This article has been brewing for several months now. At first I avoided writing it because I didn’t want to just be jumping on a bandwagon that is shared by the readers of this site. But then the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore brought it all to a head and I realized it was time to say what I had been holding back for some time. Fox News is a cancer that has metastasized through America.
We all know that Fox News Channel is severely slanted to the far right. Frequently, it appears their stories are being taken directly from the daily talking points of the Republican Party or some multinational corporation. This is a given with Fox News.
But what has most stuck in my craw this week is the way in which Fox has sought to create facts out of nothing more than their own personal biases. The perfect example of this occurred the other evening on Sean Hannity’s show.
Full disclosure here: I despise Sean Hannity more than just about any other person on Fox News. He is not only ignorant, he is willfully ignorant, and that is an inexcusable offense in my book.
So in the midst of the chaos in Baltimore, the Washington Post printed a story in which it alleged that Freddie Gray, according to an unnamed source, had self-inflicted the injuries which led to his death. From the moment that report hit the wire, Hannity began to broadcast it as if it was the Word of the Almighty, handed down on stone tablets from Mount Sinai. In other words, he acted as if an uncorroborated news article was the final word on the matter. Did he or Fox do any reporting to substantiate or discredit the Post report? No, because that would require effort and they don’t really deal in truth or fact anyway. So, to hell with it!
Then, just last night, Megyn Kelly had a ?special exclusive guest? on her show who was going to tell what really happened to Freddie Gray in the back of that police van. She brought on a man whose face was hidden and voice was digitally altered. He was, supposedly, a current member of the Baltimore Police Department who feared for his safety and his job if his identity was disclosed. What did this ?exclusive guest? then do? He proceeded to slag Freddie Gray, saying he must have been on drugs and that the cops who arrested him (illegally, it should be noted) were all stand-up guys.
As I sat and watched this spectacle of so-called journalism, I could clearly see what Fox and Kelly were trying to do: Change the narrative. Six cops have been charged with murder, so we have to now make the victim the bad guy. It’s basically the same strategy that defense attorneys use in rape cases.
Part of the Whole:
But what we have seen from Fox in their reporting from Baltimore is their standard modus operandi: If the facts don’t fit the narrative, change the narrative, or, more perniciously, change the facts. But a fact that is altered is no longer a fact. It has then become an opinion, an editorial comment.
I have been a journalist on and off for the past 20 years, and in that time I have made more than my share of mistakes and had to correct things that I reported. But I can say with a clear conscience that not once did I ever alter or create facts to fit a narrative.
The Disease That is Fox News:
Here is the bottom line of what I want to say: Fox is a cancer on our country. If some choose to watch it and believe the propaganda they are fed, then that’s their right. But it is our right?and our responsibility?to call them out when we see their blatant lies. We can write, blog, point out the inaccuracies when they occur, and we can counter their false facts with the truth.
I hope you’ll leave comments and let me know what else you think we can do about this 24-hour media machine of falsehood.