Too much Fox News in the public sphere

To the Editor:

Fox News seems to be playing in public places all over Haywood County — restaurants, bars, even the lobby of my favorite fitness center. I am troubled that the divisive message of Fox News is further polarizing our country at a time we all need to be pulling together.

The largest shareholder of News Corporation, the parent of Fox, is Rupert Murdoch, an Australian. The second largest shareholder is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia. I do not believe that these owners are acting in the best interests of America.

All the 24-hour cable news networks jump on controversy to increase ratings, but the others are not as one-sided as Fox. It seems to me that Fox creates controversy by pitting groups of people against one another — white against black, US-born against immigrant, Christian against Muslim, gay against straight, Republican against Democrat.

Some of their hosts spout irresponsible anti-government speech, which can and has incited unstable viewers to violence.

There is no question that Fox News has a right to broadcast what they do. The First Amendment protects us all from government efforts to suppress speech. But consumers, businesses, and other establishments can and should decide whether or not they want to be a part of what Fox is doing.

Why not air the Weather Channel in public places? This would be a non-controversial public service and not provide a vehicle for attempts to divide America, except for warm versus cold and snow versus sun.

Carole Larivee


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