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Is Fox News a Channel for Morons?

Updated on May 24, 2016

How to Appeal to an Idiot

I was inspired to write this column when I saw that Fox News did a segment praising Donald Trump and demeaning Hillary Clinton, which is not at all surprising. After all, that's what Fox does. They're a right-wing mouthpiece. They exist to provide an alternative to so-called "liberal media". And that is fine. What was surprising was their choice of expert. In this case, that expert was Scott Baio.

It's hard to believe that of all the possible people a news channel could find to sing the praises of Donald Trump, they chose Scott Baio.

If you didn't know, Scott Baio used to be on "Happy Days". He played Chachi. You almost certainly know this if you're 50-years or so old and white.

Baio was fairly famous for awhile. While I really don't know what expertise Scott has in the field of politics, I do know that even in his field of acting, he wouldn't be the first person anyone seeking acting advice would turn to for help.

Idiots Unite!

Now, I'm well aware that just because somebody isn't all that great of an example of expertise in their chosen professional field doesn't mean that they're disqualified from being an expert in another field.

Certainly, if Fox had chosen to have Dolph Lundgren (he was the Russian boxer, Drago, in Rocky IV) as a guest and asked him questions about, I don't know, some random oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, most rational people would ask what in the world that dude from Rocky was doing commenting on an oil spill and why would any respectable news channel have him on. Except that Dolph Lundgren is also a chemical engineer. He has a professional resume that suggests he might know about chemical stuff, which in my mind could include oil. It's a chemical, after all. I don't know.

Dolph knows chemical engineering!
Dolph knows chemical engineering!

Now, honestly, I wouldn't really think that Dolph would know anything about oil spills given that he's also a chemical engineer, but I might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because chemical engineers are pretty smart. Dolph probably knows a lot about a lot of things. It's within the realm of possibility that he might know something about oil spills.

Aside from being a Republican his entire life, Scott Baio has no other qualifications that would suggest he should be on a news segment providing some kind of expert opinion about anything other than acting and being famous. And even on those two things, he's not anyone's first choice.

The only reason I can think of to have Scott Baio on as a commentator about politics is to send a message to your audience that "Look! Here's this guy with no college education who wasn't really that great in his chosen profession who loves Donald Trump just like you do, so it must be okay! Average people like Donald Trump!"

Robert Duvall - a convervative AND a good actor
Robert Duvall - a convervative AND a good actor

Fox Should Have Gone with Robert Duvall

I guess if I was a producer on Fox, I'd want to create more of a connection for my viewers. If I'm going to have somebody on who doesn't have any expertise in the field being discussed, I would at least want viewers to appreciate his expertise in his chosen field. What better conservative to have on than Robert Duvall?

I mean, if I'm picking an actor who is also a conservative, wouldn't it be natural to assume that my viewers, appreciating Mr. Duvall's success as an actor, might assume that his opinions about politics carry more weight?

Other Valuable Republicans (with commentary)

Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of Republicans out there who are basically normal people and also successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. I'm just not sure why Fox News can't find any of them. Anyway, to help them out, I'm providing a handy list for them to use the next time they want to run a pro-Trump segment and maintain even a modicum of respectability.

  • Jack Nicklaus - This seems like a slam dunk. The greatest golfer to every play the game has formerly endorsed Donald Trump. Here's a guy who isn't just good at what he does, but perhaps the greatest ever at what he does. If he's that good at golf and he says he likes Trump, people are likely to think he knows what he's talking about.
  • Pete Rose - Another slam dunk. Here's a guy who may have been the greatest hitter in baseball history, though I suspect that his endorsement, given his gambling issues, might not be that welcome by Donald Trump, but still, it's no crime to own casinos. Just seems like a marriage made in heaven to me.
  • Jon Voight - A way better actor than Scott Baio. Plus, he's Angelina Jolie's dad. If Angelina Jolie's dad tells me which way to vote, I'm probably listening.
  • Dennis Rodman - Perhaps the greatest rebounder of the basketball in history. Plus, Donald Trump has said he would be willing to talk to Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. Rodman has already hung out with the man and has described him as a friend. Rodman would be the perfect political commentor. Plus, he's African-American, so that would be good for Trump.
  • Mike Tyson - One of the best heavyweight boxers in history and another African-American. He supports Trump already. I suppose his past history as a rapist might not be a good connection, but heck, Hillary is married to Bill, so nobody is going to care about that.
  • Loretta Lynn - One of the greatest country singers of all-time. She would undoubtedly help to strengthen the white, female southern vote.
  • Lou Ferrigno - One of the greatest incredible hulks of all-time. And he has a disability (he's deaf).
  • Kid Rock - He's a very popular rock star. He's good at what he does.
  • Charlie Sheen - Sheen kicks Scott Baio's butt in both acting ability and fame, so isn't he a way better choice than Baio?
  • Hulk Hogan - One of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time. Hogan is an excellent spokesperson for just about anything.

