12 Unbelievably Awful Things Fox News Did This Year
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Behaving entirely consistently with a network that harbors politcos who want to see President Obama fail, Fox News cavalierly dismissed the October unemployment report showing a drop from 8.1 to 7.8 percent. Heaven forbid anything good happens in this country while President Obama is in charge. Fox spent the whole morning trying to hatch skeptics. It brought in former General Electric CEO Jack Welch to explain his delusional Tweet: “Unbelievable jobs numbers...these Chicago guys will do anything...can’t debate so change numbers.” Fox’s Stuart Varney concurred along with Donald Trump and a bevy of correspondents and guests. None of them could explain why an independent agency of career economists, without a single Obama appointee, would fudge the numbers for a president to whom they owed nothing.
The most heartbreaking news of 2012 was surely the massacre in Newtown, CT, where 20 schoolchildren and six adults were senselessly murdered by a deranged gunman. The resultant outcry from concerned Americans about the easy access to weapons that are capable of such carnage was met by Fox News as an attack on the Second Amendment and free enterprise. Its response was to slaughter the First Amendment by prohibiting any discussion of gun safety on the network. Sources told Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine that “David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air.” It’s also worthwhile to note that while Fox banned all talk of gun control, it did not banish talk of other explanations for the atrocity in Connecticut. Fox had no problem with laying the blame on mental illness, movies or video games. Fox host Mike Huckabee was permitted to go on the air and blame the killings on the absence of God in the classroom (which does nothing to explain similar shootings that have taken place in churches).
While Fox News broadcasts flagrant distortions of reality on a daily basis, the examples above transcend the conventional dishonesty and bias that is its hallmark. These assaults on ethical journalism demonstrate how dangerous it is to permit a political enterprise to disguise itself as a news network in order to shape an extreme political agenda. It is evidence of social programming and manipulation at its worst. The sad part is that we can expect much more of this in 2013. Happy New Year!