Saturday, July 30, 2016

What is it with Fox News and anger?

As I've mentioned before, one of my long-time hobbies is pen palling. I've got pals I've been corresponding with for over 40 years now. Several of my pals have mentioned that since they slid into the golden years their now-retired spouses have become addicted to cable news programs.

I know the feeling. Back in Atlanta when I was working but the S.O. was a man of leisure, he developed this bizarre addiction to CNN. I don't think he had it on all day, but it did seem like he watched way more Wolf Blitzer than any normal human should. In retrospect, I guess it could have been worse. He could have drifted into watching Fox News. Not likely, because we've been calling it Faux News for years, but you never know. A number of my pals are themselves pretty moderate in their political views, basically right in the middle or even slightly to the left in their leanings, as were their spouses, but somehow the men in their lives got seduced by Fox. Maybe it's the lure of all those young, female, blonde news readers. . .

Anyway, it's become apparent that sooner or later if you're a die hard Fox News viewer you slide into being permanently angry. You're pissed off all the time about everything. In the past few years I've gotten a number of letters in which pals describe just how hard it is to live with someone they thought they knew but who has now become a contender in the World's Angriest Man contest. And, as one pal described her significant other's descent into the abyss, it's like the more they watch, the more they have to watch. Her husband used to have hobbies. He golfed. He fished. He puttered around in a workshop. Now he sits, watches Fox News, and rants.

I can understand the news media lying, either through omission (the stories that never get covered) or on purpose. The news media in this country has been doing both for as long as the United States has existed. The idea that the news media are supposed to objective is a fairly recent fantasy. What I don't understand is slanting the news in a way that seems designed to trigger rage on the scale that Fox News does.

Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe the angry Fox viewer already leaned towards xenophobia, misogyny, and irrational anger and it just took time for that side of their personality to come out. Maybe the spouses were jerks all along, but my pals never noticed during the decades they were both busy with work. Retirement arrives, they're together 24/7, and suddenly it's holy wah, I'm married to a Bill O'Reilly fan!

I don't know. It's another of life's little mysteries. I do know that every time I read one of those letters from a pal wondering what's wrong with her spouse -- is Fox viewing a warning sign for the onset of senile dementia? Does she need to start looking into nursing homes that specialize in memory care? -- I'm relieved my biggest complaint about the S.O. is he's not a morning person.


  1. The older I get the more I could care less about all that crap.

  2. We can hope that with the change in management at Faux News that there will also be a change in content??

  3. Faux News plays to anger and fears. Anger and fear are very seductive.

  4. Every time you see a rabid Republican you can bet he or she only watches Fox News.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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