A lot of liberal hack groups like to promote “statistics” that denigrate Fox News viewers as generally having lower IQs than their CNN and MSNBC-viewing counterparts. Usually, the right policy is to dismiss this kind of demagoguery as a symptom of our hopeless partisan climate, rather than any kind of honest attempt to understand the demographics of people who habitually consume the 24-hour news cycle.
But after a segment that aired on the network’s “Fox & Friends” this week, one has to wonder who the target audience is. Coming off a whirlwind book tour, afterlife con-artist Dr. Eben Alexander appeared on the show to offer a message of divine comfort to families of slain children from the Newtown tragedy.
Dr. Eben Alexander rocketed to fame after claiming to have journeyed to heaven and back while in a coma resulting from an illness. He wrote a book documenting his alleged experience and has appeared on numerous talk shows, including Oprah Winfrey.
One of the many disturbing aspects of this segment is the unquestioning deference the panel shows to Alexander, much like they would towards a contributing economist, or doctor, or foreign policy analyst. The whole segment seemed more like a cheap telethon of Christian mysticism rather than a cable news talk show.
Aside from Gretchen Carson’s obvious display of manufactured emotion, there was a telling moment when co-host Brian Kilmeade asked the doctor what place the afterlife has for the shooter. After a slight hesitation (from possibly not expecting the question), Dr. Alexander seemingly ad-libbed his answer, giving an explanation that the shooter was in a place of “life review” that allows for a “re-living all the events of one’s life and reliving the pain and suffering that we’ve handed out to others, but from their point of view.”
The sideshow phenomenon of people like Dr. Alexander is nothing new. But for a giant mainstream network like Fox to give a platform to such charlatanry in the wake of the unspeakable horror from Connecticut, is just as obscene as featuring a crackpot psychic medium to disseminate communications of the victims from beyond the grave.