Tom Daley
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Fox News Is Like Racist Herpes

Fox News Is Like Racist Herpes

Truly I am shocked. Flabbergasted. Astonished. Who would have thought that a blond white lady on Fox News said something racist? In all my years on this earth, I have never truly heard of such happenings on a major news network, someone so blatantly saying something bigoted on that esteemed outlet.

Well, looks like Laura Ingraham has shattered my illusion of her as a paragon of virtue, compassion, and intersectional wokeness. OK, that’s enough sarcasam. Last week she straight-up said that she didn’t like that America was becoming less white and less focused on white people. Oh, I know she didn’t say that directly; she framed it as immigration being the ptoblem. Well, we all know she’s talking about brown people, because there sure as hell aren’t a lot of first-generation Irish or Italians getting checked for tuberculosis at Ellis Island these days. After people rightfully called bullshit, she walked it back, saying that it wasn’t about “race or ethnicity”— it was about proper legal immigration by people who would be respectful to our laws and loyal to our Constitution.

Blow it out your ass, lady.

Remember when we tried to get rid of her after she mocked the surviors of the Parkland school shooting? She lost half of her sponsors and “went on a vacation” for two weeks and came back to higher ratings. Of course it was hard to boycott the other half of her sponsors because not enough of us need a vacation time-share, sketchy life insurance, or one of those stupid purple mattresses. We get it, guys, it’s a mattress made of Crocs. We just have to accept that for the most part we don’t have the ability to take her down because there’s going to always be someone willing to advertise on her show. I mean, c’mon, 94 percent of Fox News Channel’s viewers are white and about 65 years old. Not a lot of us can really shut down a catheter company or a gold-for-cash deal since we aren’t exactly a strongly overlapping demographic.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took her this long to get on the spooky scary foreigners train. Sean Hannity has been freaking out about Muslims for years, and Tucker Carlson, well, Tucker will be scared of just about anything that gets him enough attention. My God, he ran a segment about Roma people (the real name for gypsies; "gypsies" is racist, quit calling them that). Really, he did that, freaking about Romani because … he’s afraid of curses or something? I mean, Thinner really is one of Stephen King’s weakest stories and it’s not that scary, so lighten up, Tuck. But trans people are also in his cross hairs; just this week, he gave Milo heir apparent Chadwick Moore a platform to spew insanity about "transgender privilege."

At this point we know that Fox News is Garbage Town, and the folks there know we think it's Garbage Town, and so they’re just going to drop any sort of pretense about what they’re pushing: an agenda that completely caters to that roughly 35 percent of Americans who would follow Donald Trump into the gaping maw of an ancient horror that was awakened by the melting of the polar ice caps that once held it prisoner. 

We’re starting to see these Fox News pundits switch between their dog whistles and their regular whistles more and more often these days. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up hearing someone say the actual 14 Words before the end of this year and mean it earnestly. My money is on Tucker or Ingraham; Hannity is too busy screaming about weird Hillary Clinton DNC email hack conspiracies to distract from the fact that he and Trump have the same attorney who’s (almost) under indictment. We haven’t even begun to see rock bottom here. Fox News has whittled itself down to an audience that is whiter than Burning Man attendees and content, and so it’s gotta keep them engaged. Hannity is aiming for less shouty Alex Jones, Carlson is going for dollar-store intellectual, and Ingraham is going for the creepy, dead-eyed “concerned woman.” You know, the kind that calls ICE on her gardener if they end up ruining the azaleas. 

This is just what it’s going to be from now on. Fox News hosts are going to keep winking at the racists, the homo/transphobes, the sexists, the Islamophobes most of the time, and then once in a while, when they’re feeling ignored or threatened, they’ll go yell about something like they want to speak to the manager and end up saying the quiet part out loud. Which honestly is kind of redundant because we figured out the code years ago. I mean, they have to know we know the code by now, right? They’ve seen us react to it.

At this point we know that if people like Laura Ingraham aren’t outright racists — which she totally is, she’s really racist — they’re just being hypocrities for cash — which Laura Ingraham also totally is, she’s a real big hypocrite for cash — or they’re shit stirrers for attention, which, yeah, you guessed it. There’s not going to be a whole lot we can do to stop them. If they draw our attention, that’s just a bonus for them, but they aren’t talking to us. They’re talking to those folks stuck in waiting rooms, the ones working as media reporters, or the stroke patients at the old folks' home who were shoved in front of the TV and forgotten about. They’re speaking to those people who sit at home and worry all day, the people who weren’t born with resting bitchface but scowled their way into it, and frankly, the racists and homophobes and sexists, and there’s always going to be enough of them to make advertising blood pressure meds on their god-awful shows worth it. They’re always going to be around, and if one goes down, they’ll just get replaced with another. I’m not saying to just give up and not fight back, I’m just saying we’re always going to have to live with it and sometimes it’s going to flare up. Like herpes.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda_Kerri.

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