Charlie Sheen is a Republican.
Charlie Sheen is a Republican.

Conclusion

There are tons of stupid people in both political parties. And most news networks, to some degree, do this stupid thing where they ask celebrities about their opinions on matters with which they have no expertise. I no more care what Scott Baio has to say than I care what Martin Sheen has to say... or Jennifer Lawrence, or Ted Nugent, or....

However, Fox News, has already proven to be a place where facts go to die (many non-partisan organizations have done studies that prove that Fox News promotes inaccuracies more than other news channels), and also actually promotes and encourages stupidity and ignorance. This Scott Baio interview is just one such example.

More than any other network, Fox has destroyed the belief in experts. Despite what they may say on Fox News, there are people whose "opinions" carry more weight than other people. A person who has a Ph.D. in climatology is a lot better suited to provide information on climate change than Sarah Palin. However, because outlets like Fox News have elevated the opinions of the uninformed and positioned them equally with those who are informed, people believe that either one is valid. They are not equally valid. The Scott Baio segment is yet another example of an overall message to people that anyone's opinion is as valid as anyone else's opinion. That is simply not true.

When you are incapable of understanding the difference between a true statement and a false one, you are likely stupid. Fox News creates that environment and one can only conclude that it's a channel for morons.

Comments

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  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 8 days ago from Colorado

    Post in the forums please. I have provided you links to help you understand the science.

    And this has nothing to do with politics. You are making it about politics. I am strictly talking about the science and providing you non-political, scientific links.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

    It is typical liberal response to someone who disagree with theories that are almost religious in nature. I have been studying this for years and have attended colloquiums at the LDO...a satellite campus of Columbia University. I know the science too well and am challenging the theory as currently set by some scientists and environmentslists and activists and Al Gore. The theory of AGW is full of holes. In a few more years, they will be totally discredited. As the earth enter a quite period of Solar activity, you will see more extreme winters and a recurring of the mini ice age. It is hard to convince people the earth is warming...then. Lets just take a break and revisit this in a few years. Either you or I will be proven correct. Btw, don’t buy into the predictions of 30 years away. If they can’t predict what happens next year, what makes you think they can predict 30 years from now...???

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 8 days ago from Colorado

    Look, I am sorry you can’t understand the science or are willfully ignorant of it. I am also sorry you don’t understand how the scientific models work. They have actually been quite accurate in predicting temperature rises and skeptics have never offered a model that has predicted anything.

    I have provided many good links to help you understand the science.

    If you want to continue to debate, open up a forum.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

    Those temperature on other planets track the sun activity...

    Your debate should be with climate scientists. I have no agenda. As an engineer, and not a scientists, I am more pragmatic. I look at data and compare to their models and determine if they are accurate. When they are not a match, that is when I became a skeptic. In the beginning, I bought into the global warming claim. As time went on, the disparity became too hard to ignore. Why don’t you question the scientists and ask why their models are so off?

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 8 days ago from Colorado

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

    I am sorry but that is just not true. The sun has only be quite last 5 years or so. Here is article that said Mars is warming as well...

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/0...

    The rest of our solar system has experienced warming as well. How does AGW theory explain that?

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 8 days ago from Colorado

    Also, if you want to have a back and forth, can you please open up something in the forums instead of doing it here?

