Politics
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Fox News is at it again…

Well, you certainly have to give them an ‘A’ for persistence, even if they really should be expelled from humanity for all time for lack of decency, fair play and credibility…

Fox News’ nit-twit account was ‘apparently hacked’, resulting in six messages sent out to more than 36,000 followers, saying that Barack Obama had been assassinated in Iowa, even going so far in one twit as to name the restaurant where it happened. Fox has apologized for ‘any distress the false Tweets (twits) may have created.” Never mind the fact that the President’s schedule had been announced for days as hosting military families at a cookout on the South Lawn, followed by fireworks…

It’s really quite the toss-up as to which part of this story is the more disturbing; the fact that Twitter can be hacked, the fact that Fox automatically screams anytime someone else claims to be hacked while expecting everyone to just accept their version when it happens to them, or the fact that Fox News has over 36,000 nit-twit followers…

One of the first accounts of the hack attack can be seen here…

The actual content of the twits is too ridiculous, mean and cruel to even be commented on here. That Fox would even stoop to such a level makes the whole exercise just one more example of why Fox News should be, with apologies to Douglas Adams, one of the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes…

So… Let’s give Fox the benefit of the doubt… Let us assume that they were, in fact, hacked, a ‘fact hack’ being a metaphor for Fox News, after all, and a lovely little bit of problematic poetic punditry…

The NY Times states that the offending twits were in a markedly different style, and without attribution as to the source, from other twits on the Fox site.

Ooo-kayyyyyyy… So what are you saying…? That some ultra right-wing group hacked the most right-wing (i.e., trusted) news sources’ nit-twit account and sent out messages much in the vein of the account so hacked…? Or was it in fact a liberal, socialistic (those evil bastards) conspiracy that took over the account and sent something that could have come from the un-hacked owners…?

The problem is that those not amongst the 36,000, or the untold others who risk sanity and digestion in order to watch the channel, are not at all surprised by the fact that something like this came from Fox, or by this startling bit of ‘journalism’…

Appalled, yes…

Surprised, no…

As I linked in an earlier post, Jon Stewart spent a segment of a show last week going over some of the more blatant of Fox’s many examples of ‘fair and balanced, we report, you decide’ brand of public service… Fox’s reaction was to go nuclear (or nuculer, as Dubya was want to label it) at the liberal bias being once again exhibited by the ‘lame-stream media’, without even taking into account that The Daily Show is written and performed by comedians… It’s like calling Will Ferrell a part of the ‘lame-stream media’ because he played a news anchorman in a movie… That Jon Stewart has a political message just means that he is yet one more in a long line of comedians who have taken politics as a jumping off point for their work.

The simple fact is, Fox is in the entertainment business, just as Jon Stewart is… If it were not so, they would hire the best journalists, bad hair, teeth and fashion sense to the contrary, rather than only those who ‘look good’ to the camera. And journalism would be about getting the story correct, not about getting the slant correct first and then the story… Ratings wouldn’t even enter into the consciousness of a true journalist…

For the record, I do not think that Fox is by any means the only practitioner of this type of ‘journalism’, nor is this type of journalism by any means a new phenomenon… There are indeed many places where one can go if one’s liberal leanings need stroking, just as there are many more places one can go besides Fox to get their daily dose of a conservative cornucopia…

Fox has certainly taken the genre to new heights (depths…?), though…

I think the real problem is that too many people don’t know how to read… Oh, they can handle the mechanics well enough, but when it comes time to interpret what is actually being said… Well… Most people stopped trying with Dr. Seuss… Honestly, that Cat In The Hat fellow was obviously  a product of a left-wing, socialistic view-point brought on by straying too far from the core values of our Founding Fathers…

Either that, or Seuss was hopped up on goof balls….

Either way, people shut down their brains right about the time when it might have been a good idea to actually pay a little more and keep the lights on past when everyone else was insisting on the need to conserve…

I get most of my news from the above mentioned Times, but I don’t for one minute accept anything they say, just because it’s the Times… Years ago I made the discovery that everything they write has a slant to it… Even the sports section displays the authors bias.

As an example, from a breaking news story on the Times…

A French writer will file suit on Tuesday against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, alleging he tried to rape her in 2003. I will quote a paragraph in its entirety… The article in question can be found here…

“Initially, the case in New York spurred a new assertiveness among French women to challenge that culture of silence. But the possibility of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s potential exoneration seemed to reverse some of the French soul-searching over masculine privilege. Instead, it reawakened a dormant anti-Americanism, with a broad feeling that France had been humiliated along with Mr. Strauss-Kahn by the American justice system and its crass, voracious media.”

I call attention to the words ‘spurred’, ‘assertiveness’, ‘possibility’, ‘soul-searching’ and the entire last sentence, especially ‘crass, voracious media.’ These are words one may use when writing fiction or opinion pieces; these are not words to be used in a ‘mere’ recounting of the facts. It may be a fact that the French see the American media as crass and voracious. They certainly wouldn’t be alone in that opinion. But this is by definition something that can not be proved, at least not without a great deal of scientific research of the kind beyond the ordinary reporter facing a deadline… Thus, it is the authors ‘opinion’ that a court case in New York spurred a new assertiveness in France (sources for the ‘fact’…? Show your work, anyone…?) It is the authors ‘opinion’ that the French (what, each and every one of them…?) went through a period of soul-searching, only to have that trend reversed by the potential exoneration (honestly, the French must be just about the most fickle people on the planet. And that’s a ‘fact’, backed up by an article I just read)… It is the authors ‘opinion’ that a dormant anti-Americanism has been reawakened, that France broadly feels humiliated, and that France feels American media to be crass and voracious.

It may be a ‘fact’ that the reporter of the above stated article did, in fact, do the homework, and that every thing said is, in fact, a fact… But without attribution and source citations, the above article, rich as it is in adjectives and emotional painting, becomes no more than an opinion piece, guilty of, at best, a kind of narcissistic stroking of one’s own literary pretensions, and at worst, creating the very atmosphere laid out in the article through some sort of self-fulfilling legerdemain…

If you read in one of the most respected newspapers in the world that you are, in fact, outraged, by golly by gum, you’d best be getting on with the outragin’…

If one wants the papers’ opinion about a piece of legislation, one goes to the Opinion pages… Or if one wants their opinion about, say, whether or not to go see a new theatre piece, one goes to the Arts section… But if one only wants to know the score of last night’s baseball game, one should be able to go to the Sports section and get the score, not how the author feels about that score.

THAT should be left to the Opinion pages… And quite honestly, so should the theatre review…

Fox News doesn’t even belong on the Opinion pages… They need to do a gi-normous amount of credibility work before they even deserve that lowly position…

It’s just an opinion…

I could be wrong…

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