Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Altered Reality: Foxnews.com and the Government Shutdown

Yesterday, while chatting with my brother, he mentions to me: "you're not gong to be believe how they are positioning the shutdown on foxnews.com. Now it's a Government slimdown.

Amazing. Brilliant. Scary.

Shutdowns are bad. Slimdowns are good. You know, healthy. Who couldn't go for a slimdown now and then? So what if it involves sending 800,000 home without pay or keeping kids from getting cancer treatment.

Don't worry, Fox News is on the case for WWII veterans who want to visit their memorial. Kids being sent home from preschool or on food assistance, not so much.

Anyway, I just took a peek at foxnews.com:

It may be hard to see, so let me point out how they've fine tuned the message:

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S selective slimdown of government during the budget stalemate ...

That's right. This isn't just a slimdown, it's Obama's slimdown. Unhappy about the particular service being slimmed? It's now the the GOP's fault, it's Obama's. Obviously, he gets to choose what stays open and what closes, right?

Of course not. There's a specific law that governs what can remain open during a shutdown. Failing to follow the law would be a crime in and of itself.

You almost have to give Fox News credit for being so inventive.

You know, I'm almost OK with the notion of shutting down the government. It seems reckless, but maybe the issue at hand is so dire that it's a necessary fallback. Maybe in my lifetime I'll be on the other side, and there will be an issue I feel so strongly about that I'm willing to support such extreme actions.

But rewriting history, and casting this as some sort of a good thing, a healthy thing, that's just perverse. To me, this demonstrates a staggering lack of foresight and empathy. You've just sent hundreds of thousands of people home without a paycheck; is that even remotely fair? You've interrupted research and services that may not be visible to you, but are none the less essential. It's like saying, "well, I don't have cancer, so why do I care if cancer research halts?".

People have been saying all this far better than I. Two items worth your time: Government Shutdownpocalypse Live-blog: Day 1 and Jon Stewart destroys callous Fox News host: F*ck you for mocking the poor.

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