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 8 days ago from Colorado

    Here are counter-arguments to a whole bunch of stuff Richard whatshisname has said using the actual science:

    https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Richard_Lindz...

    If you want to believe people who are wrong, then you are likely to be wrong.

    There's a nice counter to all the stupid myths that anti-climate change people use over on the left. Like "it's the sun". Here's a quote, again, using actual science:

    Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a cooling trend. However global temperatures continue to increase. If the sun's energy is decreasing while the Earth is warming, then the sun can't be the main control of the temperature.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

    Here is a simple explanation on where we are with climate change by an MIT scientists -

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=prageru+youtu...

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 8 days ago from Yorktown NY

    Yes I do. That would be 65 million years ago give or take a few million years.

    So what?

    The Bible and the creation story is not inconsistant with dinosaurs or the age of the earth.

    When the Bible speak of creation in 7 days, that is just a simple analogy to tell the story.

    Think about this. What is a day? When the earth or sun or moon has not been created ?

    The whole timescale is different at the moment of creation.

    The Science of God goes into great details on how the creation story matches up with how life originated on earth and in the proper succession...

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 11 days ago from Colorado

    Do you believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth? If so, how many years ago?

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 11 days ago from Yorktown NY

    Of course not. That is a theory full of holes...I am not the only one. There are many scientists who agrees with me. The fossil evidence just does not show slow evolution...

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 11 days ago from Colorado

    So you don't buy the theory of evolution either?

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 11 days ago from Yorktown NY

    I understand the science. I just don’t buy the theory.

    If you want more about science, I recommend a book written by a scientist called the Science of God by Gerald Schroeder. It explains the time perfectly of the age of the earth and how life came to be...as opposed to the theory of evolution...

  • crankalicious profile image
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    crankalicious 11 days ago from Colorado

    Please go visit the science link I provided so you can understand the basic science that provides the framework for this entire argument.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 11 days ago from Yorktown NY

    You are loosing your own argument by pointing out common knowledge which are not in disput here.

    What is in disput is the AGW theory. It is based on simplicity of science which is the greenhouse effect of CO2 gas.

    We know that is true, however, the earth is not in a green house. We are a living planet and therefore much more complex... and many ways to mitigate the effects of one gas. The Sun is the source of all energy and life on our solar system. In order for scientists to prove this theory, they would have to adopt the scientific method. Which they can’t...

    We cannot put the earth in its entirety in a glass jar. The debate over man vs nature has been going on for a while. It is still unsloved therefore I am still a skeptic.

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 11 days ago from Colorado

    We'll agree to disagree then because if you don't understand the basic science of this, there's no amount of data I can present to you and no amount of Ph.D. research that will make you understand.

    How old do you think the Earth is, btw? 2000 or so years as the Bible tells us? And do you think the earth goes around the sun or is it the other way around? What are those beliefs based on?

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 11 days ago from Yorktown NY

    That is a falsehood. There are many groups and individuals like me who are skeptics about AGW theory...including the deceased Michael Creighton author of State of Fear, and numerous scientists...

    This tactic of the left is to silence people who you disagree to shut down any discussion. The truth will be revealed. Time is on my side. The longer the climate scientist stick to their false theory, the worst their predictions will get until at some point, it falls outside the 2 sigma point.

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 12 days ago from Colorado

    I think we just have people who understand science and people who don't.

    Also, virtually every outlet that disputes climate change is funded by big oil or by some right-wing conservative group whereas those who present the science are usually scientists funded by the government or working as part of a University research group.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 12 days ago from Yorktown NY

    The only person politicizing this issue is on the left and the environmental extremists.

    Yes we have golbal warming but most of it is natural causes. The effects are not as dire as Al Gore presented in his documentary. It would be good for you to watch it again 20 years later and see how many falsehood and mistakes he made in that film. Then tell me who needs a lesson is science and the scientific methods.

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 12 days ago from Colorado

    So, let me get this straight. You believe the science and models that show CO2 levels from thousands and millions of years ago higher than they are today (which incidentally is irrelevant), but you don't believe today's models? Just to let you know, there were no computers in the stone age.

