Vance Packard wrote, The Hidden Persuaders in 1957, a book about the tactics used by advertisements, companies, and journalists to influence people’s behavior in a specific way. Some of the strategies are benign, such as the idealistic situations commonplace in beer commercials, but some of them are much darker. The most problematic method to convince an audience to do as they wish is fear.
This has since become a well-documented reality in marketing. In 2008, NPR published an article titled, Fear Sells, Even If Reasons Are Irrational, in which Bruce Schneier said,
We make our decisions based on how we feel. If we feel scared walking down the street, we’re not going to do it. We don’t check the crime rate and then walk accordingly. We go based on feelings. Our national policy on terrorism is based on fear. And we buy security products based on fear, and marketers know this. It is not new for marketers to tap into our fears. It’s sort of an easy way to sell stuff.
As ratings, revenue, and viewers continue to plummet the mainstream corporate media is forced to move to drastic measures in order to save their brand. This has long been a point of criticism among conservatives. Despite the affinity conservatives have had with the free market for generations, it creates issues whenever psychological tricks can be used to make more money than honestly reporting the news.
This has become more pronounced with the creation of social media, independent websites, and YouTube channels that siphon viewers away from the traditional players. If you turn on ABC News, CBS, or pick up a copy of the Washington Post it is clear how they are attempting to make up for their lost stranglehold on the market – fear.
Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, they sold the fear of his foreign policy despite being the first president to not start a war and negotiate improbable peace deals. The media sold fear of his supporters for being racist, violent, sexist Klansmen who were hunting down every minority in the land to create a patriarchal ethnostate despite his policies leading to the lowest black unemployment in history and the first substantial criminal justice reform bill. Then, they sold fear of Covid-19, a virus so deadly it required, for the first time in human history, that healthy people quarantine until we had a vaccine.
When the vaccine was developed, the media in concert with Democrat politicians like, Kamal Harris, sold fear of “Trumps” vaccine. Following a regime change on January 20th, the media began selling fear of the people who listened to Kamala, as it became “the pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Next, the media discovered variants of Covid-19 so transmissible and dangerous that even the vaccinated needed to wear masks again.
As the nightly hosts on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News continued to yell endlessly into the void about the latest crisis that should scare us so badly we need to hide under our beds for at least a year, most Americans tuned them out. They became desensitized, or red-pilled, or could no longer afford their cable bill after Newsom had kept them from working for 18 months.
Most, but not all were so fortunate, some are still trapped in the psychological prison of fear the corporate media has constructed for them. The only way to alleviate their fear is to be informed, but the people who get their information are deliberately making them afraid, and so the cycle has continued for a year and a half.
Those of us who have escaped, or even better were never a part of, the fear factory farming that is cable news all know people who still are trapped in their own hellish Groundhog Day. Every day, listening to Rachel Maddow, Chris Cuomo, and Brian Stelter explain the multitude of reasons they should be afraid today. It has become so difficult for them to create fear, they have to make up the situations they will then deliberately misconstrue in order to justify their hysteria.
Rolling Stone picked up a local news story out of Oklahoma which reported that,
A rural Oklahoma doctor said patients who are taking the horse de-wormer medication, ivermectin, to fight COVID-19 are causing emergency room and ambulance backups. “There’s a reason you have to have a doctor to get a prescription for this stuff because it can be dangerous,” said Dr. Jason McElyea.
Rachel Maddow tweeted the story out and covered it on her show.
According to a statement put out by Northeastern Health System – Sequoyah:
Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care.
Seemingly no due diligence was done on the part of any one of these so-called journalists, their editors, or their company’s. As of today, September 7th, Rachel Maddow’s tweet is still up without a correction regarding the NHS Sequoyah’s statement. As we have seen regarding counter positions to Covid-19, spreading misinformation is an offense so serious it can cost you your social media presence completely, yet the MSNBC host has faced no repercussions.