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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fox News Censorship Conspiracy...

IMPORTANT NOTE: I don't do politics on this blog so I'm not interested in debating the merits or necessarily lack thereof, of any particular cable news outlet. I will confess that I used to be a news junkie and was happy to watch and listen to talking heads yell at one another for hours. I don't now. In fact, you can ask my wife; I simply don't watch any cable news channels of any particular flavor these days; it is all nonsense to me. Having said that, I don't want anyone censoring my ability to flip through channels and stop here or there to watch something and then move on as I choose. When I travel, I tend to fall asleep with the TV on and inevitably, I wake up at 3AM, flip through the channels until I find some news and then promptly fall back asleep until it is time to get up.

On Tuesday morning, it just so happened that my TV had ended up on Fox News, and it was showing a re-run of O'Reilly (being hosted by Laura Ingraham). I got up, brushed my teeth and started the little coffee pot and began to check my e-mail when the show ended and Fox & Friends morning news show came on, I left the TV on. I haven't seen Fox & Friends in easily two years, but I had no interest in the local Dayton news.

At exactly 6:10AM (EST) the sound on the TV muted. I noticed, but I just thought it was a glitch and I left the room to shave. When the sound never came back on, I thought it was odd but I just switched the TV to another channel and finished getting ready for work.

On Wednesday morning I got up and the TV was on the History Channel or something like that and around 6AM, I switched it over to Fox News. Once again, at exactly 6:10AM, the TV muted. This time, I started messing with the remote. I wondered if I was the victim of some prank. Once again, I switched the channel and of course, the sound on all the other stations was fine. For the remainder of the time before I left, I continued to go back to Fox News, and while the picture was never impacted, the sound was off. Out of 33 channels on my TV, one single channel had become muted at the same time, two days in a row.

During lunch on Wednesday, I met up with a colleague who I found out was staying at the same hotel, the Holiday Inn - Fairborn. I asked him if he by chance had tried to watch Fox & Friends, and he confirmed that while flipping through channels, he also found the sound muted. We joked about the fact that there was probably some anti-Faux-News guy working at the front desk and he was attempting to censor all the conservative hotel visitors. It was good for a laugh and that was about it.

Fast forward to this morning. At precisely 6:10AM, of course I am watching Fox & Friends, when the sound muted. And of course, I just switched channels again and in fact watched Imus (I thought that guy was dead). But after a few minutes, I decided it was time to call the front desk and just ask if this was a common thing.

The guy at the front desk picks up and I ask him if there is some particular issue with Fox News Channel because for some reason, it was muted. I said interestingly, this same thing had happened Tuesday and Wednesday as well. He said that in fact, someone else had called and reported the same problem moments earlier and that he would notify the maintenance staff as soon as they got in.

I took my shower and got out, and switched the TV back to FNC, and guess what; the sound was back on. Clearly, some maintenance had occurred. When I got to work and chatted with my colleague, he told me that when he called down to the front desk, the guy at the front desk suggested that it was his TV and he would alert maintenance. We suspected that when I called, they guy must have figured the gig was up and realized that the problem better get fixed.

Look, like I said before; I couldn't care less about Fox News or any other news channel for that matter, but what I don't need is some little self-appointed censor deciding for me what news is suitable and what news is not. And if tomorrow morning the TV mutes at 6:10AM, I'm going to shoot off an e-mail to the Fox & Friends producers and suggest they contact the front desk at the Holiday Inn for a little live interview. That would be TV worth watching.

Just to be fair and balanced (ahem), perhaps there was some technical issue causing this glitch. It would be interesting to find out if someone who has stayed at this same hotel before has had a similar experience.


Albatross said...

Go get 'em, Dave!

Word verification: "unted" - Almost united. Or the opposite of Ted. Whatever floats your boat.

Dave said...

An important update: There was no interruption in service this morning. When I checked out, the front desk lady asked me how things were - great, I said, other than the Fox News debacle. She inquired further and I explained what happened. She just giggled and said, "Yes, sounds like a conspiracy."

Evidence enough for me.

Deep Forest said...

I would have done just a tad more than that. I would have sent a letter to their corporate hqs. as well. There's too much of that stuff going on. Just the lib3ral view for you peon....bah !!!! Do you mind if I send a copy of this to Rush Limbaugh ???

Dave said...

Do you mind if I send a copy of this to Rush Limbaugh ???

Surely, if it is of interest to El Rushbo, the vast reaches of his E.I.B. Network will have scoured the Google to locate this important conspiracy expose! But feel free to send away.

Sabra said...

So what on Earth happens at 0610 to make them want to mute Fox News?

Dave said...

My guess is, Shift Change. I might have noted in my post that this hotel is directly across the street of the Wright State University campus, and I suspect many of the staff members are students.

My Colleague suggested that for the next several weeks, we contact random rooms in the hotel at 6:11AM and ask the groggy hotel guests to switch the TV to Fox News and see if the TV mutes. I think it would be fun.

I sure hope I don't come across as some radical conspiracy theorist since I readily acknowledge that this may have all been a complete coincidence, but the whole thing makes me laugh. I just have this vision of some freshman year college student reporting back to his professor that he had once again shut down those evil Fox people.

Good times!

Deep Forest said...

What happens at 6:10 am ?? Some slimy little Liberal comes to work that can't stand the truth...

foxyb said...

I just returned from staying at the Comfort Suites in downtown Minneapolis. In the channel lineup, they listed Fox News as a channel, but no matter how I tried to select it, the TV simply stayed on that last channel I was on. I decided I wasn't in my room enough to complain (now I wish I would have). Also, CNN ran non-stop in the breakfast area and lounge (at least it wasn't MSNBC!).

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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