Sunday, January 3, 2010

Warning: This Post is Not Fair and Balanced

Hmm ... I was on here reading posts this morning, and I come back about six hours later and there is an explosion of posts about Tiger Woods. For those not in the loop, and that included me until about 30 minutes ago, Fox "news"caster Brit Hume said on-air that Tiger Woods should drop Buddhism and take up Christianity. Doing so would, in Hume's view, be the way to be forgiven for his sins.

Here are Brit Hume's words from the Fox transcript:

“He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

Thanks to Kyle for putting together the links to the other post. Check out his post here. And take a few minutes to write to Fox News to express your dismay over Hume's comments.

As for the reactions to this in the Buddhist blogosphere, I find it interesting that anyone would really be all that surprised. Fox News has morphed into a propaganda machine for the Republican Party in general, and the Christian right in particular. They're moniker "fair and balanced" is one of the biggest jokes on the planet. When it comes to reporting the news, Fox doesn't bother - it's all about presenting a particular political agenda and making almost no efforts to hide that. When you live in a country where millions of people know more about American Idol and Wii than anything actually going on in the real world, it's easy to sell what Fox presents as objective news reporting.

I have nothing positive to say about Fox, other than that it's a wonderful tool for recognizing the seductiveness of dramatic stories, as well as bold faced lies that play into our basest emotions. If you want to get your hate on, spend an hour with Fox News and I'm sure they'll provide you with half a dozen bogeymen to hate. If you want to gawk at someone else's misery, Fox is the place to go. If you want some juicy gossip about celebrities or politicians, Fox has that too!

When an organization touts such luminaries as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly (pictured above drinking the kool aid), the label "news" becomes meaningless. If you're interested in more about Fox, check out Media Matters, which researches media biases. Or check out Outfoxed, a documentary made in 2004 about the myriad of problems with the way Fox covers news.

I have to say that when it comes to comments like the ones Brit Hume made about Tiger Woods, this is the stuff Fox News lives and breathes on. They want to stir the pot. They want people to get pissed and pay attention. Fox News is like the child that gets increasing louder and more bold in action when it feels ignored.

So, I don't know about you, but I'll save my outrage for something that actually matters. I wish Tiger and his family all the best - may they heal and move on in their lives. And may all of us wake up to our biases when it comes to religion.


hadv said...

Fox News reach us to the other side of your world.. along with CNN and BBC and all other news channel. I watch BBC when I need a good analysis, CNN for their videos, and Fox News when I need a good laugh..

I do feel sorry for you sometimes hahaha..

Samuel said...

Fox news can conveniently be called "Faux news."

It just makes me sad that the majority of their viewership doesn't know any better.