Regular readers know we occasionally marvel at the headlines that run on Fox Nation. In May, for example, we talked about an Occupational Safety & Health Administration effort to prevent heat illnesses among outdoor workers, which led Fox News’ Fox Nation website to run this headline: “Obama Regime: Working Outdoors Can Kill You.”
My esteemed colleague Kent Jones used the opportunity to launch the TRMS Infoxication Writing Challenge, mocking Fox’s ability to turn routine news into “anxiety-filled conspira-bombs pointed squarely at the heart of our socialist overlords.”
We’ve covered this phenomenon several times since, but if we were to rank the Fox headlines based on their inherent ridiculousness and offensiveness, I’d say this gem from today would be right up near the top.
I should note that the headline not only seems to accuse the president of being some kind of traitor, it also underscores a striking ignorance – Libyan officials are mortified by Tuesday night’s violence, support the U.S. presence in the country, and have begun making arrests as part of the investigation into the murders. Under the circumstances, having the U.S. president call his Libyan counterpart to reinforce the diplomatic ties is hardly controversial – it’s no different from George W. Bush calling Iraqi leaders after violence that killed Americans during the war in Iraq.
But the truth is neither provocative nor scandalous, so Fox Nation has to give reality a little touch up. At most news organizations, a headline like this would lead to dismissals. At Fox Nation, a headline like this is called “Thursday.”
Kent Jones has taken to calling Fox’s headline writers, “news alchemists.” It’s a title that’s well deserved.