This week could not have been a better example to me of why I can’t watch the opinion-news (or ‘opinutainment’ as I like to call them nowadays) channels.
It seems that anyone who has watched Fox News this week knows about as much about the tragedy in Haiti as someone who’s been living under a rock. I’ve spent the week watching CNN deliver some truly amazing reporting on the scene in Haiti basically 24 hours a day since the quake hit. Out of curiosity I decided to flip over to the opinion channels (Fox and MSNBC) every now and then to see how they were covering it. What I found over at Fox truly astonished me.
Over a period of 3 days I flipped over to Fox at least a dozen times and not once….not once…did I see any coverage whatsoever of what’s going on! This earthquake was the biggest natural disaster in our hemisphere in an entire generation, and is likely to end up among the deadliest quakes in history, and yet I couldn’t find one single solitary piece of reporting whatsoever at Fox News! (I wasn’t the only one who noticed this)
I watched on CNN as Sanjay Gupta interrupted his own reporting to administer first aid to a 15-day old baby whose mother had died in the quake. Then I flipped over and saw Hannity peddling Obama-rage and gloating over the arrest of a UN weapons inspector. Back on CNN, a reporter was holding a girl’s hand who was trapped under rubble while a group of men worked desperately to free her with their bare hands. At the same time over at Fox, Glenn Beck was pontificating smugly on something-or-other about race relations. At the end of every segment CNN showed a full-screen graphic directing people where to go to find ways to help, while O’Reilly complained that any aid we send there will merely be stolen anyway so what’s the point. Well……at least that qualifies as ‘Haiti coverage’ I guess.
Gupta on a subsequent day was reporting from a makeshift UN hospital treating about 25 people. Many of them had literally just finished undergoing open-air surgery when all the doctors working there were apparently ordered out of the area for the night because of security concerns. Gupta stayed behind and did his best to treat all the patients there throughout the night. The only physician left, he drafted his camera crewmen and security team into service to help him, continuing to stay even after the power generator failed an hour before the sun came up. Larry King interviewed NBA star Alonzo Mourning, who caught a ride down on a helicopter to help. This man, a famous multimillionaire, was helping out by doing manual labor, holding IV bags, and cutting up cardboard boxes to create splints for people with broken and fractured bones. Rush Limbaugh on the other hand was crowing about how Obama “couldn’t wait to get out there” because this tragedy was “made to order” for him, and complaining that our military was being turned into Meals-on-Wheels. Granted, he doesn’t air on Fox, but he is just a rank below God Himself on the Fox News hierarchy of important people.
The hypocrisy of the Fox people is truly shining through here. Most conservative commentators and opinionators are constantly bemoaning the fact that America needs to regain its place of moral leadership in the world again (which is a noble sentiment in my opinion). And now here we are actually doing it by taking the leadership role in trying to save precious Haitian lives, and all these jokers can do is to complain about and politicize the situation to try to score cheap points with their viewers. Irony alert: by claiming that the President is politicizing the tragedy, they are the ones politicizing it! If they actually believed what they said about American leadership, then they would be truly heartened, as I am, at seeing how quickly America and her leader pledged to stand by these people in a time of desperate need, and at seeing the tremendous outpouring of support and money given by millions of average everyday Americans–the very Americans they claim are the ‘real’ Americans. It should remind them, as it does me, that the heart of America is still good and that, despite all our flaws as a nation, we have the ability to put aside our differences for a time and become the hands and feet of God in the world when it really needs us.
Tell me which of these two stations acted more like Jesus…the completely secular station founded by a formerly rabid anti-Christian, or the ostensibly Christian network that laments all day long about the war on faith in our country? It’s practically a word-for-word retelling of the Good Samaritan!
I used to view Fox News (and MSNBC) with a kind of bemused indifference, laughing from afar at their pretending to be an actual news network with, you know, journalists. After this week, though, I’ve decided that I have to actively set myself against Fox News. These hard right-wing commentators are living reincarnations of the Pharisees that Jesus tore apart in Matthew 23. They make such a huge show of being self-righteous and holier-than-your-average-bear, yet inside they are full of dead men’s bones, hypocrisy and hatred.
At times like these, people like Rush and Hannity have more in common with al-Queda than with America. They are so full of hatred towards anyone who thinks the smallest iota differently than them that they cannot even muster a simple ounce of compassion towards people whose mothers, wives, brothers and babies have just been killed in the most horrific way. Remind you of anyone you know? These people would rather see America burn to the ground than admit that Obama did something nice. I used to think anyone saying that kind of thing was being histrionic to the extreme, but after seeing and hearing the things I did this week, I now believe it. These men’s hearts have been darkened by evil. Remember it’s the fruit of the sinful nature that produces hatred, factions and dissensions; the fruit of the Spirit is kindness, goodness, and gentleness, but I haven’t seen any of that from them this week.
I love how Jesus is sometimes referred to as ‘the Hound of Heaven’. You know what else hounds are used for? Hunting down foxes…
Truth poorly defended loses not its truthfulness;
Falsehood aptly defended loses not its falsity.
P.S. To be fair, I should note that I found a segment where Bill O’Reilly actually showed a modicum of common sense on the matter, but it was Mike Gallagher who really takes his fellow conservatives to task here in the video at: this video (unfortunately the woman in the video blathers inane nonsense).
And just for fun, here’s some ‘opinutainment’ comedy courtesy of Jon Stewart:
[UPDATE 1/18/10: I have finally started seeing some reporting about the matter on Fox News. Looks like they finally got the message that this is an important event!]