FOX News and That Obama Administration "Obsession"
Sentence fragment problems with Kansas City Star editors aside, I herewith weigh in, first making it clear that I am not a cheerleader of President Obama or his Administration. Anyone who has read my articles about him knows very well that I take exception to his personnel choices and policies far more often than I praise them.
That having been pointedly noted, anyone with even a modicum of perception knows very well that FOX News broadcasts a consistent, persistent stream of vitriol against Mr. Obama, his staff, his policies, and his presidency. With the exception of media outlets that offer content by journalists like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, the august publications of the mainstream media pretend that FOX News is one of their own and above repudiation, much less outright condemnation. In so doing, those news sources diminish their own credibility by accepting within their ranks hate speech, hysteria, lies, half-truths, and acts that border in some circumstances on sedition and treason. If that sounds like hyperbole, let me point to the call Bill O'Reilly made for al Qa'ida to level an attack on San Francisco. Bill O'Reilly is still on the air; he is wealthy, accepted as a journalist, and still a free man.
Let me repeat that (and in a complete sentence, no less): Bill O'Reilly, a man who called for an attack by al Qa'ida on an American city, is still a free man. You can listen to him on FOX. What you cannot do is find an editorial in The New York Times, the Washington Post, or just about any other high-end, reputable news source where Mr. O'Reilly is permanently, thoroughly, and unequivocally condemned. (You can, however, read my article, "An Open Letter to Bill O'Reilly," where I do just that.)
Neither can you find anything other than cutesy smirks from the mainstream news media about the current rising star on FOX News, Glenn Beck, whose on-air behavior borders on the psychotic. Where is the black-out on his maniacal charges, claims, accusations, and antics?
Let me tell you about a couple of incidents in which I, myself, have addressed this problem with FOX News being treated as acceptable television in civil society.
Several months ago, I went into a Radio Shack to purchase some audio wiring. One of the display televisions was on, and it was blaring FOX News. What I heard was one negative "news" story after another about Barack Obama. It was appalling. After about five minutes, I walked up to the manager and told him that his choice of television stations was deeply offensive. I was loud but civil as I told him I was going to leave and not return to his store until he and his employees understood how to behave in public; I then explained that FOX News isn't really the problem: it's people like him who think their debased personal problems should be considered acceptable in polite company.
I subsequently shared that with corporate headquarters of Radio Shack.
A similar incident occurred at a Dairy Queen last month, where the customers were being harangued by a loud television tuned to FOX News. I went up to the manager and told him that children were in that dining area, and they should not be exposed to the vitriol that was pumping out of that television. I shamed him as I lectured him about respect young people should have for a good President who is trying his best to do good for a nation.
I told him that I would not return until I had assurance from the corporation that owns Dairy Queen that retraining would be brought to bear on the managers of outlets that believe vitriol from FOX News is appropriate for a retail establishment that appeals to families with children.
I will continue this approach to dealing with FOX News. The cowardly mainstream news media pretend the Obama Administration is inappropriately targeting some kind of legitimate journalism, so it is up to me and to you to set the record straight: If it's hate speech, free speech ends where I walk in the door.
They want my money? then they had better act like responsible adults of a civil society.
That goes for those august publications of the mainstream media. If they can't throw the charlatans out of their club, the information products they hawk from the doorways in front of their party hall aren't worth my money.
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