My Fox News Journey to Recovery
I never saw myself as a person that could not be reasoned with, and in fact, I have always had a fair amount of friends that would debate politics with me.
I should give my background for transparency as well to help paint the picture. I am a Caucasian male, age 36 as of this writing, born in Connecticut, and I would classify myself as middle-class. I am a college graduate and served in the military straight out of high school. So far, I would describe myself as a good target for Fox News. However, I am an Atheist which is probably what ended up saving me.
I started watching Bill O-Reilly in 2003 while stationed overseas. At that point I supervised younger troops and they naturally gravitated to my likes and dislikes. The “No-Spin Zone” was every night at 7:30pm. No one interrupted this break so we could all be properly indoctrinated into the conservative mindset without any interventions. There were nine of us that would huddle around the 24" television and soak up the anti-gay, anti-marijuana, anti-liberal, and anti-intelligent talking points. We cheered for Mr. O’Reilly for winning all of his arguments against lame democrats by yelling over them and cutting off their mics.
Later as I progressed, cheering on the Republican party in 2008 hoping that both Obama and Clinton were defeated, I can remember debating friends about why Big Business was so important. I would rattle off the Fox agenda defending that day’s memo on whatever the hot topic was. Anti-Muslim sentiment, check. Why liberals are ridiculous for being anti-war, check. Completely consumed in awful propaganda, check.
I could not stand anything that was left-leaning, liberal, democrat, or anything else that did not align with Steve Doocey, Tucker Carlson, or Sean Hannity to name a few. I even listened to Opie and Anthony and they had Sean on as a guest once in a while, so he had to be a solid guy…right? Damn, I was so naive.
In 2013, that’s about 10 years since I conceded my brain to Rupert Murdoch, I decided to quit Fox News cold turkey. I just stopped watching all of the media on television. That included Fox, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, and even BBC. I don’t know what triggered it, but I felt like I needed to disconnect. There was not a simple event I can pin point. Perhaps I just wanted to cut the cord completely in the back of my mind.
Approximately, a year prior I found myself agreeing less with their points more often. I was not actually against gay marriage, marijuana legalization, or even a woman’s right to choose after all. I would fact check things, consume Reddit, and listen to actual experts and scientists. Not admitting global warming was real and that it is man-made seemed stupid to me. The tides were noticeably changing for sure.
After Quitting Cold Turkey
About six months after I turned off the nonsense, I felt better. I noticed friends were now hanging around me more and having friendlier conversations. I was thinking for myself, and actually getting past the idiotic agenda. I was not making a fool out of myself anymore for saying things like,”Congress should lower taxes on the rich so they will invest in the middle-class more”. NOTE: I cringed a little just writing that.
I went from supporting guys like Mitt Romney to actually respecting legislation like the Affordable Care Act. I now see that the Republicans are against the middle-class and poor people. I now can see the money in politics and guys like Mitch McConnell are really bad people and are hurting the majority of Americans through crony capitalism. Ted Cruz is no longer the up and coming hero for staging an all night filibuster. Instead, he is unAmerican for his antics and make the rest of us look like under-educated lemmings on the world stage.
One giant aspect I have come to embrace is realizing that there are so many people out there that are good people. They are trapped in this cult of hatred and lies. So many have become war mongers, anti-Muslim, supporters or police brutality, and angry at people being poor. The list can go on, but the point is that media that is bought and paid for by the 6 billionaires that own the propaganda machines are ruining us. They are dividing us for profits.
Lastly, I have stopped engaging with posts on social media that link to any conservative website. I already know that the content will be unintelligent, hateful, and not worthy of my grey matter.
I know that anyone stuck where I was just a couple years ago can’t be reasoned with. They are stocking cans of food, buying guns, and building underground shelters waiting for the apocalypse to happen because the liberals are ruining this country. You could not change my mind during 2003–2013, just like I can’t change theirs. So I will save my breath and use it for people that are open-minded like I am now.