What does the Fox say?
September 18, 2020 10:25 AM Subscribe
Political theorists, over the years, have looked for metaphors to describe the effects that Fox—particularly its widely watched opinion shows—has had on American politics and culture. They’ve talked about the network as an “information silo” and “a filter bubble” and an “echo chamber,” as an “alternate reality” constructed of “alternative facts,” as a virus on the body politic, as an organ of the state. The comparisons are all correct. But they don’t quite capture what the elegies for Fox-felled loved ones express so efficiently.
Fox, for many of its fans, is an identity shaped by an ever-expanding lexicon: mob, PC police, Russiagate, deep state, MSM, MS-13, socialist agenda, Dems, libs, Benghazi, hordes, hoax, dirty, violent, invasion, open borders, anarchy, liberty, Donald Trump. Fox has two pronouns, you and they, and one tone: indignation. (You are under attack; they are the attackers.) Its grammar is grievance. Its effect is totalizing. Over time, if you watch enough Fox & Friends or The Five or Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham, you will come to understand, as a matter of synaptic impulse, that immigrants are invading and the mob is coming and the news is lying and Trump alone can fix it.Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news:
To be clear, Fox News didn’t invent the white supremacy and racism at the heart of America, but the channel has definitely supercharged it. It’s also important to point out that “My parents watched the bad TV and got racist off it” is clearly a much less serious problem than being someone whose life is put at risk by the type of stuff Fox News promotes. That doesn’t make seeing someone you care about slide into the myopic bubble of rightwing propaganda any easier.
I mentioned the idea of losing family to Fox News brain on Twitter the other day, and unsurprisingly, a lot of people had their own similar stories. I asked some of them to share how it felt.
Here’s a collection of the stories people shared.
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