Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm sorry, what?

DH has been out of town all week which means I have a bit of a challenge getting to sleep. Bottom line, that at eleven last night I was channel surfing and landed on fox news. I do this occasionally because, well, I need to know what those wackos are saying. That way I can rage against their ridiculous machine a little more informed.

Case in point. O'Reilly has been beating his drum about a man in VA Beach who is apparently illegally living in the U.S. He got drunk and sadly killed a young woman. Horrible story, I feel for the parents. I don't get on board, though with the argument that had he not been illegally living here, she would be alive. We just don't know that and it's arrogant to say that we do. This is just background, however.

Last night, he's complaining about the fact that some newspaper reporter in Denver called him a racist and why aren't the VA newspapers getting behind him blah, blah, blah, what else is new? And then, the kicker, for me personally, he has on the editor of the Daily News Record. 10 points to the first person who knows where the DNR is located. And why do I know where it's located? Because I went to college in the same town.

The town is Harrisonburg, VA and while it is a lovely college town nestled in the Shennandoah Valley, it is not a mecca for world news. The paper not even that good at state or local news. This paper was a running joke at our college newspaper. I did an insert for them one summer on eldercare, and for a local paper I guess it does its job. But, it's no Washington Post. And, certainly, not an authority that should end up on a huge news show.

And O'Reilly has the editor of the paper on his show (and the editor got to hawk his book, naturally) simply because the paper is backing O'Reilly. Yeah, what's that tag line again? Fair and balanced. Riiiiight. I just don't get why O'Reilly thinks that Mr. Small Town Paper USA should get a national, several million audience-membered platform. Makes no sense to me. The irony, is that most people have no idea where Harrisonburg is (most people probably hear it and think Harrisburg, PA which is a major metropolitan city by comparison) nor do they know if the paper is any good, if this guy has a valid opinion, etc. etc.

This is the problem with a lot of these cable news shows. They have a lot of time they have to fill. They pull people out of anywhere, hold them up as experts and if you aren't critically thinking or if you don't know more of the information behind the expert or the story, you can be swayed to believe anything.

I know I haven't blogged about the Imus thing. I just can't bear to give him more ink. All I will say is that it looks like CBS is going to fire him, and frankly, it's been a long time coming. He's gotten away with comments just as deplorable for years and it's nice to see that for a lot of sponsors, enough is enough. If more sponsors pay attention to this situation and stop putting their money behind people and programs that perpetuate hate, we could start making more headway, not just in race relations, but in all of our human relations.


Holly in CT said...

You picked an interesting blog topic. There have been a number of articles about the amount of information available to the public through TV, radio and the internet. The "experts" wonder if we are on information overload. I agree with you that the excess of material available has to be filtered to see if it is indeed relevant and accurate.In the case you cite it is probably neither.

Emy said...

I like to keep up with Fox News on - they watch Fox so I don't have to. ;)

Larjmarj said...

Faux News gives me the heebie jeebies. I don't see how they get away with their "truthiness".

On the flip side of that coin, as much as we deride the crackpots and shock is still a matter of free speech and as much as we cringe when listening to it, at least they still have the legal right to say it.