One of Fox News’ most resilient claims has been that liberal cities in America have crumbled into hellscapes. Post-apocalyptic downtowns where crime runs rampant; entire cities that are now no-go zones under “sharia law”; restaurants with signs in languages other than English. Any devoted Fox News watcher surely believes that cities like Portland have been burned to the ground half a dozen times in the past two decades.
The latest version comes to us via Media Matters’ Kat Abu, and it appears Fox News made the poor decision to actually visit one of these so-called hellscapes—Seattle, in this case—and film it. Bad, bad idea.
Judge Box Wine (aka host Jeanine Pirro) kicks off the segment, saying that Fox News sent a correspondent “to the progressive hellscape, where residents mocked the idea that the city is spiraling out of control.”
What follows is their correspondent, “Johnny,” wandering through lush green landscapes as he accosts random Seattleites who tell him, “I’ve never seen any crime in Seattle,” and, “I’ve never heard of anyone getting robbed,” and, “Crime is a social issue that could be solved by giving people their basic needs”—all while the Fox News chyron screams, “RESIDENTS IN BLUE CITIES ARE EMBRACING THE DECAY.”
It’s Green Jacket Lady who takes time out of her day to give Johnny the slapdown everyone on Fox News deserves. “Who are you getting these facts from?” she laughs. “You’re from New York, apparently. You’re listening to the wrong people.”
JOHNNY: I saw a lot of people shooting up on my way down here.
GREEN JACKET LADY: Oh, did you? Okay. And they were bothering you?
JOHNNY: I was in a car, but you know, people—
GREEN JACKET LADY: Oh no, you were in a car! Oh no, they were hurting you so bad! Oh nooo.
You know what? I think we found our next White House press secretary.
It’s clear what happened here. Fox News host Jesse Watters sent his lackey to film some scenes of crime and urban decay in Seattle, just like former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly used to send Watters trudging out to accost people and bring back racist segments mocking them.
After arriving, though, Johnny was apparently unable to find any burning apartment buildings and had to settle for accosting people near what appears to be a public park. Fox News then seems to have rushed together a new angle on things: Look at all these happy people unaware they live in a hellscape—it’s madness!
PIRRO: The arrogance and the ignorance of Seattle residents that Johnny interviewed is shocking. I mean, how could they be clueless?
WATTERS: Well, they’re in denial. And if you look at the demographics of the city, it’s understandable. It is a very highly educated city. Very white, very LGBTQ, very secular. And they all believe in the same thing, which is—criminalizing crime is racist.
If you’re wondering: No, Fox News will never, ever give this storyline up. They don’t have to. The news that this or that blue city has been all but lost to crime, rioting, immigrants, Muslims, or roving packs of highly educated lesbians is a staple of their coverage. If you have a Fox News watcher in your life, you know that viewers deeply savor the “loss” of each city to the point that they will get angry with you if you tell them you live there and things seem just fine.
It’s not clear why Fox News viewers remain so gullible, even after the “news” channel has announced the fall of the same half-dozen cities once or twice a year, every year. By this point, shouldn’t these cities be nothing more than smoking craters? It’s tempting to blame arrogance and ignorance, but the culprit might just be very short attention spans.
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