The Disease of Fox News

Everyone knows Fox News is anything but ‘fair and balanced’. They haven’t used that slogan for ages because even they knew it wasn’t true. Now they wrap themselves up in their plastic patriotism and go deeper in on their concept of ‘traditional’ values. They angrily shout that America is great and everything else is bad. Anyone who dares to question them or their president shall be labeled ‘enemy’ and will be dispatched as such. They filter out the inconvenient truths and leave only the sweet distilled lies. They offer only half the story and call it journalism. For that there should be an asterisk mark by the News in Fox News.

I am in the unfortunate position where I am exposed to the channel on a daily basis and I can’t simply turn it off, as much as I wish I could. I have noticed things about Fox News and much of this isn’t new to anyone I know. I just feel the need to join in with the others to share these observations.

First, there is no news on Fox News. It appears they have an endless schedule of opinion shows where the host lays out the bones of the story and then shares their opinion and then brings on a live guest who shares that same opinion. No differing viewpoints. No unique angles. Just what they think and that’s it. Any opposing statements are offered in pre-recorded snips from other sources. They don’t dare have two live guests who would conflict with one another.

The majority of their coverage these days is trump. It seems every show is all about trump and the hurdles he faces each day. They get pro-trump guests to further spin the lies and fabrications of the administration and then trash any dissenting voice they can. They bend over backwards and back again to rationalize the president’s foolish remarks and baffling behavior. Today, as a point, a re-election official was on claiming there really were 12,000 in attendance at the trump rally in Tulsa. I have seen pictures from the rally and based on that and the fact that the venue only has 19000 capacity, there is no way there were 12000 people there. The fire dept. in Tulsa stated that there were less that 6200 people there, and since I see no reason why the fire department would need to lie, I’ll go with their number because that is also what looks factual. I’d say the trump campaign thug needs to learn math. 12000 people in a 19000 capacity venue would mean that more than half the auditorium would have been full. That place was barely half full with huge block of seats empty and not many people walking around. Of course, Fox News goes silent. They also failed to report that 6 trump staffers tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the rally. No face masks. No social distancing. They also said protesters scared trumpists away, but I fail to see how 120 peaceful protests could scare away so many of the kind of people who would go to a trump rally.

When Fox isn’t reporting on trump or bashing the civil unrest currently going on, they have shows where the host will just talk about things with the intent to anger viewers. One pundit went on about not being able to get liquor on an airline flight. He went on and on about it, yelling and getting upset. Clearly in a bid to rile up the viewers. The ‘news’ shows spread the lies and the opinion shows cement them and anger up the viewers. These two kinds of programs on Fox culminate in an angry person filled with a lot of bad information. Fox also makes sure they are the only source because they go after their rivals at CNN and MS-NBC calling them ‘fake news’ and constantly claimng they lie when the reality is that a fact checking poll proved that CNN and MS-NBC are more truthful than Fox. Fox was proven ot be untruthful nearly half the time with either misleading half-truths or flat out lies, or simply the omission of some information. And when they aren’t doing any of this, they’re showing funny animal videos. What journalism school did these people graduate from?

Fox News clearly carefully crafts and structures their information for their viewers in a very specific way and because of that Fox News isn’t news. Journalists are intended to be impartial and hold no sway over the news they report. CNN and MS-NBC, so far as I’ve seen, simply report the news as it happens with no spin or agenda. They have their opinion shows but usually they will have live guests from both sides of the argument in order to have a thoughtful debate on their topic. Fox has an agenda. It is widely known trump watches Fox. He speaks on the phone with Sean Hannity. Fox knows that their reporting has sometimes influenced public policy and I am sure that power is hard for them to resist, but that is not the function of a journalist. You don’t express your opinions with the intent to affect change in a world leader’s decisions in order to suit your own ends. You can if you want, but don’t call it news and don’t call yourself a journalist.

Fox News has now become more a propaganda machine for the GOP and it seems each day they become emboldened by trrump. Even when he denounces them in his tweets they still vie for his favor, almost begging him for him to love them again. I think it proves that not only has trump failed to make America “great again” but he can’t even improve Fox News.

The Need For Adversity

Sometimes when I walk into my comic book store, I’m asked if I have a ‘pull list’ with them. For those who are unaware, a pull list is a list of comics you want set aside so you can just pick them up when you arrive. Now I see the logic behind this. People want to come in, get their stuff and go. That’s fine and if that’s your thing, God bless. As for me, I usually turn down the offer. I tell them I like the hunt, and I do. I love to search through the titles and find my prey. Sometimes I even discover something new or find something unexpected. The randomness o f the unknown is too much of a temptation for me.

This got me to thinking about society in general. When I was growing up, we had to wait until the next week to see the following episode of our favorite shows. Now we can binge the entire season in an afternoon. We would have to wait days, sometimes weeks, for items we ordered through a catalog. Now you get your Amazon order the next day. Same day in some cases. We have grown to resenting a wait. We’re always looking for ways to make things come faster. We want it now and we want it perfect. Why the rush? What happened to the joy of anticipation? I know it seems like torture to have to wait, but that’s when you truly savor the experience and that makes getting what you want even sweeter and more fulfilling. Being able to get whatever you want on demand is like empty calories and the satisfaction fades away so quickly.

I think, as a species, we require adversity. We honestly crave it and by trying to eliminate it, we’re losing a basic part of ourselves and I also see how this can affect the real world. Look at what eBooks have done. It’s easier, cheaper and faster to buy a digital book, but where have all the bookstores gone? I don’t see any new ones opening. Those jobs are gone and are never coming back. I’m not saying digital books are alone to blame, but you can’t say they weren’t a component of the situation. I mean, look at the music industry. Now that we can buy music digitally, music stores have gone extinct as well. Even some stores l like Best Buy and Target are shrinking their music selections or eliminating them all together. We need to be challenged, even in these urban environs. Our hunting instinct still exists, but it has no outlet. I think that’s why some people are ‘shoppers’. They enjoy the hunt, but instead of food, they’re hunting for bargains. I believe this because I know when I am out for something, I will not stop until I get it. I have spent entire days tracking down my treasures not intending to go to such lengths. It’s a drive in me that goes beyond rational thought. It’s instinct. A hunger for some kind of satisfaction and when I find my ‘prey’ I am happy. I feel as though I have accomplished something. I’ve been know to collect those Pop Vinyl figures and while I do purchase many of them online, there are times I go out and seek out some of the harder to find ones and when I do find them, the satisfaction is noticeably higher for me. I could have stayed home and ordered them online, but being out in the world and finding it myself was a  much richer experience. Quicker and faster is not exactly better. I know many would disagree, but it’s true.

Picture a world where everything is yours the second you want it. You don’t have to wait until that new movie comes out, you can just watch it online now. You can shop for your groceries online and have them delivered. You don’t have to wait for anything or go out for any reason. You get to just sit on your ass all day long while people bring you things and you download whatever you want online. This is not how we were designed to live. I’m not saying innovation is evil, but I think it needs to be restrained. It may seem archaic in some cases, but I don’t think we should be trying to make EVERYTHING so easy. We have to work for it a little bit. Someday we’ll have robots making all of our cars, serving us food and movie theaters will be a thing of the past, and that will pretty much deep six the entire entertainment industry, believe me, it will. All we’ll be left with is YouTube videos and whatever homemade crap people are still uploading. I don’t know about you, but I see the way things are going and I don’t want it. I long for the days before the internet and before same day delivery. I honestly believe having to wait and learning to be patient made better people. Kids are now growing up in a world where they get what they want right away and look at them. Over-privileged douchebags who spend their days developing apps so they can sell them to Google for a billion dollars before they graduate high school. Life is getting so mushed up and warped around. We’re losing the foundation and it’s all falling apart.

I know this isn’t going to change anything, but hopefully if someone actually reads this, they’ll at least walk away with something to think about.

Advice(?)

I was told this evening by a friend that I should be a mentor. This was after a round of advice giving, which I seem to do more often than I care to count. He didn’t exactly clarify what or who I would mentor, but it got me to thinking. I’ve always been the kind to give good, sage advice and for a brief time I wanted to be an advice columnist. I just like to help people with their problems, and although I don’t hold any advanced degree, I some how have acquired a firm understanding of humans and their behavior. I’m a friggin’ well of useful advice. My main area of expertise is relationships. Ironic. I guess after being batted around as much as I have, I’ve been given a keen perception into the workings of  the human heart.

So, I’m going to give this a shot once more. I offer you, my readers, access to my mind. If you have a problem of any kind, ask me. If you just need someone to sound off on something for some feedback. Here I am. If you don’t know which way to turn, tell me where you’re stuck and maybe I can show you a new path. I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do have a sympathetic ear. I don’t want to play with people’s lives, but if you have a problem you feel you’re more comfortable sharing with a third party, I will hear you out and offer some well thought out insights. I want to turn this blog into an advice blog! So, don’t be shy. Message me your issue and I will give you my thoughts in a caring and compassionate manner. I’m still trying to figure this out. I want to find a way where you could message me privately and I would share the problem anonymously along with my advice. I’ll figure that one out, but if anyone out there is brave enough to give this experiment a try, I welcome you!

P.S.

Anyone with a drug or medical issue, I will tell you right off seek a counselor or doctor. I cannot offer any medical or legal advice.