It is everywhere, even in the Doctor's waiting room. It is not good for anyone's health. However why must it be included with my cable selection. Why do I have to pay for it. I've signed a petition to have it removed.

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Here is how it has infected my world:

I was looked down upon by members of my family for being a liberal even before Donald Trump.

I had to detach myself from my relatives who are Republican, because their relatives by marriage we're not safe to be around via Fox and Trump.

I was not invited to a wedding, because of my relatives allegiance to Republican Fox world.

My aunt and uncle went insane verbally attacking Muslims in their Western New Jersey town, to the point where I told them to stop the car one time and let me out. They had been brainwashed by Fox News. That same aunt had Hillary Clinton toilet paper in her guest bathroom, which I'm sure she got from an infomercial on Fox News. It got to the point where I was calling my uncle on the down low from my aunt, as he was dying with Alzheimer's and he didn't know where I was. He died last year and not only was I not informed of his death, I was barely mentioned in his obituary and not by name. She had cut out his entire family, my blood relatives because they weren't on the MAGA train I'm sure.

If you're Liberal or Center Left, you are automatically demonized by Trump supporters, who think they are superior to you, which is hilarious as they are the ones who always play victim.

A former coworker of mine came to work infected with covid and refused to wear a mask because MAGA. I was infected with covid, but I can't prove it's from him, and have been suffering from long-term covid for about a year now. I lost two jobs because of it.

My former best friend is an anti-vaxer, and ended our friendship because she claimed that I got covid from the vaccine which is something that Fox News pedals in.

It's amazing when you try to do the right thing in this country, and be on the correct side of History, what a lonely path it is. I have no regrets from losing all these people in my life. I can sleep at night. I hope they can sleep at night too when this country collapses because of them..

Oh yes and I stopped being a poll worker in 2018 because I saw what was coming.

I'm a 60-year-old woman living in Los Angeles. My golden years shouldn't be like this. Thank goodness I'm a fighter.

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Can I just say to everyone here: I am grateful for your sharing your experiences with us, including those that have been quite personally painful. By shedding light on the impact, it helps make change possible.

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Mar 4Liked by Steven Beschloss

I am lucky - I live in CT where society is much more civilized and intelligent. Fox News is watched, I am sure , but those who do watch don't swagger and boast about what they saw on it. I love to remind folks, "Remember when Fox had to defend Tucker Carlson in that law suit, and had to come out and say Tucker wasn't News, he was merely entertainment"?

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I live in the South, in a very red state, and followed my mother's lead in politics (liberal). My mother had a long-term friendship with a very sweet lady who unfortunately was dealing with the aftereffects of trauma and some mental health issues most of her life. She had also been close to me, and I would drive her to appointments and the pharmacy.

My mother passed away in 2020 (not from COVID, but her treatment was impacted by the hospital having to devote many resources to COVID patients and COVID prevention protocols not allowing us to visit her to speak with her doctors in person). I hoped to continue to retain the friendship with her, even though we had "agreed to disagree" about politics long ago and just not discuss it.

When COVID became politized, and conspiracy theories abounded, though... I was masking when taking her to appointments for myself AND her, but she wouldn't wear one because she said she couldn't breathe through them (she did have serious lung problems by this point, however, and panic attacks related to things covering her nose and mouth). I didn't argue with her, just wore my own.

But she kept bringing up the conspiracy theories, and while I tried to be gentle when I tried to steer the conversation another way or say I had seen evidence something was false if I recognized what she was talking about, it became harder and harder.

Eventually she text-bombed me with a TON of misinformation graphics. I'm not in the best shape myself, and was having a flare so had been trying to sleep. I had a specific tone for when she texted, so after about 7 messages over 15 minutes. I got up thinking it was an emergency. I perhaps responded poorly, but said we'd agreed to disagree and not discuss these things with each other, and that I would prefer her not to break the agreement, because I *did* care about her and wanted to retain the connection.

