Imagine a life without Fox ‘News’ utterly destroying the U.S.
I was talking to a friend yesterday, and we were musing about what life would be like if there were no Fox to fear monger or whip under-educated fanatics into a frenzy and how much better things might be.
Think, if you will, of a world where news wasn’t tailored for speaking directly to someone’s confirmation biases. A world where facts and common sense reigned supreme and opinion heavy “news” was merely background noise instead of the go-to sources for information. In this world, journalists could not report the news without degrees in Journalism and Broadcast. Reporters couldn’t be college drop-outs or models or pageant winners.
What would the world have been like if Fox News hadn’t become the highest rated ‘news’ channel on cable television?
22 things that would change if Fox never existed:
22. Health care wouldn’t be a “bad” thing:
Americans have lived with a defunct healthcare system for decades, and even Republicans could see it needed to be reformed, but no one changed the country’s opinion of healthcare like Fox News. Fox News literally tried every trick in the book to convince the country healthcare reform was a travesty; they said it destroyed freedom, they cried socialism, they said there would be death panels and now that the ACA is in effect and millions of Americans have gained health insurance, none of those things have come to fruition. Republicans have even backed down from trying to dismantle it because they know it’s political suicide at this point.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQyiVy4LqAc]
21. Facts would exist again:
Remember when facts used to exist? Now it seems that facts are open to interpretation thanks to Fox offering alternate realities to nearly every issue facing our country today. White privilege? What white privilege? Working poor? What working poor? Bush created the recession and Obama fixed it? Noooo, Obama did it all. The lack of belief in facts has taken accountability away from politicians.
20. Republicans wouldn’t be so dumb:
Well, not as dumb. It’s a well-known fact outside of conservative circles that Foxbots are more misinformed than any other fans of other media. The study shows that after 9/11 Fox went from Republican-ish to full blown right wing propaganda. Even people who get their news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are more informed than Fox news fans. Liberals are also more likely to get their news from several sources, while conservatives only trust Fox, which means it truly is an echo chamber. Without also, Fox virtually never criticizing their favored GOP candidates, their audience gets a skewed view of their politicians and end up electing turds time and time again.
19. George W. Bush may not have become President:
Fox’s faulty reporting and declaring GWB the winner of the 2000 election caused Al Gore to concede earlier than he should have, although he did retract his concession after learning of Fox’s mistake. Once Fox declared GWB as the winner, the other networks thought they had been scooped and quickly went on to declare GWB the winner. It was around 4 a.m. EST that the networks issued a retraction after learning that the vote was simply too close to call. Had Fox News waited, GWB may not have been seen as the victor which heavily swayed public opinion.
Outfoxed says it well:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJIGQyF2Yjo?rel=0]
Also interesting, Fox went from vicious watchdogs during the Clinton era to a network that literally kissed the ground GWB walked on. Then, after Obama was elected, back to vicious watchdogs.
18. MSNBC wouldn’t need to exist:
Seriously, would MSNBC, the liberal version of Fox even exist? We’d miss Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, but brilliant journalists like them wouldn’t be out of the job. Sorry, MSNBC fans, but the network is shown to distort the truth almost as often as Fox. You’re better off getting your news from other sources.
17. Your [insert delusional family members here] wouldn’t be perpetually outraged:
Imagine having a nice Thanksgiving dinner while discussing America’s actual issues instead of debating your [insert delusional family members here] Fox biased perception of them. Sometimes I don’t even know what the f*ck they’re talking about because Fox has lied to them so badly.
16. Koch brothers would have limited influence:
Who would the Koch brothers speak through? Where would Koch-paid correspondents go to peddle their Libertarian-Tea Party agendas? The very non-existence of Fox would have profound effect on allowing the Kochs to pay to confuse or lie to the public. Sure, they could still run their attack ads on politicians, pay for campaigns and buy politcians, but without validation through Fox their barks might be softer.
