An interesting spin on the Fox Effect story from TPM Reader TB, on how Fox News turned his mother against Oprah …
The note you shared about the Fox effect I think is something that really should be taken quite seriously. My parents are similar to what most people have discussed here. They actually would never use racial epithets around us, probably not at all, but there was definitely a feeling of African-American’s being dangerous and out for trouble presented by them. Thank goodness that as we as a country evolve, I think so do these views, but obviously we still have a long way to go.
But back to the Fox News Effect, my mother has always been a huge Oprah fan, I think pretty much since she saw the movie “The Color Purple”. She read a lot of her book recommendations and would watch her show religiously. So I was shocked last week when I mentioned something about Oprah and she said flatly “I don’t like her”.
After a moment, I realized that this must have come about from the trashing of Oprah from Fox News because of her endorsement of Obama in the 2008 election. I tried to press her on the issue asking why but she wouldn’t go into detail other than “I don’t care for her anymore”.
It is like she thought Oprah had betrayed her. And that is when I came to the exact same conclusion as your previous commenter. Fox News is absolutely toxic. You take an older generation that grew up watching the new as the be all end all source of information and truth, and now inject the “entertainment” factor of slick talking hosts with a political agenda, and you wind up with people like my mother who can inexplicably turn against someone they have respected and adored for 30 years simply because of the hatred and bile presented on Fox News is taken at face value. It seems the only purpose of the Channel is to drive people to fear and hate that which they don’t know. I wish it weren’t so and I only hope that the trends of younger generations being more tolerant will continue to grow.