I watched MSNBC Wednesday night when they began to cover the arrival of murdered Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s remains to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda. A short memorial service followed, with many of his fellow officers present and several Congress members, President Biden, and his wife, Jill.
Curious, I switched over to CNN to see if they were covering the ceremony, which they were indeed doing. Then I got even more ambitious and decided to see what was happening over at Fox News. I occasionally do that for no other reason than to see what topics they’re talking about when a major news event occurs. Most of the time, I can only last about one minute before I begin to get sick to my stomach.
As I expected, there was no coverage whatsoever of the solemn ceremony. In fact, none other than the quack Dr. Scott Atlas was on with Laura Ingraham, both complaining and whining about Dr. Fauci and Biden’s response to the pandemic. I then heard that Sean Hannity had a segment about how Lebron James had a fan thrown out for bad behavior. Great job, Sean. Naturally, your crazy audience would rather hear about a Lebron controversy rather than showing them a heartfelt tribute to a fallen Capitol Policeman.
This time I changed the channel in less than thirty seconds; I couldn’t even last a full minute.
Of course, it’s no shock. It’s not a surprise that Fox wouldn’t cover such an event because, in this case, it might upset the few remaining viewers they have left. Recently the cable channel drifted to third in the ratings, behind both CNN and MSNBC, a first in nearly 20 plus years. Apparently, they’ve pissed off the crazies so much many of them now tune in to the even more radical Newsmax and OAN networks.
But why wouldn’t they want to show Officer Sicknick’s memorial service? Isn’t it a national story — one that would be of interest to most Americans, especially those who witnessed the horrific insurrection of January 6, 2021? And to a network that prided itself on “backing the blue” and pronounced over and over that “blue lives matter,” you’d think they might want to show respect to the heroic officer.
We’d be wrong to think that, of course, because Officer Sicknick wasn’t killed by a Black Lives Matter individual; he was killed by the same people who get much of their news from Fox in the first place. Yeah, that’s right, one of their own, or several for all we know, murdered the officer. We do not know the details yet, but most definitely, the Trump mob bore responsibility for the despicable and violent act.
That narrative goes against everything Fox stands for. They can’t blame “the blacks” for doing it, so they might as well just ignore the whole thing. It’s beyond revolting to think that the people running that network can be so heartless. So disgustingly bias they couldn’t even cover a mournful tribute to a hard-working cop who was trying his best to save the country from a group of anti-American zealots who wanted to crush our democracy.
But an even more insidious reason for not covering the memorial is apparent: Fox News knows they’re complicit in what happened on January 6. Many of their nighttime hosts were spreading the Big Lie over and over, not to mention allowing seditionists like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to spew their fraudulent claims that the election was stolen from Trump. Blood is on their hands — and they know it.
Then I began to think about something even more troubling. There must be millions of Americans who didn’t even know about the ceremony. They didn’t know about it because the network they watch for their news decided not to cover it. How often has that been the case in the last two decades? How often has that been the case over the previous year, a year where we’ve experienced the worst pandemic in a hundred years?
All of the misinformation, the whack job conspiracy theories, the lies, and scoffing at people who wear masks. Is it any wonder there’s still such a high percentage of people who simply do not even believe Covid-19 is that big a deal?
Fox News and other far right-wing radical cable outlets bear an enormous amount of responsibility for thousands of Americans’ deaths. If they had covered the pandemic without a political bias and without fear of the crazies and Trump, many lives could have been saved.
These outlets are a danger to society. Millions do not get the full picture of what’s happening in the real world, and we must do something about it. I don’t have an answer as to what we can do. But we must do something.
Maybe instead of government intervention, litigation is the answer. Recently Dominion Voting Systems fought back against all of their company’s denigration and misinformation by sending threatening letters to the right-wing networks. They also filed suit against Trump’s ‘lawyer’ Rudy Giuliani for $1.3 billion based on all the lies he was spreading. Maybe this is what we need to do as a society to fight back against this travesty. Money usually talks with these folks. Again, something must be done. I’m all for First Amendment rights. But, as the old saying goes, you cannot shout fire in a crowded theater; these folks do that on a nightly basis, and it’s got to stop.
Finally, there’s another thing that struck me about the ceremony last night, and I’m sure many who watched it felt the same way. For the first time in four years, we saw a president actually honor a fallen hero. We saw him there with his wife, hands on their hearts, both of them wearing masks. They both did the sign of the cross, the President shook his head in sorrow.
Yeah, that empathy thing. Our new President has it — his predecessor most certainly did not. If you watched Fox News last night, you didn’t see him doing what all presidents before him would have done. All of them but one, of course. And that guy got a pass from the media for not upholding the honor of the office. He was just Trump being Trump.
Remember former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral? How about Senator John McCain’s? The 45th President was nowhere near either of those funerals. Why? Because the families didn’t want him there. And he didn’t want to be there anyway.
I’m so thankful for our current President. I was proud to see him there, and millions of Americans got to see it as well. Unfortunately, millions more did not. That’s because right-wing media, Fox News, in particular, refused to show it.
Not only should Fox be ashamed, but they also ought to issue an apology for not showing the tribute to an American hero. We all know they would have if the perpetrator of the crime was of a different color — or even an opposite political ideology. It’s too late now, however. What’s done is done.
Fox News is nothing but a stain on our society. The absolute least we can do is call them out for their blatant disregard for facts and promulgation of racist tropes and snake-oil politics. We’ve got to do more, though. I’m open to suggestions because the more they keep spreading all of the hate and lies, the more we are put at risk. You cannot say with a straight face that they did not help incite what happened on January 6. You’re damn right blood is on their hands. It’s time to make them pay the price.