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The Fundamentalists Next Door

| May 24, 2015

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It takes a nib. (© FlaglerLive)

By Steve Robinson, Merrill Shapiro, Jon Hardison,
Abbie Romaine, Don Musser and Matthew Wilson

A study released last week, authored by a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Bruce Bartlett, concludes that Fox News has done great, perhaps irreparable harm to the Republican Party and to conservatives. By consuming only information that is presented by Fox, says Bartlett, legions of angry conservatives have been, in his assessment, “self-brainwashed.”


“Many conservatives,” Bartlett writes, “now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.” The result of this 24/7 drumbeat of outright lies and distortions, says Bartlett, is that Fox viewers are now among the least well-informed Americans when it comes to the important issues that face us all.

Of course, most of us don’t need a major academic study to know that diversity of opinion is vital to a functioning democracy. Not only is it important that we encourage articulate spokespeople who share our own beliefs, it is also essential—critical, actually—that we listen to the views of those who disagree with us.

As Bartlett’s study illustrates, shutting oneself off from information that may challenge our own biases and beliefs is bad enough. What’s far worse is when someone takes it upon himself to decide what news, information and commentary citizens may be offered. And that is what is happening here, today, in Flagler County.

Back in August, a man named Mark Richter decided he was qualified to serve as a Flagler County Commissioner. When the ballots were counted in November, it was clear that most Flagler voters thought otherwise, and re-elected his incumbent opponent. In between, FlaglerLive published an extensive examination of Richter’s background, revealing that he had exaggerated, distorted or even fabricated parts of his resume. It’s impossible to say with any certainty whether or not this article played a role in Richter’s defeat. What is certain is that Flagler’s voters needed to know this information in order to make an informed decision.

Providing accurate, well-researched and unbiased information to a citizenry often faced with conflicting views of the truth is the goal of every serious journalist. With the consolidation of media ownership in the hands of corporations more interested in the bottom line than in accuracy and fairness, coupled with the deluge of unfiltered, unedited bile on blogs and fringe websites, that mission is under constant attack.

FlaglerLive is at this moment the target of a campaign being waged by, among others, Mr. Richter, to deprive the people of this county of an original, serious, alternative source of information, opinions and ideas. Accompanied by grotesque cartoons and hate speech that question the ideals of the editor of FlaglerLive, this group is hoping to encourage businesses to stop advertising on the site, which is a non-profit enterprise.

In short, those who feel somehow injured because FlaglerLive has reported on their actions, strategies and motives, are trying to silence that reporting. You the reader would thus be deprived of important information on which to form your own views.

It is quite clear from reading the comments on FlaglerLive that this website’s readership is hardly of one mind. And that is a very good thing. Debate, even if it gets testy at times, is vital to our experience as citizens. It also means lots of folks out there, even if they think they’ve already made up their minds, are still looking for other voices, for other sources of information, for a different take on something they may previously have taken at face value.

The low rumblings from those who would silence FlaglerLive cannot be allowed to become an earthquake. It is up to the citizens of Flagler County–no matter your political persuasion or your party affiliation, your social views and religious beliefs–not to allow the voices of ignorance and intolerance decide what information you are permitted to consume. Let us know that you are fully behind the idea that a community that enjoys a free exchange of ideas is fully embracing what it means to be American.

The authors are members of the FlaglerLive Board of Directors. Matthew Wilson is an incoming member. Please visit our support page.

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71 Responses for “The Fundamentalists Next Door”

  1. Sherry E says:

    What a wonderful article! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Go Flaglerlive!!!!!

    Here is an example of FOX News manipulation of our society as pulled together by wonderful Jon Stewart. . . take the time to get beyond the ad and watch the entire UTube video . . . that is if you care about truth at all:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/jon-stewart-destroys-fox-news-scrooge-varney-how-fcking-removed-from-reality-are-you/

    • Anonymous says:

      I am glad you supported the article. The Fox News positive responses also reflect the level of ignorance by which we are surrounded. Fox News supporters just don’t comprehend.

  2. SwampFox says:

    Soooo, I’m suppose to listen to CNN or I’m not an American ? Well as one of your “notorious” commenter said to another commenter who shared a different view……” blow me ” !!!

  3. m&m says:

    Fox news is the only news I watch because they are honest and tell it like it is.

    • Will (#1) says:

      M&M – did you read a single word of the commentary, or just go straight to comments?

