MSNBC Guest Declares Fox News the ‘Singular Cause’ of ‘Manufactured Hate and Fear’ in America

MSNBC Guest Declares Fox News the ‘Singular Cause’ of ‘Manufactured Hate and Fear’ in America

Journalism professor and media critic Jeff Jarvis went after Fox News during an appearance on MSNBC, calling the conservative network “the singular cause of this hate and discourse.”

Jarvis appeared on Velshi & Ruhle on Monday, alongside NBC News journalist Ben Collins, for a discussion about social media and the sort of online radicalization that may have led a man in New Zealand to carry out a mass slaughter of Muslims in their mosques last week. He made the point that while particular sites such as Facebook are not the entire Internet, the negative ways in which people communicate on those sites leaks out into the world at large.

Stephanie Ruhle then chimed in to say that part of the reason for that is that the country has abandoned civility in the discourse. Jarvis responds, “Part of that is the business we are in right here…There’s a certain network a few blocks away that really manufactured hate and fear in this country.” In other words, there are business incentives to spread the hateful, fearful speech that one finds not just on Fox News, but on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all of which have become engines for radicalization.

After some more back-and-forth, Collins stepped in to reiterate the point. He stated that “what we have are dollar-store versions of the Fox News people on YouTube who realize that they can make a living at this…They can say the things that people won’t say on Fox News because they’ll get suspended…that sort of inflammatory content is watched all the way to the end.”

Collins went on that such content is watched and repeated by others who realize that they can also make money with the same sort of incitement. “We have to stop incentivizing extremist behavior on the Internet from a personal standpoint,” he says. “And also more importantly from a business standpoint.”

Watch the entire clip at the top of the post, via MSNBC.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.