Everyone knows that Fox News is a delivery vehicle for rightist propaganda and disinformation. But did you also know that Fox News provides an object lesson on how to talk to viewers of Fox News (who would know better)? It requires a unique style of communication that has more in common with childrens’ books than with a mature dialogue of substance. Take for example…
Let’s set aside the tragic and senseless loss of a perfectly good cartoon beer. That, while unfortunate, could happen to anyone. I myself had an imaginary Klondike Bar get away from me last week. But there are more profound matters in evidence here.
In this video, Jenna Lee, an anchor on the Fox Business Network, employs a touch screen monitor to illustrate the complexities of the economy. Many television journalists use this technology, but most endeavor to have it enhance their presentation. They will display charts or other graphic objects and, through juxtaposition and visual association, they strive to clarify their reporting and add to their commentary.
Fox News, however, has different needs. They know that they cannot burden their enfeebled fan base with difficult facts and data. The Fox method is not to inform, but to simplify, so that even the most intellectually challenged viewer can grasp at least part of the report.
Notice how Lee takes advantage of the expensive video display she is using. When she gets to the part of her script that discusses the cost of cookies, she pulls a virtual cookie from her virtual shopping cart and enlarges it so that everyone watching at home knows precisely what she is talking about. Look at that, it’s a cookie! She does the same with the uncooperative bottle of beer. Sadly, she fails with the jar of peanut butter, so I wonder what the confounded home viewers must have thought without their visual aid. And when her screen froze I imagined something similar occurring in the brains of the audience.
On other TV news networks they generally presume that their audience knows what a cookie looks like and that explicit visual clues would be superfluous. But on Fox, no such presumptions are employed, and for good reason. Considering the fact that their audience still believes that President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim who advocates euthanasia for the elderly, and that Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber are statesmen, Fox really has to gear their programming to the toddler demographic.
This is another explanation for the fierce loyalty of Fox News viewers. Where else can they get remedial news broadcasts that permit them to feel adequate and capable of (mis)understanding current events all by themselves?