Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finally, a Conspiracy Theory Worthy of Fox News

I'm not sayin', y'know? I'm just sayin'...

After years of silly Fox News conspiracy theories (Shirley Sherrod hates white people! Barack Obama is Muslim! Women are having terror babies!) we finally have a conspiracy theory that's genuinely worthy of Fox News.

See, for months, Fox has been telling people to follow the money for the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." (And the fact that it's not at Ground Zero and not a mosque is totally irrelevant. As is the fact that Fox News' coverage has caused a vicious degree of Islamophobia across the country that's affecting Muslims who have as much to do with terrorism as my Christian-yet-non-Catholic self had to do with pedophile priests.)

But anyhoo. Follow the money, they say? Guess you should be careful what you wish for. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show followed the money trail Fox News told him to follow. And it led back to someone Fox claims has known terrorist sympathies: Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who is Saudi Arabian, like Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorists, and who follows the fundamentalist Wahhabi Sunni sect of Islam, like Al Qaeda.

(See? He's guilty in your mind already, isn't he? Even though there's not an iota of proof. That's how Fox News conspiracy theories work. Keep in mind that it's Fox News claiming this guy's got terrorist sympathies, not Jon Stewart and not me. Fox News. My assumption would be he doesn't, but for the moment let's just see what happens when we take Fox at their word.)

Jon Stewart decided to dig a little deeper into this, so he followed Al-Waleed bin Talal's money trail back beyond the "mosque" and got to... (Oh, you'll never guess!)

He got to Fox News' parent company NewsCorp, where bin Talal is, yes, no kidding, the #2 money guy behind Rupert Murdoch.

(Watch the episode of the Daily Show where Stewart discovers this. It's hilarious. Unless you're a Fox News fan.)

Or, in other words, according to Fox News logic, if you're watching Fox News and giving their owners the ad revenue they get from your viewership, you're funding the terrorists.

I'm not sayin', y'know? I'm just sayin', in my current role as a conspiracy theorist: If you watch Fox News, why do you love the terrorists more than you love America?

And now, since we're creating a conspiracy theory worthy of Fox News, let's take this a little further. And let's look at this not from a liberal's point of view, but from a conservative's -- someone even more extremist than Rupert Murdoch, WorldNetDaily's Joseph Fara:

There's a flaw, a real compromise in Fox that you need to understand. And if you care about national security, you especially need to be attentive to it. And that is that Fox News parent company is NewsCorp., [which] has a significant ownership by a Saudi prince ... [who] was basically blaming America for what happened on 9-11. Well this guy owns a very significant percentage of the NewsCorp. and has let the world know that he can get things taken off Fox News when he finds them objectionable and has in the past. And I really believe this is very dangerous for America.

I'm not sayin' I agree with this guy, y'know? I'm just sayin' that if I were a terrorist and wanted to do the most possible damage to a country and create anti-Western hatred in the Muslim world, would I fund a community center? Or would I invest in a news organization watched by millions, where I could not just affect but create news and crises that would, among other things, cause huge, televised crowds of people to become what Bin Laden always said Americans were: loud, vicious, ugly haters of Islam?

(And let's not even talk about the political aspect of things, where someone who truly wanted to damage a country could use his/her media company's standing to buy politicians and influence policy debate in ways that will eventually rot the country from the inside out.)

I'm not sayin', y'know? I'm just sayin': If you're watching Fox News, do you really know who's choosing your agenda?

Think about it.

(Disclaimer: I have nothing against people who are conservative. Our country requires thoughtful, intelligent people with well-honed critical thinking skills from all perspectives to counterbalance each other, and I have known a number of conservatives who fit the bill. I do, however, have a lot against the irrational, dishonest, unethical fear-mongering of the people at Fox News -- an organization which long ago stopped even pretending to tell the truth. Our great country deserves better.)

P.S. Can bin Talal really influence Fox News content? Apparently so. This may not be as far-fetched as I had thought.