I often wonder at the culture of particular institutions-what makes them tick? Every institution has a culture, a dominant mindset that shapes thinking and behavior and performance. It’s a natural part of institutional existence.
It’s also often carefully controlled and managed. And I am the sort of curious human that loves to know what things are like on the inside- because they’re often very different from what we’re meant to see- thus my fascination with secret societies like Scientology.
But as a therapist, I’m interested in the integrity of a person or institution. Do they have to hide what they truly are in order to get what they want? Do they have to resort to subterfuge and game-playing in order to succeed? Is what they do in the dark shameful in the light? Healthy people, institutions and relationships work toward integrity and away from shameful and deceitful behavior. Health is about honesty.
So enter my fascination with Fox News. I honestly find the rhetoric maddening and simplistic and self-serving- but I still want to know: What’s it really like behind the scenes? Are they serving the Kool-Aid all day long?
The Guardian’s Tim Dickinson gives us some insight:
At the Fox News Chrismas party the year the network overtook arch-rival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as “the Chairman” – Roger Ailes.
“It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”
It ain’t pretty, people, but it’s impossible to not read this article. So read the whole, fascinating story here. And pass it around.