"You know, Fox turned into a hardcore sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice."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.
-Marge Simpson, The Simpsons, "Lisa's Wedding"
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.