Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jesse Got OutFOXed!!!

I am not a fan of FOX television. FOX news, FOX Sports, FX, or plain old FOX, I don’t like them. At best, they are a necessary evil, since NFC football games are shown on FOX (and I have to watch the Giants), the King of the Hill, Simpsons and Family Guy come on Sunday Night. Other than those shows, there isn’t much they offer me. My dislike (disdain) comes in how the separate channels and programming are all tied together. Forgive me if I insult you here, but… FOX makes its money programming for the non-intellectual masses on all of its channels so that it can afford to finance its’ news channel. Fox News then reinforces stereotypical fears among the non-intellectual masses, so that they move our government to protect them from the would be destroyers of their non-intellectual way of life, giving corporations like FOX the power to continue to take money away from the non-intellectual masses.

This is not new information. FOX was built on programming for Black people and dumb people (some would say dumb Black people). Once they made enough money to challenge the big three stations, they threw Black programming to the side… except on FOX news, where you could always find a story about some black thug, baby mama, heartless murderer, etc. And if they couldn’t find a story, they’d spend hours speculating about one. So, with this basic history in mind, I have often wondered… why do Black folks go on FOX News? With the adage, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer, in mind, I occasionally give myself a 15-20 minute dose of FOX News. I watch them talk down to, cut off, disregard, and blindside their Black guests. And those folks keep coming back… and bringing friends!!!

When gatekeepers masquerade as moderators, talking about having fair discussions with no spin, while having a scroll of the topic being discussed running along the bottom or the side of the screen that contradicts whatever the Black guest is saying, you may want to stay away from that environment… or at least come up with a counter attack. Bill Clinton came with a counter attack last year when Chris Wallace tried to blindside him. Even though Clinton’s defense, in the form of an attack, was portrayed as borderline hysteria by the other news channels, it didn’t change the fact the Clinton tore Wallace a new one. Fox left Bill alone after that one.

Slick Willy knew enough to be on guard at all times, so how did Jesse Jackson get caught out there? As many times as he has been misquoted, misrepresented, and had his statements just twisted into an entirely different point before his eyes, Jesse should have known better than to trust anyone at that network. An intelligent Black person going on FOX news and expecting not to be attacked is like the Crocodile Hunter going into a swamp with the same expectation. They don’t care who you are, you are food to them… and they will feed on you to make their cause stronger. That insanity reminds me of a joke from my childhood watching Hee Haw (yes, Hee Haw… alas, I can’t lie…):

Patient: Doctor, I just broke my leg in three places!
Doctor: Well boy, I suggest you stay out of those places!

Even on Hee Haw, they understood that it didn’t make sense to treat the injury without treating the behavior that brought it on. Brothers and sisters need to stay away from FOX. At least with CNN, you know they are going to going to show everyone in a negative light… because they know that to combine fairness with high ratings, you have to have drama, and nothing brings drama like negativity (the desire to make a joke comparing the FOX and the Wolf [Blitzer of CNN] is strong, but I’ll fight it off). Even Obama knows enough not to go on FOX. They can talk about him all they want to, call him every name in the book, but they can’t use his words against him if they don’t get to talk to him.

I don’t fault Jesse for saying what he said. He has earned a right to feel how he feels, and say what he wants to say. Had he said the same thing at the barbershop, some brothers would have agreed, others would have disagreed, but everyone would have laughed. I do fault him for saying it where he said it. I have never heard a proponent of FOX News say, “boy that Jessie Jackson sure changed my mind on that issue!” On FOX, Jesse could add to the argument, but he cannot win it… and he does not need to be anyone’s additive at this point in his career. Jesse does not need to risk his past accomplishments looking for present relevance. Jesse will always be relevant. I remember sitting 10 feet behind him on the podium as he addressed a crowd in Buffalo, NY, during his 1984 presidential run. The man was larger than life. And when I shook his hand afterward, his hand was larger than life as well. I actually met one of my heroes… not everyone can say they’ve done that. I want to hate Fox News for tarnishing his image, but I can’t. They just did what foxes do… drag their pray back to the den, and bite them on the neck and back until they die.

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