Exclusively Online | Spring 2022 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Fox and Kindergarten

Rick Meyer’s regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: "The K Channel."

By Richard E. Meyer

Fox News is missing a bet.

Who do its hosts and guests remind you of?

They interrupt. Can’t manage their emotions. Have trouble taking turns. Won’t sit down. Cannot express coherent thoughts. Follow whoever happens to lead them, like ducklings behind their mother.

They have limited social skills. Don’t ask good questions. Get cranky. Throw tantrums.

Without changing a comma in programming, or spending more than chump change, Fox could double its audience. It could start a channel for kindergarteners.

Each day, teachers could hush their classes and turn on Fox.

The kids would be rapt.

They would see and hear grown-ups doing what children do:

  • Argue, with no regard for truth. Use intensity instead, and decibels. Those are what count.
  • Ignore evidence. Who cares if this catcher’s mitt has your name on it? It’s cool, so it’s mine.
  • Create pictures, without attention to verisimilitude, or even plausibility. Only weeks ago, Fox host Brian Kilmeade, filling in for colleague Tucker Carlson, aired an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed the FBI warrant to search Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. The image showed Reinhart with convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, who was giving him a foot massage. It was a doctored photo – a made-up picture. Kindergarteners draw pretend images all the time. Giraffes, for instance, with three heads. They would wonder why Kilmeade had to admit the next day: It “wasn’t real. . . . This depiction never took place.”
  • Throw tantrums. Fox News has refused to broadcast Jan. 6 Committee hearings. Witnesses “are lying!” Carlson ranted. He called the hearings “deranged” and “insulting” and the stuff of “totalitarian regimes.” Chyrons said the committee investigation was a “sham.”

The ferocity would bring the kindergarteners to their feet. They would shout and cheer.

Fox could call its new outlet The K Channel.

It could sell ads to Toys R Us, FAO Schwarz, Playthings, Etc., the LEGO Store, Toy Joy, The Dinosaur Farm. Smart Toys and Books and the A 2 Z Science and Learning Store.

The trouble is the kids would not be learning anything.

Not truth from lies.

Right from wrong.

Respect from rudeness.

Or how to grow up.

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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