      Really, how can you justify limiting your worldview so severely, and thus affecting those around you with inadequate facts and lies?

    • Brian says:

      MM you are officially brainwashed , and ;people like you vote for the monsters like Rick Scott and The Bushes , your as guilty as killing people as they are !!!!

    • marty says:

      You simply cannot be serious – anyone who has done even the SLIGHTEST bit of research can find hundreds – yes, hundreds of FOX lies, distortions, misstatements, etc.
      There is more than one survey that has shown that those whose chief (or in your case, only) source of news is Fox – are actually LESS informed than those who watch no news.
      I feel sad for you – to be so utterly ignorant of reality. You are exactly the type of citizen who poses a real danger to our society – one who is absolutely convinced of so much that is utterly untrue and yet very happy to be lied to day after day.

      That Fox has been the #1 news outlet for so long just proves that lying propaganda does work…it’s the biggest sign of how far our country has sunk – ignorant, flag-waving “patriots” utterly unaware of reality, yet convinces they are being told the truth. Sad, very sad.

  4. YankeeExPat says:

    “Beware the man of a single book.”
    ― Thomas Aquinas

  5. Yellowstone says:

    First and foremost we are all for a free society, free enterprise – and an unfettered press. It’s in the Constitution . . . !
    Any one entity, corporation, or in this case, group of individuals who are hell bent to shut down this society need to be identified. There simply is too much noise in this regard. BTW: Please notice how the current GOP is beginning to back away from the old timers who have piped up about their now discovered bogus conservative causes.
    If it so pleases you, publish those entities that have chosen to place a ban on ‘our’ press. We’ll get together and deal with all of them one way or another – namely with our wallets!

  6. DW Ferg says:

    I agree and I value listening to divergent points of view if presented in an articulate, factual and passionate fashion. Too much FOX can be boring as 50% of people out there do not care for conservative messaging on steroids. Then , how does one interact or possibly “connect ” with half of America ?

  7. I can’t believe no one has commented on this yet. Maybe because patriots are enjoying the freedom brought to us by the Fundamentalists who founded this country on this Memorial Day Weekend. I felt it was important to comment here and took a break from my day to let you know how this Fundamentalist feels about your attempt to change the language and turn the word Fundamentalist into a negative.

    This sounds a little like a slight on bible believing Christians. Maybe we should bring Sharia law to Flagler County so you feel more inclusive and diverse.

    Or maybe it is an attack on people who believe the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to take a stand as to the limits of Government of by and for the people.

    Maybe it is a lack of understanding on your part as to the full meaning of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

    I love where I live, I fly a flag on my lawn since I moved in. Even though a tornado ripped down my pole on 2013 I had one to replace it in a week, taller and with a new Flag. Am I the dreaded Fundamentalist next door?

    I believe in Liberty. Is that a bad word to you? I believe you have a right to express such a transparently liberal progressive point of view which proves my point. Flagler Live is a blatantly left leaning publication, but you hide behind diversity to try and look fair. It is so obvious it’s almost funny.

    If Flagler Live goes the way of the Dodo Bird (which was a flightless bird BTW) it is not the fault of Fundamentalists. I would say it will die a death of the ongoing ignorance of true freedom and liberty. People have figured out that the path of Liberalism and progressiveness is nothing of the sort. They are more restrictive and regressive of personal choice and freedom. Obamacare anyone?

    I am an unabashed Conservative who believes it is my duty to call you out for the left leaning stance you state here. I do not try to sugar coat my beliefs. I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor to defend that to your face without apology. Deal with it.

    I am the Fundamentalist next door. Honor Memorial Day.

    • Will (#1) says:

      It’s nice that you’re so happy in your cocoon. There are a lot of good Christians who don’t play along with the Fundamentalists. There are a lot of patriotic citizens who are skeptical at the very least about political Fundamentalists.

      Thanks Flagler Live for this refreshing and timely editorial. Mr. Randazzo, maybe you should get out more and interact with a wider range of people in our community. Not everyone is in lock step with you and yours.

      • Hi Will #1, I assume there is a Number 2,3,4,5 and so on. Just so you know this is for #1.

        You make a lot of assumptions about me. You really don’t know me at all.

        If I wanted to stay in my Cocoon I would have posted as Anon or stayed in NJ.

    • Anon says:

      I don’t see what Memorial Day has to do with Fundamentalism. I also don’t see how this article relates to Memorial Day. You seem to have not even looked at the study cited in the first sentence, which may prove its thesis.

