The Fear Factor

The Fear Factor

An article in a left-wing news outlet features a letter by a number of journalist professors who attack Fox News for its alleged error-filled and dismissive reporting about the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the fact that the letter has no actual evidence and only two partial quotes from two Fox News anchors, the letter includes the results of two polls:

According to a YouGov/Economist poll conducted March 15-17, Americans who pay the most attention to Fox News are much less likely than others to say they are worried about the coronavirus.

A Pew Research poll found that 79% of Fox News viewers surveyed believed the media had exaggerated the risks of the virus. 63% of Fox viewers said they believed the virus posed a minor threat to the health of the country.

So, in the eyes of the letter’s authors, Fox viewers are just too stupid and/or uninformed to recognize the gravity of the coronavirus situation. If they had not listened to the lies perpetrated by Fox, they would be like most people in the country—cowering in the corner, wringing their hands, wearing a mask, and clutching their 50 rolls of toilet paper. 

However, let me posit a completely different interpretation of the numbers, assuming they are correct and not manufactured for political gain.

Anyone who watches Fox on a regular basis realizes that there is a clear Christian-based atmosphere. Many of the anchors and reporters openly express their Christian beliefs on air and share stories of their faith and how it impacts their daily lives. 

A case in point occurred on April 3rd when the three hosts of the morning show Fox & Friends shared the disappointment that the closing of churches around the country would prevent them and millions of the viewers from actively participating in Palm Sunday services. One of the hosts was particularly disappointed that he would also have to miss the Easter Vigil Mass because he had recently become a Catholic and looked forward to the magnificent reception into the Body of Christ. In addition, prime-time anchors Martha MacCallum and Laura Ingraham appeared on air on Ash Wednesday with large ash crosses on their foreheads. 

There are other examples of Fox’s pro-faith, pro-Christian values, but these few examples make the point.

As far as I know, neither the YouGov/Economist nor the Pew Research pollsters asked the Fox viewers what their religious preferences were, but I am willing to bet that most adhere to Christian values. Because of that, how they might react to a pandemic, or any crisis, might have everything to do with those values and hardly anything to do with the alleged failure of Fox. 

Serious Christians believe that they are on a journey, and that journey is to take them to Heaven to be with God. They also believe that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, came to earth as a man and took upon the sins of the world to open the gates of Heaven to all true believers. He did this by dying on a cross, being buried, rising from the dead, and then ascending into Heaven. He promised his followers that he would never abandon them and would be with them always.

So, with that in mind, when true Christians are faced with a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, it is natural for them to be worried and concerned, not only for themselves but for family members, neighbors, and even strangers. But at the same time, they know that their lives are in the hands of God. Nothing can happen to them that is outside His providence. 

If the fear of dying from the virus begins to infiltrate their thoughts, Christians can remember the words of St. Paul: 

When we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Such a belief outweighs an inordinate fear of sickness or even death. 

As for the Pew Research poll indicating that viewers of Fox looked upon the virus as a minor threat to the nation’s health, believing Christians can look around and put things into proper perspective. They see widespread drug and alcohol abuse, debilitating obesity and diabetes, physical and sexual crimes, and the slaughter of approximately 4,000 unborn children every day. Compared to those things, it is not too farfetched to see the coronavirus as a minor threat to a nation’s health.

Finally, Pew also reported that Fox viewers believe the media exaggerated the risks of the virus. The media exaggerating? Let’s see. We had the Russian hoax, and then the Ukrainian hoax, and then impeachment. Yeah, the media exaggerate and lie. It’s what they do best, so why take anything they say at face value?

I recently told a good friend that the mainstream media, if it had the power, would literally destroy all Christians. This anti-Fox article is just another piece of evidence.

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Written by
Thomas Addis