Atrios and Roger Ailes Break a News Story

Atrios and Roger Ailes have broken a news story about an NPR reporter planting right-wing propaganda in her reports. In this instance the reporter pretended to be interviewing Catholics about whether they think Kerry is a good Catholic because he supports a woman’s right to choose instead of outlawing abortion.

The following is based on a comment I left at Ailes’ site. Let me speculate a bit… Focus-group and polling research showed that stories about Kerry being a bad Catholic would move some Catholic voters over to the Bush column. (Atrios and others have pointed out how Republicans go against the Church – death penalty, war, etc. but that doesn’t go out as NEWS stories!)

Actually I think that story is part of a larger campaign designed to pull religious people into the conservative camp. There are many signs of an organized, planned marketing campaign here… Have you noticed a number of stories about how church-goers vote Republican while people who do not believe or do not regularly attend church are Democrats? I think this is part of the same campaign targeting religious voters and messaging them with reasons they shouldn’t trust Democrats. Why are these stories in the news? The data used to support the “news” angle of the story could be presented differently, perhaps to say something like Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and others are NOT voting predominantly Republican while Southern Baptists are, in large numbers. But that wouldn’t have the same pro-Republican effect, would it?

And why wouldn’t it? Basic marketing – the assumptions of the story serve as a self-identification for the target demographic. Like the sound of a current alternative rock tune at the beginning of a Scion commercial, the target demo self-identifies and tunes in to hear the message. You and I don’t tune into Archer Daniels Midland commercials, but I bet fund managers and day-traders do. And once you’re tuned in, the message is if you are religious you are supposed to be voting Republican.