15. Standards for journalism would be higher:
Remember when newspapers and new channels and shows had to give fair coverage for all politicians from each party? Or inserting ones opinion into a news piece would have been a major journalistic blunder? That’s all thanks to Fox and Ronald Reagan pressuring the FCC to abolish the Fairness Doctrine. “Liberal” media still has some standards to be sure but they are hard pressed to bring conservatives into their audience, because conservatives are now loathe to tune-in to anything where liberals aren’t being trashed and conservatives aren’t having their asses kissed. If Fox never existed this may not be a need.
14. Sean Hannity would be on food stamps:
He dropped out of college, and he would have some menial job at best, given his absence of intelligence and might even need government assistance were he to be laid off or fired like any other American. Imagine him living one day in the average American’s shoes, and think of how quickly his opinion of “takers” would be.
13. Bill O’Reilly would be in prison:
The guy is a giant, has a hair-trigger temper, and thinks himself better than most of the world. If he had no image to maintain, he would definitely be serving some time for assault or domestic violence. The story just broke that he allegedly assaulted his wife in 2010, and that his teenage daughter witnessed him dragging her mother down the stairs by her neck. If he weren’t Fox’s cash cow, undoubtedly he would be serving time for one incident or another. Even if the incident did occur, it’s unlikely Fox would ever let him go.
12. The country would be less divided:
Can you imagine if half of this country actually wasn’t lied to and whipped into a frenzy every single day how much better we would get along? And unfortunately because the country has pulled so far right, the other half pulls further left to counter that imbalance and moderates are becoming extinct.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told the Huffington Post:
Twenty-two percent of Americans say their primary news source is Fox News. It’s divided our country in a way that we haven’t been divided probably since the Civil War, and its empowered large corporations to get certain kinds of politicians and ideologues who are in the United State Congress elected — the Tea Party ideologues who control the Republican Party.
11. Positive change:
If Fox didn’t try to throw a wrench into every single protest of police brutality, we could focus on curbing police brutality. If Fox weren’t a shill for the upper class, our country could focus on wealth inequality. Women wouldn’t have to have this argument on whether or not they should be in control of choices for their bodies over and over again. Fear stifles change and progress, and Fox is a fear factory.
10. We might not have started a war in Iraq:
After 9/11 there was much fear and paranoia in this country. This was not helped by the fact that Fox was calling for blood every single segment they aired during that time. Remember the terror alerts? Yeah we wouldn’t have that awful memory either. Without an outlet for Bush correspondents to peddle their crap, crap we now know to be lies, we might not have invaded the wrong country.
9. Nationalism would be creepy:
In Hitler’s Germany blind nationalism was expected from German citizens, and the right wing expects every citizen to possess those same levels of zeal for this country, or else they aren’t “patriots” or even considered Americans. Fox has done much to push that attitude. While they criticize Obama to the point of being fanatical, any criticism of one of their prized chickens, such as GWB, is seen as an attack on America itself. Yet they have declared Obama the totalitarian dictator and any conservative as the freedom-loving patriot when it’s clearly the other way around. That’s because they live in a fictional reality where they’ve written themselves in as the heroes.
8. Bad politicians wouldn’t be elected or re-elected:
Fox really likes bad politicians with bad ideas. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, David Brat, Rand Paul– these guys get a lot of airtime on Fox News, and it’s done wonders for their careers. Fox has the Midas touch and whoever they endorse goes on to victory more times than not. Sure, bad politicians would still be elected because the Republican party would exist with or without Fox News, but if these politicians’ viewpoints weren’t constantly repeated and validated in the echo chamber that is Fox, politicians who vote against people’s best interests wouldn’t have such strong support and that would be so great for our country.
7. Virtually no poor-shaming:
What other major network harps on the poor more unfairly other than Fox? The rest of the world understands poor people don’t merely exist because they are too lazy to get jobs. The viewpoint that black unemployment is only high because they’re all criminals who don’t want jobs would be said nowhere. They are the only network that has waged a war on the poor, all so billionaires can continue running this country for personal gain.
6. National IQ would climb 5 points:
Our current ranking is #9, with a national average score of 98, but imagine if people weren’t being lied to, their viewpoints were challenged, or they were encouraged to think critically — that in and of itself would expand people’s intelligence rather than diminish it. Without a strong media outlet for Republicans to shill, there would be fewer cuts to education and a better education system would strengthen our national intelligence. But Republicans know they can’t survive in an intelligent population ergo they are doing everything they can to destroy our youth’s intelligence.
