I was surprised last night to learn that programming of value is available on the Fox Network. I suppose I’ve allowed myself to identify Fox only with Fox News, which I find abysmally shallow, slanted, and deeply deceptive. But there are programs worth watching on Fox. I learned this entirely by accident. Let me tell you about it.
Late yesterday afternoon, a pretty intense thunderstorm ripped through our area. I was watching a television news program at the time, supplied to us through DirecTV. As often happens during severe weather, we lost the satellite signal at the height of the storm. Impatiently changing channels to see if we had at least some usable service, I stumbled on a usable signal, the opening sequences of a science program hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I paused to see what I could see and became intrigued by the program. He offered fascinating comments about the evolution of the earth, the planets, etc. It was a few minutes into the program that I noticed the symbol on the lower right side of the screen: “FOX-HD.” I was watching the Fox Network!
Wait, I thought to myself. I thought all things Fox were right-wing dementia, supplemented by the passionate embrace of all things based in right-wing Christian dogma. Not so. Tyson is an agnostic. What the hell was he doing on Fox? I continued to watch and started asking myself questions about how my own biases allow me to pigeon-hole people on the basis of questionable “facts.”
So, the lesson to myself is this: don’t allow bias to color perceptions when facts are at issue. I’m not a FOX convert, but I’ve acknowledged I may have allowed my biases to over-react to bias. If everyone would make that small step, we might all stand just a tad closer together.