Fox News: fair and balanced at an uneven scale

The TV was tuned to Fox News when I walked into the Spartan Room last Tuesday night. I got there about fifteen minutes early. Staff was still setting up the bar and finalizing the food placements. I could smell the pizza wafting in the air, as various red, white, and blue chair-tied balloons floated gracefully in the air.

I chose a seat at a table in what I believed to be the most strategic location in the room – next to the bartender.

I ordered a drink – Otter Creek’s thick-and-dark-as-motor-oil Stovepipe Porter – and looked up to the large, flat screen TV on the wall.

Karl Rove, the now notorious fear-mongering mastermind behind George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, was serving up a slice of “Fair and Balanced” commentary from his blathering food hole, as the studio lights reflected back into the camera off his glossy, balding, skull.

“Someone shut this asshole off,” I thought. I’d be damned if I was going to watch that little troll bury Obama’s impending victory in his usual Grade A barrage of bullshit.

Thankfully, I wasn’t the only person having issues with the choice of station. It was quickly tuned to CNN before the crowds really began packing in.

As I sat there throughout the night, having a few drinks, talking with old friends, and watching Obama’s sure-to-be-referenced-in-history-books speech, I couldn’t help but wonder what would become of Fox News now that the political tides have turned.

The news network has become the butt-end of many jokes in recent years, as the self-proclaimed “Fair and Balanced” and supposedly bipartisan anchors have pressed the views of the right wing conservative movement for years.

Now, to be fair, MSNBC has been accused of being in the tank for the left side of the political spectrum, too. Call it a conspiracy if you want to, but isn’t it odd that Obama’s lead in the polls began to increase in unison with Keith Olberman’s “Countdown” ratings. Huh.

But over the course of Obama’ nearly two-year campaign for president, one thing became astonishingly clear: Fox News is a joke.

All right, maybe that isn’t the most earth quaking and groundbreaking news you’ve ever heard, but it needs to be said again: Fox News is a joke.

Why do people think Obama is a closet Muslim? Fox News. Why do people run around calling Obama a socialist? Fox News. Why do people think Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers pulled the strings behind the scenes of the Obama campaign? Fox News.

Who helped Sarah Palin, the most blatantly sexist and mentally insulting joke of a candidate we’re ever likely to see, get a free pass from the tough questions? Sean Hannity and Co. at Fox News.

Sure, it may be na’ve to place so much blame on just one news network. Every network slants. But not every network scrapes from the bottom of the barrel as consistently and unapologetically as Fox News does.

Disagree with me all you want. Go ahead and argue your two cents on the message board. I’ll hear you out. Who know, I may even change my mind if your points are strong enough. But I own this few inches of print space.

So now I wonder. How exactly will Fox News go forth in a country that is now so dominantly controlled by the political left? What’s Bill O’Reily going to do now?

I know a guy who needs his house painted – maybe that’s a start.

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