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Fox News: we’re here to help you feel the panic

How about some apps to go with some of that Fox News coverage of  today’s scary events and many more to come? No matter that the manhunt is continent’s breadth away, with these special spine-chills generators, adrenaline release patches, and extra 3D sound and visual effects you too can experience the thrill of danger. Live footage provided by police and FBI, who carry helmet cameras, makes it all seem so real…

I was stuck watching the big screen in the auto service department of our local Honda dealer today–my first chance to watch Fox News up close. Yes, I know–I’m sheltered. It was the story of showdown between law enforcement and the last Boston Marathon bomber. A bit of a culture shock after CBC Radio and NPR News coverage. Anchor Megyn Kelly’s hard, intense voice caused visceral reactions in me, like certain preachers with a yelling style, and I wanted to change the channel, but I decided to take notes instead. Like an anthropology exercise.

She used simple, short sentences with plenty of italics, and made liberal use of quotes, introduced by saying, “…quote,…” for which she gave no source. As in “A man who, quote, ‘has come here to kill people.'” She pushed listeners to engage emotionally, perhaps because there was a lull in the action as she spoke, with the suspect not doing anything, just hiding in a boat. “And now there are women and children locked in their homes. Can you imagine what it’s like, wondering if you could be next?”

Are we really so dull that we need to be led into how to react? Is it like a drug ? What is the most important thing about the news, anyway? I thought it was to get information, perhaps intelligent and expert analysis, then see if there’s something we should do about it.

The tone of serious alarm was even matched by most of the advertisements, the slots for which, I suppose, had been snatched up by companies hoping to make an extra buck because of the atmosphere of fear created by this terrorist manhunt. Buy gold or you’ll lose all your savings due to inflation. Buy the Obamacare Survival Guide. I’m surprised there weren’t any specials on safe room kits for six easy payments of 299.95, double wall thickness if you call today.

I mentioned to the shuttle driver that I was new to Fox and was getting the atmosphere of the station’s coverage. He said Fox was the only news he ever watched. It was evidence that I’ve become less confrontational that I didn’t challenge him on that, even ask him what he liked about Fox. Darn it! Now I want to know! I really am sheltered.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Culture & Society, Media

 

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