I will begin with a quote: A San Diego man was sentenced earlier this week to a year of prison and five years’ probation after threatening members of a Muslim advocacy group…and being found with an illegal automatic rifle in his home. At his sentencing, John David Weissinger’s lawyer advanced a peculiar argument: Binge watching Fox News, in addition to suffering from Alcoholism as well as Anxiety and Depression spurred him to lash out against Muslims. Call it “Foxfluenza.”
One never says “I told you so” or anything like it……..
Writers should never participate in that sort of self congratulations. But dang it!! I’ve been writing about this for some time. I can’t help but feel a little warmth entering my gut and a little smirk coming over my face. It was bound to happen. Why Fox News has not been sued– or come under fire– for the constant casual slanders and sometimes bolder deliberate lies it steers its way around on a daily basis is hard to understand. It is possible (and if this story gains any traction in real news, facts about how Fox has avoided such blame in the past will probably begin to surface) that by referring to yourself as a “news and entertainment show” you’re sealed off from legal parameters regarding slander and false reporting? IOW, news is not beholden to facts when it’s entertainment based, right? The reason for the “news” on Fox is not to inform but to “entertain”.. ultimately to garner ratings.
Fine, we say to ourselves. Some–especially in this year of 2016, with television threatened by so many other mediums of entertainment and consumer-to-viewer choices–are saying “What—Why do you care?” Why–if only fifty-plus year olds are tuning in to Fox….do you care?” Television’s a dinasaur. It’s over.
This is probably my biggest “Achilles” as someone who has been reporting on and opining about the demise of decency, civility, literacy, and journalism in my lifetime: Yes, they’re right. Fox is part of an era on its way out. Bye Bye you elders of the airwaves– Hannity and O’Reilly …even the “youngsters” displacing you are starting to show ‘cracks.’ Megan Kelley’s forehead looks like a layer of “Plastic of Paris” was pulled over it and recently waxed… (By the same crude plastic surgeon who John Travolta should be suing??) …. And the guy who hosts “Red Eye” looks like a middle aged metrosexual in collegiate retro-wear…. too much mousse for too little hair(?)…someone should tell him!
So who’s counting…I mean watching? I honestly do not know. I know this much: It’s still on the air–salaries are being paid.
It’s a fact that Fox survives. It survives notes left behind by domestic terrorists shooting at “enemies” they’ve targeted in their home towns because of information learned watching Fox “News.” It survives fake videos like the one that got Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agruculture, Shirley Sherrod, fired and then reinstated (well she resigned after threats the President himself had seen the fake video and was taking it seriously). A number of years have passed since the Breitbart (Andrew Breitbart) video was shown to be a doctored work of racism by a renegade racist “conservative” given full reign and ostensibly plenty of cash by Fox “News.” But the fall-out has never been discussed, while, as above, Fox “News” thrives…even if only among the 50 to 100 year olds!