One of THE most pernicious forces in American politics is Fox. Fox deliberately spreads lies and misinformation, stokes white male grievance, encourages actual violence, and regularly works hand-in-glove with Putin and other foreign enemies. If you haven’t watched Fox lately (and why would you?) you probably have no idea of how bad it’s gotten. Over the years, Fox has morphed from a right-leaning source of news to genuine Radio Rwanda propaganda, designed to stoke violence and fascism. And if you live outside rural America, you probably have no idea how ubiquitous Fox is. It’s on in every bar, barber shop, car repair waiting room, hardware store, and farmhouse kitchen. When we talk about rural collapse — the fact that in rural areas we’ve seen the percentage of votes for Democrats drop to basically nothing — Fox is largely to blame. Even though the Democrats are doing things that improve the lives of rural people — increasing minimum wage, bringing rural broadband, improving the environment, putting money in their bank accounts — those people won’t vote for Democrats because they know that Democrats “hate America,” “kill babies even after birth,” “want to take your hunting rifle,” and “are brining immigrants to America to change our values.” They know that’s true because Fox pounds those lies into their heads 24/7.
So you may never watch Fox. In fact, if you go into a business and Fox is on the tv, you ask to have the channel changed. You boycott Fox’s advertisers. Heck, you even got ahold of your dad’s remote and set the controls to block Fox. But you still probably support Fox.
If you pay for cable tv, a portion of your monthly fee goes to Fox, even if you never watch it. As explained at unfoxmycablebox.com, “Every network charges cable and satellite providers a small fee per subscriber; the one for Fox News is extraordinarily high. A typical household pays Fox News almost $2 per month—about $20 per year— via their cable or satellite provider, regardless of whether they actually watch the channel. . . .
Fox News makes approximately $1.8 billion per year from hidden subscriber fees–twice as much as CNN and three times as much as MSNBC.
The network’s extra-high fees, which make up most of its revenue, protect Fox News from the advertisers that are quickly abandoning it.”
Now, a round of Fox’s contracts with cable companies is coming due for renegotiation. Fox makes sure to let its viewers know about this and urges them to contact the cable companies in support of
Fox. And, hopped up on propaganda-induced anger, they do just that.
Liberals have always had a difficult time figuring out what to do about Fox. We believe in the First Amendment and don’t want government control of information. Because Fox is spread over cables and not over the public airwaves, it’s tricky to figure out how to apply something like the old fairness doctrine to Fox. The channels held up as the liberal counterpart to Fox really aren’t. They focus on actual news, not propaganda. An hour of Rachel Maddow late at night really doesn’t begin to counter the daily barrage of nastiness spewing forth from Fox. Heck, we can’t even get “our” folks to agree not to appear on Fox, thereby giving it a veneer of objectivity. Too many ambitious white guys are sure that THEY can cut through the propaganda and “reach” Fox’s viewers. (Hint: this has never worked, ever, in the entire history of Fox.)
So what to do? Are we obliged to sit back and watch Fox destroy our democracy? Is the Constitution really a suicide pact?
Well one thing you can do right now is go to unfoxmycablebox and fill out their form to let your cable company know that you won’t continue to give Fox your money. Also, please
“• Put pressure on your cable or satellite provider to stop using your money to subsidize Fox News on your dime. And you can let your cable or satellite company know you’re going to switch—unless they make a change.
• Cut the cord. You can now get your TV from streaming services that do not include Fox News. (Thanks, internet!)”
I stopped paying for cable years ago. I get all the entertainment I could ever want with a few streaming services such as Britbox and PBS Masterpiece (at a lower cost, too). News and other things I might want to see are available on the internet. Cable companies are already worried about the competition from streaming services that give customers more control over what they want to watch (Why pay for baking shows if what you want is hockey? If you want gardening and documentaries, why pay for Desperate Housewives?) Telling them that you’ll “cut the cable” and go to streaming services if they keep supporting Fox is important, especially during this renegotiation period.
I don’t often ask this, but please share this information. Post about it on Facebook or your blog. Tell all your friends to unfox their boxes. We need to begin to put a stop to Fox’s evil.