Breaking News: Fox Network has been lying to its audienceFollow @mducheiney
We take solace that a sector of the population still craves for the truth and relies on journalists to bring it to the surface; it is thus lamentable, disappointing and even pitiful that those we trust to bring us the truth have been lying to us; we should not however be so shocked. Journalists are human too, you know; they have aspirations just like anyone in any profession; they aspire to move up the “reporting” ladder; they aspire to become known; they aspire to become famous; they like being lauded for their work, for their effort just like everybody else. Every so often, they dream up ways to reach those aspirations. The sniper brags about being very good at “snipering” the enemy out; the journalist, well, s/he writes about venturing in dangerous locations to bring the news to the public. It is a beautiful story; it is a heroic story. Who doesn’t like a hero? Someone who defies danger to keep you informed has certainly a place in your heart, in your life or at the very least in your living room.
But to bring the truth to you is much more than just its delivery. It is the truth – or whatever we dream of as such – that empowers us to hold our government accountable, to demand changes, to influence policies. The truth – or what’s imparted with us as such – has far reaching impact; beneficial to society when it is indeed the truth; dangerous when it is a lie masqueraded as truth.
Lamentably, the truth is relative, most of the time. To the Foxees (Fox’s crew: host, management) however, it does not matter a bit. Lying (or what’s adopted at Fox as the truth) is a necessary business tool. We saw in Lie To Me -Part 2 how costly, devastating, dangerous lies can be and have been. Lies cost lives, are expensive and create division. Those are not factors in Fox’s equation. At times, I demur whether there is a special drink everybody at Fox must drink in order to convince herself that everything s/he says is true. Too bad Jodi Arias added murder to her resume; she would have fit naturally at Fox Opinion, no drink needed.
Broadcasting is a business like any other; it must make money, it must be profitable. We saw what happens to print journalism; it had to go away. When there is no consumer (for a product or a service), the business cannot survive. Fox management has always understood that. It is a no brainer; businesses must meet their customers’ needs or will have to close their doors. So, the idea of holding Fox Opinion to journalistic principles and/or ethics is preposterous; to Fox Management, business comes first, journalism could come next, maybe. At Fox, when in doubt, the Foxees must think how their words would impact the business. To that end, one cannot blame Fox Opinion. The Foxees didn’t stray away from journalistic principles; they never had any. Management made the decision from the onset that journalism doesn’t bring money. Ideology does. Lies are cash cow and their targeted audience loves to be lied to.
Like everyone else, I dream of ways I could force Fox Opinion to abide by journalistic principles but I understand it’s a business that needs to make money, to be profitable. But what’s troubling is that Fox Opinion has been contributing openly to perpetuate racism in America. Yes, it’s a topic that should have been left alone by the Foxees or at the very least they could help move the country past that lingering issue. I find myself once again defending Fox Opinion’s position because its audience, comprised mostly of older whites and some young indoctrinated whites with 1960’s mentality, must be satisfied with programs that attend to their tastes. To “talk racist” has to be on Fox’s menu. It is therefore difficult to know whether the Foxees are racist or are simply serving up their audience; it is certainly a fine line. To understand Fox, one must always analyze its programs in terms of money. Mr. Wonderful, in the Shark Tank program, is famous for his line “I like to make money”. So does Fox Opinion, at any cost. To lie to its audience is not personal; it’s simply business. To lie brings money, lots of it; that’s all there is to Fox Opinion’s lies. Its management doesn’t apologize for milking the (cash) cow; its crew is proud for contributing to Fox’s mission, “Fair and Balanced” for its audience, “Make Money Relentlessly” for its crew.
Would Fox ever stop lying to its audience? Would you give up a cash cow? America has embraced capitalism doctrine a very long time ago. Capitalism is revered in America. Capitalism believes that the end justifies the means. Put differently, if the end is to make money and lying (the means) can make that happen, it is perfectly acceptable to lie. There lies Fox’s complete doctrine; the question remains, would Fox ever stop lying to its audience?