Fox News: Uncivil or Misguided?

Posted by Codi Hauka & filed under Politics, Television.

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Image courtesy of thedailybeast.com

Here’s a statistic that inspires my faith in the American people: Fox news is considered the most “uncivil” network according to a recent poll. Granted, there were only 1,000 people surveyed (and there’s no information on where these people were pulled from in the country), but let’s not allow the missing facts get in the way of this joyous news; that’s the Fox News way, after all.

Now let’s get one thing straight: Fox News is considered real news. Real, as in “true” and “legitimate” and news as in “current events occurring in the world.” You know how a newspaper like the Vancouver Sun is considered news? Well, that’s what Fox News is considered in the world of television. I hope I’ve made that clear. Now, let’s talk about Glenn Beck.

Beck (sadly) no longer graces the stage of Fox News to implore upon the people that he is a real American, one that is down to earth and in tune with what the nation really wants and believes in, and that Barrack Obama is here to destroy that vision of America. Despite being a grossly narcissistic person, Beck persistently tried to convince his audience that he was really just your average Joe, having been “self-educated” (whatever that means), a former alcoholic, and that, “you couldn’t get any dumber than me.” Inspiring words from an award-winning journalist.

Photo courtesy of mediabistro.com

He also proved to be an emotional basket case, crying on numerous occasions, throwing fits, pouring gasoline on people, comparing the current American government to Nazis, and using that completely ridiculous blackboard. Even Comrade Obama has never patronized an audience with that level of mockery. It is safe to say that these are all things not generally done nor considered doing on a legitimate news network, let alone as acts of civility.

Bill O’Reilly’s face alone is far too splotchy to be deemed television worthy, but the No Spin Zone and O’Reilly Factor are prized examples of just how uncivil the network as a whole is. O’Reilly is a great supporter of making “facts” up, or factoids as they are known, and frequently employs the yelling method of interviewing. If O’Reilly were a pseudo science, he would be alternative medicine. The man insists that he just wants people to give honest answers to honest questions, and if they can’t, then explain why. This is what the No Spin Zone is about: answering O’Reilly as truthfully as you can, and preparing to cry yourself to sleep that night, because only O’Reilly can be right and the best way of achieving this is through an all out verbal onslaught.

Photo courtesy of latimesblog.latimes.com

Leading up to the previous election, Fox News was palatably upset with Obama’s chances of securing the presidency, and the perpetual man-child that is Sean Hannity, made this anxiety quite clear during an interview with The American Prospect‘s Robert Kuttner. Hannity accused Kuttner of “spewing garbage” about the Senator’s affiliations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, and insisted that the economy was not in “dire straights” as Kuttner had insisted. When confronted with being in denial about the state of America’s financial system, Hannity went on to call Kuttner an idiot and fool, something you wouldn’t usually do on a reputable news network.

There are also little things that are irksome, such as the possibility of Ann Coulter’s razor sharp collarbones being used as WMDs, or what Geraldo Rivera is hiding within his mustache, but that’s just aesthetics. I’m sure there are people out there that would point to the Daily Show and Colbert Report as leftist examples of what I have outlined here to be illegitimate and uncouth shows masquerading as real news.

A news network, a newspaper, and journalists in general have a responsibility to the public discourse that is upheld through presenting both sides of the story. The point of a good story is to inform and inspire that discourse and debate around it. Fox News is a tragic comedy performed by a troupe of hacks parading as journalists. Even if only 1,000 people’s opinions were a part of this survey, it’s assuring to know that at least some Americans can discern real news from fake news.

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