From this mornings Guardian Luke O’Neil
The following 8 pieces are from an article describing what is being called FOX news brain, and the damage it is doing to American families. Read this and don’t make your family one of the victims.
I love my mother. She is one of the kindest and sweetest people you will ever meet and I would be nothing without her. I’ve never heard her say a bad word about anyone, never mind anything overtly terrible, like the type of thing, for example, you might hear from Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity. But I do know, much to my dismay, that she has watched them on TV a lot over the years. As such, my mom and I have agreed to not talk about politics anymore. The cognitive dissonance between this lovely woman finding something appealing in the most xenophobic pundits on TV is too hard for me to reconcile. I don’t want to think about it.
It turns out there are a lot of families across the country who have a similar arrangement, or worse, in which people have stopped talking altogether to relatives they feel have been stolen from them by Fox News.
To be clear, Fox News didn’t invent the white supremacy and racism at the heart of America, but the channel has definitely supercharged it. It’s also important to point out that “My parents watched the bad TV and got racist off it” is clearly a much less serious problem than being someone whose life is put at risk by the type of stuff Fox News promotes. That doesn’t make seeing someone you care about slide into the myopic bubble of right wing propaganda any easier.
I mentioned the idea of losing family to Fox News brain on Twitter the other day, and unsurprisingly, a lot of people had their own similar stories. I asked some of them to share how it felt.
Here’s a collection of the stories people shared.
From this mornings Guardian br br I love my mothe... (
Growing up, my dad was the one person I knew who taught me to be a critical thinker and to educate myself on topics before I spoke about them. But right around the 2008 election, he became a Fox News talking point machine, saying some awful shit I never knew he believed. When I’d press him on where he heard it and how he knew it was true, he’d just shut down.
Maybe he was always like this, but lacked the exhaust chamber to say out loud what he was thinking. I’ll never know. It just sucks because I know the people he hates so much are basically the same people as me.
Yeah, he’s racist. I wouldn’t have thought so back in the day, but I guess it was always there simmering under the surface. Like a lot of people, I think old age and his chosen form of media have made him feel more safe about saying stuff out loud.
My only guess is that they no longer recognize the world around them. Instead of acknowledging that it’s just the way things go, they’ve retreated into this fear of “the other” which almost always turns out to be someone who isn’t white.
Growing up, my dad was the one person I knew who t... (
After Obama was elected I thought my dad had turned a corner – he said he stopped listening to talk radio, especially Rush Limbaugh, on his long work commute, because he said that Limbaugh had gone off the deep end.
I don’t watch Fox News because of course it warps your psyche, but it must have changed tone after Trump was elected. My dad slowly became even more xenophobic and angry than he used to be.
My wife and I are worried about letting our daughter stay with our respective parents, because their toxic anger and resentment is slowly becoming their entire identity. I hate what Fox News has done to almost everyone in my family. It’s absolute poison and the only thing I think is worse is that there are people who think that destroying the morals and conscience of multiple generations is worth a few more bucks. I absolutely refuse to believe that people like Hannity don’t know what they are doing.
I wish I could do something, but who has the time or energy to combat that?
After Obama was elected I thought my dad had turne... (
I was raised by a strong pro-choice feminist mother, who now tells me “cute stories” that happen on The Five (the Fox daytime show), loves Trump, and thinks abortion should be illegal after six weeks.
I grew up in a house where we openly talked politics. Now, it’s noticeably absent from our conversations. She actually said that she hopes my daughter, who is four, grows up to be conservative. When I said “absolutely not”, she seemed truly baffled.
I will say that whenever she spends time with my minority friends she seems to temporarily soften on the racist stuff, then she goes back to Texas and watches a few hours of Fox and it’s back to “normal”
I was raised by a strong pro-choice feminist mothe... (
I pretty much don’t go home anymore – twice in the last three years, only at Christmas – because my family and friends all have broken Fox Brain. I called at Thanksgiving to say hi, which was when my dad called Obama the n-word during the call, apropos of nothing.
I’m not totally sure when it started since I haven’t lived at home since 2002. It slowly built, but the rift probably started around 2008, when I was volunteering for Obama. It got the most heated when my mom went to a Trump rally in Phoenix ahead of the 2016 election.
We’ve pretty much agreed not to talk politics anymore, but occasionally my mom tells me things like “Brett Kavanaugh is innocent because women always lie about getting raped.” Eventually, I just stopped calling and answering texts.
I can’t necessarily say it all stems from Fox News, but it’s on in the house pretty much 24/7 and I can’t imagine that doesn’t play a factor. But I probably had MSNBC brain while I was there, as I had it on eight hours a day at work and then watched Maddow and Hayes when I got home.
