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Watching FOX Through Guilty Eyes (Guilty Pleasure W/O)

  • Jun 19, 2003
  • by
Pros: can be entertaining, Seinfeld, Simpsons

Cons: depressing, guilt-inducing, low-brow humor

The Bottom Line: It's so bad, yet so enticing.

Some of the participants in this write-off seem to have a skewed view of what "guilty" really means. Would watching Wayne's World give you the same feeling of self-disgust as eating too much chocolate cake, making out with a married man, or running over a puppy in your Escalade? If so, you should probably just stop reading this.

Initially, I was going to toe the party line and write about something that many would consider a "guilty pleasure": my Paula Abdul remix album. Not just Shut Up and Dance but the Shut Up and Dance Remix Album. But I realized that listening to the sweet sounds of Miss Abdul doesn't make me feel guilty; it makes me feel energized and happy. So, I decided I would write about something that truly make me feel vile: watching FOX.

Hi, my name is Becky, and I'm a FOX-aholic.

At university, my roommates and I got sucked into every horrendous FOX special. Even though we had homework, we watched the premier of Mr. Personality. It was hosted by Monica Lewinsky, so we really had no choice in the matter. One of my roommates skipped a meeting for one of his social action groups to watch the finale of Joe Millionaire. Yes, FOX is truly a force of evil.

Now that college is over, I am off the FOX. Seinfeld re-runs don't count as FOX programming since the show was originally aired on NBC. And The Simpsons is an anomaly: an intelligent FOX show with a social conscience that has survived for well over a decade. Most of the shows on FOX that are both funny and clever (i.e. Andy Richter, which provided some good laughs earlier this year) are canceled before you can say, "When Animals Attack Part 15." Fox seems to be trying to lower the collective IQ of America. When I went to Toronto, I discovered, to my shock and awe, that Canadians get FOX, too.

FOX's news broadcasts have a clearly Republican slant. The Hartford Fox affiliate visited my college for several anti-war demonstrations. The vast majority of the student body is Liberal, but FOX somehow found some of the 12 Republicans on campus and interviewed them for longer than any of the rally organizers.

In Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore compares the scary, American news broadcasts with their Canadian counterparts. The dramatic music and sinister voices in the clip were clearly taken from a FOX news broadcast. When people are terrified, they are more likely to vote Republican.

FOX seems to be moving away from scripted sit-coms, most of which aren't funny anyway, (i.e. Bernie Mac and Malcolm in the Middle) and toward reality TV shows. Small wonder since these "reality" shows don't require one to pay writers or professional actors. FOX just finds a few fools who are willing to embarrass themselves on national television. Apparently, there is an abundance of these schnooks out there.

Probably the lowest I have ever seen television stoop was the finale of Married by America. My housemates and I hadn't watched any of the other episodes, but we saw the commercials for the finale so many times that we got hypnotized into watching it. After watching some poor woman be rejected at the altar and bawl her eyes out, I felt like I needed to go to confession at the church of television. I truly felt like a horrible person for having watched someone go through such pain for the sake of entertainment.

One show I didn't feel guilty for watching, at first, was American Idol. Sure, the show had way too many commercials and I felt sort of bad for laughing at the horrible singers who auditioned, but many of the contestants were truly talented. My favorite was Frenchie Davis, a full-figured gal who could belt it out like a modern day Aretha Franklin. I was extremely disappointed when Fox kicked Frenchie off the show upon discovering that she had posed topless on the Internet, and I vowed to never watch another episode of American Idol.

The Frenchie decision wouldn't bother me so much if FOX was consistent in its moralizing. However, in last season's American Idol, one of the singers who made it to the Top 5 worked as a stripper, and Sarah, one of the final two on Joe Millionaire, has been in dozens of bondage videos. The difference? Sarah and Nikki are skinny white girls, while Frenchie is a voluptuous black woman.

Against my own conscience, I began watching American Idol again when I went home for Spring Break and discovered that my mom had become obsessed with Simon, Ruben, Kimberly Locke, and the others. I rationalized my decision by convincing myself that no one would ever know I was watching Fox. If one of those survey people phones me and I'm watching "Prom Queens Punch Out" on FOX, I'll just tell 'em I'm watching BBC America.

This guilty pleasure write-off was sponsored by minorthreat78. Cheers.


Average Program Rating: TV 14 -- parents strongly cautioned

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Quick Tip by . April 06, 2011
posted in City Lifestyle
I ended up watching Fox News channel when CNN is not available in the hotels I stayed in. Typically American and a little sensationalized, otherwise it's not too bad. Granted, there are often BBC but I usually ended up dozing off to sleep if I should listen to news on BBC ;p Good doesn't translate to interesting, unfortunately!
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Becky ()
For a good time, visit Apostrophe Catastrophes.
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About this product


Fox News Channel (FNC), commonly referred to as Fox News or Fox, is acable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation. As of April 2009, it is available to 102 million households in the United States and further to viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily out of its New York City studios.

The channel was created by Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired former NBC executive Roger Ailes as the foundingCEO.[1] The channel was launched on October 7, 1996[2] to 17 million cable subscribers. The channel grew in the late 1990s and 2000s to become the dominant cable news network in the United States.[3] Fox News finished the first quarter of 2009 as the second-most-watched cable network in primetime, behind USA Network.[4]

Some critics have asserted that Fox News Channel promotes conservativepolitical positions.[5] Fox News Channel says that its political commentary and news reporting operate independently of each other and denies any bias in its news reporting.[6]

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