Many of us understand the damage Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and hate media has done to our country in promoting racism, homophobia, misogyny and bigotry. They perpetuate lies and poison the minds of people who get sucked in, and use right-wing media as their only source of news. Jen Senko is a filmmaker who watched the transformation of her father, as he slowly came to believe the extreme right-wing lies, and she’s making a documentary about it called, The Brainwashing of My Dad. Here a personal note from Jen to me, followed by the Kickstarter commentary:
“I was inspired to make this film after watching my father, a non-political Democrat , turn into a right wing fanatic after a change in his car commute exposed him to the reactionary shows on talk radio. The changes in his behavior caused me to research the changes in the media over the last 30 years and the effect of those changes on the country was indisputable. As the media have been co-opted more and more by special interests, documentarians have become the new journalists. My hope is that after seeing my film, people will question what the media tells them, and hold them accountable.”
The truth behind the right-wing media machine that changed a father – and the nation
When the filmmaker’s parents moved to a place where her father had a long, solo commute to work and started listening to talk radio to alleviate the boredom, her family saw him change from a non-political Democrat to a radicalized, angry, right-wing Republican. What happened to Dad?
As a filmmaker, Jen Senko tries to understand the transformation of her father from a mild mannered life-long Democrat to an angry, right-wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely: a plan by Roger Ailes under Nixon for a media by the GOP, The Powell Memo and the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine, all of which would ultimately misinform millions, divide families and even the country itself.
Remember when Hillary Clinton got pilloried for blaming a vast right-wing conspiracy for the relentless attacks against her husband? Maybe you weren’t around then. Well, she said it. Some thought she’d gone off the deep-end. We all know that conspiracies mean that you think that we really didn’t land a man on the moon, or that Bigfoot stalks the North – not that there’s anything wrong with that!
But really, was Hillary right? If you think about it, the country has changed dramatically within the last 30 years. During the 1960’s and 70’s, America was moving in a much more socially minded direction. One could say, “liberal.” Then, slowly the country began to shift. What was once considered “right” is now “center-left.” It can’t be denied that corporations play an ever-increasing role in every facet of our government and the media has been instrumental in this development. We are now so divided that the Left will argue that President Obama is to the right of Reagan while the Right labels him a “Socialist”? Hmm. How did that happen?
This documentary will look at the changes that happened to a dad (and many others) when he changed his media habits. Then we look at how the media itself changed and the effect it had on our country. The media has a powerful influence on the American mind so much so that one could argue: if you control the Media, you control the American Mind.
Media Commentaries by a few of the extraordinary minds they have interviewed so far:
Edward S. Herman
Professor of Sociology and Author, Johnny E. Williams