#FoxNewsKills : What the War on Science has Done to Us

October 20, 2022

When major corporations realized that mainstream science was a threat to their business models, they began the now 50 year long global War on Science – mustering the vast resources of the richest organizations the world has ever known, and the most sophisticated psychological tools of influence, they have destroyed the ability for a large part of our population to distinguish what is real, and what is not.

They wanted us to believe that cigarettes are fine, that acid rain was overblown, and that climate change was a hoax, perpetrated by evil scientists who wanted to control us. They’ve been wildly successful, and that success has bled over into a number of related areas.

I’m old enough to remember when Lara Logan was a presenter on CBS News’ 60 Minutes. Obviously, judging from the gobsmacking clip below, she is suffering from mental health issues, but the fact that a purported “news” organization is giving her air time, with a target audience made up of conservative, Republican white people, speaks volumes.

UPDATE: Newsmax pulls the plug on Lara Logan. If you’re too nutty for Newsmax, you might be a rightwing wackjob.

Washington Post has a stunning report on how more White people are now dying of Covid than people of cold, reversing the mortality trend from earlier in the pandemic.

“We’re Republicans, and 100 percent believe that it’s each individual’s choice — their freedom” when it comes to getting a coronavirus shot, Hollie said in January. “We decided to err on the side of not doing it and accept the consequences. And now, here we are in the middle of planning the funeral.

Financial Times has similar reporting, but specific to Republicans.

Financial Times (paywall):

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the Republican party became the anti-science party, but the process probably began in the 1980s, when the Christian right first emerged as a major force in conservative American politics.

Since then, the journey has been smooth and swift. In 1982, 50 per cent of self-identified Republicans told the US general social survey they had “a great deal of confidence” in the scientific community. Twenty years later 50 per cent had become 40, and last year just one-third of Republicans held that view, compared to two-thirds of Democrats.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend as merely exasperating — an obstacle to progress on climate change and a source of irritation at extended family gatherings — but over the past 18 months, the politicisation of attitudes to science may have directly cost as many as 60,000 American lives.
This is the stark implication of a new study from the Yale school of public health, which found that since Covid vaccines became widely available in the US, the mortality rate of registered Republicans in Ohio and Florida climbed by 33 per cent during America’s winter Covid wave last year, compared with just a 10 per cent rise among Democrats.

_

Since vaccines became available, Covid death rates are now almost three times higher in Republican areas than Democrat-dominated ones. With pandemics likely a recurring part of our future, anti-vaccine attitudes and the populist movements that carry them will continue to hamper public health campaigns across the world. But no developed country has a problem as entrenched and as lethal as the US.

#FoxNewsKills in so many ways.

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10 Responses to “#FoxNewsKills : What the War on Science has Done to Us”

  1. ubrew12 Says:

    It’s not just America. I read the other day that 30% of modern Brazilians are Evangelical Christians (versus 0% a few decades ago). Guess who they vote for? And if Bolsonaro is reelected, Brazil may never see fair elections again. Kill the Amazon? Apparently, it’s what Jesus would do.

  2. neilrieck Says:

    As someone who was raised as an Evangelical Lutheran, I can tell you I witnessed a lot of nutty stuff. We thought our tribe was normal (at least compared to the Pentecostals) but both groups misinterpreted multilingualism as speaking-in-tongues then some even tried to fake it while, at the time, telling us that everything from “Plate Techtonics” to “Evolution by Natural Selection” was suspect. I only bring this up because Pentecostalism is growing faster in the Americas than Evangelism. Time for both groups to read something from the Enlightenment. I would suggest starting with: David Hume, John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Thomas Paine.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      If anything, speaking in tongues makes you part of the in-group, while at the same time being multi-lingual is a basis to question your loyalty.

      • neilrieck Says:

        Hopefully your comment was made tongue-in-cheek 🙂
        More seriously, I have always thought that anyone who spoke in tongues was an idiot (always sounded like shambala, shambala, shambala) whilst anyone who was truly multilingual was part of the in-group (meaning modernly intelligent. I live in bilingual Canada and (unfortunately) only attended French classes up to the end of grade 9. My only get-out-of-jail free card is that I am multilingual when it comes to communicating with computers. I can speak: COBOL, FORTRAN, BASIC, C, C++, and Python.

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          From the Bible Belt small town monocultural perspective, being fluent in another language is suspishus.

          As a recovering Software Engineer, I have memories of being fluent in LISP, Pascal*, C, csh and 6502.
          😉

          ____________
          *Pascal programmers make integeresting typos.

          • neilrieck Says:

            What a coincidence. I first learned how to program in 6502 macro assembler on an Apple2. I also used that platform to learn UCSD Pascal which led to a brief career in Modula (Niklaus Wirth was all the rage back then). I never worked with LISP but have attended a few “machine learning” courses in Python. I use bash as my shell of choice but still use csh once a week when I log into an old Solaris-8 box that my employer is still running (very dangerous since Sun never provided any security patches after 2004). Question: is “suspishus” a real word or just a private joke that only works in the bible belt?

          • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

            For “suspishus” think every backwoods stereotype attitude towards every stranger that shows up in town, local accent included.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Financial Times:
    It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the Republican party became the anti-science party, but the process probably began in the 1980s, when the Christian right first emerged as a major force in conservative American politics.

    The Financial Times recognizes the conflict between science and holding religious beliefs, but somehow forgets the conflict between science and social Darwinism or science and enjoying income from tobacco, polluting industries, etc.


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