So I’m writing today from Elevation 8,080 ft., here in Avon, Colorado. It’s cold outside (obvs), and I spent most of the day braving wind and light snow skiing green and blue slopes, this being a mostly moderate-level mountain(s).
Anyway, if my writing seems scattered, disjointed, or otherwise lackluster, I’d appreciate if we could all blame it on the altitude. I just saw a little vial of oxygen advertised in the downstairs mini-mart, and I realized the light-headedness, headache, and wobbly fatigue I’ve been feeling have a cause, and that cause is called “it’s really freakin’ high up here.”
Onwards. Now, most Rav readers are probably not Fox news watchers, I recognize. I’m not an FNC girl myself, though I have a fair bit of family who prefer the right-leaning media leviathan. I hear things through them, here and there, comments about this or that anchor, contributor, etc.
I also write about politics, which can entail writing about the news biz itself (this becoming an ever-more meta industry). Ergo, I have watched a hefty amount of Fox programming, in a mostly unwilling state of mind.
Like you’d expect, some shows were better than others. Bret Baier’s “Special Report” was serious (for the most part), and I liked its vintage news feel. Plus, Baier’s programmers attempted to make the panel diverse from time to time, putting a Democrat or a liberal in one of their three hot seats occasionally. “The Five” could be punchy and jovial, but like almost all the rest of Fox programs, it grew ever more Trumpian as the Republican primary and general election wore on. Such Trump-love strictures stole much of the irreverent jazz that made the show watchable in the first place.
Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Judge Jeanine, Fox and Friends: These, always and forever, were a no-go. Predictable, angry, partisan, thoughtless, and altogether just annoying. I found myself often wondering: Is any female at Fox even allowed to wear a blazer? And what’s with the patronizing, Bill? My gosh, it’s like being talked down to every evening by a slightly-tipsy good ‘ol boy who feels the need to mansplain on the reg. Thanks, no thanks.
Imagine, for instance, the loss for liberals if MSNBC let go of Rachel Maddow, and opted instead only for Michael Moore types. Libs with any brains at all would be seriously not happy.
But chief amongst the good Fox shows was Megyn Kelly. Primarily due to her initial toughness on our current president-elect, I grew serious respect for the 9 p.m. EST anchor. Her legal background made Kelly a fierce interviewer (I would not want to try and defend somebody else’s trite garbage – like so many paid surrogates must do – whilst under Kelly fire.) Plus, she came out early and strong against the nonsense show of Trump, and for the most part, Kelly never backed down.
And now, Kelly's moving to NBC.
And though it may seem counterintuitive, the truth is that’s very bad news. Because Americans desperately need a decent right-side news outlet.
Imagine, for instance, the loss for liberals if MSNBC let go of Rachel Maddow, and opted instead only for Michael Moore types. Libs with any brains at all would be seriously upset. Because whatever strengths Moore might have, he does not represent insightful, critical, serious journalism. Maddow is smart, she’s funny, and she’s not one for B.S., not even from her own “side.”
That is invaluable. It’s the same set of traits that Megyn Kelly embodies, and with her departure, Fox as a “news” channel will no longer have much on the “insightful,” “critical,” or “serious” side of things.
What they’ll have is wall-to-wall positive coverage of the next president, whether by commission (YAYA TRUMP!!!) or omission (Don’t look over there at that fifty-seventh story of White House corruption, look over here, a liberal professor at a nondescript, 3,000-student pop. university sent out a tweet with a maybe-veiled reference to “white genocide.” We’re going to cover this for eighteen days now!)
If you doubt me, click on over there one day and prove me wrong. It was disorienting at times, during this past year, to watch how CNN and MSNBC and NBC and ABC and CBS were covering Trump, and then tune into Fox and see a completely different set of stories altogether.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. The news biz could actually use a lot more diversity, and not every story covered by the other outlets was worthy either. Where was the coverage of Aleppo? A national tragedy, and eternal shame, how too many producers and executives turned a blind eye to the genocide in Syria.
But when Fox power players – and perhaps, more disturbing, Fox viewers themselves – cannot handle even one voice of dissent, one person willing to push back against the Trump party… my gosh, where does that leave us?
It leaves us with a Fox News Channel that is more parts propaganda than anything resembling “news.”
That should be troubling to everyone.