Top Reagan Staffer: Fox Is A ‘Self-Brainwashing Bubble’ That’s Destroying The GOP (VIDEO)

We’ve known for a long time that Fox is a hateful, fear-mongering, propaganda tool for right-wing extremists in the Republican Party. But this time Jon Stewart isn’t the one making news headlines for saying it.

In a research paper titled How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics, Bruce Bartlett declares:

“It can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.”

It’s what you’d expect to hear from a left-leaning media analyst, but Bartlett is a conservative historian, economist and former top-level advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush I. In Friday’s chat with Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Bartlett explains how his research led him to believe Fox “makes people less educated.” Furthermore, their over-confident news coverage may have hurt the GOP by depressing voter turnout for Mitt Romney in 2012.

But Stelter inquires, doesn’t the term “self-brainwashing” seem a bit strong? Nope. Bartlett insists that Fox’s right-wing audience really does live in a self-brainwashing bubble”:

“I don’t think that word is too strong. I think conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people. When they go on to the Internet they look at only conservative websites, like National Review, NewsMax, WorldNet Daily.”

And if that’s not brainwashing, Bartlett doesn’t know what is.

“And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.”

When Stelter asks if this self-brainwashing bubble phenomenon is more true for conservatives than liberals, Bartlett agreed, explaining that for years, news outlets leaned “a bit to the left” so “once [conservatives] got a media of their own, they just sort of glommed onto it like a man in the desert being given some water.”

Bartlett didn’t mention that part about how truth does tend to have a liberal bias, nor that Fox could not get away with providing its uniquely toxic one-sided coverage if he and the rest of Reagan’s administration hadn’t gutted the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine back in 1987.

Bartlett’s tweaked modern-day GOPers before.

This is not the first time Bartlett’s bucked today’s GOP establishment. In March, Bartlett told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that although this year’s CPAC speakers tried to out-Reagan each other, that crowd would have booed the real Reagan out of the room.  Bartlett then actually called them “rather stupid and not very well-read.”

“Yes, they are really rather stupid and not very well read. To them Reagan is a distant figure in history.”

Here’s the video with Bartlett on CNN.

Photo: Composite with screen grab/CNN, soap bubbles/ImgBuddy, Brain _DJ_/Flickr, TV/Pixabay.