If only this headline were true, it could enjoy some prime real estate nestled between “Women Switched at Birth Find out 56 Years Later,” “Ghost Hunters Inspect 180-year-old New Mexico Hotel,” and “Are Triad Marriages Next?” Supermarket tabloids feed our lowest common denominator appetites for salacious gossip and completely fictionalized annals from the bizarre and sublime. We love to hate’em, but cannot seem to avoid trying to surreptitiously sneak a copy into our O Magazine or Simple Living while waiting for the diligent bagger to independently wrap every tomato and double bag the frozen spinach. The same might be said for some of our more incendiary, infamous infotainment networks such as Fox “News” where the above headlines originated (except for the stuff about Zombies, though I am sure Mike Huckabee has a team of “serious investigators” working to verify some kind of connection between Zombies and Nancy Pelosi’s domestic help).
Fox “News,” you are a vast playground of whimsy, irreverence, and entertainment not experienced since P.T. Barnum’s American Museum of Oddities unfurled its great doors to the nineteenth-century American public. You are equal parts Dad shaking his stern fist at the carefree youth whose laisez-faire attitude will no doubt lead to pot smoking, rock-n-roll, and fun and sweaty-toothed madman prophet holding up his cardboard signs announcing the end of the world. Oh Fox “News,” you can’t fool me; you’re simply funny. You’re here for my amusement, and it is rather amusing to watch your colorful cast of characters “strut and fret their hour upon the stage,” sometimes fixing the camera with both mock outrage and disbelief at the latest activities to come burping out of the Washington beltway. No one delivers the “news” better than you in these moments: pensive, aggressive, anxious, like a diabetic grandmother three ice cream sundaes from her next insulin shot. It’s an action movie and a Judd Apatow comedy all rolled into one!
And thank you Fox “News” for spoon-feeeding the masses your delicious, saccarine, 1000% more carbs, trans fat-i-fied, Yellow #9 Dye, earth unfriendly diet of information. I simply open up and swallow, no thought or even effort required! When Ann Coulter (love child of Jar Jar Binks and Eva Braun) tosses her willowy mane, much like Mr. Ed and snorts (also much like Mr. Ed) that “dunking someone’s head in water” is certainly nothing akin to torture and waterboarding is as harmless as any antics pulled by Springbreak-Interrogators-Gone-Wild, I laugh along with Ann “Eat a Steak” Coulter. How pithy of her to suggest such a thing and doesn’t this make me sleep better at night knowing eight years of clandestine and illegal policies were really the stuff of a Grisham novel? Phew!
When Glen Beck peers into the camera, his doughy face contorted into painful sincerity, urging me to follow the lessons of the white, privileged, some morally bankrupt, founding fathers of our great nation and return to simple values (like giving small pox to foreigners and hanging female dissenters on Boston Common), I…I want to believe. I sink into his 4th-grade logic and second grade grammar like a waitress sinks on the couch after pulling a tripple shift at the interstate Cracker Barrel. I can practically hear the Elton John and Tim Rice Disney-fied musical score soaring in the background, lulling me into comfort that the world really is black and white, have and have not, right and wrong, and there’s P.T. Barnum O’Reilly waiting to greet me and act as ring master and tour guide for this increasingly dizzying place we call planet Earth, here and now.
Zombies say brains taste like chicken, and they should know, having consumed a steady diet of intellectual junk food for eight years thanks to Bill, Sean, Glen, Ann, Karl, and the rest of the li’ll rascals at Fox “News.”