Monday, May 5, 2008

Television For Dummies

This Graphic Is NOT Photoshoped...And That Is A Goddamned Shame.

It was around twenty-four years ago when I found I could no longer read “Ebony” magazine. This was not a small change in my African American life as cold-turkeying so ubiquitous a cultural signifier as “Ebony” was not something I did lightly. Every barber shop I patronized, every doctor's office I waited in, and relative's home I found myself sitting before a coffee table at had a small stack of “Black America's 'Life' Magazine” sitting there asking to be read.

What did it for me? It was a half-assed music review published in their “arts and culture” section. The subject? A Duke Ellington compilation wherein the “author” exposed himself as a sad. blithering idiot. The piece in its dealing with Ellington tried to seem oh-so-Jazz-literate with anecdotal mentions of other Jazzmenof note, and the name of the legendary Charles Mingus was tossed into the review. I say tossed in because it was as if it was a funky undergarment tossed from across a room into a hamper-full of soiled clothes. Mingus...was described in the a giant of the trombone. A giant of the Goddamned trombone? Jazz' inarguable master of the bass gets twisted as a trombone wizard! I thought I was hallucinating. How in the holy hell could America's pre-eminent Black magazine get a fact like that wrong?

Imagine Rolling Stone screwing up and dubbing Led Zepellin's Jimmy Page in an article as Rock's “giant of the accordion”, or The Who's Keith Moon as a “cowbell colossus” (No one needs that much cowbell...). You'd ultimately lose faith in any journal that would make so grievous, and so cyanotically stupid an error. I stopped reading Ebony right after they let the Mingus gaffe get through. If I couldn't trust them on basic history, I damn sure couldn't trust them on anything else—be the something as trifling as the veracity of their “Top 25 Bachelorettes” credentials, or whether Freddie Jackson's 1.1 million dollar rec room had a rear-projection or a plasma screen TV in it—much less anything of historical import. They had jumped the shark—badly—and landed square in Jabberjaw's mouth with that careless piece of “journalism”. I never looked back.

Flash forward to April of 2008, and a major broadcast news network runs a story, a mocking report ridiculing a party's inability to get a hand on historical source material for a story when they themselves—Fox News—goof so badly covering said story that it goes beyond a mere “Bed Shit” and moves to being the dreaded and awe-inspiring “Duplex Shit”, where the poop is so toxically stupid that it eats through the bedding, the boxspring and then the floor to the floor below.

Via Digby and Crooks & Liars:

Turns out the Rhodes Scholars over at “Fox and Friends” think Abraham Lincoln debated Frederick Douglass in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Of course it was Stephen Douglas. Something tells me Frederick would have had a tough time winning a Senate seat back then. Just a thought.


“Rather than spending time mocking their intern, Clayton might have recognized that was Frederick Douglass, the 19th-century African abolitionist leader who certainly wasn’t running for any Senate seat.”

The graphic atop this post is from Dan Abram's “Verdict” show's covering his competition's stupidity. The C&L link has the actual brain-atrophying video as proof.

Here is a picture of the man who Lincoln actually debated—the considerably-less “melanated” Illinois politician Stephen A. Douglas.

Now, in an alternate universe where logic and common sense carry weight, Fox's rank ass-hattery in reporting on a key event in American political history would turn them into a laughingstock for the ages, and drive listeners away out of sheer embarrassment at being identified as viewers. But this isn't that universe, folks, and the network's viewer base—and I don't care who this offends in my saying it—breathes, eats, and sweats stupid 24/7-365.

So the next time someone...anyone tries to fob off that three-lettered conglomeration of half-wits and drooling water-heads as anything resembling a news organization, you make sure to point 'em to this site's, Digby's or C&L's links on this story. Odds are the fool will mutter something defensive like, “Well...didn't Frederick Douglass want to debate Lincoln, too? Huh?” But say it anyway. And say it to every person who ever mentions FOX, positively or negatively. It's as emblematic of what their place is all about as Bill O'Reilly's “falafel” and should be hung around their neck just as roughly and with as much derision.

And we shall dub them henceforth, “The Anti-History Channel”.

I mean, who signs off on shit over there at water-on-the-brain central? Not just high-falutin' historical background stuff, but simple, common things you'd...I dunno, accidentally absorb in between snores in first-period history or civics class?

It doesn't matter really though, does it? The “News” appellation after the word “Fox” is just there for shits and giggles, isn't it? Like the prefix “Dr.” in front of ol' glory-gobbling Phil's name, right? It's a joke. A silly, billion dollar-billing, policy-shaping, media megalopolis of a joke.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Much like the following graphics depicting additional possible Fox News research department/fact-check screw-ups. If they can fuck up Lincoln-Douglas, it wouldn't surprise me for a second that they could screw up these historical touchpoints.

Historical touchpoints. like..

...say, the prosecution, conviction and subsequent execution of alleged cold-war espionagers Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. One could easily see the brilliantines over there smirking and winging it on that well-known, easy-to-research story—and making a gaffe like this:

Scoff if you will. This is who you're dealing with. Duh. Drool.

Hey, they could do a breathless election-juicing follow-up on The Axis of Evil. How could they screw that up?

Ask a stupid question...

I should really stop this. Irony is dead, and one of these'll actually happen. Then Lord Cthulhu will descend from the heavens and crush the earth in his sinewy tentacles just to put the universe back in order...or something like that.

And to stop them from ever “reporting” on something as seminal to American history as the Revolutionary War's famed “Battle of Bunker Hill”.

“We Distort. You Deride.”