I find it interesting that more than half of Fox News viewers are 68 years old or older and the remaining half trends towards the older crowd (2016 Gallup polling). Their commericals reflect that as well. A lot of ads for Life Alert, walk-in bath tubs, retirement and life insurance, investing, pharmaceuticals, and activities poplar with senior citizens; it’s abundantly clear who their targeted audience is. They’re continuously brainwashing this targeted generation of people with a primed out of date (and sometimes out of touch) mindset. They play on old cold war fears and prejudice that were once the norm some 50+ years ago. The people who produce Fox News aren’t idiots, they know the silent generation and baby boomers have most of the money and they have their limbic system primed with opinion hosts that pander to that dated mindset (Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham come to mind). And what they call “fair and balanced” news is anything but.
Honestly, it should be criminal what they’re doing to our senior citizens because they’re creating a vacuous echo chamber that rejects reality and well established facts by creating a narrative of distrust and bigotry to blame societies faults on anything they perceive as somewhat different. They cast this wide net of doubt making these senior citizens believe that all other news sources are somehow “fake news” and that only Fox News’ monochromatic two-dimensional skewed/ distorted version of reality is somehow “the truth”. It’s no surprise that you see right-wing news sources denying widely established facts like fossil fuels causing climate change when the fossil fuel industry tycoons are the ones who primarily fund the GOP. Or diverting attention from gun violence and creating straw-man narratives so guns don’t become a front and center. After all, the NRA does fund the GOP as well and being that Fox News is essentially the mouthpiece of the GOP, their brainwashing has purpose. But these are just a few examples. The parallels of who funds the GOP and who funds everyone else shows the clear lines in how Fox News reports on issues and what they’re for or against. Once you have this realization, it is grotesque how blatant this targeted brainwashing is. And they have been very successful in brainwashing so many of our senior citizens in believing a false reality that is devoid of fact and to distrust anything that challenges their confirmation bias filled echo chamber that Fox News has constructed for them.
“Do your research” they galliantly exclaim while espousing blatant falsehoods and obscure and baseless conspiracy theories. These senior citizens are not just coming up with this nonsense in their basement as they tie yarn from cork board to cork board. Fox News has normalized this nonsensical conspiratorial thinking. The malignant normalization of the ludacris and obscene is so easy when the same nonsense is replayed over and over again. As Covid-19 ravages our country, Fox News has been downplaying and diverting attention from the ever climbing death toll and infection rates because the incompetence of GOP leadership cannot be allowed to be seen for what it is. So they focus on “Antifa” and grossly mischaracterize the BLM movement to play off those old prejudices as a scapegoat. Pay no mind to the GOP gutting your medicare and cutting taxes for the ultra wealthy increasing the ever widening wealth disparates. Look at the distracting shiny object that becomes center focus for geriatric rage Fox has created.
This is unhealthy, Fox is radicalizing viewpoints to the point of insanity. There’s a reason why the phrase “ok, boomer” became synonymous with a generation that is widely seen now as out of touch with reality and out of step with society. Fox and other far-right wing media have done to baby boomers and the silent generation what they feared video games would do to millennials in the 90’s. Fox News and right-wing talk radio has destroyed the minds of a large swath of our aging population. This is why I say what they’re doing is criminal.