2348804RP012_wweHis name was Roger but we all called him Bubba. Short and stocky, strong as a bull on steroids, and armed with more street smarts than anyone I ever met, Bubba knew how to do everything. He handled himself well in each crisis we found ourselves in and was our unquestioned leader when a battle loomed, whether literal or figurative. He was our alpha warrior, our Achilles.

A year after high school I discovered he believed professional wrestling was real. When the rumor was confirmed I lost all respect for him. We still hunted and fished together and would play cards and drink beer on Friday nights. But I never saw him in the same shining light ever again.

Today’s equivalents to Bubba are friends who exclusively watch Fox News. They are easily identified. After seeing the deficit climb for eight years they are suddenly worried about the country’s economic future. Many saw America invade another country, practice torture, and obliterate the Bill of Rights with nary a whimper, yet now worry we are being taken over by shadowy, progressive forces.

fox-news-logoThey will tell you the real truth is hard to find these days and believe we should stand pat on health care and economic recovery. Some consider Nazis and Socialists identical. Most think the “mainstream press” is too hard on Rush Limbaugh and too easy on President Obama.

I am troubled by this, much as when the real Bubba revealed himself many decades ago. With so many websites devoted to fact checking, there is no excuse for ignorance. Still, I understand how this principle works. Both organizations use hype, fear, and repetition to hammer home their message.

Fox News has simple, black and white answers to the issues. Conservatives are good guys; anyone else is not. To criticize opponents and reinforce the mantra the network identifies with, Fox News changes positions more often than Jenna Jamison.

Wrestling uses free TV to hype upcoming pay for view telecasts, using blood feuds and promises of mayhem to excite viewers. Fox uses talk shows to get the ball rolling and then their crack news team reports on the talk shows’ subject.

Whether the topic is the guest list at state dinners, handling of Afghanistan, or the current situation in Amsterdam, anything that is less than a hard right political stance is criticized and the point is hammered home on every segment of the network.

Legitimate versions of news organizations and sports have long tried to ignore the two stepchildren. It became harder last month when Fox News broke the ACORN story. Now national news organizations are wrestling with how far they need to go and Fox is crowing about validation. While most news groups strive for perfection, these guys are proud of 5% accuracy.

Rupert Murdock created Fox News from a fortune that came about because of a string of tabloid newspapers offering alien baby sightings, the ghost of Elvis, and psychics fighting to the death with their minds. It seems fitting he is shaping the current political conflict. No one cares about truth anymore.

Any day now I expect Ric Flair and The Undertaker to be discussing term limits on Fox. The precedent has already been set.

Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.

  1. I love you guys. You run around bleating “Bush” and “Fox News” and expect people to be awestruck by your staggering powers of observation and towering intellects. Fox News exists solely because most traditional, mainstream news organizations like NYT, AJC, CNN, etc., advocated for Democrats unapologetically for decades. The coverage of the most recent presidential election was the most pornographically biased exercise in political journalism that I have ever seen. In no small measure, that shameful bias led to the financial straits those same organizations find themselves in today. And guess what? Fox News fills a market niche for alternative points of view and they’re wildly successful against all other major cable network competitors. The Wall Street Journal is the largest major circ paper in the country. Good for them. You’d have us all listening to NPR; they don’t have a tenth the resources and don’t create a hundreth the original reporting that Fox does. And barely anyone listens anyway.

    I got news for you. Fox news collects facts and does reporting. I guarantee that if you turned on the channel right now they got a camera in someone’s face asking them a question. The more people doing that, the better. The fact that you want to shut them down for fact-gathering facts you don’t like tells us all what we need to know about your perspective. You want to brand them heretics, like a 16th Century inquisitor.

    Also, you say conservatives are “all of a sudden” finding their anti-deficit message. Wrong! Real conservatives who read thoughtful, thorough research have been warning against the credit collapse we recently experienced for years. The Wall Street Journal for as long as I’ve been reading it (at least 20 years) has been warning against the mortgage-backed securities held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The same gov’t securities that were converted and passed on into the financial system that caused the catastrophic credit default swap losses for AIG. Fox News also had warned against these (in)securities for years as well. We conservatives complained about Bush’s various sops to the left on gov’t spending but he didn’t care. Obama cares much less. That you have not read any of this reportage readily available in national “conservative” publications does not surprise me at all. You think this gov’t will fix healthcare? You think this gov’t is leading us to economic recovery? On the contrary: they are destroying the financial system, the healthcare system and the labor markets with every ridiculous public option, cap-and-trade, card-check nightmare that they fancy. I’m surprised you don’t think the WWF is real if you believe these idiots will do anything good for the economy.

