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Losing a loved one to Fox News

A fairly short but fascinating article in New York Magazine, “What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News“.

Unlike Fox News, the article is actually somewhat “Fair and Balanced”, not just blaming Fox News, but also MSNBC and how some people have a similar transformation from that.

I will just quote one paragraph, but it is short enough (and definitely worth it) to read the whole thing:

No matter where the stories came from they all featured a few familiar beats: A loved one seemed to have changed over time. Maybe that person was already somewhat conservative to start. Maybe they were apolitical. But at one point or another, they sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person — someone difficult, if not impossible, to spend time with. The fallout led to failed marriages and estranged parental relationships. For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: “When I found my dad dead in his armchair, fucking Fox News was on the TV,” this reader told me. “It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.”

I have a similar story, of a family member who has become a Fox News junkie, and it has definitely affected their relationship with their family and friends. Do any of you have similar experiences?



  1. rk wrote:

    I’ve had that experience in spades. I am pretty much out of touch with my relatives, it’s my choice, not theirs. The same with my wife.

    I’m looking for a chapter of RFNA, Relatives of Fox News Anonymous. Any takers?

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    I think most people (either Fox or MSNBC) watch those channels for confirmation bias. They do not transform because of Fox, they want to express their ideologies and find a channel that can put proper “facts/news” around their ideas.

    I watch Fox, MSNBC and CNN. I listen to Fox radio/conservative radio exclusively, in CNN I watch Anderson Cooper, MSNBC I watch Rachel Maddow, on Fox I watch Hannity (since it comes same time as Rachel, so I have to pick one, so mostly Rachel, as I have already listened to Fox radio during day).

    I used to watch Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and then watched every day Colbert Report till he joined Late night. I watch that as well.

    And yet I am conservative. Fox news is not intellectual conservative anymore, most of the day is just Trump cult news. Sometimes in radio there are some good intellectual conservative guests, that is refreshing.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink
  3. paradoctor wrote:

    Hassan: The term ‘conservative’ has been thoroughly Orwellianized. It is too contaminated by double-think to be useful for clear thinking. It is certainly not about conserving anything; rather the reverse.

    I recommend replacing it with another term. “Prudentialist”, perhaps. Suggestions welcome.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink
  4. westomoon wrote:

    I have quite a few. The most striking was the wonderful brother of an old friend, who transformed over about a 10-year period from a cheerful, funny, gregarious guy into the classic outraged, frightened Fox dittohead. Of course the real difficulty in talking with him was that Fox had been promulgating a fact base that veered farther and farther from the truth, so that it was literally impossible to discuss anything that had been partisanized by Fox.

    But he also showed me that there’s almost a physical addiction for Fox viewers. He came to look after his sister for a few weeks when she shattered a leg, and simply panicked when he found she didn’t have her TV displays set up to one-click Fox. He called me, desperate, and was too distracted to even try any of my suggestions. I finally pointed out that most bars have Fox on their TVs, and his relief at knowing how to get a fix was almost heroin-grade. TRULY frightening.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink