23 February, 2006

OUR TWO CENTS: FOX News-If Only They Were Kidding

I looked up from my treadmill at the gym today and glanced at a television tuned to Fox News. On a day when Iraq appears to be on the verge of civil war, the skilled and principled journalists at the network had posted - under three talking heads - this question:

COULD ALL-OUT CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ
BE A GOOD THING?


The sound was down on the TV so I couldn't hear the discussion, but it seems to me there is really no way to answer that question in the affirmitive, unless you are in the "just-let-'em-blow-each-other-up-and-we'll-all-be-better-off" crowd. To fathom that such a question would be asked in what was being presented as a serious discussion made my head do more spinning than the people on the stationary bicycles nearby.

When the definitive answer was no doubt reached by the three-headed panel it was time to bring out three more heads and ask the following question:

WOULD CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ
BE BAD FOR STOCKS?


So let me get this straight now. The war-torn state of Iraq is about to get meaner and bloodier, with countrymen about to go into full-blown war with each other. Thousands more men, women and children are likely to be killed, and the two most important questions are: How can the U.S. benefit by this and what is it going to do to my portfolio?

When I thought I couldn't take it any more, the Fox newsmen finally posted another question under still more talking heads:

COULD THE PORTS FIGHT WITH BUSH
HELP THE GOP IN THE FALL?


Now that is a question worth asking! The Republicans have long been the winners in the national security debate, which they have parlayed into control of the House, the Senate and the White House. But national security is, obviously, a national issue. Mid-term congressional elections often turn on local issues. By picking a fight with the president over who will manage U.S. ports, the Republicans may have found a way to localize the national defense issue. Voters will take a look in the fall and see that their local Republican candidate stood up to a Republican president in the name of national security.

Only a conspiracy theorist would argue that the issue was trumped up to provide the advantage to Republicans that I have just described. Or is it possible someone who has displayed unbelievably nuanced political acumen might just be able to pull off such a maneuver? Someone who, say, might bug his own office if he thought he might somehow gain from it politically.

I really don't believe even Karl Rove could have played this political chess match so many moves ahead. But I have no doubt he has seen the merit in keeping the argument going.

1 Comments:

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

Even calling them Fox "news" is giving them too much credit -- they're the Fox Propaganda Machine (or the mouthpiece of the GOP), and as the questions they posed illustrate, it is the mouthpiece of the state. What's in it for us? Whether that "us" is the country or the individual, that's the question they're asking.

More importantly, the questions have a thinly veiled racism behind them, seeing civil war in Iraq - and the lives sure to go with that - as nothing more than a conduit to a stronger U.S. position or a wealthier bunch of assets. What they're saying is that no lives matter except American lives.

That's the disgusting, awful truth about Fox, the channel more so-called religious people cite as their source for news. The good news is - to paraphrase Frank Zappa - that if there is a hell, it surely waits for them.

 

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