Fox News as a Senior Cognitive Disorder

Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation. They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.

My dad is 67 years old, a full year younger than the average Fox viewer, who is 68, according to an analysis in New York magazine by columnist Frank Rich. I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria.


I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place. Again, this is all by design. Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.

People talk about the imminent “death” of Fox News itself, because of an ever-aging demographic. Again, Frank Rich makes this case, but I think his argument is dubious. Certainly the audience is graying to oblivion, but it’s a cold comfort to those of us who watch our parents or grandparents drown in an incessant downpour of outrage. We will only see the “End of Fox News” when my father and his contemporaries die. I do not want to watch my father and his entire generation spend their remaining years enraged at utter nonsense.


Folksonomies: politics cognitive bias

Fox News (0.981465 (negative:-0.439418)), Senior Cognitive Disorder (0.785778 (negative:-0.627321)), Fox News-induced hysteria (0.783103 (neutral:0.000000)), average Fox viewer (0.775231 (neutral:0.000000)), Fox News effect (0.767040 (negative:-0.247443)), New York magazine (0.749117 (positive:0.658186)), Frank Rich (0.747209 (positive:0.527947)), columnist Frank Rich (0.745272 (positive:0.658186)), emergency food rations (0.736812 (neutral:0.000000)), polite society (0.629731 (negative:-0.546998)), unquenchable rage (0.623733 (negative:-0.667851)), incessant downpour (0.618121 (negative:-0.862519)), grandparents drown (0.617371 (negative:-0.862519)), moderate Democrat (0.607560 (positive:0.315833)), Tea Partyers (0.604084 (neutral:0.000000)), laughable slogan (0.602511 (negative:-0.264815)), right-wing fury (0.599180 (negative:-0.602452)), brave men (0.598912 (negative:-0.462280)), bumper stickers (0.598576 (negative:-0.667851)), product cornerstones (0.593891 (positive:0.408098)), Cold War (0.593578 (negative:-0.357702)), White House (0.592368 (positive:0.315833)), America’s challenges (0.590290 (negative:-0.462280)), utter nonsense (0.589903 (negative:-0.792108)), American tragedy (0.589072 (positive:0.368160)), affordable healthcare (0.588733 (positive:0.315833)), read accounts (0.588649 (negative:-0.724882)), yellow flags (0.588103 (neutral:0.000000)), sales pitches (0.583383 (neutral:0.000000)), daily diet (0.583357 (negative:-0.602452))

Fox News:TelevisionStation (0.809844 (negative:-0.472304)), Frank Rich:Person (0.348779 (positive:0.527947)), Fox:Company (0.339545 (neutral:0.000000)), Senior Cognitive Disorder:JobTitle (0.296624 (negative:-0.627321)), New York:City (0.234987 (positive:0.658186)), Cold War:FieldTerminology (0.229908 (negative:-0.357702)), Alzheimer:HealthCondition (0.229014 (negative:-0.724882)), White House:Facility (0.228413 (positive:0.315833)), America:Continent (0.216223 (negative:-0.462280)), Reagan:Person (0.211739 (negative:-0.357702)), emergency food:FieldTerminology (0.199747 (neutral:0.000000)), 67 years:Quantity (0.199747 (neutral:0.000000))

Cold War (0.959191): dbpedia | freebase
Family (0.918215): dbpedia | freebase
Grandparent (0.659939): dbpedia | freebase
White House (0.638988): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Ronald Reagan (0.625729): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Father (0.528559): dbpedia | freebase
Old age (0.485382): dbpedia | freebase
Fox Broadcasting Company (0.480906): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago

 I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  LYNGAR, EDWIN (FEB 27, 2014), I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria, Salon, Retrieved on 2015-11-25
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: cognitive bias demagoguery