Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fox News: All About The Common Good (When Personal Finance Is Involved)

Next up on the list of things that are bugging the shit out of me. It's the FOX News hypocrisy when it comes to the notion of personal responsibility. Anyone who's watched the right-wing media machine lately knows that they hate taxes. Any taxes or spending on products that they don't specifically deem worthy are considered, at the very least, huge wastes of money, and at most, evidence of the U.S.'s descent into a socialist dystopia. Sean Hannity even has a Waste 102 segment on his show, targeting the government projects he believes are a waste of taxpayer money. (On this list are horrific un-American things like "#78: Eighteen North Carolina teacher coaches to heighten math and reading performance." Those commie bastards! Teaching kids to read?!? Blech!

Anyway, I bring it up because their notion of personal freedom and personal responsibility clash so frequently, I'm surprised that Roger Ailes hasn't publicly recognized it yet. After all, he already said that the White House is right to have a gripe with FOX News.

On the one hand, FOX News believes that many of Obama's policies may be infringing on our personal freedoms, our abilities to work where we want, choose the health care we want, and make our way without outside intervention. Now, I think most reasonable people, regardless of which side of the aisle you're on, would agree that personal freedom is important, as long as it doesn't negatively effect someone else. Where most of us disagree is how equal "corporate freedom" should be to "personal freedom." I would argue, as I'm sure most people would, that corporations should also have freedom to work in the free market as long as they don't negatively effect others. Most conservatives these days, I think, disagree with this assessment. Republicans regularly advocate deregulation of businesses and expansion of the free market, despite the negative impact those corporations may have on the American public. (see: here and here). Okay, so we've established that the right has no problem when a corporation's decision may have negative effects on the American people, but now let's take a look at today's FOX News article about Donna Simpson.

This woman is eating a ton of food so that she can weigh 1,000 pounds, apparently. FOX News is seething because "you, the taxpayer, could wind up paying for it." So, obviously, this woman is making a horrible health choice and I would not want to personally pay for her future health costs. However, the fact that FOX News chooses to feature and be outraged over this one specific person instead of the thousands of people affected by the unethical decisions made by Monsanto, Tyson, McDonald's, Bayer, etc. makes me wonder where their priorities are (that's rhetorical, no need to tell me about their priorities).

The point is, FOX News wants you to be outraged about one person who may be abusing taxpayer dollars instead of the multinational corporations which are abusing billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and then using them to do harm to us.

Here's a good example. I can't find a single article (and correct me if I've missed it) where FOX News covered the Bayer scandal. For those who don't know, Bayer was knowingly selling products that gave people HIV. Literally -- that's not out of context. They knowingly sold products that gave people HIV. No warning label like on cigarettes -- no nothing. Here's the story:

Anyway, conservatives don't care about this stuff. Hey, that's just the free market. But, a fat woman who'll cost you money? Hell no, Obamacare!