Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Fox News Fallacy (Director's Cut)

I posted about this recently and then wrote a more extended version of the argument on The Liberal Patriot. So far, about 24,000 views on the substack, so it's been a popular one. Check it out--all the cool kids are reading it! And subscribe--it's free!
"The Fox News Fallacy is having a dire effect on many Democrats. This is the idea that if Fox News (substitute here the conservative bĂȘte noire of your choice if you prefer) criticizes the Democrats for X then there must be absolutely nothing to X and the job of Democrats is to assert that loudly and often. The problem is that an issue is not necessarily completely invalid just because Fox News mentions it. That depends on the issue. If there is something to the issue and persuadable voters have real concerns, you will not allay those concerns by embracing the Fox News Fallacy. In fact, you'll probably intensify them by giving such voters the impression that Democrats simply don't care about their concerns and will do nothing to address them. That will undermine the Democrats’ ability to respond to predictable attacks against their candidates in 2022 and raise the likelihood of a midterm debacle.
Crime is a great example of this. Initially dismissed as simply an artifact of the Covid shutdown that was being vastly exaggerated by Fox News and the like for their nefarious purposes, it is now apparent that the spike in violent crime is quite real and that voters are very, very concerned about it. According to recent data from the Democratic-oriented Navigator Research, more Americans overall, including among independents and Hispanics, now believe violent crime is a “major crisis” than believe that about the coronavirus pandemic or any other area of concern. Moreover, majorities of even Democrats now believe violent crime is a major crisis and concerns are sky-high among black voters (70 percent say it’s a major crisis). Similarly, the latest USA Today/Ipsos poll (June 29-July 6) finds crime and gun violence topping the list of issues that worry Americans.
The public response leans heavily in the direction of more policing, not less, countering the defund the police approach that was promulgated by many on the Democratic left and still holds considerable sway in those quarters. The same USA Today poll found 77 percent support for deploying more police to street patrols and 70 percent support for increasing police department budgets. In contrast, defund the police clocks in at just 22 percent support and is even opposed by black respondents 60-38.
Concern about public safety is especially high in urban areas, particularly among nonwhites. In heavily black Detroit, a USA Today/Suffolk University//Detroit Free Press poll found:
"Amid a jump in violent crime in this and other cities nationwide, Detroit residents report being much more worried about public safety than about police misconduct…By an overwhelming 9-1, they would feel safer with more cops on the street, not fewer…
In Detroit, 1 in 5 residents (19%) cited public safety as the biggest issue facing the city, second only to education, named by 23%. On a list of eight concerns, police reform ranked last, at 4%."
The Fox News Fallacy
The Fox News Fallacy
It’s Blinding the Democrats to Real Problems

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