      That’s about all I have to say in regards to your post because it reads like an obnoxious word salad of blind patriotism. Also, I’m thinking about donating to Flagler Live next payday.

    • a tiny manatee says:

      “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

      A quote by Thomas Jefferson, who most definitely was not a fundamentalist.

    • Field of Dreams says:

      How dare you hide behind a Christian Bible and a secular flag and then set about to completely mis-appropriate the word Fundamentalism in the very name of the men who founded this nation? How does one believe in, let alone claim to represent, “Liberty”, invoking this day, this day of Memorial, while at the same time, be ignorant and rude enough to cast aside an entire belief system of others? How do you do that with a straight face and call yourself a Patriot?

      You can’t be serious.

      I’m as white and as American as you no doubt are, Mr. Randazzo, And you do not represent me or speak for me in any way, nor do you speak of anyone in my family that ever quoted a Bible verse and wore an American uniform and who died for their country. I read your post, sir, and all I see is hatred. Hatred for anyone who would live with different belief systems than your own. As if Your life and lifestyle is the only kind that matters, and everyone else’s is un-American.

      You must spend a lot of your time hating. That hate has poisoned your writing as it has no doubt poisoned your worldview and poisoned the relationships you have with everyone around you. Turn off your television before it poisons your soul, too.

      • “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” John Adams.

        Do you know who John Adams is Field of Dreams?

        Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were at each others political throats most of their lives, they died on the same day July 4th 1726 the best of friends.

        I guess there is hope you and I may become friends in the long run.

        Notice as well I do not hide behind a pseudonym or nickname in my post. People need to speak up and have conversations not hide behind anything. Thus they become more civil.

        • Field of Dreams says:

          And by the way, some of us don’t use our real names on forums for any number of legitimate reasons. I am sure you couldn’t possibly understand that, being so perfect and everything, but that’s reality for many.

    • Confused says:

      Fox news took a page from George Bush’s playbook by using patriotism, nationalism and religion to get what they want. Meaning if you don’t believe in them and what they’re doing you just don’t believe in God. How can you be against abortion on one hand and then back politicians that bomb the heck out of other countries resulting in the deaths of babies? Don’t tell us about troops fighting for our freedoms in this country there hasn’t been one war since slavery on US soil that saved “our” freedom. You can’t kill your neighbors or back a man with a political agenda who kills your neighbors and claim your a Christian. You say I live in a fairytale land? I say join the club, not one war has made mankind’s problems go away or stopped the next war from happening. God doesn’t need people who give allegiance to their country before they give it to him or people who carry a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. I don’t always agree with Flaglerlive either but at least they make an attempt to “love their neighbor as themselves” One can see the diversity in the names and backgrounds of those who contributed to this article. President Cheney, I mean President Bush lied to you about going to war, a price that’s still being paid and you talk about Obama care? Your probably the same guy that still brings up the OJ Simpson case every time equal rights are mentioned. Don’t hijack what Christianity is supposed to be. Hating what God hates is one thing hiding behind your flag, the military, nationalism and patriotism is something else and it’s not Christian.

    • Eagles Flight says:

      Great Comment.

    • The Progressive next door says:

      you can believe in the Bible without being a fundamentalist. Here is the question to tell if you are one.
      Do you believe that every word in the Bible is true and meant to be read in a literal fashion?
      That type of belief means you your pastor has preached about the age of the earth, the sun falling into the ocean, evolution is untrue, etc. I wonder when they will start preaching about stoning prostitutes?
      I wonder if your pastor is one that preaches all you have to do is believe to be wealthy? If you don’t consider anything else you can be said to be ignorant.

    • Stan Gruchawka says:

      Michael,

      Courageously well said. Could not agree with you more.

    • Nancy N says:

      Oh the hypocrisy of ranting about how people are turning the word “fundamentalist” into a negative while you do exactly the same thing to the words “progressive” and “liberal”….I guess it’s only a bad thing if it’s a word that YOU like?

    • BIG JOHN says:

      So you say Fundamentalists founded this country? From what Texas School Book Depository did you glean such wisdom? Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Morris, etc. were not fundamentalists by any stretch of the imagination.

      • “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

        That’s pretty Fundamental to me.