    I'd suggest you follow the link I provided and brush up on the science provided. It will help you understand the issue better and not politicize it.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 12 days ago from Yorktown NY

    You can suggest all you want but it does not change the fact that their models are way off the mark. Part of my early career was in computer simulations... I know how these things work in general. You can fudge any initial conditions to get the results you desire from the simulations. However, you can’t change the outcome of the real world.

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 13 days ago from Colorado

    Here's some help for you:

    http://www.globalwarmingprimer.com/

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 13 days ago from Colorado

    I would strongly recommend you take a basic college course on climate change from somebody with a Ph.D. in climate science. That person won't spin the science and will just provide you with the data. The assertion that scientists ignore the sun in their study of climate is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Go walk into any major university and make that exact statement and they will laugh you off campus.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 13 days ago from Yorktown NY

    That is a fact but not the whole story...there were times in our long past when the CO2 level was much higher than today. We didn’t burn fossil fuel or drive big SUVs...at that time and it is not clear that we are the cause of climate change today. The sun is a much bigger factor and yet ignored by the scientists because it is a natural phenonmenon.

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 13 days ago from Colorado

    You are welcome to spout nonsense that you read on right-wing web sites. The data is the data. The science is the science. No matter how hard you try, you cannot alter the facts that CO2 has increased in the atmosphere nor that increased CO2 in the atmosphere warms the earth. Those are facts. If you want to pretend that they're not, that is your right.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 13 days ago from Yorktown NY

    But that is not what is happening in climate science. They have been politicized and co opted by the environmental extremists. They cannot be trusted for anything they predict for the next 30 years. Guest what, they will be long retired and collecting their pensions...

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 13 days ago from Colorado

    And the sun rises in the east. So what? Experts can be wrong, but that doesn't mean that expertise doesn't have value. I will take a Ph.D. expert in a specific field over a non-expert any day. Ultimately, they are giving an opinion. An opinion based on years of scholarship is more valuable than one not based on it. Nobody is right 100% of the time. You know that, right? Nobody who has ever provided an opinion about something has ever been right 100% of the time, but if you're asking me who I believe between Scott Baio and a Ph.D. climate scientist when discussing climate change, I will take the climate scientist. You, apparently, prefer Scott Baio.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 13 days ago from Yorktown NY

    You would be very interested to know that many experts have been wrong over time including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Steven Hawkins...

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 10 months ago from Colorado

    My opinion on the other networks is that anytime they select a celebrity instead of an expert, they do damage to the notion that expertise counts for something. It does.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

    Interesting. So what is your opinion of the NYT and CNN and MSNBC?

  • crankalicious profile image
    Author

    crankalicious 20 months ago from Colorado

    Thanks for your comments! I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with some of those recommendations. However, couldn't they find somebody with credentials? Oh wait, they don't like experts. They're actually anti-expert. So if you're anti-expert, you turn to Scott Baio.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 20 months ago

    Yes, Scott Baio had his 15 minutes of fame. I’m sure he knows a whole lot about politics (snicker). Your suggestion of Robert Duvall might hold water because he is a conservative, that is if he is a Trump supporter. Some conservatives, as you know, aren’t supporting Trump. Maybe he has more sense. Your list of people reads pretty well, with the exception of a few lunkheads on the list, maybe most of the more mainline conservatives don’t support Trump. Could that be the problem?

    Something the professors taught us in journalism school: There is no such thing as liberal-owned media. Most of the owners, the rich guys like Hearst (now deceased), Rupert Murdoch, and other large corporate media heads are pro-big business conservatives, but they run where the money is, even if it means a liberal-based agenda like CNN. However, I saw a so-called liberal mediaophyte (I coined that word, so don’t try to look it up) on CNN try to tear Hillary Clinton up last weekend. However, Hillary kept her cool and struck back like a trained viper and made this woman look like a red-faced tea party idiot. That is why I think Hillary has the experience and cool that makes up the best qualifications. Even liberals have to consider Bernie Sanders’ temper.