Thursday, 16 October 2008

Fox Me Harder

One of the upsides of the current financial turmoil is my new found love for Fox News. I'm no CNN fan boy though, as they feel hopelessly incapable of appearing either robustly partisan or assiduously impartial. CNN strikes me as trying too hard to be a friend and having no solid position apart from the pursuit of ratings.

Fox has succeeded in invoking nauseous feelings with me, ever since our paths first crossed. The 'fair and balanced' tagline is Orwellian, and it perturbs me when reasonably educated people sing it's praises as the lone voice of truth against the liberal bias in the media (while forgetting about right-wing radio, the WSJ editorial and a slew of right-wing blogs).  Bias is evident in the media but it generally balances out. However the ferocity of the Fox presenters against the Democratic party members is distasteful, and symptomatic of everything  that is divisive about modern day politics in the United States.

Watching Fox presenters at work is like seeing a co-ordinated and telegenic gang of thugs at work. Like A Clockwork Orange with impeccable presenter hair do's, lickable teeth that blaze sparking enamel, and blusher that smoothes out aging and skin-colour differences under the intense bright lights. It is for me ugly, unhealthy and has reduced the U.S. media landscape to a default position of defining plurality of opinion as un-American activity, which is quite the reverse of what largely made the U.S. great in the first place. The makeup may be flawless and the colour graphics capable of rekindling the glare on the dimmest of aged TV screens, but it's the hate that fuels a grotesque spectacle of 'Newspeak' on offer 24/7 by Fox.

Despite avoiding Fox (or even TV as a general rule in recent years) I know their key political pundits reasonably well through Al Franken's book which did a pretty good job of demolishing the individuals who drive the ratings on this channel, including the token 'Liberal' Holmes, who hasn't quite figured out that Hannity on occasions is evidentally  a borderline sociopath (I believe if I heard correctly that the man admitted he'd never danced with his wife the other day, thus revealing as any double left-footer knows, a cauterized personality that is in need of therapeutic liberation.

It's not how well you dance it's about the joining in and participation Hannity. What next? No foreplay in case it distracts from and contributes to the time saving serious business of getting down to business? What next?  Supreme court appeals against fellatio and cunnilingus as incontrovertible evidence that Roe Versus Wade exclude all else that has no direct contribution to conception? What a tool.

Recently though I've started to enjoy the dysphoria that Fox News is experiencing through observing everything they have stood for, in the last eight years and more, disintegrate in daily live broadcasting of their televisual dingo pack life. All that they have despised, smeared and belittled is now becoming the bipartisan and consensually agreed way forward for their beloved government to avoid sparking off financial paralysis. The U.S. among other measures is nationalizing  financial institutions, and has done so to the worlds 20th largest company, throwing taxpayers money into anything that can be rescued if it keeps Wall Street propped up - whether that is strapped to the lamp post in a vein attempt to bluff sobriety matters not.

The rationalization for this remarkable about-face on the government's role in business and their increasing intervention  by the Fox news presenter line-up is more perverse than say the genre of fisting pornography popular with smooth talking Japanese admen. But all that Bill O'Reilly, Hannity et al can say in these astonishing times, is that these Trotskyite measures are not as painful as the alternatives of an instantaneous meltdown. What are we talking about here? Hot-dripping-wax meltdown on crying Japanese schoolgirls or just economic collapse? I must remember to write the Japanese humiliation sex post one day. It will be a corker. You can count on it.

If however that's what happens when a country avoids short sharp shocks and opts for long drawn out economic decline as medicine, drip fed over a decade or more, as the US is seemingly inclined to do, then I question the efficacy.

Break it up now and rebuild quickly no? Didn't Jung say the best thing to subvert human growth is the delay of legitimate pain?

Isn't this perverse denial by the Fox line-up called ideological bankruptcy?  Shouldn't this require some measure of contrition if not a full mea culpa? The Fox/Republican ideology that the markets are unfailingly wise has been unmasked as a laser focused and greed-driven wealth-acquisition spree with no concern for the people who are now being asked to pick up the bill or more accurately left with bills they will struggle to pay should their salaries be the next victim of liquidity problems.

Now that my former prejudice against Fox is dropping quicker than the dollar is about to in markets that have figured out how deep and long the US congress is going to embrace economic decline, I've discovered the upside of the Channel such as unexpected broadcasts  of the people I've seen as reluctant to be interviewed by serious media in the manner that proper journalists do. It's a complete revelation to see Donald Trump predicting that oil prices will drop like a rock (they will because of demand) and that this will be a silver lining (a slim one, the system is broken - not the cost of energy you cretinous syrup)

Here we have a phenomenally successful property tycoon incapable of providing anything close to the inspiration that these critical times are crying out for, and all the while  ingnoring impending complete loss of systemic confidence. I was however chuffed to see Bill O'Reilly lambast Karl Rove for the first time ever on home turf. I suspect that this was fueled by the realisation Bill's pension fund is looking like toast. Typically many Republicans feel outraged when it's their own financial well being at risk or when their prescriptive morality is challenged on say abortion or gay marriage. I could go on about Karl Rove and his constant appearances on Fox of late, although I doubt he's going to demand his own arrest any time soon now that the fake yellow cake from Niger for WMD's in Iraq has been discredited at the expense of outing a CIA operative so the case for war was perceived as robust. Karl Rove; yet another chicken hawk who sent the young sons of the United States to a war that will line the pockets of people in oil, defense and private security such as Karl Rove and his jackal consorts.

I  doubt a better time to enjoy Fox in their current predicament will occur again quite so soon. Here we have a bunch of people with a clear ideology that is articulated often and openly with more than an whiff of superiority, about where tax is taken and spent, the importance of business over society, war over peace, tolerance over intolerance, self sufficiency over charity, prison as a lucrative business necessity, war on drugs, war on terror, war on anti-war, and war on anything that galvanizes people to respond to the knee-jerk corrosive nationalism that fear invokes. Fox have supported the government on every major decision taken by the GOP; from the Iraq War to their negligent response over Hurricane Katrina. There is not an envelope to squeeze between them and the GOP, and so the impending displacement of U.S financial supremacy surely has their fervent endorsement held fully responsible? Some people say that if you're not on the left when young you've no heart and if you're not on the right when older you've no head. I say if you're not capable of conceding disastrous errors of judgement or acting with contrition towards society as a whole then the word sociopathic springs too mind again.

I don't wish this post to give the impression that I'm some fully paid up evangelist for the entire Liberal sentiment or that the Democratic party are the solution to the unprecedented challenges we are all about to face. I'm heavily disappointed with the lack of Democratic backbone in recent years, and their inability to voice the unpopular when a few years in the wilderness would have earned their stripes as people of principle and conviction. They've overseen a colossal failure of duty, and hardly deserve to inherit the cyclical momentum that appears increasingly likely to go there way. I'm on record as saying that Ron Paul was my preferred candidate for the presidency because of his sheer courage and frankness in policy proposal. So please no blind partisan loyalty from this neck of the woods. Binary views on life are unhelpful and probably anachronistic given the complexity and volume of  the information age we live in.

But for the time being Fox is making great TV as their reality disintegrates around them. Thanks for the show guys.

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