        • Nalla C says:

          Please know what you’re talking about before you lecture others so piously. Being “fundamental” does not make one a Fundamentalist. Fundamentalists believe that the statements in the Bible are literally true. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, other “founding fathers” of the USA were *NOT* fundamentalists.

          • My point is the word Fundamentalist is being used as a derogatory word here. It is not and should not be.

            What if I was a fundamentalist Christian is it not my right under the first amendment to be just that? Or do we only have amendments to protect the things we like and agree with?

            • Nalla C says:

              But you were using it incorrectly yourself, insinuating that our Founding Fathers were “fundamentalists”. They were not. Our history bears this out. Our Founding Fathers believed in ALL religion and NO religion. All Americans have freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion if they so choose. It’s right there in our founding documents.

              If you feel the word “fundamentalist was used incorrectly in the American press of the 21st century, it’s probably not helpful to compound its mis-usage further by mis-using it yourself. That’s a surefire way to continue to be misunderstood.

            • Field of Dreams says:

              The word “fundamentalist” is used correctly in the article. I don’t see anyone here telling you that you don’t have the right to be Fundamentalist yourself.

  8. Robert Lewis says:

    Mark Richter has stolen Valor!
    While others served and died for the freedom of this nation, he was dishonorably discharged.

    Mark Richter claims to have served our nation. He has only served himself and Stolen Valor.

  9. pelican says:

    Let’s be honest……in American society today all news is biased……..all politicians vote with their party only….this is the reason we have down hill so fast and will continue to fall………partisan politics is our achilles heel………..our system needs a huge change……….and it will not occur…….we are screwed………I enjoy Flagler live…….but lets call a spade a spade……….the main man here is as as biased as they come…..his ultra leftest feelings are in everyting he writes…….and being honest……….I am biased on the other direction…..

  10. Concerned says:

    Richter rearing his ugly mind once again, sigh. The People will support FlaglerLive, the sheeple will follow FauxNews. Our founders are rolling over in their graves, those who fought the tyranny of corporate interest at the real Tea Party, those who came here for the concept of being free from religious persecution deserve nothing less than our undivided attention to this important founding principle. Fight on!

  11. Edman says:

    Too often our news outlets concentrate on sensationalism over information. Fox adds fear to the ratings brew and stokes anger over rationale. If product manufacturers can be sued for false advertising then our news services should be held to the same standard. Fox has no ethical standards and is centered around self promotion. We need citizens who seek to be informed more than entertained.

  12. Carol Mikola says:

    The subject of Mark Richter and his Ronald Reagan Assembly/Tea Party cohorts in our county has been covered extensively by FlaglerLive and your readers appreciate it.

    The Flagler community has just read about the e-mails he sent to the local media. We’ve been told that he made threats concerning FlaglerLive but no media outlet has seen fit to publish the e-mail. I ask FlaglerLive to publish it so we can all judge it for ourselves.

    This article is the first that I’ve read which states that Mark Richter and others are waging a campaign to encourage businesses to pull their advertising. Is this a fact or is it something that was threatened in his e-mail? Of course, this is right from the playbook of the left-wing nut-jobs and I find it to be a despicable strategy. To be concerned, though, is to give these people far too much credit.

    I fully support you and value the free exchange of ideas. I must add, though, that the opening paragraphs of this article were a cheap shot at Fox News and a poor illustration of the valid points raised by the authors.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey Mike R… I would chill if I were you. Me thinks thou dost protest too much…

  14. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Michael, did it ever occur to you that this column can be written because of our liberties? Yes, it is left leaning, but so what? This is still a free country so this column can lean anyway it wants. No corporation dictates the message here. My question to you is, if this site aggravates you so much, why are you reading it? There are plenty of right leaning sites out there for you.

    • Sandra first let me commend you on standing up for what you believe and not being afraid to state your name. God Bless free thinking brave Americans like you. There is no sarcasm here, I truly commend you.

      If everyone went to their respective sections of belief to use them as suave for their political soul we would all be in a closet. We know that doesn’t work. There would be no debate and no conversation. Better to share then to just segregate.

      People who I guess have their set political beliefs assume I was standing up for Fox News. Far from it. I was standing up for the rights of all. When speech is attacked it hurts everyone. Free speech if limited in any way is no free speech. When words like Fundamentalist are used to describe one’s opponent in a discussion of politics it is meant as a put down, as a negative, to silence speech to make people afraid to speak out in public. I posed questions in my response, they are rhetorical questions.

