Tuesday, March 25, 2014

FOX News Is Bad News For This Marriage

Dear Tazi:

My husband is a huge fan of FOX News. I am not. I also cannot respect his decision to get his news solely from a source that studies have shown makes people dumber. I have asked my husband to make our couple time a news-free zone - meaning that when we are both home, the television news is not on, and the Internet is not open to any news site. My husband has refused me this simple request, and has instead accused me of being "brainwashed by the liberal media".

My problem with FOX News would not be so bad if my husband did not prattle on about every single thing he hears on that station, insisting that all of the other news stations have their facts wrong and that only FOX News is correct. It has reached the point where I cannot read a newspaper in peace because my husband will argue that the local (and national) papers probably have the stories all wrong, and have added their "liberal slant to the facts".

Tazi, I am a woman of moderate to conservative political views, but my political views do not color every aspect of my life! I enjoy hearing and reading about stories of human interest, local activities, sports, recipes, etc. My interests are well-rounded, while my husband's are becoming more and more polarized the more he watches FOX News. We are fast reaching the point where we have nothing in common, and I am afraid that FOX News will be leading us to divorce court. Short of following through on my threats to leave him, how can I make my husband see this?

Turned Off

Dear Turned Off:

To clarify, studies have not shown that watching FOX News makes people "dumber". Watching FOX News has not been shown to affect a person's IQ one way or another. Studies have shown that watching FOX News makes a person less well-informed, and that FOX News had the least accurate reporting of any major news channel, which would in turn affect a person's knowledge of current events.

A 2005 study by the non-partisan Pew Research Center showed evidence of why FOX News may be affecting your marriage for the worse. The study showed that people who watched CNN "prefer news that has more in-depth interviews with public officials" while the FOX News audience prefer "news that shares their personal views" and were "less likely to follow stories that are critical of the Bush administration". While you enjoy news that offers a broader view of the world and in-depth coverage of various aspects of life (from sports to recipes) your husband's world is shrinking to focus solely on the political. Making his view of the world an even narrower one is the evidence that the political views expressed around him must agree with his own. This simply is not a healthy way to go through life.

The question you need to ask yourself is if your husband has always been like this, with FOX News giving him a like-minded outlet, or has he changed since he started watching FOX News? Was there some sort of precursor that occurred to interest him in FOX News over other media outlets? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be get to the root of the issue at hand: who is this man to whom you are married?

I do not like to advocate divorce, and I will not advocate it here. Rather, I will suggest marriage counseling. If your husband refuses to go, go alone - but let him know that you are going, and tell him that your marriage is in a precarious spot. If, in time, he still refuses to talk to a counselor (or clergy) with you about the state of your marriage than it would seem that his decision not to work on your marriage is made. At that point, only you can decide if you want to stay in a union where you are the only one doing the necessary work to keep it alive.


Morris, J. S. "The Fox News Factor." The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics10.3 (2005): 56-79. JSTOR. Web.

Adler, Ben. "It's Official: Watching Fox Makes You Stupider | The Nation." It's Official: Watching Fox Makes You Stupider | The Nation. The Nation, 21 May 2012. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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