It’s been a long week here in the Fox News world. I went from no news at all to only Fox News and I feel like I’m in an alternate reality.
In order to get into the right mindset, I started this week by reading a biography on Roger Ailes, the man who created the empire that is today Fox News. The book is called “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News-and Divided a Country” by Gabriel Sherman. What I found most fascinating about the entire thing was how Fox News developed. When it came on the air in 1996, its original purpose was just to defeat CNN and ABC in ratings when it premiered.
Then Bill Clinton happened. Ratings went through the roof with the Lewinsky scandal, but once that was over they were left with a hole to fill and a drop in ratings that only 9/11 could fill.
You know that constant crawl that runs at the bottom of the news screen? Roger Ailes invented that on 9/11 and it only took three weeks for all the other networks to follow suit. To say Fox News isn’t innovative and a genius media machine would be a lie. It’s a masterpiece. It took Fox a half hour after the second tower got hit to throw up a massive banner on screen that read “TERRORISM HITS AMERICA.” They found their angle for the next seven years until Bush was ousted.
When the wars in the middle east started to go nowhere, ratings fell again. During the Obama vs McCain election of 2008, Ailes and producers were PRAYING Obama would win. It was ratings GOLD. The Tea Party wouldn’t even have become that big of a thing without Fox News giving it coverage. Bill Sammon, a Fox News managing editor and vice president, said during a speech at a private event, that in the closing days of 2008 election he pushed screen time claiming Obama was a socialist. During the speech he admitted it was a notion he privately found ‘far-fetched’. But what did it matter if it was true or not? People ATE IT UP. They’re doing this now with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).
The most despicable thing Fox News did though was hire Sean Hannity. In 1998 before he worked at Fox he was working in small time radio in southern California and invited the virulent anti-gay activist Gene Antonio on the air to promote his already widely discredited book “ The AIDS cover up? The Real and alarming facts about AIDS”. Antonio was a Lutheran minister without scientific training who peddled paranoid fictions about the epidemic. He wrote that the virus could be transmitted by sneezes and mosquito bites. WTF. Hannity said on air, “I’m sick and tired of the media and the homosexual community preventing us from getting the true accurate information about AIDS.” Hannity had this dude on and the station fired him (as they should have) and he just went straight over to Atlanta to work in radio again. His bio on the Atlanta station’s site said he was the guy who made a proud name for himself by insulting lesbians. Then Fox HIRED HIM. If that doesn’t tell you what sort of morals were being peddled around I don’t know what does. Hannity has since apologized, but really….fuck him.
Then there’s the other personalities that have been on Fox. Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck (believe it or not the most upstanding of these three, not that it’s saying much) were the two other big names. O’Reilly (since forced out for his own sexual harassment claims) understood TV was nothing more than a show. “Bill is one of the greatest bullshitters in the world, Ailes’ brother Robert has said. “He can talk about any subject and he can get the best out of his guest by taking the opposite point of view even if he doesn’t believe it.”
All of this information still doesn’t include the disgusting culture of harassment towards women that includes the now deceased Roger Ailes himself. Ailes got fired from Fox (FINALLY) after lawsuit after lawsuit became too much for the company to save face. He was once quoted as saying, “Tell Karen (Fox News anchor) I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.” Yep.
For many Americans who aren’t Obama fans, the Obama they know, the one they are raging against still, is the one Ailes has played a large role in creating. Through Fox, Ailes helped polarize the American electorate drawing sharp ‘with-us or against-us’ lines, demonizing foes, preaching against compromise. Fox News normalized viciousness and conspiracy theories so much so that Fox is now mainstream. And now we are in the Trump era.
And I just read Fox News for a week. So there you have it.
Last week I said I was going to do a count of the number of times Fox New’s favorite people to hate were mentioned on the front page. Here is the result:
- AOC – 14
- Elizabeth Warren – 7
- Nancy Pelosi – 4
- Hillary Clinton – 2
According to Fox, AOC is the new Obama and Hillary combined. She is here to kill us all and destroy our way of life. She is radical, naive and wants to disrupt all our lives. Fox stated last week that essentially AOC has come up with a ‘Green Plan’ that is going to kill us all and any representative that supports it is trying to ruing your life.
Here are some more Fox News headlines from last week:
- Beto and Trump attended duel border wall rally’s and Trump’s rally ‘won’.
- Representative Ilhan Omar said some Anti-Semitic things on twitter. I didn’t check what it was since it’s against my rules for the week, but it sounds like she was just retweeting something about lobbyists. Fox has been pretty vague about the specifics.
- Trump got his annual check up and the news is that he’s fitter than any president ever.
- AOC released her Green Deal and it includes helping those that are ‘unwilling to work’. She also apparently contradicts herself on the role of government in it, although it was not made clear in what way she does this. Union leaders also came out and said her deal will lead us all into poverty.
- Kolbuchar announced her run for president and Trump made fun of her for standing the snow, proving that global warming is a hoax.
- A top GOP representative demanded answers after Democrats hired an Anti-Trump investigator for a judiciary committee.
- And finally, my favorite headline: Judge rules Manafort ‘Intentionally’ Lied to Mueller’s Team (I don’t understand why the word intentionally is in quotes here).
The real crime of Fox News though, is the comments section. Here a few that particularly irked me about Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and
Ilhan Omar that make my blood boil:
Fox News comments are the worst of all human garbage so don’t go read them unless you want to have a good long freak out about humanity.
There was some nice stuff of Fox though that never would get picked up by another news outlet in a million years. For instance, here is a nice story about Trump and Melania sending a get well letter to a woman with a brain tumor. Now obviously she is a Trump supporter and obviously: good publicity. But the fact remains that this woman is going through a terrible time and this letter made her feel better. Nothing wrong with that.
One thing about reading only Fox News for a week is that there is almost zero world news that hits the front page. Two weeks ago when I stopped reading the news for a week Venezula was in the middle of a crisis. I have not heard or read ANYTHING about that since. It felt like pretty big news though and I cannot imagine it’s a situation that has already resolved itself. According the Fox News, the only thing that’s happening outside of the US is terrorism. Their world news section is atrocious.
We’ll have to wait one more week for world news though. Next post will be all about CNN, which is where I’m headed to now. I’m sure I will read all about how Trump will be impeached any day now.
Oh, America. You silly creature.