It’s the end of the year which means for about the next two months, families will be getting together for holiday festivities. To most people, November and December are something to look forward to but to the perpetually unhappy souls over at Democratic Underground, the holidays are a time of torment.
Besides the sheer horror that Thanksgiving is to those of the vegan persuasion, many DUers have conservative-leaning relatives who aren’t afraid to speak their ideologically diverse opinions. Things are made even worse by the fact that many of the tender lambs might also be exposed to the propaganda filth machine that is Fox News Channel whether in a public space or in someone’s home. Whatever is an intolerant hyper-partisan Democrat to do?
One solution might be to click over to supposedly unbiased Washington Post writer Sarah Kliff’s “guide to surviving Obamacare debates at Thanksgiving.” Another, less intellectually taxing solution would be to come up with coping strategies on how to avoid the mind control rays emanating from Roger Ailes’s office.
While normal people are fine with simply ignoring a show they don’t like or just leaving the room, the denizens of Democratic Underground simply cannot stand for that. Instead, thanks to the efforts of a poster named “OmahaBlueDog,” they’ve decided to come up with ways to force their viewpoints on others who either disagree or would rather not talk politics at all.
“How do you handle it when FOX News is playing on TVs in businesses you frequent?” OmahaBlueDog wonders in the subject line before asking what his/her fellow DUers just what they recommend doing when they encounter the world’s second-greatest menace after Bush Family Evil Empire.
“So you walk into a fast food joint, a bar, a hotel, the dry cleaners, the quick lube shop, etc. and there is a TV and it plays FOX news perpetually. How do you handle it? Do you simply ignore it? Do you ask the manager to change the channel? Do you boycott the place?”
The ensuing lengthy discussion is pretty entertaining to read. Here are a few highlights but please be advised of the inevitable profanity.
DUer Pretzel_Warrior appears to find encountering Fox News to be a psycologically difficult situation: “When I see Foxnews playing, I throw my phone down on the floor and yell: ‘NOOOO!!! Fuck no!!!’ And then start pacing back and forth saying ‘You people are being fed evil propaganda! Either leave this business immediately or force these goons to change the channel!!’”
Apparently that is only what he would like to do, however: “Well, that’s what I do in my mind. Then I just give a cold glare at the TV monitor and shake my head in disgust.”
Other DUers say they prefer a more aggressive approach.
“I have quietly asked for the manager or owner and told them that I was taking my dollars elsewhere, that I found their display an expression of their rights and my leaving was an expression of my rights.” replied poster JimboBillyBubbaBob.
Astonishingly, that convoluted sentence structure and censorial attitude has not proven very effective: “I have never had an argument back, always the look of ‘duh!’”
Several DUers proclaimed that they huffily take their business elsewhere.
“I walk out and don’t come back,” sniffed poster TheCowsCameHome. “If they ask why, I politely tell them I want no part of Fox’s biased agenda.”
Ditto for DUer SoCalDem: “I ask them to turn the propaganda off. If they do not, I shop elsewhere.”
Poster InAbLuEsTaTe was even more emphatic: “I walk the fuck out.”
There are a few normal people in the discussion thread as well who correctly point out that a television in a public space really is not that significant. Poster pipi_k reacted with the sarcasm that the thread deserved:
Usually...I fall face first on the floor, kicking and screaming in full tantrum mode.
Then I jump up and call the owners/managers some real nasty names before slapping around an old lady or two.
Um, not really... I just ignore it.
Because I really don’t care and it’s not my place to tell other people what they should or should not be showing on their own TVs.
Yeah. Radical concept, I know...
DUer Codeine was even more emphatic about his/her opinion that such things really don’t matter.
“I don’t fucking care what’s on someone else’s television,” he/she stated. “I’m not gong to change some old-ass right-winger into a progressive by forcing a channel change, and ten minutes of Faux Noise certainly isn’t going to turn me into a ’bagger, so why on Earth should I concern myself? Life is full of media I don’t care about -- should I boycott my grocery store because they carry tabloids with the Kardashians or the royals plastered across the covers, or should I go on about my day like a normal fucking adult?”
Several DUers such as sakabatou went for a less confrontational approach, stating that they prefer to simply listen to their personal music players and not cause a fuss.
Other posters related detailed stories on how they took a stand against Fox’s filth. DUer madamesilverspurs provided a great “bouncy” tale of outrage:
I have asked, politely, to change the channel. In most cases, they’ve been okay with the request. At one restaurant they balked, and all eight of us got up and headed for the door. The hostess, just coming out of the kitchen, asked if there was a problem, and we very politely explained that the propaganda was an appetite killer. She excused herself, walked across the dining room and turned the television off, then escorted us back to our table. No one in the very crowded restaurant objected to having the TV turned off.
Only place where complaining hasn’t worked -- our hospital, which seems to think that Fox is good medicine. Rotten way to treat sick people.
DUer Bennyboy told of several rage-filled encounters he’s had with Fox in public places. Apparently he has met with resistance he’s tried to protect people from the constant stream of lies about his Dear Leader:
At my local watering hole, of which I am a former regular, (not one now) I popped in on a weekday and FOX was on. I knew most people there, all older and very redneckish, including Judy the bartender. I can’t remember the story but the comments by the patrons of the bar led back to Ted Kennedy and Chappaquidick.
I asked the louder one if he know the story about Laura Bush running a stop sign, killing someone and not even getting a ticket. Not one person in the bar knew the story. I told them it was true and still they did not believe me. Ii went back n a couple of weeks later and not one of those people even tried to find that story.
Then there is a McDonalds near my former home that always has it on. I HATE TV being on everywhere, almost as much as I hate MUZAK. But FOX news in a teeny dining room? I asked them to turn it, they did not (Buncha geezers there) and then asked them to turn the TV off that I did not feel comfortable having that intrusion in my life....Again they did not.
So I contacted McD corporate and that Franchisee in particular and told them what I thought and they told me those geezzers were their customers and they win every time. So I have not spent one cent at McDonalds since and will never spend once cent there ever. (not that I spent much there anyway)
Then there is the Hotel that is in my town of Nevada City. Being eternally (apparently) single, I eat at the bar most nights when dining out. The Hotel has a steak and lobster deal (14.99) on Tuesday that I like to have. But lately the bar has had FOX news on. And a bunch of right wing older men that are glued to it. I can’t ask them to turn in it, and I sure as hell don’t want to sit there and watch it while eating, I would get in a fight in one second with the dumbasses at the bar. So after four straight weeks of this, for the last two tuesdays, I haven’t even bothered going there. Too bad, that deal was nice and the bar usually had sports on, but the last few times it has been FOX. I am in the process of writing them a letter explaining my feelings about this, but cannot seem to do it without talking about the idiot customers who are the bar’s patrons who would watch FOX news in the first place.....
DUer bhikkhu relates how he/she would be willing to make career choices just to get away from the monster that Ailes built:
I leave. Seriously, I might think about it a minute, but I’m all about voting with my wallet.
Life’s too short, and there’s always other options but to finance hate.
I live in a small city, in a red area of a blue state, so I listen to plenty of ridiculous conversation, but overall noplace I’ve been in a few years has had fox news on. The last time it was W-mart during the Iraq war, and I left. I haven’t shopped there for years since.
At the shop where I work they put on Fox news for a little while once last year, and I changed the channel, pointedly. They didn’t change it back and it hasn’t been a problem since, but if that were a regular thing I would go work somewhere else.
Stay tuned for more in this space as we follow the travails of DUers who are forced to be in the same room with Fox News at their family members’ houses during Thanksgiving.