She never called or texted again, or responded to any of my calls (went straight to VM every time) or texts over a few months. Also, she blocked me on Facebook. She'd occasionally done that with Mom for months at a time, so I was hoping it would just be like that. I checked new friend requests, but never got one from an account w/ her name.

I Googled somewhat recently and found out she had passed away in 2022. I can't tell what the cause was from the obituary, but it said she passed in her home. She was about 10 years younger than Mom, who had died before she hit 70.

I wish that we had been able to stay in touch, and respect boundaries like we had before, but the current political environment made that impossible. I'm SO sad the last thing she probably read from me was a negative message rather than any of the "Hey, just checking to see how you are doing, love you" texts or VMs.

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Only indirectly, through its impact on others. That, though, is unfortunately huge.

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I moved away from Texas after living there for 20 years. After the Biden-Harris bus was run off of the road, local television showed a police officer on an on-ramp, watching, being recorded as he LAUGHED.

I had a culture shock to see the information in my community limited to Fox, Facebook & church. That’s it. I’m originally from New England & have lived overseas, giving me a perspective that these insular societies lack. I’ve also survived 2 cults, one as a child & the other QAnon while in Texas. I watched my “normal” church change drastically to one that stopped preaching scripture & started preaching The Matrix.

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Mar 4Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you Steven for the opportunity to contribute to this conversation. Canadians were able to watch the wayward path of denial, deflection and destruction authored by Donald Trump, as it was covered on our major National news channels, as well. We were incredulous that such an unqualified individual as #45 could reach the echelon of President of the United States. He was glorified through coverage by his loyal enablers on FOX News. Their most radical news presenters like Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham seemed to revel in disseminating a litany of false and misleading information, which caused the 'doctrine of Trump' to evolve at an alarming rate. Attendees at Trump rallies fanatically chanted along with their 'chosen one' leader, in a cult-like fashion. Without any checks and balances or a code of conduct, lies were touted as truth repeatedly, and falsehoods seemed to developed a virtual life of their own. If I mentioned any of Trump's indiscretions, I discovered his fans were distrustful of traditional government, and generally not aware of his inappropriate actions on the National and International world stage. They seemed all too willing to justify his behaviour. This psychological shortfall is due to a feature of human thinking called cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are detours or shortcuts in reasoning, remembering, or evaluating something, that can lead to mistaken conclusions. FOX provided a platform for misinformation and conspiracy theories to thrive. The greatest travesty is that so many Republicans fell in lockstep behind Trump, and did not protest his egregious behaviour. FOX acted as a willing partner in aiding, abetting and misleading their audience. The damage from false media is entrenched and long-lasting. It will require a yeoman effort to bring America back into any semblance of reason and balanced thinking.

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Steven there is so much to say and I only hope time to do enough. Free speech is not totally free of course( dont call out fire in a theater!!) but Fox, Newsmax & others must be treated like they are calling out FIRE in our democracy! The conservative ultra MAGA right is trying to burn our house down and must be stopped and the only way is to hit them financially.

I will never listen to or watch any of these so called "News" services. I think this country if it can be saved will only exist after all of the destroyers are eliminated completely.

My own older family, all Republicans in name only all are Ultra MAGA. It is disgusting to say the least and we do not speak to each other any more. Prolly never will again.

Keep shining the light on these Companies and put them out of business.

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I no longer talk to my four siblings. I accept that they just are all lost in a cult.

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Mar 4·edited Mar 4

When my parents had a projection TV the Fox logo was burned into the screen. Bill O'Reilly's rants gave way to my step-dad yelling responses as practice, now he takes notes when watching Carlson. My mother believed everything Lou Dobbs said. They believed they could game the system, bought homes they couldn't afford to buy, borrowed against one to purchase another, then lost both. Dad involved himself in pyramid schemes, and now we learn that he owes taxes with mounting late fees. These were at one time perfectly nice and proper people, now they're in their late 80's and dependent upon SS, have an EBT card and despite the fact that their credit was ruined they now live in a beautiful community that we bought into and rent to them. According to them we liberals are the dummies. Everything mentioned in the article we've experienced. They love Trump, hate liberals, and even after an innocent family member was shot and killed they still believe that nothing can or should be changed. When discussing other news sources they always revert to "who can we trust?" When suggesting they watch other news sources they claim to have done so but didn't like what was being said. So much for accepting the truth, Fox dishes out exactly what they want. Fox is clearly a platform intended to abuse the elderly and those unable to think critically. These aren't the parents I grew up with nor does it represent their actual beliefs. Maybe now is the time to file a classaction lawsuit to sue over lost time with loved ones who succumbed to the wily Fox...

