A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Friday, June 01, 2012

Fox Faux Tribute

The Fox News network is one of my favorite news-gathering entities. No, I don’t admire them for their journalistic skills, because as a liberal I believe they have none. No, I admire them for the chutzpah they have always displayed with their slogan: fair and balanced. No news organization worth its salt should have to boast about being fair and balanced; these coveted journalism virtues would be self-evident and implicitly communicated in the news reports themselves.

This week, Fox News put their slogan down and buried it once and for all with a video produced and broadcast on their morning Fox and Friends show. With a straight face, morning anchor/hostess Gretchen Carlson introduced the video as a look back at President Obama’s first four years of hope and change. The video was shown three different times on the episode of Fox and Friends, earning the show scorn from all sides of the media and a disavowal of the video from the suits in Fox’s corporate office.

Well, let’s examine the video highlights. We open with Obama speaking to a Democratic-friendly and frenzied crowd, as he repeats his mantra of hope and change. A shot of children playing as Obama discusses their future. The, oh what’s this, a shot of clouds moving slowly through the sky as if the audience is on an airplane and slowly descending to Earth. Well, this is an interesting image depicting the President approaching humanity in god-like fashion from the heavens. Now there are shots of well-wishers lining a street, enthusiastically cheering their leader. Wow, I never realized Fox and Friends thought this highly of Obama. Oh, now the scene opens on a stadium full of spectators in the stands, and thousands upon thousands of uniformed men displaying their loyalty to the commander-in-chief as they raise right arms stiffly in a Nazi salute...

WTF? Hold on one gol-durned pickin’ minute there! (To quote Huckleberry Hound.) Who was the wiseguy at Fox that snuck the opening scenes of Leni Reifenstahl’s Triumph of the Will into their tribute to Barack Obama? (Just kidding! No Leni Riefenstahl footage was used in the making of the Fox and Friends video, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they considered the idea.)

Seriously, a medley of sound bites from Obama, various media commentators, and Obama’s critics from within the political sphere is sandwiched between footage showing unemployed people, homeless people, a flag, a bald eagle (again WTF), and a variety of computer generated graphics displaying various statistics that seem to contradict Obama’s hope and change message. On one issue, the narration features Obama’s pledge to cut the nation’s debt in half by the end of his first term. This is immediately contradicted by an animation of a money bag labeled $10 trillion THEN plopped down in front of the Capital and White House images, which in turn is dwarfed by another money bag labeled $15.7 trillion NOW.

The video then proceeds to quote Obama and/or his critics on jobs, food stamps, gas prices, and the inability of families to save money like they did in the past. Actually, this culture of giving credit or blame to the man at the top for everything that is wrong with the economy is a big load of crap. I realize I’ve been guilty of this myself in blaming George W. Bush for all the ills of the world, but after all the culture encourages such behavior. Never mind that it’s also fun, but that’s not my point at the moment.

On a few issues, the alleged journalists at Fox News paint a very gloomy picture about Obama’s first term. Yes, unemployment was only 7.8 % when he took office, and it is now 8.3%, but that’s not the whole picture. Actually, the national average spiked at 9.3% and has been coming DOWN within the last year. So if we buy into notion that Obama is to blame for everything, then we should probably give him credit for bringing unemployment down an ENTIRE PERCENTAGE POINT!

Similarly gas prices are given the same faux news treatment. The video notes that THEN gas prices were $2.50/gallon and now they are $3.68/gallon. The video glosses over the fact that prices could be worse and indeed they were worse. A few months ago, the national average was hovering around $4/gallon. Again, gas prices are headed in a more affordable direction; DOWN is GOOD.

On the subject of food stamps, the video features Obama’s critics pouncing on the idea that he has added more people to food stamps than any other president in history. Gee, don’t you think there’s a correlation between the raised jobless rate coupled with higher foreclosure rates and the fact that more people than ever can’t afford to buy food? No, let’s pretend that President Obama has been going door-to-door of 46.2 million Americans and personally signing them up for food stamps!

Then the video raises the specter of Americans saving money, or rather not saving money. In a statistic that only Fox could have found, there are five percent more American families with no savings now then when Obama took office. The video dramatizes this by showing a piggy bank toppling over a precipice. Well, I must say this image opened my eyes to the dangers that piggy banks have faced during the Obama administration. I had no idea that Obama was so anti-piggy bank! Gee, thanks Fox and Friends for giving me another reason to hate Barack Obama!

The Fox and Friends team credited the producer for all of the hard work he did in the editing room during the last few weeks and for all of the research he did to create this propaganda piece. I also had to do some research to write this critique. This entailed watching the video three times much to the dismay of my deeply offended liberal eyes. In the course of my research, I also discovered that YouTube has an entire section of videos devoted to fans of Gretchen Carlson’s legs!

Is this a great country or what?

Clearly, Fox News can no longer be taken seriously as a news organization. Although Fox’s upper management later disowned the video and removed it from their website, its contents came as no surprise to those of us who have observed Fox News from a safe intellectual distance. We’ve known for a long time that Fox was a tool of the extreme right. Such pieces have no place on an allegedly objective news show.

If she were still alive, Leni Reifenstahl would be proud.

(Thank you for reading. In the interest of shallowness over substance, I’ll close with this: Gretchen, nice job! Great legs!)


Anonymous Janey said...

WTF indeed! It is going to be a long and ugly election season...

Perhaps we could settle it by making Obama and Romney show us glamour shots of their legs, and we can make our presidential selection based on whose are best...

June 2, 2012 at 7:44 AM  

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