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Back Before We Were Brittle October 21, 2009

Posted by monty in news, politics, TV.
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Whenever someone says he watches Fox News – and says it without a veneer of irony – you know exactly what you’re getting.  It’s actually one of the most revealing things someone can say.  After all, you can admit to liking a crappy movie and still have pretty good taste in cinema, on the whole.  Similarly, you can have affection for a band that you know all the hip kids would ridicule you for, and still feel safe in the knowledge that you’re not a total square.  I have a soft spot for Hugh Grant movies and Elton John, but I also know how much I love the movies of Jim Jarmusch and the music of Radiohead.

But you can pretty much only watch Fox News in one of two ways.  You watch it because you believe it to be true, or you watch it because you just have to see what batshit-crazy things they’re saying today.  Before I go any farther, let me say that I also think this is true, although to a lesser degree, of MSNBC.  I think it’s a bad idea that the news has gotten so politicized that people can safely exist in their own little echo chamber, watching the stories of the day filtered through their own little ideological prism.  Even though I’m much more hip to MSNBC’s vibe, I don’t watch that channel – ever, really – simply because I know I’m going to agree with everything that say.  And while I think that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have slightly more journalistic integrity than Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, I personally think it’s boring to hear my own beliefs parroted back at me.  Some people – Fox viewers, for instance – like that kind of thing.  I don’t.

And that’s why, funnily enough, I’m more qualified to critique Fox than I am MSNBC.  I don’t watch the latter, but I went through a period of just about a year where I watched an awful lot of the former.  Much of this has to do with the fact, and I’ve known this for years, that I’m really only happy when I’m angry about something.  I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, but I’d watch Fox News every evening, through the headlines, through O’Reilly, through Hannity & Colmes, precisely because I liked to feel that anger smoldering away in my chest.  Even though I don’t turn on the channel anymore, I still watch clips of O’Reilly and Hannity and Fox’s gift to comedy, Glenn Beck, when I hear they did or said something worth getting my ire up over.

The purpose of this post isn’t really for me to carp about Fox.  It’s old news, pardon the pun, and nothing I have to say about it will be a revelation to anyone.  But I do want to share a link from the Huffington Post, titled “The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions” (and yes, of course I see the hypocrisy inherent in sharing a link critical of Fox that first appeared on a lefty site like Huffington).  The Right can argue until it’s blue in the face about the “liberal media” or the “left-wing media” or “the commie pinko faggot media,” but it would take a truly brazen neocon to claim with a straight face that the network news channels do anything even remotely close to what Fox has done in these ten examples.

Save this link and share it with your misguided friends when they tell you that they watch Fox News to get “the truth.”  Bullshit.  They watch it to get the truth they want to hear.  And there’s a big difference between the two.

The Huffington Post (10/20/09): The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions

*****

Current listening:

Gemma hayes hollow of morning

Gemma Hayes – The Hollow of Morning

Current reading:

BANR2005-full

Daniel Alarcón – “Florida” (in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, 2005, ed. by Dave Eggers)

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Comments»

1. Amanda - October 21, 2009

Yes, I have to cringe every time my grandmother starts a sentence with, “Well, Bill O’Reilly was saying…”. A little piece of me dies when that happens but I forgive her because she’s old and impressionable.

P.S. The song of the day makes me miss having the MTV 80’s video wake. I need those channels back!

rcm - October 21, 2009

Old people are definitely given a free pass. That doesn’t, however, excuse my dad from saying, “I think I’m a moderate. I do like Sean Hannity, though.”


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