      I have heard from some people as to who these people who wrote this are talking about. I don’t know if that is true but had it been more clearly represented here I might have agreed with them. It wasn’t and as a result it painted anyone who watches Fox News as the problem people next door. It blames Fox for these people they are surreptitiously attacking in this article. That’s a pretty broad brush if you ask me.

      I have no doubt in the rights of Flagler Live to state it’s opinion and I will fight to defend their right to do so. I also don’t like the language being attacked. The “Fundamentalist” next door is a use of a word meant to silence and mark “Fundamentalists” like a scarlet letter. That is my main objection and I stated it. They should be more clear just as I was.

      • Nalla C says:

        If you really believe that Flaglerlive’s correct usage of the word “fundamentalist” is an “attack” on you, then you would seem ill-prepared to be anywhere online where people are having discussions in the English language.

  15. DwFerg says:

    Wonder what the proportion of your audience Pierre “lines up” with the “left side” vs. the “right side”..(or the “middle”) .Either way you win by fostering/provoking(may be a better adjective) the big debate as to who’s Right or should I say “who’s correct” in their philosophy or line of thinking. The only way for the fundamentalist to win(or maybe lose) is when they disagree and Ignore opposing points of view , i.e unless the call to action or proselytizing is incentivized beyond silence. People devoted to Fox often are chorus members being somewhat addressed (not preached necessarily) by the leaders of the Conservative , “silent majority”.crowd . Sorry RRR crew for using one of Ronnie’s expressions…

  16. biker says:

    Fox has it pretty easy.. Their only true competitors are CNN & MSNBC
    and we all know how centrist and honest those two are..Lol.

    • Halfright says:

      Been down here a year and a half now. I was looking for a newspaper that reported the news as it happened without bias. No such luck, I was force fed Brighthouse and watch 3 of the major “media links” streaming. Was just commenting the other day. If you or I owed 4 million dollars to the IRS, do you really think we would be walking the streets? And would we really go to the whitehouse 85 times?

      What I noticed is not necessarily a report of actual facts rather what was omitted.from those facts. It looks like they wanted to teach me how to think. Only tell me what they want me to know. Conveniently leaving out critical critical to the story to bend the truth.

      How many reports have we seen on the Clinton debacle in Benghazi? No one really gives a flip she was using her own server to do US Government business? And that said computer had been hacked?? Now we find out she knew before the attack that it was a terror attack unrelated to some poor slob who’s still paying for his video.

      There are two sides to every story and you must hears several opinions from both sides and then use your own knowledge, skills, and experience to make an informed decision.

  17. Amom says:

    Fox has become a cult to people. I know people who are obsessed with it and refuse to watch , read or believe anything ele. It is frightening!
    Interestingly, the avid watchers become more paranoid and scarred the more they watch, believing the world is against them.

  18. Sherry E says:

    If you are looking for actual factual TV news without a lot of political spin. . . try the PBS News Hour.

    Listen closely to the stories on FOX. . . the owner, Rupert Murdock. . . has a terrible reputation with his publications in the UK. He has an agenda to manipulate the politics of the Western world. The talking heads on his programs are there to instill fear and divide us against ourselves. Take a critical look at the on going banner ALERT! ALERT! Do your own “Fact Checking” on their stories. Open your minds to other ways and other perspectives, then free yourself to think independently and draw your own conclusions.

    If you live your life and form your opinions based solely on one source for what is happening in this world, you are the zombied slave of that source. Surely, any intelligent, reasonable human being would not want to exist in that way.

    Open your mind, open your heart, embrace all humanity. . . for it is precious beyond jewels!

  19. Kendall says:

    I’m not disappointed- just disenchanted. The watering down of intelligence thanks to a reliance on Fox News for information is clearly demonstrated in some comments here.

    This is worth a read. Bartlett was a member of the God of Conservatism, Ronald Reagan’s administration. Clearly his political persuasion has not prevented him from engaging in critical thinking.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2604679

    Essentially he states that Republicans are “brainwashing” themselves with Fox News and are losing their grip on reality.

    Talk about Kool Aid.

