President Obama’s State of the Union address was generally well received by a majority of Americans with polling showing high approval for the speech (CNN, PPP). But oddly enough, Fox News managed to put a negative spin on the public reaction.
What makes this particularly odd is that the article that Fox posted on their web site had mostly positive things to say about the speech. However, the headline could not have been more downcast: “Obama’s State of the Union speech a well-crafted, hollow recitation of nothing more than words.”
A hollow recitation of words? As opposed to a recitation of shoes, or bees? How about a recitation of pie? It is pretty much a given that, by definition, all recitations are of words. This may be a detail that escapes the linguistic geniuses at Fox who can’t seem to even get through the second paragraph of the article with making numerous grammatical errors.
More to the point, the headline Fox composed was utterly detached from the content of the article. At no point did the author, fake Democrat Doug Schoen, write that the speech was “a hollow recitation of nothing more than words.” That was an invention of the headline writer. Schoen did, however, write that the speech was “well-written, well-crafted” and “hit all the right notes.” He also said that it “was a great speech.” None of that made it into the headline.
Had Fox wanted to disparage Obama without resorting to fiction, there was plenty in Schoen’s screed from which to choose. Schoen used much of his space to blame Obama for the obstructionism on the part of congressional Republicans. But the headline writer must have thought that angle would be too steep for the Fox audience. All things considered, that was probably the right call.