a dark nihilistic vision, fed by far right fairy stories.
The cult leader will constantly criticize preachers, particularly those whose knowledge of the Scriptures eclipse his own. Members must be made to feel that he is the chief authority in spiritual matters."Father Lost to Fox, from Milestone0425:
I lost my dad the same way...[W]hat's been most upsetting is seeing my father, a former professor and bio-medical researcher, reject clear and overwhelming scientific evidence for things such as climate change and evolution because of all the negative reenforcement of people like Rush and Sean Hannity. He has come to trust pundits more than the scientific community for which he was a part of for 40 years.Cult mentality:
"Cult members are seen occasionally to take on a new personality. They begin to act differently. They become increasingly antagonistic to family members and long-time friends. They may even boast, “I am not the old [name] that you used to know; I am a new person now.” And indeed they are. They have become strangers to those who knew them well. They have been transformed into the image of their leader."Father Lost to Fox:
I don’t recall my father being so hostile when I was growing up. He was conservative, to be sure, but conventionally and thoughtfully so. He is a kind and generous man and a good father, but over the past five or 10 years, he’s become so conservative that I can’t even find a label for it.When can we begin the deprogramming?