[Ed. – Spew alert.]
I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place. Again, this is all by design. Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.
People talk about the imminent “death” of Fox News itself, because of an ever-aging demographic. Again, Frank Rich makes this case, but I think his argument is dubious. Certainly the audience is graying to oblivion, but it’s a cold comfort to those of us who watch our parents or grandparents drown in an incessant downpour of outrage. We will only see the “End of Fox News” when my father and his contemporaries die. I do not want to watch my father and his entire generation spend their remaining years enraged at utter nonsense.
My cohort, Generation X, is stuck between two generations of suffering Americans. The millennial generation is losing job opportunities and income as the nation stagnates. They put off marriage and buying homes. While white, Fox News-addicted baby boomers have lost their sense of hope. They’ve been passed over by shifting attitudes about gay marriage, the role of government and a host of issues. They still think of themselves as the “silent majority,” when in reality they are a wounded and thrashing legacy of white hegemony. My parents’ generation is becoming fragile antiques, relics by choice, reassured by Fox News that they are still the only voice that matters.
I, and people like me, have managed to break the cycle of conservative red-and race-baiting.