Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What I Learned on Fox News Today

This shifty-eyed man is clearly the enemy of the American people.

Thee Optimist stopped watching television a long time ago.  

Thee Optimist hasn't owned a television since sometime in the mid- to late-1990s.

Outside of watching the NFL every weekend during football season, and a little bit of the recent Winter Olympics, Thee Optimist tries to live his life in a sort of splendid isolation from the mass media messaging available on television.

But this morning I was at the gym, and my trusty iPod wasn't juiced, and although I tried to get in there very early, one thing lead to another, and I didn't get in there very early.

So I was in there with OTHER PEOPLE.  And they were already watching Fox News.  And rather than make an international incident out of it, or quietly leave and do some other form of physical activity, I decided to watch, too.

I was subjected to Fox News for about an hour.  It was an eye-opening hour, to say the least.  Here's what I learned:

- President Obama is weak in the face of Russian aggression;

- President Obama isn't weak - he's secretly friends with Vladimir Putin, and the two of them together have plotted to undermine the United States of America;

- President Obama is routinely indecisive;

- Indecisive President Obama vindictively hounds conservative activist groups, going so far as to order the IRS to audit and harass them;

- Very soon, we will discover that the IRS was indeed deliberately harassing conservative groups, and testimony will reveal, for all the world to see, that the orders came straight from indecisive Obama himself;

- President Obama wastes billions of dollars blindly pursuing failed policies to help poor people, policies which have been abject failures for the past 50 years;

- Such policies are in fact more than failures - they're counterproductive, because without these policies uneducated poor people would soon become economic innovators, and productive members of society, and some of them would even get rich;  

- The billions wasted on programs for the poor would be much better spent on the military, so the next time Obama's friend Vladimir Putin invades somewhere, we'll be in position to have a military response - in other words, we'll be ready to attack a large world power armed with nuclear weapons;

- President Obama has irresponsibly presided over the largest cuts in military spending in American history, leaving us weak, confused, and vulnerable to attack from enemies at home and abroad.  We are quite literally unable to defend ourselves, or our great friends the Ukrainians.  

Military spending by country in 2012, four years into the Obama presidency.  As you can see, Obama's refusal to spend on our military has left us at the mercy of our many enemies.

 - It is very cold in Philadelphia today, and the Fox News weathercaster (or whatever) was nearly run over by a snowplow this morning.

- The weather in Philadelphia is the one thing happening today that apparently is not the fault of President Obama.

- U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, Trey Gowdy, is absurdly proud that the only language he can speak is English.  No egg-head multiculturalism for this good ol' boy!

More amazing than the news was the response of the people watching it on TV.  Before my wondering eyes, the people in the gym were transformed into a sort of "Amen Chorus."  

Each new revelation about the crimes of President Obama was met with bizarre call-and-response replies from the workout crew in the gym with me.  

"Oh Yes!" they'd say, "Obama didn't fund the military."

"Oh Yes!  Obama is friends with Putin."

"Oh Yes!  Obama gives too much money to the poor."

I was kind of hoping that they'd begin to throw things (sneakers, 5-pound weights, etc.) at the TV screen when Obama's face appeared, as it did regularly.  But no one threw anything.  

Even so, in the end, as a little social experiment, it was kind of fun to watch Fox News, and it was fun to watch it with people who seem to watch it regularly.

But there's such a thing as too much fun, and I believe in moderation.  So I'll probably let another 15 or so years lapse before I watch Fox News again.  

Let me know if I miss anything. 

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