Saturday, August 15, 2009
Intervention Please: My Father Watches Fox "Views"!
My father, now 85 years young, was always a strict Cronkite man. He watched Walter Cronkite for the news and no one else, despite the wonderful offering of network news anchors in the golden days before 24 hour news. Sometime after I moved from Columbus, OH, to Los Angeles, Dad started watching CNN then he migrated to the 24 hour variation of the news broadcast on FOX. I call it FOX Views because it's anything but the news. It's more like what Hollywood does to books when they're made into movies. Actually, it's even worse because what FOX does is make the same bad movie just with different talking heads. At least once a week since the 1999 election Dad has repeated some piece of "news" he heard on FOX. With every outrageous, stupid, twisted claim Dad's repeated, I've berated FOX then found what the actual story is (thank you FactCheck.org and Snopes.com) and repudiated every story. I've begged Dad to stop watching FOX, even suggested that he watch FOX one day a week then MSNBC the next then CNN the next, rotating the channels he watches so he can see for himself that FOX does not deliver the news. Apparently I have little influence on him. He's been a life-long Republican and I abandoned that ship after Nixon. It's kind of funny now because Dad knows I despise FOX and how their "analysts" slowly poisons their audience so he won't even admit to watching FOX anymore. He'll relate some political horror story but claim he saw it on CNN. I know better because I watch CNN and MSNBC and if that story wasn't on either of those channels, I know he saw it on FOX. Nevertheless, I listen quietly then debunk the claims in an email to him the next day, quoting FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, Reuters.com or what ever legitimate news source had the original story. My dad's not a fool. He's well read, is in a continual quest for knowledge, taught himself calculus and is currently teaching himself Arabic. Yet he continues to watch FOX views as if it were a credible source of news instead of the farcical cartoon it really is. I blame it on the people who surround him now. All the way-to-the-right, head-stuck-in-a-box folks with no curiosity about the world, science, politics or anyone else beyond their own 6 square blocks. It's very hard to watch. I'm tempted to rent a van, drive to Carrollton. VA and kidnap him from his current sphere of influence. Is there an intervention program for sufferers of FOX's brainwashing? If not there should be. At least he doesn't listen to Limbaugh. Yet.