Obama Legitimizes FOX

DJK writes:

Barack Obama didn’t call out FOX for what they are — a Republican propaganda outlet — when he appeared on FOX News Sunday to talk to Chris Wallace. Unfortunately, this means Obama, the Democrats, and American democracy lost.

Obama did a respectable job answering Wallace’s light/medium-biased questions, but he didn’t go after FOX the way his campaign claimed Obama would in a Friday statement to Talking Points Memo. Instead, he made the error of treating the interview as if it was actually an interview, not an ambush staged by enemies committed to destroying him. Because FOX had two main goals for Obama’s appearance: to further the appearance that FOX is actually a news organization and to gather ammunition against Obama.

FOX clearly accomplished their first goal, since nothing could legitimize FOX more than having a top presidential candidate (and a Democrat, no less) do a sit-down interview with them. What Obama and his campaign failed to realize is how destructive it is to the Democratic party, as well as America and its democracy, to have people think that FOX is anything other than a Republican propaganda outlet. By legitimizing FOX, the stories they run, the lies they tell, and the opinions they espouse are also legitimized. There’s no better example of this than the recent ABC debate, where George Stephanopoulos thought that Sean Hannity would be a good person to ask for questions to ask Obama. Why would Stephanopoulos think that Sean Hannity—a racist, serial liar, and FOX’s strongest, most consistent purveyor of anti-Obama misinformation—is a “fair and balanced” authority on Obama? Because Hannity is on FOX, and Stephanopoulos thinks FOX is a news organization. “Fair and Balanced” is right there in their slogan. And because more high profile democrats don’t identify FOX for what it is, FOX is allowed to retain its appearance of legitimacy, which is all they want. They don’t want to be a news organization — they simply want to create the appearance that they are a news organization to provide cover for their propaganda. And, sadly, Obama was a willing participant in furthering that appearance.
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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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