So anyway, I promised and now I will deliver, my views on Fox News.
I had heard about Fox News before going to America, I was fully aware that it was a news channel owned by Rupert Murdoch and that like his news papers (as oposed to his media operations generally) had a right wing bias. So I was not entirely ignorant. I was not quite prepared however for what I actually saw as I watched the news before going to bed.
the main topic being covered was the fall out from the televised debate between the democrats various contenders for next year's presidential elections. The rights and wrongs of the various arguments generally escape me, they're not really relevent to what I need to say. What struck me was the deep seated, and frankly personal, loathing that the presenters clearly had for the whole of the democratic party and, in particular, Hillary Clinton.
I understand why people want to vote for Hillary Clinton, if I was an American I would want to vote for her, hell I'd quite happily have her as the British Prime Minister. She is an articulate, intelligent, well travelled and well respected individual on the world stage yet at the same time has advocated policies that could have a profound effect on the lives of ordinary people, the biggest of these being universal health care. I recognise that many people disagree with her on policy grounds, and that is democracy, that is why we have elections. However what i cant bear is the personal issue that many republicans, backed by Fox News, seem to have with her. It's is a two edged thing, firstly she is a woman, and Fox seems to hate strong women, and secondly she is associated with Bill CLinton who is probably the most universerally liked US president ever.
And Fox news just went for her, it was clear and total loathing of her.
In the UK the news papers have their bias, we all know that, but the braodcast media, including Rupert Murdoch's Sky news, has a pretty neutral tac. Perhaps this is why I was so shocked.
The next issue that really has me foaming at the mouth was the way a court ruling was deliberatly misinterpreted by presenters to savage one of their studio guests. Here's the deal.
In one American state (not sure which, I think it was Idaho, but don't quote me) the police had, as part of a road safety campaign, erected crosses where their had been fatal crashes along a stretch of road. As it happens I think that's quite a good idea, but that's by the by. A number of individuals objected to this on the basis that under the US constitution the state and church are seperated. There is freedom both of and from religion. It may not always seem that way in certain parts, but constitutionally that's the way it is. These objectors said that the use of crosses by the police was effectively the state officially advocating Christianity. The case went to court, and the ruling was interesting. The court allowed the crosses to stay on the basis not that the state was legally allowed to advocate Christianity, but that the cross was so universally recognised as a symbol used as a grave that it was effectively a secular as well as a Christian symbol.
Now I agree with the court. Bear in mind here that I am a Christian myself, yet even I, if I see a cross in the middle of a field, will assume it represents a grave, it doesn't automatically figure in my mind that the inidividual may be Christian or not or even make me think of Jesus. See a cross on a church or a different context and I think of Jesus, not of a grave. It depends on the context.
Fox however took it differently! They twisted the court ruling to categorically state that the state was Christian and that the atheists and secular folks could just fuck right off and leave the rest of the world in peace. Again the attack they launched on the objector who had been called in to be interviewed was vile and personal and frankly outrageous. And lets be honest, what is more interesting? Why were they ebating the rights and wrongs of this? Surely a far more interesting story is how mind sets have changed and why even the likes of me think of the cross differently, is the psychology and symbolism of religion not a more interesting story? I think it is.
Pitty about Fox News though.