More than two years ago I was in Phoenix for a conference, and stayed at Mom and Bob's.
One day I got in a very fierce argument with Bob's friend Harry, who was convinced that President Obama wasn't really an American because of some trip he'd taken to Pakistan in 1981 (this was the big rumor in January 2010, long since forgotten.) I thought Harry's views were ludicrous, and strong words were exchanged as poor Bob drove the car.
At one point I let loose the standard liberal slur in such occasions: "You must get your news from Fox!"
Harry turned to me and said, "Have you ever seen it? They show both sides!" I could not say anything, as in fact I didn't even own a TV and had never had cable when I had. Fox was just the bogeyman, whose daily villainies would light up the feeds of my liberal Facebook friends.
Last week we got the TV, and today the cable was hooked up. So I popped over to Fox tonight, alternating between Hannity and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Jennifer Granholm on Current TV. It's all slanted, meant to titillate more than inform. After just 10 minutes I found myself looking for the movie channels, and very pleased that we have BBC America and a seeming endless array of public television. Political TV is even more pathetic than I thought.