5. The religious right would look like fanatics:
This is the one that has had the most impact on our society: The idea that Christians should be allowed to make the rule of law Bible-based. Without Fox declaring that the lack of ability to discriminate against people is a war on religious beliefs, these bigots/racists/sexists would be the fringe. Being close-minded wouldn’t be popular — it would be an embarrassing trait. Scripture interpreted as law would look fanatical and unconstitutional. No other news outlet would validate the notion that a religious majority is under severe persecution as evidenced by nothing. Fox gives zealots a mic and that is dangerous to a society that was founded on having a secular government. AND NO WAR ON CHRISTMAS BULLSH*T.
In the following segment, Gretchen Carlson complains that one person complaining about a Nativity scene gets it removed, not true, if the complaint had no merit the scene would stay, it’s because the government can’t endorse the Christian religion over any other. A Nativity scene on government property is absolutely against the First Amendment, sorry ’bout it Gretch. But that doesn’t stop them decidedly omitting that from the argument and stirring up emotions in Christians:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8BRX4KuCuI?rel=0]
4. Gay marriage would be legal in all 50 states:
Without Fox constantly harping on homosexuals and transgender people, gay marriage would probably be legal nationally. Instead Fox gives the anti-LGBT the idea that this issue has something to do with them, rather than this being between members of the LGBT community who want the same rights that other married couples have. Foxbots wouldn’t wrongfully assume the LGBT movement are trying to get more rights than het-couples, and there would be some rebuttal to the Biblical marriage argument (the Bible endorses incestuous marriage, dowry marriage, marriage of slaves, polygamy etc.)
3. Megyn Kelly would be doing porn:
I’m not trying to be sexist here. Maybe she wouldn’t do porn per se, what I’m trying to say is Fox has all these bombshell blondes, essentially they corner the market on sexist guys who won’t watch an average, smart and capable woman report the news if they can possibly get a crotch shot or see a wardrobe malfunction from beautiful women. Nothing against beautiful women here, but Fox women just aren’t all that smart, and Fox will absolutely hire boobs over brains.
I just don’t see a woman who said that “pepper-spray is a food product essentially,” as having a lucrative career anywhere else.
2. Only dumb idiots would worship Ronald Reagan:
Well, I guess only dumb idiots worship him now, but there would be fewer dumb idiots without Fox constantly singing his praises. Does any other news station do this? No. Ronald Reagan is the set standard that every politician has to live up to because Roger Ailes has a hard-on for the Gipper.
1. The country could be #1 in something again:
Healthcare, treatment of women or minorities, education, wealthy citizens — something. I bet something would work out for us if Fox wasn’t constantly pulling us into mediocrity. This country used to be number one in a lot of things internationally but not so much anymore, and it’s because of the alternative reality Fox offers that these issues go to the wayside. If you’re a Foxbot and think African-Americans are just whiners who want to play the race card all the time, what motivation do you have for making sure you’re giving black Americans a fair shot? They don’t. They have no reason to actively participate in making the country fair for all, if they get to just ignore the fact that unfairness happens a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, all of the country’s problems can’t be blamed entirely on Fox News, BUT, things would be mighty different if they hadn’t been allowed to run amok in this country. They’ve corrupted people’s minds.
It’s an empire that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They have an agenda for the right wing to take over the hearts and minds of otherwise good people and turn them into heartless robots, blind to real issues and preoccupied with matters that don’t affect them so the right wing can destroy the public school system, strip government, turn the U.S. into a theocracy, and the rich can rob Americans blind. It’s an utter disgrace. Other nations are laughing at us because we put up with thi,s and if Fox isn’t put in check anytime soon we’re going to deal with the detriment for generations to come.
The only war Americans need to be fighting is a war on misinformation, propaganda and alternative realities — and that would be a war where people benefit and no one dies.
If you ever get the chance, a great documentary to watch is Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism by Brave New Films, about what Fox News has done to the minds of Conservatives, Journalism and America.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P74oHhU5MDk?rel=0]
Featured image via People of Gaming