I read something yesterday about loss. Not about death of people, or even a particular person, but about the death of an idea. What we have lost, and what some of us mourn, is the loss of reason. Almost every one of us has lost people to the right wing political agenda that has been inspired by, and pushed relentlessly by, Fox News. People we know that formerly were maybe right leaning have now been pushed into an ideology of hate and fear. They have adopted the views of the far right. They have adopted the lies, and the factual distortions, of a media mogul from Australia and his henchmen.
October 7, 1996, was in all respects a rather normal day. It was Monday, under the sign of Libra. The US president was Bill Clinton. I have searched and there is little of note that occurred on this day, or even in this month, save one thing, on this day Fox News was born. Seems such a trivial thing to make note of a new News channel. After all they are merely sources of information about the world we live in. But Fox News would prove to be different.
This began in 1987 when the FCC struck down the Fairness Doctrine. A doctrine which essentially required News to be real, and honest. This meant that, at its genesis, Fox News was not required by law or doctrine to be honest in what it reported. Fox understood this and used this to its advantage. Not only did Fox News lie, they were proud of it and used it as a defense in at least one lawsuit as I noted in and earlier post called The Fairness Doctrine (Part Deux).
Fox was created from the bank accounts of one Mr. Rupert Murdoch, an Australian billionaire with a political agenda. He does not stop at the manipulation of American minds as he owns multiple media forms in multiple countries with one specific agenda. To shape the world view to his own. Below is a list of his Global Media Empire.
 Print publications
The Sun (United Kingdom)
The Times (London)
Sunday Times (London)
The New York Post
The Wall Street Journal
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
The Herald-Sun (Australia)
The Courier-Mail (Australia)
Dozens of community newspapers throughout Australia
Community Newspaper Group (United States)
Dow Jones Local Media Group
The Papua New Guinea Post-Courier
Financial News (London)
A 5 percent stake in MySpace
Fox Interactive Media
News Digital Media
Movies and television production
20th Century Fox
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox Television
A 39 percent stake in British Sky Broadcasting
Star TV (India and China)
Fox Business Channel
Fox Movie Channel
Fox College Sports
A 50 percent stake in the National Geographic Channel
The Fox News empire in America is the highest rated “News” channel we have. For the first Republican debate this election they brought in a record, for them, 24 million viewers. Now I admit I was one of them as many tuned in to watch the train wreck that is Donald Trump grace a debate stage. But this is a lot of people. On the other hand, for those of us mourning the loss of reason and facts in “News,” it could also be seen as a somewhat positive number. In a nation of 350 Million or so, only 24 Million tuned in. That leaves a lot of people not watching this garbage.
In the last 7 or 8 years though Fox has been at war with America. Their rhetoric is of the highest order. They claim a war on Christmas, and a war on Christians, and a war on Conservatives, and a war on religious freedom, to name a few. They have attacked anything Obama. When the man rises from bed in the morning or lies back down in a bed somewhere in the world that night, rest assured, he has done this incorrectly. Fox has labeled him treasonous, communist, akin to Hitler and one of their talking heads suggested Obama had a secret eugenics program.
Fox throws crap at the wall. They throw all the crap they can think of at the wall. They know some, even a lot, of this crap will stick with their followers. Until recently they didn’t care much how it stuck, only that it did. They didn’t care they were fostering a mentality of hatred toward Muslims, or LGBT rights and people, or the Government itself. They cared that people tune in and believe. They started to feel different when Donald Trump used their hate and stole their base. They didn’t see that coming.
They have succeeded swimmingly however. All it takes is a casual stroll through the internet to see people and their knee jerk answers to anything political. Nearly 1/3 of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. 20% believe, still, that Obama was born outside of the USA, in spite of his birth certificate. An unknown amount wish Obama impeached and consider his actions treason. Facts matter little, or not at all, to any of the people espousing these views. Fox News has stated directly on multiple occasions that there is weight behind these accusations, or, at the very least, inferred connections. More often than not both.
What I mourn here is the loss of people I once knew as friends. People that I once thought of as kind and caring human beings are now spouting hatred and fear like venom from a spitting cobra. I am unable to ascertain if these people were always hate filled bags of human excrement that Fox and the right wing have merely exposed or if they have been infected by this right wing zombie virus. I know I won’t let one of them bite me lest I end up black eyed and soulless alongside them.
When you speak with these lost souls they have tried and true reactions to anything they recognize as a dissenting assault on their fortress of misinformation. They will accuse you of being sheep. Of following the mass of brain dead liberal humans. They will say their eyes have been opened and they see the world for what it is. They will say these things in unison, and probably to music if you supply them the tune. They will see not one bit of irony in the fact they they all espouse the same exact bumper sticker rhetoric. In fact they will say irony is a left wing word and it is just like the left wing to try to use things like facts, and big words they don’t understand, in an effort to undermine them and their movement. In spite of the herd around them they cannot see in the mirror that they are sheep.
So I offer, we collectively take time every December 7th to remember Pearl Harbor. We set aside time every September 11th to remember 9/11. We remember these days as the tragic assaults on America and Americans that they are. I offer up October 7th now as just such a day. It is the day America, and too large a percentage of Americans, lost their hearts and minds and souls because of a sneak attack by the deadly enemy known as Fox News. A malevolent soul stealing menace snuck in that night. It came to the homes and stole certain people. People we once called family, friend, acquaintance. It came and it changed the landscape of a nation.
Once a proud nation that lived up to the words on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Since October 7th 1996 we have transformed into a nation of simpering twits, full of hate, and fear, and rage. We rage against everything and nothing. The eyes of the world are upon us and we care not. We have regressed to a point where we have abandoned any and all pretense to the shining city on the hill and become the bully in the playground. Sadly too much of this can be attributed to a constant stream of Fox News. Hate and fear and self loathing fed to America 24/7 by your local cable provider.
Henceforth I will mourn on this day, October 7th, the loss of friends and family to the purveyor of lies and defiler of truth that is Fox. So it is written, so it shall be done.