Friday, February 16, 2007
The Fake Fake News
Regarding Fox News's "The 1/2 Hour News Hour," their attempt to counter "The Daily Show" and other popular (read: "liberal") political humor programs, one is struck by the inevitability of their failure (to be funny, that is). The reasons are various and more or less obvious: Fox is a bully, throwing slaps at a straw-man "liberalism" that really doesn't exist; Fox is an embarrasment, the representative of the most well-off Americans that sees itself as put upon and marginalized; Fox is squaresville, too literal-minded, no nuances allowed: nobody like that is funny. But the most interesting reason for the inevitable failure of the show to be funny is that Fox News is fake news in the first place. Colbert understands that Bill O'Reilly, just taken straight, is self-parodic enough. Obviously, the culture warriors at Fox decided to respond to the popularity of Stewart and Colbert (inevitable). Equally obviously, this is another exercise in right-wing propaganda. Fox's slogan "Fair and balanced" is taken with a nudge and a wink by the angry, squaresville right-wing viewers: let's settle down for some grim trashing of The Enemy. Nobody thinks that the reporting is anything but as slanted as can be. When you are already a self-parody, no one is going to accept you as a satirist.