How Fox News uses Its broadcasts to scare viewers into buying useless and harmful products

fox newsWith all of the terrible stories rotating through the news cycle in the last few weeks, I thought it might be time for a more light-hearted article. And of course, when trying to conjure up a good subject for ridicule, Fox News is one of the first things that immediately comes to mind.

Fox News has a notorious reputation for being a fear-mongering purveyor of less-than-reliable news coverage. Examples of ridiculous headlines and downright despicable editorializing are not hard to find in Fox’s reporting archives.

Their reports on the Obama administration reveal a blatant conservative bias that vacuums nearly all of the substance from their news coverage. Remember E.D. Hill’s “terrorist fist jab?” comment during the 2008 election? That about sums it up.

But not all of Fox’s reporting is meant to scare you into never voting for a Democrat. There’s something even more sinister behind many of Fox News’ stories, and to fully understand it we must first ask ourselves a question. What drives the modern American media system? Money. This is true for every for-profit, privately owned media enterprise across the political spectrum, from MSNBC all the way to Fox News.

Fox “News” stands alone, however, in its pernicious pursuit of profit. Time and again I have watched this network and felt a boiling sense of disgust rising in my brain – though lately this sensation has simply turned to uncontrollable laughter.

Here’s the basic business model: scare the living hell out of your viewers and then blast them with commercials advertising miracle products that can save them from the thing you just told them was out to get them. Brilliant, right?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this method; in fact, it’s a highly-effective way to drain viewers’ wallets and gain more ad revenue. People just need to understand that the “news” they’re receiving from these “journalists” is very often aimed specifically at inducing panic to make them buy “miracle” products.

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Buy gold. Why? Because famous conservatives say so!

One of my favorite examples of this system in action is gold. The essential message that Fox viewers often get is something like, “Oh my God! the dollar is being eaten alive and the economy is collapsing!” How can you save yourself and your family from financial ruin and keep yourselves out of the bread lines? Buy gold, of course, because gold is a guaranteed investment with absolutely no volatility and massive financial returns.

Where can you find gold? Well, Fox just so happens to have a deep bench of trustworthy companies that will get you gold at the best price, guaranteed. Take Goldline International, for example. This company was investigated for defrauding customers by convincing them to buy nearly valueless gold coins instead of gold bullion, for which Goldline agreed to pay over $4 million in compensatory damages after a legal battle in California.

Or if getting ripped off by a shyster gold retailer isn’t how you want to blow your retirement savings, try silver! Lear Capital is here to help, and they’ll give you over $600 of silver coins FOR FREE (with qualifying purchase). And don’t worry, they also have a history of screwing over their customers. Here you can find a court opinion from a case in which a woman sued the company for, no surprise, misrepresenting the value of the silver coins she was purchasing.

Suppose that you’re not worried about total financial collapse and the loss of your hard-earned money. No worries, because Fox News has another product that you’re definitely going to need very, very, very soon.

Since we all know that the government is going to collapse soon because of that socialist, Muslim, Kenyan terrorist in the White House and his destructive, fascist-communist policies, we all need to ensure that we have a stable food supply so that we and our families don’t starve to death in the Mad Maxian wasteland that is soon to follow.

Have no fear, patriotic Americans, because Survival Seed Bank has the ticket. This fear-baiting wacko corporation promises to give you non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds that will save you and your family from the impending apocalypse.

Commercials for this company appeared on Fox and were openly promoted on-air by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck before he went too off his rocker even for Fox News to handle. If you want to see Stephen Colbert’s hilarious deconstruction of a Survival Seed Bank ad, click here.

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This guy used to be a U.S. Senator…

On the off-chance that you haven’t run away from your computer in fear to hide in your nuclear bunker yet, Fox News still has some great products for you. Maybe you’re just a senior – and if you’re watching Fox News, you probably are – who needs a little extra spending cash. If so, try a reverse mortgage! They’re so great that even Fred Thompson endorses them (for a nominal fee, of course)!