  20. Longtime Flagler resident says:

    Being a Republican of the 70’s, I feel the need to make a few comments. The Republican party has drifted too far towards the conservative side for my taste. The RR/Tea party should eliminate the Republican part of their name, as it just causes confusion as to their real identity. (They make the real Republicans look liberal.)
    I firmly believe in a free press, be it Flagler Live, Fox News, or some other source. I also believe it is an individual’s responsibility to research and make accurate decisions about issues that will affect others.
    I also accept the fact that there will be uninformed, and delusional people out there that will always manage to distort facts to their needs/desires. I am not talking about a debate between 2 differing opinions, but bold irresponsible, untrue statements. Unfortunately, these grandstanding people manage to get themselves into a position where they make news and spread their story. If facts are checked, they are easily debunked. Flagler county has had more than it’s fair share of these “citizens.”

  21. Will says:

    Richter and his confederates are their own cult. They don’t represent Republicans or Democrats.
    For those of you who complain that to many people are being brain-washed by Fox News, did it ever occur to you that many of those people might also be following other news sources, maybe even Flagler Live.
    Do I hear you saying that you wouldn’t watch Fox News because it doesn’t agree with your sense of true or false, right or wrong, and good or bad? Are you saying that CNN, MSMBC, and other left leaning sources more represent your perceived values? And therefore you favor them. If that makes you happy, that’s your prerogative. Don’t be so hard on those who might feel that Fox addresses their values and concerns more accurately.

  22. Sherry E says:

    Please take the time to read the factual study regarding the massive manipulation of the American populace by FOX: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2604679

    We are all better than this! We should never allow ourselves to be so dedicated to one source of information that we stop thinking independently and become essentially controlled by ANY organization! First we need to be courageous enough take our brains back. . . and then we need to go to the polls and take our country back!

    Again that’s: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2604679

  23. Who's News says:

    Why is it important for you to understand the subject of the Hegelian Dialectic? Because it is the process by which all change is being accomplished in society today. More importantly, it is the tool that the globalists are utilizing to manipulate the minds of the average American to accept that change, where ordinarily they would refuse it.

    The Hegelian Dialectic is, in short, the critical process by which the ruling elite create a problem, anticipating in advance the reaction that the population will have to the given crisis, and thus conditioning the people that a change is needed. When the population is properly conditioned, the desired agenda of the ruling elite is presented as the solution. The solution isn’t intended to solve the problem, but rather to serve as the basis for a new problem or exacerbate the existing one.

    When the newly inflamed difficulty reaches the boiling point of a crisis, it becomes the foundation upon which arguments may again be made for change. Hence, the process is repeated, over and over, moving society toward whatever end the planners have in mind.

    It’s also important to understand that as this process is being driven, arguments are created both for and against certain measures of change. All arguments are controlled. The presented solutions — each with varying levels of unadornment — are “debated” publicly by the manipulators or their minions. This is done until a perceived compromise has been reached on the best measure to take in route to solving the crisis. Then, the outcome of the “debate” — which purportedly weighs the concerns of the public with the mandate to do something — is enacted as public policy.

    Such is a summary of the Hegelian Dialectic. Though few in American society have ever heard of it, still fewer have not been profoundly impacted by its use in the effective neutralization of opposition in the formation of public policy.

  24. Knightwatch says:

    Those fervent watchers of the Fox channel (it’s NOT news) seem to be willfully ignorant of and resistant to actual knowledge and factual information. They listen to only that which reinforces their far-right world view. And in this distorted world view, affordable health care for our most needy citizens is socialism; illegal immigrants are Ebola-ridden, freeloading terrorists; government assistance programs are for blood sucking leeches; Blacks wouldn’t get shot by police if they weren’t doing something wrong; and they should be free to discriminate against anybody for any reason on the basis of their all-exclusive religion. Oh yeah… every man, woman and child should carry a gun.

    You know … good Christians.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Liberals are running this nation into the gutter

  26. Sherry E says:

    Here’s the thing dear Will. . . even conservative Bruce Bartlett (who published the study about FOX mentioned in this article) says that liberals do not typically use only liberal media outlets to fashion their perspectives of our world. The fundamental principles of liberalism entail being “open minded”, “progressive”, “looking forward/embracing new ideas”. Our learning never ends, and therefore we continually keep our eyes and minds open to all new information from many, many different sources. It is the nature of who we are.

    In reading the passionately defensive comments from some conservatives here. . . there are those that sadly even admit that they use FOX as their ONLY source of what’s happening on the planet. I am left with the impression that conservatives are more likely to reference the world through their somewhat rose colored glasses filtered by looking back at the bible, the constitution and their ideas of patriotism.

