If there’s a news station that has lost nearly all of my respect, it’s Fox News.
When any politician publicly endorses an individual network, I’m giving it the stink eye. News reporting shouldn’t be working on behalf of anything other than truth. Yes, truth. Not politics. Not wealth. Simply truth. And when a controversial president praises a particular news team as being the “only honest one,” we can be damn sure that it’s far from honest.
This week’s news is a shining example of how Fox News got it all wrong—again.
Instead of simply reporting about the MOAB deployment (the largest non-nuclear bomb we possess), “Fox and Friends” celebrated it. Not only did they play a country song glorifying violent retaliation by Americans, but host Ainsley Earhardt stated, “That is what freedom looks like. That’s the red, white, and blue.” Geraldo Rivera even remarked about his enjoyment of watching “bombs drop on bad guys.”
Today, it’s been revealed that 36 suspected Islamic state militants were killed, and no civilian deaths have been reported. To be clear, I’m not here to debate whether or not this was the right decision from a strategic military standpoint. Call in the experts to figure that out—but I think any time we witness the death of human beings (bad guys or not), the wrong way to do it is with celebration, and I have two reasons for thinking this way.
First of all, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
I’m 35 years old, and I’ve yet to see violence end violence. I look far beyond my lifetime and deep into the annals of history, and I can’t see a single example of it being an effective means to end conflict for good.
So, when I see a bomb drop and 36 lives end, I can only wonder what repercussions might exist. Those 36 lives had families and friends. Will this violence spawn new violence or convince someone to turn to extremism as a form of retaliation against us? We cannot know the far-reaching consequences any more than we can know how many lives could possibly be saved. I just know that “darkness cannot drive out darkness.”
My second concern is the one concerning our humanity. Are we so desensitized to violence that we now celebrate death and war?
We have a society that grants celebrity and the attendant wealth to those who behave badly on reality television, or talk shows, or YouTube videos. We give them a platform, attention, and power. But when our news media participates in this abhorrent behavior, we need to take a step back and evaluate ourselves and our society.
Is this how we want to be represented? Do we want the rest of the world to look at us as the type of people who celebrate death, and violence, and war?
The reporting by “Fox & Friends” can have one benefit: We can let this be our wake up call.
We can let them know that this isn’t an appropriate way to report the news, and America—and the red, white, and blue of our flag—doesn’t symbolize violence and war.
We, as Americans, are so much more. We’re diverse, and enterprising, and proud of the many freedoms we enjoy. Our strength isn’t in our military’s ability to crush “the enemy”—it’s in our diversity.
Sure, we’re far from perfect—but I hope that we can all agree that the celebration of violence should be considered un-American.
With the airstrike on Syria, the bomb dropped in Afghanistan, and the continued threats of violence with North Korea, we need to be on our guard against becoming a warmongering society that responds to violence with further violence, and to death with further death.
Let us allow the words of Dr. King to guide us to finding a better way.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina