The Brainwashing of My Dad

The other day I took the time to watch The Brainwashing of My Dad by Jen Senko.

Jen's dad raised Jen and her brother in the '60s. He was really considered a rather hip parent at the time, but then around the 80s her dad took a job where he had a long commute and began listening to right-wing talk radio and watch Fox News. Jen uses the example of his dad to show how right-wing media pushed American thought to the right. The good news is, her family successfully deprogrammed their dad and he was able to live his last few years very happily.

The documentary can be seen through a number of streaming services for free.

I offer it just to give people an idea of how bad it has been for many families in the United States especially through the Trump Era.

Comments

  • ((Gramps and America))

    I found out the other day that Barry Goldwater was among the group of Senators who convinced Nixon to resign. Oh! To have a conservative political party who will act to protect the country from its mistakes!
  • St GermanSt German Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »

    I offer it just to give people an idea of how bad it has been for many families in the United States especially through the Trump Era.

    Is it now being argued that influence from any party which is not centrist/liberal/democratic is brainwashing? If so, it looks like a remarkable attempt at thought control. Back to the middle ages . . .
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    St German wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »

    I offer it just to give people an idea of how bad it has been for many families in the United States especially through the Trump Era.

    Is it now being argued that influence from any party which is not centrist/liberal/democratic is brainwashing? If so, it looks like a remarkable attempt at thought control. Back to the middle ages . . .

    I think we're talking about the sort of paranoid QAnon or QAnon-lite hovering on the edge of conspiracy theory stuff here, not run of the mill conservatism.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Senko discusses how right-wing media will come up with a story and then suddenly it will be spread word for word from radio talk show to Fox News to Congressional talking points as if everyone is reading from the same script. Turns out this same process is happening right now. There is a story now going around that the FBI instigated the storming of the Capital on 6 January. It first popped up on a website called Revolver, which promotes chickbait (guns and scantily clad girls). Then talk radio picked it up, and now Tucker Carlson on FOX is repeating it. I have yet to hear of the theory being spoken from the floor of Congress, though.

    The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How it Corrupts Democracy by David Brock (2004) made this same point. Did you know, for instance, that the term "Climate Change" is a conservative euphemism? People were using the term global warming long before climate change. It was FOX that introduced the other term.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited June 2021
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I found out the other day that Barry Goldwater was among the group of Senators who convinced Nixon to resign. Oh! To have a conservative political party who will act to protect the country from its mistakes!

    This is a popular misconception. A delegation of Senate Republicans did approach Nixon on August 7, 1974 and urged him to resign. That much is true. However they weren't doing it "to protect the country", they were doing it to protect themselves. They didn't want to have to cast a vote, either way, at Nixon's Senate trial. Having Nixon resign spared them from that dilemma.

    It could be argued that "Senate Republican selflessly act to save country" was one of the first pieces of propaganda from the modern right wing noise machine.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Senko discusses how right-wing media will come up with a story and then suddenly it will be spread word for word from radio talk show to Fox News to Congressional talking points as if everyone is reading from the same script.

    Back in the day (the 2002-2003 run-up to the Iraq War) this was referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer or, less poetically, as the Puke Funnel.
  • St German wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »

    I offer it just to give people an idea of how bad it has been for many families in the United States especially through the Trump Era.

    Is it now being argued that influence from any party which is not centrist/liberal/democratic is brainwashing? If so, it looks like a remarkable attempt at thought control. Back to the middle ages . . .

    It's not an attempt to persuade by reasoned argument, it's designed to wind you up, to get you so angry that you don't even stop to ask whether what you're being told is true. I occasionally get spammed by far right US "news" organisations and the tone of their propaganda is deliberately designed to scare (white) people and get them riled up.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    St German wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »

    I offer it just to give people an idea of how bad it has been for many families in the United States especially through the Trump Era.

    Is it now being argued that influence from any party which is not centrist/liberal/democratic is brainwashing? If so, it looks like a remarkable attempt at thought control. Back to the middle ages . . .

    It's not an attempt to persuade by reasoned argument, it's designed to wind you up, to get you so angry that you don't even stop to ask whether what you're being told is true. I occasionally get spammed by far right US "news" organisations and the tone of their propaganda is deliberately designed to scare (white) people and get them riled up.

    This past weekend I had to go down and clean my mother's house out. While there I stayed with my brother who is an avid Fox News person (Long story there.) In the morning he would have Fox and Friends on. All I heard was how Critical Race Theory was a Communist plot and all Democrats were socialists. Of course, they offered no proof or any counterargument. Even the most liberal network out there, MSNBC, gives conservatives the chance to give counterarguments in their segments.

  • St GermanSt German Shipmate
    I suppose this how we get to Megan Markle having "her" truth, as opposed to anyone else's "truth": an acceptance that truth is only a matter of your perception of what is important to you - as distinct from an assessment of the significance of events by the holder of certain values.

    Whether from the right e.g. the Nazis, or from the left e.g. the Communists, this intentional confusion of fact and perception is a familiar technique. But I fear that we are getting to the point at which, to ascertain a reliable version of an event, you need to be in a court of law with evidence coming from both sides, and subject to challenge.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited June 2021
    St German wrote: »
    I suppose this how we get to Megan Markle having "her" truth, as opposed to anyone else's "truth": an acceptance that truth is only a matter of your perception of what is important to you - as distinct from an assessment of the significance of events by the holder of certain values.

    Whether from the right e.g. the Nazis, or from the left e.g. the Communists, this intentional confusion of fact and perception is a familiar technique. But I fear that we are getting to the point at which, to ascertain a reliable version of an event, you need to be in a court of law with evidence coming from both sides, and subject to challenge.

    This kind of reflexive bothsidesing is infuriating, and seems designed to be so. On the one hand you have a private citizen (Meghan Markle) recounting her personal experiences during an interview. On the other hand you have a series of vast, for-profit media enterprises like Fox News or OANN telling people that injecting bleach or swallowing aquarium cleaner will successfully treat or prevent COVID-19. To @St German these are exactly equivalent things and equally baffling. Normally this is the place where I say that reflexive bothsiderism is going to get a lot of people killed, except in this case it already has.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    St German wrote: »
    I suppose this how we get to Megan Markle having "her" truth, as opposed to anyone else's "truth": an acceptance that truth is only a matter of your perception of what is important to you - as distinct from an assessment of the significance of events by the holder of certain values.

    Whether from the right e.g. the Nazis, or from the left e.g. the Communists, this intentional confusion of fact and perception is a familiar technique. But I fear that we are getting to the point at which, to ascertain a reliable version of an event, you need to be in a court of law with evidence coming from both sides, and subject to challenge.

    In a debate, certain facts are agreed to, but then the interpretation or application of them can be variant.

    Now, if you are talking about Meghan Markle there was something about the Royal Family dynamics that made her feel uncomfortable. She has presented her side of the story. Harry tends to agree with her. Other members of the family deny there is any problem. Both sides have had the chance to put their viewpoints out there. It is up to the public to decide where is the truth, though we will probably never know the whole story.

    Every once in a while I would listen to Rush Limbaugh because I would be on a section of road that did not have a clear National Public Radio station. He mocked people who disagreed with him, he used a lot of satire, but he would quickly cut off anyone called in who disagreed with him--if the screener did not already do that. And he never had any person of authority come on to present a different point of view.

    On the other hand, I watch Rachel Maddow from time to time. A typical approach she uses is she will bring up a question, give a short summary of the facts, and introduce her guest(s). She will often ask if there is anything she got wrong or if they have anything to add. She will also acknowledge any correction a guest may wish to add. Then they will begin to discuss the differences of opinion. She will never laugh at her guest. She seeks to understand the point being presented, and she will discuss the differences. She always thanks the guest for coming on and then break for commercial or move on to the next subject.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited June 2021
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I found out the other day that Barry Goldwater was among the group of Senators who convinced Nixon to resign. Oh! To have a conservative political party who will act to protect the country from its mistakes!

