Welcome back, Fairfield, to my final of three columns about Fox News.
The first two dealt with Fox being wrong so often about so much, but as informed Daily Republic readers, you probably already knew about the studies that show Fox watchers as the most misinformed viewers of any major network. Today’s column goes beyond mere mental maladies and discusses how Fox News programming may actually be harmful to your health.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV, and I haven’t done any scientific studies to back up any assertion made here. I simply want everyone in Fairfield to thrive, continue reading the Daily Republic, and to enjoy my columns for many years.
Like many Fairfielders, I watch Fox News opinion shows, too, but I take care to protect myself by immunizing before and detoxing after, with massive doses of reality-based news. To me, watching Fox is anthropological research, much like Jane Goodall’s classic work.
I have frequently observed that many Fox shows have angry hosts and guests. Curiously, most seem to be mad about something President Barack Obama or the Democrats did, or might do, or didn’t do, or won’t do and the inevitable catastrophic consequences to America. A lot of Fox watchers get mad, too; right-wingers get mad right along with the hosts and guests, and left-wingers get mad AT the hosts and guests.
That anger appears to be part of the Fox News attraction.
Fox’s sensationalistic, tabloid style seems to “hook” its audience; like nicotine in cigarettes. Many viewers think they are being told horrible truths that other news outlets wouldn’t dare tell, and they may be right, except for that “truth” part. As we’ve seen over the past two weeks, many of their angry, hard-hitting stories and theories magically poof into clouds of sparkly pixie dust when exposed to light. How did you feel when you discovered you wasted all that anger, last year? Angry?
Why care if Fox watchers get angry?
Well, anger can be harmful. I’m not talking about your occasional Fox fanatic burning down a mosque, killing innocents or being shot by police; no, I’m talking about you, typical Fairfield Fox fan. These frequent and prolonged doses of anger show after show, day after day, year after year, can be harmful to your health.
When you experience anger, your body is flooded with the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals trigger your “fight or flight” response, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure and quickly shunting more blood to your muscles for immediate action. When you just sit on your couch in front of your TV, instead of fighting or flighting, these continual doses of stress chemicals floating around in your bloodstream can lead to serious health problems. Besides high blood pressure, they can cause strokes, heart disease, headaches, depression, anxiety, digestive problems, obesity, insomnia, a suppressed immune system and eventually, death.
Fairfield Fox fans, do you suffer from any of these health problems? There could be a connection. Tobacco products have health warnings, maybe Fox News shows should have health warnings, too. “Warning: the following program may be hazardous to your health.” Easily done. Medical studies have been funded with far weaker hypotheses. As a public service, I’m willing to accept large amounts of grant money from well-funded foundations.
Fairfielders, avoid unnecessary stress. Instead of watching hour after hour of angry, politically biased opinion shows, pushing agendas that may harm you on many levels, simply switch to normal, nonpolitical news. It’s your health, your life. The election’s over; now is the perfect time to quit.
Just say no to anger.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at email@example.com.