    Somehow FOX has apparently honed in on those who are inclined to be myopic and fiercely loyal to particular specific principles in a way that makes FOX the program that “is honest and tells it like it is”. . . no matter what their talking heads say. That defines voluntary manipulation and brain washing.

    The frightening thing to me is how the more reasonable Republican voices are completely drowned out by the FOX 24/7 drum beat of fear mongers and haters. . . turning our citizens against one another. What frightens me even more is how our entire country is being massively weakened by this divisiveness. . . and in a newly global politic and economy where China and other countries are preparing to step into our shoes as the world’s leader.

    What is Rupert Murdoch really trying to do. . . really? Is he trying to destroy our country just to show that he (and his media empire) can?

    Again, each one of us is better than this! Let’s do some really critical thinking about all the talking points we’re being spoon fed from any source, and let’s prove ole Rupert and Rush and any other 1% ers who are trying to control us dead WRONG! Stand Strong Citizens!

  27. mel guillory says:

    Thought I was the only one that has seen through the Fox news fog

  28. Cyd Weeks says:

    So what? So you may lose some sponsors…it’s called business. You’ll gain some others. I’m not even sure why you wrote about this, lol. I read your site for the daily news…things that have actually happened or are going to happen within our County. I read and often just disregard the left leaning fluff you put in many of your other articles, I expect it from you, that’s who you are and you have every right to be that way, just I have every right to read or not read the stuff on your website.
    I hardly doubt anyone is going to be able to ‘get rid of you’ or shut you up. Suck it up. Get more sponsors. Ya know you can! :)

  29. David Cox says:

    I feel sorry for anyone who watches Fox news regularly or for that matter any of the 24 hour services. I am sure they live in their own personal Hell!

    Great article! We are thinking of moving to your area and looking for positive reasons to relocate there.

    • Yeppy Ki A. says:

      Here’s a positive reaction…….DON’T MOVE HERE ! You won’t like it. Its like a living hell with 50,000 republicans and 50,000 democrats all trying to force they beliefs and ways on to you and your family…..Move to Wyoming and raise horses.

  30. Will says:

    Maybe Yeppy is right..
    If Some people have values based on Christianity they will continue to follow those principles which probably include those laid out in the US Constitution. Espousing new ideas because they are new could lead to your disaster if they are not tempered by some of the values I alluded to earlier. Again it sounds like, if you don’t agree with me you are a lost cause. And the division goes on. Fortunately most of our citizens couldn’t care less for these types of discussions.

  31. Will (#1) says:

    Just for the record, “Will” and “Will #1” are two different people. I was here as “Will” until the other person came along. This doesn’t mean that I agree or disagree with anything said.

  32. tulip says:

    @YEPPY KI A there are 24,592 registered Dem
    26,781 ” Rep
    20,658 Independents and growing

    The independent voters listen to both of the other party sides and make up their own minds on whom to vote for and don’t care whether the candidate is D R or NPA. I forsee that many more people will become Independants and possibly more NPA candidates so the RR people can’t close races.

  33. Brad W says:

    I for one am very thankful for FlaglerLive, what Pierre and his team do, and the local reporting they provide. It seems many have forgotten, but around 2007/2008 there was a period of time where local news media was non-existent. The News Journal closed it’s doors here and had no reporter covering the area. The Tribune was virtually non-existent. And locally we got our news basically by word-of-mouth. At that time 2 local online forums gained a lot of momentum and were used to spread lies and get candidates elected. This was a lot of how Kimberle Weeks got elected in 2008, and that is something that I do not want to see happen again. That was the time where we have seen a lot of the nastiness and the dirty tricks being played out locally. Some are still trying to keep those tactics alive, but many of those players are fading away.

    The truth is that the news is important. I personally read news for many sources and do not see any one source as the only source for me. What should cause concern (even for those who call themselves “conservatives”) is anyone who seeks to silence the news. Information control is not about providing freedom. It’s about taking freedom away. It’s about attempts to gain power and control. It’s the recipe every dictatorship has used to control a people. And that is a movement we see taking place locally and in our own country today.

    We need FlaglerLive and the Observer. Mark Richter is someone who should never have even been on a ballot for county commissioner let alone gain as many votes as he did. He lied about his service record, he spread false statements about local taxes, he does not understand local economics or the basics of local government, and the list goes on. These are positions that make real decisions that have huge impacts on our lives and futures even moreso than what takes place in Washington and the State often times. It’s obvious that the RRA wants to take control locally and not only get their people lected but make changes to grow control. Look at Steven Nobile’s (an RRA Member) is doing with this Charter review stunt. That is about creating a very strong mayor/council type of government. There is no benefit to a review or change at all. In fact, it comes down to more spending and inviting actual corruption.

