Monday, November 08, 2021

Peak Fox

 That's the trouble with turning your back on Fox -- the backlog piles up until you hardly know where to start digging. But this Monday evening lead story deserves a special prize of some sort, because it has nothing (no, literally) to do with the text it links to.

Fox's stylistic flailing over the past few days has brought up some entertaining signals about news practice. Friday's top headlines played with "mega-spending bills" and "costly agenda" before setting on "socialist spending bill." By Saturday, it was "Swamp Spending Spree" and "MEGA-SPENDING agenda" (the excess caps in the subheds have a certain redtop flavour to them). The shift to listing all the zeroes in "massive $1,200,000,000,000 infrastructure is a style violation," but you have to admit it looks more dramatic than "$1.2 trillion," even when Fox doesn't remember to put in all the zeroes.* So the "YOUR money" above isn't too far out of tune, even if, you know, that's sort of where public funding comes from. But back to Our Top Story:

White House correspondent April Ryan was ridiculed on Monday after asking Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the racism "built into the roadways."

During the White House press briefing, Buttigieg was taking questions about the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed through Congress last week. Ryan took the opportunity to ask Buttigieg about the Biden administration's plans to "deconstruct the racism" that’s built into America's infrastructure. 

 Hang on to the "was ridiculed" for a bit, because we have a specific bridge to talk about, right?

 "Also can you give us the construct of how you will deconstruct the racism that was built into roadways?" Ryan asked.

Ryan then referenced an earlier interview Buttigieg gave The Grio in April when he said "there is racism physically built into some of our highways."

"I’m still surprised that had some people were surprised when I pointed to the fact that if a highway was built for the purpose of dividing a White and a Black neighborhood or if an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach, or that would have been, in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices," Buttigieg responded during the press briefing.

He added "I don’t think we have anything to lose by confronting that simple reality, and I think we have everything to gain by acknowledging it and then dealing with it, which is why they are reconnecting communities that billion dollars is something we want to get to work right away putting to work."

Ahem? Bridge? MY money?

Republicans and critics piled on Ryan's question for insinuating that roads are "racist."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted, "The roads are racist. We must get rid of roads."

Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance also weighed in.

And at this point we're into the standard "blasted" or "mocked" Fox story: quote-tweeting the Usual Suspects (if you're looking for a content analysis project, go see which ones you can associate with which Fox bylines). But still no bridge:

... Ryan has been criticized for her liberal bias and for openly cheering on Democrat officials. In December, the CNN political analyst praised former President Obama in light of his new memoir.

"You cannot work in that special, unique place and not have memories, and you are one of my fondest memories, and I thank you," she wrote on Instagram.

We can't exactly call the hed a lie, since there may yet be some trillion dollar plan funded with YOUR money that singles out a racist bridge for doom. Somehow, you'd think a Fox reader would want to know that.

* Thanks, Garrett


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