Published DateTo the editor,
In Ms. Shealy's lengthy letter to this form chastising me for my critical comments about Fox News, it was quite apparent that she is a faithful viewer of the network. These viewers develop a personality disorder whereby they feel almost as though they've been let into a secret society. Something about that affiliation with the network makes them feel privileged and this affinity is likely what drives the viewers to defend the network so vehemently. This "news" source conveys the "truth" they want to hear and believe, much like the viewers of MSNBC. It is popular because it is entertaining, but has little to do with objective reporting.
It's all about the ratings, and Fox News is the number one cable news network on the air. They are the mouthpiece of the Republican Party. Their motto is "fair and balanced," but they are extremely biased in their coverage, and their audience has been found to be the most misinformed of any news network.
Ms. Shealy has asked me, and rightfully so, to provide examples of Fox's "distortion of truth." Over the years I've provided numerous examples, but to update, I'll add more current ones. We'll begin with pollster Dick Morris predicting that Romney will win the election in a landslide — oops. Then how can we forget Karl Rove imploding on election night and refusing to concede that Obama won Ohio. We have Liz Trotta stating that rape victims are asking for it (not the best way to win the women's vote). And to drive off the youth vote, we have Lou Dobbs declaring that Dr. Seuss is left-wing propaganda.
On a recent Fox News Sunday interview, Paul Ryan started off by admitting he has no proof that President Obama was involved in the IRS "scandal." However, this did not stop Ryan from insinuating that Obama was involved in the IRS "scandal" — apparently he didn't need proof.
Fox continued its efforts to target the Obama administration with manufactured scandals, fear mongering that IRS Commissioner Sarah Hall Ingram would use the IRS' authority under the Affordable Care Act to discriminate against conservatives by denying or postponing approval for medical procedures.
With Fox News, it's not about telling the truth, it's about manufacturing a narrative and a worldview that can easily be absorbed and accepted without question or research. Even if it is found to be a lie, they think there is nothing wrong because they have been taught to believe the "liberal media" is lying about any positive thing Obama may have done.
It's unfortunate that Ms. Shealy would assume that I would call her a "Bible thumper" and "narrow", I just regret that Fox News and other right-wing media use religion as a political tool to advance their agendas. While it is appropriate to discuss the moral dimensions of public policy issues, religious doctrine alone is not an acceptable basis for government policy. Political religion, often used by the media, is designed to confuse rather than clarify and to inflame rather than inform.
"To be furious in religion is to be furiously irreligious." — William Penn
Following the conservative ethic, and confirming my views of panic mongering, Ms. Shealy outlines a litany of evils that I should be fearful of. While I am aware of them and wait to see how they play-out — they don't elicit fear. I have faith in this nation and the people from all walks of life who make it great. We as a community are better than the politics and the petty infighting that take place in our nation's capital. It doesn't matter which party occupies the White House, the push and the pull will remain the same — the topics will change but the politics will remain the same. We survived the last administration, we'll survive this administration, and this nation will survive administrations to come.
L. J. Siden