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I have a cousin who was like a sister when I was growing up. Ever since she told me she watches Tucker Carlson every night because she thought he was SO funny, I can't bring myself to communicate with her. We grew up with a Lithuanian grandmother whose father was killed by Russians when she was 11. She HATED Russia. Now my cousin who practically lived with my grandparents is watching a person spreading Russian propaganda. I can't do it!!

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Fox has an indirect effect through the sheep who watch it inhabiting a chunk of the country (not even close to half, as they like to think). Useful as a breaking point when meeting people, and in demonstrating the bottomless ability of some humans to gaslight themselves into reality seaparation.

I blame the people who choose to watch it rather than the firehose of BS it spews for its effect on those who took horse paste and died. If Fox did not exist I suppose the flock would find an equally disinformative way to get "news". I am appalled it is ubiquitous on military bases, where impressionable very young recruits are stewed in it daily.

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It contributed to ending my marriage, and yes, it's ended a friendship or two. When I met my now former husband in the mid 90s, he was a normal main street republican, and really, so was I. But that's the time period Fox "News" came into being, and he's been an avid Fox watcher since. I paid little attention to politics until around 2007, but I had noticed the R party had moved way way out from under me. I'm a moderate. My now former husband....I drew a boundary of no politics, and he respected it, but he believes things to his core that he hears on Fox and talk radio, and it became a big gulf between us. A longtime work friend probably always leaned right, but had until recent years not ever seemed much interested in politics. She married a man in more recent years who appears much more political than I had known her to be. She would post things on fb that were straight off of Fox and the like, and while I didn't actually "comment" on them, sometimes I would put a link to better information on the subject of the day into her comment area under those posts. Not often, but occasionally. In other words, I didn't get ugly, I didn't even really "comment", just gave a link to credible info. She unfriended me, which surprised me. Just recently, after a few years of no contact, she has recently "re-friended" me on social media, and I have since moved out of state. Rupert Murdoch has earned burning in hell. He has damaged democracies all over the world, for money. How much money does he need? I don't know what the answer is, but he and others like him sell poison and they do not care the effect it has on society or systems of government.

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Most of these stories – and I have my own – illustrate the personal pain that so many people are going through watching a profound transformation happen to friends and loved ones. In addition to feeling public outrage at the policies and actions against vulnerable groups in the nation, there is this very personal, very intimate assault on the ties that bind us together.

It reminds me so much of the feeling you get from some classic novels and dramas of the fascist

Or Cold War period. I’m thinking of things like Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, or the existential dread of Invasion of the Body Snatchers where you wake up and everything looks the same, seems the same, but it’s creepily different. People you know are all of a sudden just a little off.

I don’t think those who are of us who are liberal have truly reckoned with the impact of the constant state of anxiety and dread, the constant waiting for the next shoe to fall. It’s debilitating, and perhaps part of why we’re not mounting a strong enough defense for liberal democracy.

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Mar 4Liked by Steven Beschloss

For years I’ve been concerned about the blatant and dangerous lies by FOX but the reality slapped me in the face when two of my relatives died from Covid as proud anti-Covid vaccines because they believed the lies. One just had his 50th birthday

All my East coast relatives believe the lies

I love them all and on occasion risked asking about lies and Trump and FOX. Immediate denials of facts

FOX ignited the most dangerous anti Democracy cult I have ever experienced in my 76 years

It saddens me deeply that they thrive at the expense of their own viewers and all of us

Broken friendships, anxiety, and heartbreak

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