    This is a popular misconception. A delegation of Senate Republicans did approach Nixon on August 7, 1974 and urged him to resign. That much is true. However they weren't doing it "to protect the country", they were doing it to protect themselves. They didn't want to have to cast a vote, either way, at Nixon's Senate trial. Having Nixon resign spared them from that dilemma.

    It could be argued that "Senate Republican selflessly act to save country" was one of the first pieces of propaganda from the modern right wing noise machine.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Senko discusses how right-wing media will come up with a story and then suddenly it will be spread word for word from radio talk show to Fox News to Congressional talking points as if everyone is reading from the same script.

    Back in the day (the 2002-2003 run-up to the Iraq War) this was referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer or, less poetically, as the Puke Funnel.

    Politicians always act in the way you describe, but the way actions are framed is important. These actions were framed as protecting the country by protecting the institutions. It is significant that they thought it was necessary to frame it that way.

    People usually have more than one reason for doing things, especially Politicians. It is likely that Goldwater and his colleagues wanted to protect their own positions, do what was best for the GOP as they saw it and protect the institutions of the Republic.

    St German, there is a tendency in politics in Australia for lines of attack to be co-ordinated between various politicians and media of the same ideological outlook. In the past, this was something that only politicians did, but it has changed on the right here. The tool used is a list of daily talking points distributed by the political party's media advisors. Every now and then the other side gets their hands on the document or its leaked. It never looks good, coupled with all the politicians following the script in a TV mash up.

    The practice is in plague proportions in America, but its not just a creation of the right. Anyone who says that the Democrats don't co-ordinate messaging is batty. They clearly do.
    There is also the issue of syndication in the US, a situation that we don't have, whereby the scripts for a story are the same for news reports across the country. Doing a mashup of that stuff is also a hoot I've seen a few of your satirists do.

    The problem is the content of the message that is presently emanating from the Right. First, there are the really loopy conspiracy-type lies - fake ballots from China made of bamboo etc. Every time a media figure like Hannity or a politician like Trump repeats them, they gain credibility. Those figures put their authority behind obviously crazy ideas and turn them into ideas that people take seriously.

    The second are the allegations that the election was stolen, despite the fact that the place to air those grievances are with election officials and then the Courts. If it goes beyond that, it damages the institutions of democracy by undermining confidence. When in 2000 there was a contested result, Gore and the Democratic party stopped complaining publicly that the election was improper, or rigged or whatever. Gore conceded. Lots of Americans did not, and I still see people claiming that the election was stolen by Bush, or that his Presidency was illegitimate. But the important thing is that the Democrats as a political party did not seek to continue to contest the election, and the complaints in the media and elsewhere amounted to nothing more than divisive and unhelpful whining.

    Do you see why what the GOP and Fox are doing at the moment is of a completely different character to what the Democrats did and do now?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    It really does not matter what other American's thought, once the Supreme Court ended the Florida count, Gore conceded, end of story. We also refused to believe Hillary lost to Trump. The big difference is, neither Gore nor Clinton urged their followers to attack the Capitol. But, then again, we weren't fed the garbage that we had to seize the Capitol.
  • That's right. Gore and the Democratic party acted responsibly in the interests of the country. That is the key difference.

    Its not about politics, about whether you think the US should be pump priming the economy or focusing solely on controlling inflation. Its not about whether you think abortion should be lawful or not. Its about politicians acting responsibly to protect Congress, the Executive and the Courts by ensuring their voters are confident that these mechanisms will give their party a fair shot at power.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Two QAnon theories floating today:

    1) Hillary Clinton was seized by an elite SEAL team, flown to Guantanamo, and was executed.

    2) The news of the death of Biden's dog, Champ, has some secret message in it.
  • Champ knew too much.
  • Champ knew too much.

