Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brainwashed By Fox

Recently, one of the Curmudgeon's aunts asked for an intervention with her son, who she says has been brainwashed by Fox News.

We don't watch Fox ourselves because it's obviously anything but fair and balanced. Indeed, if Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels were still around, he'd love Fox News. On Fox, everyone marches in right-footed sync.

Just to get an idea of what's going on, however, we did watch a bit of Fox News. Yep, if that were your only source of information, you'd be as brainwashed as if you got all your news from your church (churches, synagogues, temples and mosques being poor sources of balanced news).

Unfortunately, we have to rely on a fake comedy news show, the Daily Show, to do the most effective job debunking Fox, a frequent target of Jon Stewart's barbs. One story we'd seen on Fox was about an elementary school in New Jersey that was supposedly spreading socialist propaganda of President Obama by having a class of students sing a song about him.

Fox had gotten hold of a youtube video of the students singing and was milking it for all it was worth--indeed, the propaganda network was likening it to Hitler's Germany or "pure Khmer Rouge stuff." Well, it does take one to know one.

So here's what we got from the Daily Show later on: the video was made shortly after Obama's inauguration, Obama had nothing to do with it, it was during black history month, the parents were notified in advance of the lyrics to the song, no one complained beforehand, or afterwards (until, many months later, Fox rounded a local white lady who decided she was, after all, upset about it). And really, the song was pretty innocuous.

But what we liked best was the clip Jon Stewart's people found of an elementary school group near New Orleans singing a song about President Bush, FEMA and the hurricane recovery efforts. In this particular video, First Lady Laura Bush was right in the middle of the students, singing along. Well, so much for hypocrisy.

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As for our cousin, we're hoping we can give him a half hour dose, per day, of the Daily Show, just to give him a bit of perspective.

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