    Look, I don’t deny the Fox at times has a political axe to grind. But we need a pugnatious press now more than ever as the gov’t attempt to take over the economy by running vast, unsupportable deficits and insane regulation — far worse than the Bush years, Reagan years or Nixon years combined. It’s the left that uses fear to stoke paranoia to justify political support around gov’t economic takeovers.

  2. Brenden,
    First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment. In the short time I’ve been reading the Dew, I’ve figured out that pissing you off is a badge of honor.

    A few points; I’m assuming you consider the fact that I don’t agree with you 100% to be an obvious sign I’m one of those tofu eating, panty waist Libs who wants to turn the country over to the Commies. I probably have more conservative beliefs than you do; it’s hard to grow up in the South and not feel that way.

    The only thing that strikes my awe is the willingness of people to accept the trash that Fox News puts out without at least thinking about it a little bit. It is easy to get scared and drink the Koolaid, but there are tons of fact check websites. Oh, that’s right. They are all tools of the evil Left.

    The recent presidential election was the first time a person of color was in the running for the highest office in the country. Historically, this might be the biggest political story we’ve ever seen. The most pornographic part of the election was the Republicans’ inability to do something, anything to let people know that Bush was actually leaving and his replacement would make changes. The country was going down the toilet and McCain only promised to stay the course. I tried really hard to vote for John, but he kept doing really stupid things to placate people like you.

    The economic situation we are in is a direct result of politicians, Democrats and Republicans, allowing their buds and benefactors in the banking industry and on Wall Street to feed their own greed. If you really think a Conservative agenda would solve this, you are delusional.

    You also mentioned quite a few things that you assume I think. You are either very perceptive or an idiot if you can discern my entire political stance by one column. I don’t even know what I think most of the time.

    Finally, I realize you have a pathological need to get in the last word, and I really don’t have the energy to listen to your tired, same old tirades about the White Right, but I must remind you that Fox News is in the news business for one reason, to make money. Mr. Murdock made a business decision to distort the news in order to scare the bejeesus out of people like you. This brings in lots of hysterical viewers and makes Glenn Beck rich. Give me one example of Fox’s investigative reporting where a Conservative person or group is legitimately exposed and I will rethink my position.

  3. Oh, please. Don’t think you’re pissing me off. Quite the opposite: it gives me great pleasure to read such nonsense and expose your tendentious logic, false premises and absurd conclusions. Why not just say what you mean? You want the gov’t to take over the economy because you believe they will solve your problems. A black president is very convenient for you because you then move to call everyone in opposition a racist to prove your case as righteous. I saw this coming a long time ago. “White Right” indeed, you are a sad, sorry, panty-waist lib following the pied piper over a cliff.

    Both premises are false. On the first, if you think the gov’t controlling the economy will save you — they ran that experiment in the Soviet Union and now in Cuba. It failed. Second, everyone who opposes your hard-left Marxist garbage is not a racist. They’re intellegent, educated, patriotic people of all colors and creeds. They know where these ridiculous deficits and ham-fisted regulation will lead us: down the crapper.

    One thing on this anti-Fox News blather that truly exposes your bankrupt ideology is you’re coming out against journalism, the usual hero industry of the angry left. Why are you against a diversity of newsgathering and commentary? Fox News wasn’t lying about Acorn and Van Jones. They aren’t lying about the corrupt allocations in the stimulus packages. If Fox isn’t reporting on political stories that hew to your destructive ideology, you’ve got the NYT, Newsweek, AJC, CNN and a thousand other outlets that fact-gather to support your false collectivist paradise. Just ignore Fox News if you don’t like it. But that you righteously inveigh against them shows really what you’re after is a homogeneous media, spewing the lies you favor about gov’t control. I’m sorry you cannot stand that many millions of people disagree.

    Fox doesn’t scare me: it’s people like you who vote.

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