Salon: Being Fox News Fan 'As Big a Tragedy' for Elderly as Cancer, Alzheimer's

Editorial Note/Correction: We mistakenly affixed an incorrect. NewsBusters byline earlier Our deepest apologies for the error | Edwin Lyngar was upset that many retirement-age Americans, including his father, have in their golden years run for the shadows of Fox News Channel -- so much so that this past Thursday, Lyngar published a February 27 piece in the liberal online magazine Salon in which he lamented at length those oldsters' descent into Fox-induced "despair and rage."

Lyngar asserted that his 67-year-old dad and other senior-citizen FNC buffs are "terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House" and commented, "I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria."

"I don’t recall my father being so hostile when I was growing up," wrote Lyngar. "He was conservative, to be sure, but conventionally and thoughtfully so...What has changed? He consumes a daily diet of nothing except Fox News. He has for a decade or more."

Lyngar accused Fox News of manipulating its elderly viewers:

I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place...Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy...

...We will only see the “End of Fox News” when my father and his contemporaries die. I do not want to watch my father and his entire generation spend their remaining years enraged at utter nonsense...

...I only wish I could do something to ease the anxiety of those I love, an emotion that is a cash cow for exploitative right-wing commentators...

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters