Monday, October 19, 2009

Fantastic, Mr. Fox

I should start off by saying I'm not a fan of Fox News.

Nor, really, of CNN, MSNBC, or any of the other 24-hour news networks. Nor talk radio of any stripe.

Oh, I read lots of news. Mostly on the Internet, and from all sorts of sources, big and little, smart and dumb, useful and useless. Some news I get through newspapers and magazines though, pound for pound, the best news sources are the guys on the INL buses, who are our local, teetotaler equivalent of the guy you meet in the corner of a pub.

I just don't like that news today isn't reported, it's manufactured. We're given doses of daily angst, anger, feel-goodery, sucking it all down like YouTube's Nom-Nom Bird:

So I understand why the White House declared Fox News talking-headus non grata over the weekend. And yet I don't understand. Doesn't that play right into the hands of the Obama-haters, ignoring en entire network (and the most-watched news network)? That seems to put yourself at peril, not at the advantage of controlling the message. And maybe that's the point. Despite widespread accusations that the mainstream media the White House smiles on is just as capable of "pushing a particular point of view," not really being "a real news network," being "opinion journalism masquerading as news," and of promoting programming that is "tilted toward accentuating those profits," the powers taht be think this is a good idea.

Sure, they're morons at Fox. Republican morons. And because they're not toeing the line like the Democratic morons at the other cable news spoutlets, they're to be avoided?

The Republicans will LOVE that. Christmas is coming early for Fox News and the people who really, really, really love their opinion-as-news, as opposed to the opinion-as-news they get at the likes of CNN or MSNBC. Ya'll are making their dreams come true.

And cry about Fox making money off the news? Please. The networks and the other big cable news outlets aren't in this business for charitable purposes. They're making money hand over fist as well. Come up with a new argument. Unless you wanted to sound socialistic to the socialist-fear-mongering Republican poopheads at Fox.

Then we get to lsiten to the other news outlets revel in Fox being put out into the cold. It's like being back in elementary school, listening to the nerds saying Neener-Neener to the bully as he's being hauled into the principal's office. Sure, you like to see justice being done, but you do realize the bully's going to come back out of the principal's office and make your life even more miserable, don't you?

Film Critic Pauline Kael famously said of Richard Nixon's victory in the 1972 presidential election: "Nixon can't possibly have won. I don't know a single person who voted for him." THis in a year when Nixon won 520 electoral votes to challenger George McGovern's 17, when Nixon took the popular vote by 23.2 percent, or nearly 18 million votes more than McGovern, giving Nixon the widest margin of victory in any US presidential election. Kael's quote became a whipping post for out-of-touch liberal elitists.

And sure, libs aren't the only elitists out of touch. But to have the White House, of all places, behaving like this, seems childish and unpresidential. A democracy means having to listen to unpopular voices -- a lesson both the White House and Fox news ought to be learning together.

Things like this just help stack up that ammunition. Fox has got to be thanking you.

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