    So thank you to Pierre and his team for keeping us informed. I for one would like to see a day here where the attitude that signs are the most important thing a candidate can do locally (because they all think we just vote by name recognition) goes away. I’d like to see a time where good candidates run, and the Mark Richters don’t even bother because they know the local voters will not stand for their stunts and attempts to mislead. The only way that time comes is when voters have access to the information and news.

  34. Lancer says:

    The left’s “boogie man”?

    No. Most get their “news” the same place DC politicians do: DrudgeReport

  35. Bob Fortier says:

    First of all, I am a conservative many issues, and far from a “liberal” in general. I watch online news from about seven sources. CNN, NBC, FOX, Al Jazeera, Syrian newspapers, BBC, to name only a few. I do so to get the most information I can, from different nations and different political groups. YET, all I ever hear is that if you watch Fox News you are brainwashed. That is not the case for me, and I also see a lot of bias in most news outlets, even PBS. There are plenty of “us” out here who do have an open mind. But for the author to only mention one news network that he considers “faux” … well, that shows me that he, not I, should be the on looking into the one way mirror and being honest about his own inflexible beliefs or (dishonesty to his readers). Thank you! Bob Fortier, Bunnell.

  36. Sherry E says:

    For those who have over reacted and mistakenly read in this article that “if you watch FOX News you are brainwashed” . . . I have cut and pasted the actual words in this article regarding Fox, and I have taken the liberty of capitalising the words I wish to emphasize. . . this article actually says:

    A study released last week, authored by a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Bruce Bartlett, concludes that Fox News has done great, perhaps irreparable harm to the Republican Party and to conservatives. By consuming ONLY information that is presented by Fox, says Bartlett, legions of angry conservatives have been, in his assessment, “self-brainwashed.”

    “Many conservatives,” Bartlett writes, “NOW REFUSE TO EVEN LISTEN TO ANY NEWS OR OPINION NOT VETTED THROUGH FOX, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.” The result of this 24/7 drumbeat of outright lies and distortions, says Bartlett, is that Fox viewers are now among the least well-informed Americans when it comes to the important issues that face us all.

    Of course, most of us don’t need a major academic study to know that DIVERSITY OF OPINION IS VITAL TO A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY. Not only is it important that we encourage articulate spokespeople who share our own beliefs, it is also ESSENTIAL-CRITICAL ACTUALLY-THAT WE LISTEN TO THE VIEWS OF THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH US.

    Folks, clearly the authors of this piece and Bruce Bartlett (the author of the FOX study), were NOT referring to those that truly educate themselves by learning about our world through many different sources with opposing points of view. They were referring to those FOX followers who use FOX as their ONLY source for news. Sadly, many such FOX zealots live in Flagler county, but not all those who occasionally tune into FOX are zealots.

  37. Sherry E says:

    Right On Brad W. . . well said!

  38. Andrea Stowell says:

    If you want to view how the left is thinking just read Flagler Live. Seems all their commentary is in support of leftist views. I watch FOX all the time as do more people than watch MSNBC and CNN combined. Guess the majority of the population is just uninformed according to Mr. Bartlett.

  39. David Cox says:

    Andrea,

    Keep in mind they are not journalists they are actors, like on the other networks, reading scripts designed to appeal to your group’s demographics and sell you products.

  40. Stacey says:

    I didn’t have to read past the first sentence to know that this article is fundamentaly dishonest. Anyone who presents Bruce Bartlett as a died in the wool conservative is simply lying. Bruce Bartlett hasn’t been a conservative since what, 1996? If ever??

  41. stan says:

    liberals destroying america isaiah 5-20 woe unto them that call evil good and good and evil
    that put darkness for light and light for darkness that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter
    repent sinners and turn to jesus christ and him alone for salvation before hell awaits you

  42. Howard Duley says:

    News, just like any other piece of entertainment is nothing but business. When any major event occurs like Kennedy getting his head in front of a bullet or Oswald getting blasted or even MJ croaking the first few minutes are news. The rest is all fighting for ratings.

  43. News Buff says:

    Fox News is “Rich People Telling Middle Class People To Hate Poor People”.

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