Worse than 9/11?

July 2, 2008

Fox News calls the Obamas’ playful fist bump a “terrorist” handshake. An on-air guest says half-jokingly that Barack Obama needs to be assassinated. Fox refers to Michelle Obama as a “baby mama” (euphemism for unwed black mother). Now this on the fair and balanced network: digitally altered photos of two New York Times reporters to make them appear older and decidedly less attractive.

People I love watch Fox with a religious fervor. They’re smart and good human beings. I’d like to believe Rupert Murdoch has hypnotized them. Or maybe the glossy, pouty lips and cleavage of his foxed up women anchors did the trick. I wish either explained the inexplicable.

Their Fox fixation is stark evidence of how they and other people who elected a disastrous president and worse vice president can’t see the reality of what they’ve unleashed. They don’t recognize the mistakes, the tragedies, the shame. We live in the same country but occupy realities a universe apart.

Maybe they’ll snap out of it, and the day will come when everyone refers to Bush and Cheney’s first inauguration day like we do 9/11. That way numerical shorthand will trigger not just an image of burning towers and death but a nation losing its soul: 1/20.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Times Culture Editor Sam Sifton says the newspaper won’t respond to Fox:

It is fighting with a pig, everyone gets dirty and the pig likes it.