Monday, November 21, 2005

We have nothing to fear but Fox News

"You know, Fox turned into a hardcore sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice."
-Marge Simpson, The Simpsons, "Lisa's Wedding"
Watching John Kasich fill in for Bill O'Reilly on "The O'Reilly Factor" tonight, it struck me how much networks like Fox, and conservatives in general, simultaneously rail against the debasement of culture, while falling all over themselves to see who can be the biggest debaser.

O'Reilly's show in particular won't let a single child molestation case, illegal alien crime spree, or lurid murder case go without obsessive over-coverage. (I hear Greta Van Susteren is just going to give up and *move* to Aruba.) Watching Fox, it would be easy for space aliens to conclude that our society is composed completely of abusive clergy, murderous teens and Commies.

The reason is simple: fear. If they can whip up enough fear among the housedress-wearing masses tuned into Fox, they can sell anything to those quivering millions. An illegal alien is going to take your job! Hillary Clinton wants to take your hunting rifle! Muslims will kill you if you so much as step out of your own yard! Macy's wants to burn down your Christmas tree!

It's sick and transparent, but fear sells. Literally. Fear sold the Iraq war and the Bush re-election. And when you can move crap like that, you can sell anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I accidentally watched a bit of Scarburough Country (is that what it's called?)(Is that even on Fox?) the other day. He was going off about prison escapes and said something like, "How safe is your family?" while showing a nice graphic pointing to all the states with prison breaks in the last however long. And all around made a huge production and drama out of this like it's something new and that everyone is now at serious risk of being kidnapped and tortured by prison escapees.
I was actually bummed out by how retarded it all was. I mean, it happens. It has always happened. And if I were in prison, I would try to escape to. DUH!
But, I'm pretty sure I have a better chance of winning the Mega Millions than having an escaped prisoner threaten me. I even lived across the street from a prison for a while. It's a non-issue. Trust me.
So, what's next? Are they going to have a big to-do about the dangers of tripping over your own feet? Complete with experts and fancy graphics? Millions of Americans are at risk you know. I'm sure Bush & Co. have specific, detailed, (but of course incredibly top-secret) info that terrorists are probably, maybe scheming this very moment on how to make sidewalks uneven.