USA Today Opinion. Is Fox Guarding The Hen House? By Hal O’Leary

USA Today Opinion. Is Fox Guarding The Hen House? By Hal O’Leary

USA Today Opinion. Is Fox Guarding The Hen House? By Hal O’Leary.

USA Today Opinion. Is Fox Guarding The Hen House? By Hal O'Leary

Fox in the street. Photo attribution Karen Arnold

One would hope that a responsible news organization, when addressing the extremely serious problems that currently face this nation, would exercise some measure of solemnity and sobriety befitting the gravity of the situation. However, I see on Fox News, in their relentless condemnation of the President and his policies, a light-hearted callousness that is nothing short of a reckless, insensitive disregard not only for the person but also the office he holds. I have made every effort to identify the mentality and the motive of such people that daily parade their arrogance and ignorance before a like-minded audience of sadistic sycophants. Unfortunately, a close examination of the attitudes displayed, in particular on the frequent and prominent panel discussions with an equal number of men and women, I have arrived at a few conclusions that may suggest that the public is not being provided the accurate information needed for any democratic society to function well, if at all.

To begin with, a mentality that leads to the light-hearted manner they display, suggests a lack of proper purpose. It seems that each of the panelists is trying to best the others in witticisms. The result is less a news program and more an entertainment in the sense of the old TV show “What’s My Line?” With the intelligent and witty John Daily as MC, a select panel comprised of three great wits of the era—Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis and Bennett Serf–was absolutely brilliant. There are, however, a number of distinct differences between that show and the less than erudite offerings of the Fox families. The first is intent. “What’s My Line?” was intended to entertain and amuse a mature, moderately intelligent and reasonably well-informed public with brilliant repartee. This elegant badinage was done in a most positive fashion, showing the highest degree of respect for the guests and any others that might be discussed. It’s quite the opposite with the panel shows on Fox News. The panelists, with their pathetic attempts at being witty, resort to the most scurrilous and cynical innuendo in their obvious attempts to destroy the reputations of any with whom they disagree. The absurdity of the light-heartedness with which they compete with each other serves only to make their outlandish and destructive remarks even more insulting. This attitude suggests not only a lack of humanistic empathy bordering on the sociopathic; it also suggests an arrogant, exclusionary sense of self that is in no way justified by their intellect.

To understand the reasons for this obviously biased approach to the news by Fox, we cannot, in justice ignore the mentality of the audience to which they speak. It is a mentality that holds that Americans are somehow superior in every respect to any other citizen of the world. This unwarranted exclusiveness becomes the result of an equally unwarranted and false patriotism evidenced by that horrible misstated and misused phrase, “My Country Right or Wrong.” This phrase should be completed as follows: “My country right or wrong. If right it should be kept right. If wrong, it should be set right.” The mentality and subsequent attitude of the Fox panelists is based on the biased and erroneous propaganda spewed 24/7 by Fox News and the myriad of talk show mouth pieces for the far right. It is such misleading propaganda that makes it possible for a majority of American citizens to ignore the horrors of the killings and other international crimes against humanity that are carried on daily by our military and various intelligence agencies. Rather than the false, patriotic pride this propaganda produces, an unwary public should recognize it as nothing short of shame.

And now to the motives: I actually believe that the mentality of such an obviously callous and false approach in disseminating the news is not the result of reckless or ignorant indifference, but a devious attempt to lull the people into a blind acceptance of this government’s questionable policies. There is little doubt that there is an oligarchy bent on creating a global military and economic hegemony referred to as “The New World Order.” The list of nations to be destabilized by this criminal cabal was drawn up long before 9/11, as was the plan to isolate Russia by expanding NATO into the countries formally a part of the Soviet Union. To realize the truthfulness of such a contention, just ask yourself a few questions: Whose military is occupying whose territories? How might we explain the US support of the apartheid in an Israel, which, as a self-proclaimed “Jewish state,” cannot possibly be thought of as anything but a theocracy? It is certainly not a democracy. Then again, why are the politicians calling on us to sacrifice our sons and daughters in an effort to defend the freedoms those same politicians are denying us at home?

A few last questions. If we are the most wonderful nation in the world, as we are incessantly told by Fox News and the right-wing media, with paid pundits and politicians who we pay to supposedly look out for our interests:

• Why, in education, are we No. 18 among developed countries? (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development).

• Why do we rank No. 46 in the ”Most Efficient Health Care,” while we are by far the very first in health care expense? [Bloomberg Best (and Worst)].

• Why does the United States rank No. 34 out of 35 countries with its shameful rate of child poverty, just ahead of last place Romania? (UNICEF).

• Why does the United States have the worst income inequality in the developed world? (Wall Street Study).

• Why is the United States ranked a dismal No. 17 among most happy nations? (OECD).

These questions will never be found or addressed in the ridiculous banter of the Fox panelists’ “Fair and Balanced” approach.

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Hal O’Leary is an eighty-seven-year-old Secular Humanist who believes that it is only through the arts that one is afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University.

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