What is a “reverse mortgage”, you ask? Why, it’s a magical, no-strings-attached arrangement in which the bank will buy your house from you in installments until they pay it off (in which case they seize it) or you die. What could go wrong?

This. Reverse mortgage companies are notorious for encouraging just one spouse (who often happens to be the one that is statistically more likely to die first) to put their name on the transaction. Upon that spouse’s death, the bank then takes the home and kicks the surviving spouse out.

So next time you’re feeling a little down about atrocities in Iraq, impending international catastrophe in Ukraine, or Rodney King-eqsque race riots in major American cities, just turn on Fox News for a little while. You’re guaranteed to get a few good laughs and, who knows, you might even find a fantastic investment opportunity or that little special something to guarantee your own survival in the post-apocalyptic hellscape that the Democrats are creating!

I'm currently a graduate student in political science at the University of Kansas, writing my master's thesis about the interplay between institutional structures in political systems and government spending patterns (it's even less interesting than it sounds). Much of my free time is dedicated to obsessively listening to news podcasts and reading news articles so, I figured "ehh, what the hell, I might as well put some of that knowledge to work." So, here I am.


  1. President Hilary? No thanks. Please don’t assume you understand my political leanings because of an article mocking this joke of a news network. I’m not even particularly liberal

    • Kool-aid, right. dont need Kool-aid to see how well shit like Obamacare isn’t working. I can tell that by talking to all of my family and friends getting screwed over by it. Every democrat policy is a disaster and you will never catch me voting for a democrat (unless they are a family friend and there is not one else running) in my life.

      • You point to one distorted view of a single policy, “Obamacare”, and extrapolate from that that ALL Democratic policies are failing? Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow wow. The policy isn’t failing: millions more people in this country have insurance that didn’t before, after only 9 months of the policy being in complete effect. You clearly lack any real understanding of modern politics, so I won’t sway you with facts. So please, keep voting against your own best interests and those of your children.

        • please, i don’t give two shits how many people are getting insurance that didn’t have it. because everyone i know who already had insurance is seeing their costs drastically increase if not doubling or tripping.And sorry to tell you but people are losing their doctors left and right. There are far more people getting screwed over than are being helped. that to me is fail, fail, fail.

          I am opting out, i pay for my bills out of pocket. and guess what? the bill is usually 2/3 of what it would be if i charged it to insurance if not less. why? because they can, when people can just charge it to their insurance they don’t care how much it is. which is why hospital prices are as high as they are. And lets not forget the multiple taxes included in Obamacare that will further increase health care costs.

          But please, keep being presumptuous about what my own best interests are. typical liberal (even though you say you aren’t) telling everyone what their best interests are and enforcing it through law. I will tell you right now, more government control is never, ever going to be in my best interest.

          • Lol, lolololol. Dumbass. The plural of anecdote is not data. Healthcare is so expensive in part because the uninsured don’t pay their share of catastrophic trips to the emergency room and in part because insurance is overused (so I agree with you there).

            However, far more people are being helped than hurt by the ACA. Some people had their coverage networks changed. SOME people saw their premiums rise, due in large part to the fact that their old plans didn’t actually cover much of anything useful in the first place.

            And if you really want to accuse me of being liberal, why not go look up a few of my other articles on this website? You’ll see how limited your view of my political ideology actually is

            • Anecdote? data? what the hell are you even talking about?

              Oh i’m sorry, i guess everyone i know must just fit into that “some” category, my bad.
              And whoopdy fucking do if what their coverage covered certain things or not. it was fine for them and it worked, now many of my fiends are having to drop their health insurance entirely because they can’t afford it. so that seems to be working out well.

              This law will be dismantled either in the courts or in the real world but it will disappear. Maybe the people in other countries like being controlled, but luckily in the United states there are enough who wont put up with it.

              Your other remarks make no difference to me, that any decent human would support forcing people to buy health insurance makes them a liberal as far as i am concerned.

              People like to bitch about big corporations being the bad guys, but the reality is none of them can force you to buy their products or put you in jail if you don’t. I’d take big corporations over big government any day.

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