Friday, September 12, 2008

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

One of the weird things about being down here this time of this year is that I am physically removed from the US Presidential campaign. However, the internet has been doing a fine job of maintaining my connection to the issues at hand, both real and fabricated. Things are pretty serious now, and we've come a long way from the days when we can joke about The Big Lebowski or professional wrestling.

Back in March, I was discussing with my former boss that this had become the most fascinating and entertaining election any of us had ever seen. Things have only continued down that path, powering right through the conventions and beyond. If there weren't so much at stake, it'd be a barrel of monkeys. Or maybe that's why it's all the more interesting. During said conventions, I received some enlightment about our country and how we've come to this particular point in our history. I had my set tuned for the festivities in Denver and Minneapolis like a ton of Americans. Only, I didn't have a choice in my broadcast network. The only place I could watch all the speeches and balloons was on Fox News.

My goodness. I had no idea what a bunch of clowns these people are. Sitting through seven days of Fox News over the course of two weeks is enough to make someone go legally insane. OK, we all know that they call themselves "Fair and Balanced," and that's nothing more than a big smokescreen, but I really didn't understand the degree to which they are propagandists. And it's especially apparent when you sit through the coverage day after day. They are relentless. I could point to all kinds of instances, but I will highlight merely one. After Michelle Obama gave her opening night speech, they revert back to their "Fox News Contributor Panel," moderated by that beacon of impartiality, Brit Hume. I don't know if you saw Mrs. Obama's speech, but here's a video of it. It was pretty kickass and did all the things that the campaign needed it to do. When they get to Bill Kristol (yes, you may remember Kristol from that time he helped sell the American public on a war in Iraq), he says, "Wahhhhhh." (He always starts this way.) "I was unhappy that she didn't mention her alma mater and mine - Harvard. Wahh." The panel continued to go around, complaining in their "reality is irrelevant" manner. When Kristol got his second chance to address the viewing audience, he went with, "Wahhhhhh. I just didn't like it." That's an exact quote.

I swear he always looks just like this

When it came to Obama, they all complained that there was not enough policy in his speech. (Though to be fair, amazingly, Kristol said, "Wahhhhh. I thought it was a great speech.") That the Republicans were delayed due to Gustav was certainly not a problem. The only thing that beats blatant bias is the chance to sensationalize a national disaster. Of course, when the convention finally began, the same panel spoke glowingly of every speaker, regardless of untruths and a serious lack of policy content. They of course went bonkers for Sarah Palin. One can't help but wonder what would have been the reaction had she been a Democrat. When Bill O'Reilly is your network's voice of reason, fair and balanced, you are not. In going through this ordeal, I realize two things. First, I'm more of a glutton for punishment than I thought. And two, no wonder Bushy got a second term.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Fox News is the only English news channel I get on cable in Hong Kong, too. It really is something to behold. Thank goodness I can watch the other news networks via Slingbox. Hope all is going well. I have another two weeks in Kiev before heading back to Hong Kong. Can't wait.

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