It’s the heyday season for the Republican Propaganda Network, aka Fox “News.” I should probably mention my former employer, CNN, since the network is also obsessed with abstractions and distractions of the 2012 Presidential campaign, and the unending conflicts between the folks elected to represent us in Washington. However, there is a big difference between Fox—the self-described ”fair and balanced” network specializing in distortions, misinformation and outright lies—and CNN, which at least makes an effort to display a bit balance with its non-stop talking heads.
Indeed, if a CNN guest expressed disgust over cannibalism, the grand-daddy of 24 hour news networks would feel obligated to give equal time to a cannibal to defend the practice.
But the worst part about CNN’s programming is its vast stable of paid pundits of different stripes and political persuasions. They have replaced correspondents, which means the network is short-handed when it comes to giving any kind of depth to daily news. A notable exception is war coverage.
Incidentally, I’m not volunteering to help fill the gap—unless, of course, CNN establishes a special unit for elderly muckrakers. That would give me an opportunity to investigate the safety of walkers and canes before I need them. Hopefully, long before I need them.
The inspiration for this week’s blog post is Hilary Rosen’s ill-conceived non-sequitur about Ann Romney “ever working a day in her life” in response to a question dealing with Ms. Romney’s understanding of the economy as it relates to women. Right-winger have interpreted the answer as an attack on motherhood, causing Fox “News” commentators to wet their britches while jumping in glee at the Democrat operative’s gaffe. Sissy Democrats peed in their pants out of fear of offending momma’s.
The furor raised over a bogus issue is an example of what is wrong with 24-hour cable news networks. The story got wall to wall coverage on Fox and far too much coverage on CNN. For politicians it evolved into a battle between the Republican allegations of Democrats engaging in a “war on motherhood,” and Democrats accusing the GOP engaging in a “war on women”—the latter accusation having coniderable merit in the context of Republican proposals to roll back legislation benefitting women.
The fact of the matter is Ann Romney doesn’t have a clue about the plight of impoverished single mothers. How could she? The wife of the presumed Republican nominee has lived a life far-removed from the realities of moms struggling to put food on the table for their children. That is not a criticism of Romney, but a simple statement about the benefits of wealth. I wish I had some, as do my three wives—mother’s of my nine children and step-children.
And no, I’m not a polygamist. Otherwise, I would be supporting Romney. Admittedly, a cheap shot, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do my imitation of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and all the other radio lunatics who have gotten rich by delivering cheap shots.
Being an optimist, or just plain dumb, I continue to think AM radio listeners and Fox “News” viewers will one day wake-up and realize they have been targets of an immense con game that exploits people, who are too lazy to read newspapers, or think for themselves. But then I walk into the homes and offices of seeming intelligent folks and see television sets tuned to Fox.
Momma’s are our last hope. That’s why I urge them not to let their babies grow up and become politically indoctrinated by the evil propagandists populating Fox “News.”
My memoir, Odyssey of a Derelict Gunslinger: A Saga of Exposing TV Preachers, Corrupt Politicians, Right-Wing Lunatics…and Me is available at amazon.com, soft-cover or Kindle and at independent bookstores like the Cottonwood in Baton Rouge. It offers $19.99 worth of laughs and much more. The book is an account of my illustrious (I choose the adjectives) investigative reporting career.