Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The same encouragement of prejudices in order to sell stuff is what's behind right wing radio

Because life is so much easier if you don't have to think. The advertising and music industries aren't above appealing to racism and other prejudices in subtle ways in order to sell stuff to constituencies that hold those views. Something similar is going on with right wing radio, with people like Rush Limbaugh. Criticism is never popular when you're trying to sell stuff because it prompts people to actually think and maybe disagree with you instead of pliantly buying things, so the default mode of ads becomes one that reinforces social prejudices in order to not alienate people. Conservatives on the radio exploit this attitude to the hilt. Their political position has the great advantage of taking what people already believe and labeling it as what's good and as what should be preserved and extended. Talk radio thrives on marketing people's prejudices back to them and calling them a political position.

Fox News thrives on it as well.

When you add up all of the media, working together, all with a commitment to not rock the boat while promoting consumption, you get the framework that produced the situation after 9/11, where ultranationalist, xenophobic, politics were just noted and spit back to people, with not a lot of dissent.

No matter that two countries were invaded, that a concentration camp was established in Cuba, that domestic surveillance was authorized and pursued, that no fly lists were established, all of that disturbs people, meaning that folks are less likely to buy the products advertised.

*on edit: this leads to a tacit encouragement of stupidity and insularness that gives approval to atrocities and murder across the globe.

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