The Problem of Fox News

“Fox is America’s central clearinghouse for hateful conspiracism, including the violent delusions that animated Bowers and Sayoc. A rich cosmopolitan Jew is scheming to help dangerous foreigners invade and despoil the homeland. Barack Obama, Tom Steyer and Robert DeNiro are trying to destroy America for reasons known only to themselves. Blacks want to steal everything for which you’ve worked so hard.

The problem with Fox isn’t just what it puts on its airwaves, but the impact it has on others. It pressures the corporate media to give credibility to its lurid fairy tales. It provides oxygen to the even more paranoid fantasists to its right, turning individuals into stars and other outlets into sustainable projects. And amazingly, Fox has nonetheless managed to present itself as a normal news outlet, like a cuckoo’s egg in a dunnock nest, mimicking the form with radically different content.”

—Jon Schwarz, “Fox News Has Done More to Incite Domestic Political Violence Than Donald Trump.” The Intercept. October 30, 2018.

On a personal note, I was doing a bit of traveling in the southern United States and decided to eat at four fast food restaurants, Arby’s, Hardee’s, Taco Bell and McDonald’s. Three had Fox News playing in the dining area. Taco Bell didn’t have any TVs. The second time it happened, at Hardee’s, I asked the people working there if it could be turned off, and I was informed that Hardee’s management had dictated that Fox News need always be on.

Consider the fact that, on any given day, one third of the population eats out at a fast food restaurant, and it’s a disturbing trend that this propaganda is being mandated by management to be played even when customers explicitly ask for it to be turned off.

Which brings us to the money question: Whose interests does that serve? And why is this a consistent pattern across different chains in that area?

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