    But will Champ receive a Requiem Mass, given his master's views on abortion legislation?
  • I think that the theological questions regarding a Requiem Mass for a dog precede the questions regarding the master's positions or the condition of his soul.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I've been to a St. Francis Day mass where "doggie communion" was offered. Granted, it was not a RC church.

  • At our place on St. Francis Day, "doggie communion," was not offered but one human broke her wafer in half and gave half to her pet. I will let God work that out.
  • I think that the theological questions regarding a Requiem Mass for a dog precede the questions regarding the master's positions or the condition of his soul.

    No need. All dogs go to heaven.
  • Tell that to your priest. I'll get my popcorn.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    No need. All dogs go to heaven.

    Agreed! Without dogs it won't be heaven.

  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Tell that to your priest. I'll get my popcorn.

    There are some subjects which are best not discussed with some priests…

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    No need. All dogs go to heaven.

    Agreed! Without dogs it won't be heaven.

    Max the cat raises an objecting paw.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Re Nixon: he felt it was necessary to declare to the American people: "Your president is not a crook", and Republican politicians felt Watergate was a problem for their supporters..............................
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    No need. All dogs go to heaven.

    Agreed! Without dogs it won't be heaven.

    Max the cat raises an objecting paw.

    Well, I'm not going unless Georgie-Porgy Fat'n'Fluffy is there to meet me. 😻
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    No need. All dogs go to heaven.

    Agreed! Without dogs it won't be heaven.

    Max the cat raises an objecting paw.

    Please, we can all figure out the eternal fate of cats.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    My only consolation is that in heaven I won't have a body, so there will be nothing for dogs to jump and slobber all over, or for cats to rub against or claw. Even so, reserve me a seat in the No Pets Allowed section, please.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    My only consolation is that in heaven I won't have a body, so there will be nothing for dogs to jump and slobber all over, or for cats to rub against or claw. Even so, reserve me a seat in the No Pets Allowed section, please.

    Really? Isn't there a load of guff in Paul about resurrection bodies like Christ's resurrection body?
  • Maybe in heaven I can shit in the cat's garden instead?
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Isn't there a load of guff in Paul about resurrection bodies like Christ's resurrection body?

    At the Resurrection on the Last Day, yes. But between time of death and then . . . ?
    Maybe in heaven I can shit in the cat's garden instead?

    Or vomit on its bedroom slippers. (This happened to me when I was a house guest of someone who owned two cats. Not quite the same as a cat house, but anyway . . . .)

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited June 2021
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Isn't there a load of guff in Paul about resurrection bodies like Christ's resurrection body?

    At the Resurrection on the Last Day, yes. But between time of death and then . . . ?

    Well, that's when you're dead. I see no evidence that human beings can exist without a body and brain. As far as I can tell, that's essentially what we are

  • Maybe in heaven I can shit in the cat's garden instead?

    Oh, Quotes file with that. Lovely.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    At our place on St. Francis Day, "doggie communion," was not offered but one human broke her wafer in half and gave half to her pet. I will let God work that out.

    I can (if I wanted to be judgemental) think of many humans who might constructively be refused the grace of the Sacrament subject to self-examination and sincere repentance, including myself. On the other hand, I can't think of any dog of my acquaintance who is less worthy, by virtue of its given nature, to receive Sacramental grace from its Creator, than any human being. I would even say that dogs don't need such graces. They are complete in themselves. Just as Christopher Smart's cat, Jeoffrey, worshipped the living God by wreathing himself 'seven times round with elegant quickness'. My dog worships perfectly, according to his nature, by being the big, greedy, good-humoured, self-centred goofball he is!
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Okay, what does all this discussion about doggies have to do with the insistent right-wing noise machine's ability on the way they have been able to brainwash a good chunk of middle-aged men and women to believe the US election was stolen; that Trump will be reinstated in August and Critical Race Theory is a communist plot to indoctrinate susceptible youth?

    Seems like we have gone amok here.
  • @Gramps49 I believe that I bear responsibility for the initial derailment with my flippant reply to you, "Champ knew too much." It took off from there. Apologies.
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