Monday, 28 June 2010

How Most People Get Their Information About Drugs

Fox News in the US is fairly much what you would expect from a Murdoch owned TV station - heavily biased conservative spin, anti Obama/Democrats, anti-abortion, strong patriotic themes bordering on jingoism, pro-war, supporters of the "War on Drugs”, very Christian - anti-Muslim etc. But, apart from the show’s obvious bias, it derives much of it’s derision from it’s promotional tag line - Fox News … Fair & Balanced!  It doesn’t take long for someone with an average intelligence to realise just how unfair and unbalanced Fox News really is. For the uninitiated, it would be very easy to mistake it as a self parody comedy sketch.

The latest Fox News outrage is a TV commercial by The Drug Policy Alliance(DPA) released last month. The commercial has upset 2 of their most outspoken commentators, Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly and prompted them to lash out with some very interesting claims. The problem though, is that their claims are false even to the point of being ridiculous. Fox News is renown for misleading figures and bizarre claims when it comes to drugs but this latest effort shows how far some anti-drug pundits will go.

First, the DPA commercial.

DPA Commercial

Watch as Fox News makes their astonishing claims. Keep an eye on the statistics they put up as facts.

Fox News Clip 1

Fox News copped a lot of flack over their report but Megyn Kelly was on a mission. Especially when she found out that fellow Fox News employee, John Stossel agreed with Sting.

Fox News Clip 2

Boy, does that woman hate Sting. You had to laugh though at her “ivory tower” rant and the slur that some unnamed source told her, “Mr. Sting is a big fan of certain substances”

But, it was Megyn Kelly’s attempt to ridicule John Stossel that was most appalling. Although every attempt was made to push out the usual misinformation and false figures as facts, Stossel stuck with the evidence and corrected Kelly several times for flat out lying. In typical style, Kelly kept changing the topic and throwing up straw man arguments but Stossel debunked every point she made.

-All this as you have California, Washington, New Hamshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts all considering or have passed laws legalising marijuana
-Alcohol has an addiction rate of 10%. Cocaine … 75%.
-The studies show that the places where it’s been legalised, crime has gone up, addiction has gone up
-- Megyn Kelly

The facts:
-Countries that had effectively legalised drugs had decreases in crime and addiction, not increases
-Alcohol has an addiction rate of 15% with cocaine at 17%
-No state in the US have passed laws legalising marijuana

John Stossel must have upset some Fox News heavies and Bill O’Reilly was sent in clean up the mess. And what better way to discredit the DPA commercials than through the founder, Ethan Nadelmann. Armed with their only fact - children are mistreated more often by those with substance abuse problems - Bill-O went into action a few days later.

Fox News Clip 3

Was it really a surprise that Fox News didn’t have a legitimate argument and their attack on illicit drugs was unfounded? As Ethan Nadelmann pointed out, alcohol is the main cause of mistreatment towards children, not drugs but Bill-O wasn’t going to admit to that blunder. His simply dismissed it as “Bull”. Like Megyn Kelly, Bill-O skipped from point to point as each of his claims were pulled apart with facts. Very shallow reporting from Fox News.

It’s sad that this is how many people are getting their information about drugs. The drug debate should be about what’s best for society and how to deal with the problem of drug abuse but it’s dickheads like O’Reilly and Kelly who are prepared to openly lie and criticise those who are doing nothing more than telling the truth. Supporters of prohibition have self serving reasons for their hard line stance on drugs and will go to extreme measures to push their opinion onto the public. That includes accusing a whole country of being morally depraved because of their liberal drug laws.

The attack on The Netherlands by Fox News last year, is a classic example of how a country with very successful drug laws is made to look as immoral and unsafe because it defies the old established views that tough penalties are the only way to fight drugs. This is not so much, a war on drugs but a war on culture.

Fox News - The Netherlands Report

You may have noticed the blonde factor at Fox News - Megyn Kelly, Monica Crowley and Margaret Hoover. Do they have a factory that spits out lying dumb blondes with ridiculous views? You may also be asking yourself, how can Fox News produce such dribble without a storm of criticism. Where were the media on this? Where was the outrage at such scandalous accusations? Why did it take a YouTube response to set the record straight?

Response to The Netherlands Report

More here:
Fox News responds

Fox News response debunked again

And on it goes…

And for more on Megyn Kelly lying about statistics

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