I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria
Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation. They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.
We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.
This article speaks directly to what’s going on with some relatives of mine. They believe every bit of fear-mongering that Fox News spews out, so of course they’re absolutely terrified about the future of our country. One in particular has taken it to a new level of paranoia. Here’s just a taste of what this person thinks is going on — it’s like reading from the All-Is-Lost Handbook For Terrified White People:
- “The liberals” are going to destroy our economy with the Affordable Healthcare Act
- We’re unfairly punishing the rich in order to satisfy Obama’s socialist agenda and redistribute their wealth to the lazy unemployed
- The Mexicans and Native Americans are all lazy and living on government handouts
- The government’s coming for our guns because they’re buying up all the country’s ammunition
- Buying gold is actually a good way to defend against the coming economic collapse
- Obama’s a Muslim and his secret agenda is to take down America in the name of Allah or whatever
The end result of all this, of course, will be the total collapse of society as we know it and having to defend your house with a shotgun from roving bands of crazies who want to rape and pillage “the good people.” This person actually talks about this stuff as if it’s actual fact, as if it’s going to happen beyond the shadow of a doubt. The evidence? Whatever Fox News says, of course. Why would they lie? They’re the only ones telling the truth out there amongst the Biased Liberal Media That’s Biased™! Why can’t you see that!!!1!!1!
A lot of what Fox News spews is directly targeted at white middle-aged folks who tend to already be afraid of the future and afraid of change. Hell, I’m only 42 and I’m already terrified of what state I’ll be in when I’m old ‘n’ creaky, but I’m at least trying to have somewhat realistic expectations — not the apocalyptic visions of a living hell on earth that Fox News is peddling.
The show “20/20” is about to air a special edition called “Last Days on Earth.” Whoah, there! These people are throwing around terms like “last days” and “armageddon” as if they were covering those silly Rapture fairytales. The show is actually talking about natural cataclysms that could potentially wipe out the human race. Bad choice of a title, since the program is about science.
Anyway, this stuff isn’t so farfetched…all it takes is a massive meteor, a sudden shift of the Earth’s axis, a reversal of the poles, a massive tectonic shift (all of which have already happened, by the way), or a few others nasty things, and huge chunks of the population can simply be wiped out. Or all of it, for that matter. This article suggests that the show will make the case that we are in complete control of the situation, and that it’s up to us to avert disaster. Hmmmm. Entire civilizations have vanished as casualties of cataclysmic earth changes…it’s not always a gradual thing like global warming. What’s preventing the same sort of thing from happening to ours? Sure, we may be able to do something about global warming (assuming it’s our doing and not just natural warming/cooling trends), but what the hell are we going to do if the poles shift and the jet stream comes down to blow us all to smithereens? Pray to the Pope?
I hope those who survive the “last days” have decent genes…
Well, isn’t this interesting. Tom Ridge now says that the government elevated terror threat levels when the threats didn’t justify it. Of course, many people suspected this was the case every time we heard about a scary new Orange Alert, because they seemed to be happening far too often. They were obviously using it to keep the public afraid and on edge, thinking we could be destroyed at any moment, which helps boost support for this so-called War on Terror.
How’s that war going, by the way? Are we safe yet? Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter as long as the oil keeps a-flowin’.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or “high” risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.
His comments at a Washington forum describe spirited debates over terrorist intelligence and provide rare insight into the inner workings of the nation’s homeland security apparatus.
Ridge said he wanted to “debunk the myth” that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.
“More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it,” Ridge told reporters. “Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the country on (alert). … There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, ‘For that?’ “