I pretty much don’t go home anymore – twice in the... (
I lost an uncle to Fox brain. He was a middle school teacher in a small upstate New York town, was on the board of the teachers union, and a big labor guy. After he retired he started thinking unions were for lazy people and talked a lot about how the government gives free stuff to immigrants who come here illegally. A couple weeks ago we were talking about my student debt and he said if I was an illegal the government would take care of that for me.
I asked him why he thinks that’s true and told him I thought they just put them in cages, but he just rolled his eyes and started talking about something else. We mostly just don’t talk as much anymore because it’s not worth it for either of us.
I lost an uncle to Fox brain. He was a middle scho... (
My parents came to visit me in LA recently, from my hometown in Illinois. They are the sweetest, warmest, supportive, most generous people on earth – but over the past few years I’ve picked up on distinct symptoms of Fox News brain poisoning.
During their trip we were just hanging out and chatting when my dad, unprompted, says “They say there’s a lot of Mexicans here in Southern California.” Uh, yeah, dad. This actually used to be Mexico, so I think some people of Mexican descent may have stuck around. Then my mom chimes in: “Oh sure, they just come right over.” The implication being that they all scaled a wall, and not considering that most families have been here for generations, descended from people who migrated here for a better life just like our own ancestors did.
It does feel a bit like you’ve lost a loved one to Fox News poisoning. It’s a hard thing when the glowing prism through which we view the ones we love is shattered, and there’s no way to put that image of them back together again.
My parents came to visit me in LA recently, from m... (
My parents haven’t been broken by Fox News, but what I find almost as disturbing is how even parents who have never watched a moment of Fox News can parrot their talking points – like mine. My mom is an immigrant from Venezuela and she started talking the other day about how refugees are an undue burden on our healthcare system and the reasons it’s bad. She’s an educated person who has never watched Fox News! Part of it is she’s always just been one of those “I did immigration the right way” people, so it doesn’t take much to rub her the wrong way on that front. But Hannity and Tucker have so permeated the culture that their noxious shit can be found coming out of the mouths of ostensibly “liberal” people.
My parents haven’t been broken by Fox News, but wh... (
For a little counter-programming, we actually got one of my cousins back before it was too late. He listened to InfoWars religiously from 2009-2015 or so and is an avid hunter who lives in the woods, smokes a lot of weed and plays a lot of video games, so I thought he was a goner for sure. But thanks to the infinite patience of his little sister, he actually came to his senses and realized what dangerous crock he had bought into.
He could see how disappointed we all were, but having his baby sister tell him every day that she loved him but that he was slowly rotting his own brain seemed to do it. There’s part of me that wonders if what sealed it was the fact that InfoWars was going mainstream, and it wasn’t as cool or exciting to believe in Jade Helm or whatever if those beliefs weren’t truly counter-culture.
Sorry for your family fued over politics. It is similar in my family. I have a zillionaire uncle who we all love and who is a devoted Fox news brainwashed fool. Most of the Democrats in our family keep him angry with us. My brothers are whacked out and gaga over Trump and all the wonderful things he is doing for our country. I just ignore them and sometimes I mention things that they agree with and it blows their minds. That said I consider myself to be a moderate though I am called a Liberal. About Liberal-- It used to mean forward thinking and good for the benefit of society but now it is used as a slur and a term for a communist enemy of the state. Thanks Fox news you divided America.
Coos Bay Tom wrote:
Sorry for your family fued over politics. It is si... (
Please be clear these stories were out of a piece in the guardian and fortunately do not effect my family. We are all educated people.
From this mornings Guardian Luke O’Neil br br The... (
While I can perhaps understand your disdain for Sean Hannity on Fox, and can certainly understand Rush Limbaugh, I have a harder time understanding while you feel the way you do for Tucker Carlson.
I find Carlson to be one of the more fair and open minded talk show hosts. He usually gives his guests a fair amount of time to state their opinion on a subject, and doesn't constantly interrupt the guest when they respond to his questions and statements.
You should also appreciate that the mindset of the viewer often determines how they will respond to a particular talk show host. I for one cannot stand Rachael Maddow. She comes across to me as biased, intolerant, and generally unable to consider any viewpoint other than her own.
I personally have stopped watching most Fox News programming (just like I have stopped watching CNN, MSNBC, and listening to Public Radio). I prefer to get most of my news and information from alternative news sites (both left and right leaning) and a lot of libertarian and anarchistic leaning sites.
The title is not only dishonest its foolish.
The title is not only dishonest its foolish. And I don’t watch Fox News