Champs, Chimps and Firings at Fox “News”

On Monday, the Fox “News” Corporation unceremoniously fired its most popular and out front preacher, Tucker Carlson.  It happened very abruptly, thus preventing him from saying goodbye to his zealous followers that evening.    

MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber reports on connections between the Dominion-Fox lawsuit, falsehoods at Fox, and the effect of accountability in Carlson’s firing.

First guesses were that his offence was not so much his divisive and tribalistic messaging he preached for so many years–which after all made Fox number one among cables news stations—as his misogynist and harassment attitudes coming up in a new trial.

Another guess has it that emails in the Dominion vs. Fox pre-trial revealed Tucker not only hated Donald Trump behind the scenes while praising him and pushing his lies about voter fraud on screen, but he also had bad things to say about Fox officers behind the scenes while taking in their $30 million salary.

Whatever the reason, many are rejoicing that he is gone and the air waves are liberated–for a while. Someone else is sure to step up.

Rachel Maddow examines Tucker Carlson’s fall in the context of a lineage of far right-wing media personalities over the past 80 years. MSNBC

It seems there is always someone—be it Rush Limbaugh or Steve Bannon or Glen Beck or Sean Hannity or Alex Jones, etc.—who becomes famous and rich preaching a similar agenda to Tucker: Hatred; Tribalism; White Supremacy; Racism; Resentment; Projection; Misogyny.  In a nutshell, How to shrink the human soul and turn it back to its chimpanzee days.

In yesterday’s DM, we learned from scientist Brian Swimme that our tribalism and war-making are inherited from our closest cousins, the chimpanzees, with whom we share 99% of our DNA.  Chimps can be playful and fun and caring to those who are close to them in their tribe.  But only to a small tribe. 

When invited to a larger circle such as 50,000 apes in a stadium, they will fall into war and violence between tribes.

Joy Reid and her panel report on Tucker Carlson’s destabilizing impact on democracy in America and in the world. MSNBC

We humans on the other hand, so the same yet so different from chimpanzees, can get along in a stadium 50,000 and more.  We can expand our circles of relationships—sometimes. 

Exceptions occur such as uprisings happening in European soccer match stadiums.  There and elsewhere human wars happen.  The reptilian brain and chimpanzee instincts rule. 

News organizations too can draw many zealots while whipping up chimpanzee instincts.  The human soul shrinks when hatred, tribalism, white supremacy, resentment, projection, misogyny rule the air waves. 

The chimpanzee DNA gets released en masse.  People like Tucker Carlson and Rupert Murdoch get very rich and very powerful. Democracy reels.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 189-236.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Resting D’Oh Face” Caricature of Tucker Carlson. Adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr photostream. Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Is your soul, are our souls, shrinking or expanding under the influence of the media we choose to listen to and support?

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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16 thoughts on “Champs, Chimps and Firings at Fox “News””

  1. Avatar

    “The Harmful Effects of Media Pollution”

    It may be best to neither support nor subscribe to any type of media. The media is no more than a message that someone else wants you to hear, and there are millions of messages now every day and growing. To accept or not to accept the messages and what to do with the ones we accept is solely for us to determine. Selective and purposeful reading, listening and contemplating the same would be useful.

    The media contains ‘a greater and more harmful form of pollution’ affecting the human condition more so than any amount of ecological damage that exists or will exist. — BB.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Hi Bill,
      Not sure how or if there is any value in determining a comparison. I feel uncomfortable with thinking of one as more damaging than the other.
      Media, as evidenced for decades, can be an insidious process, to the extent of threatening
      what many of us hold dear and precious; our freedoms, freedom from fear of one another, freedom to know our child can go to school and return home unharmed. You know the list. It goes on and on.
      Ecological damage is wreaking havoc on the planet that supports our ability to live here. The more we abuse and misuse our home planet, the more she will respond in self-defense, protecting herself from those life forms who attack her.
      They are both huge and real threats to all that many hold dear and precious.
      I wonder if they are interrelated. Is it possible? probable? that as we learn to manage one the other will be impacted for the good of all?

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I’m very discerning when it comes to what I choose to listen to with regards to this world’s current methods of media sharing. I have chosen certain sites that influence my soul in an expanding, positive, nurturing, healing and creative way. I’m also an avid reader of spiritual books only, which I am often inspired to read through the references made by the media platforms I choose to listen to and engage with.

    Living in a small rural community in Northern Ontario, in Canada; I’m grateful for these particular media sites that have definetely influenced my spiritual journey and the unfolding, evolving emergence of my becoming all that I am. Converging with other benevolent souls, in this media form of community, friendship, and communion has been a pathway of practicing the beauty and goodness of sacred relationship and mentorship; for which I am grateful to participate in!

    I also set boundaries around the amount of time I engage with these media platforms, knowing the value of many other avenues that expand and influence my soul in meaningful ways as well… such as spending time in nature, painting, writing, drumming and singing, participating in rituals and ceremonies, spending time with family and friends, travelling, and my daily work of tending to the elders.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you, Jeanette, for sharing your choices for positive influence as primary for your life.
      Annie Dillard’s well known quote is one that resonates here, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” .
      Your model of showing up, evaluating what is best for your soul, ways you choose to enrich
      your soul through Via Creativa, the arts, rituals, your people and pleasure choices.
      Thank you, again.

  3. Avatar

    What happens when we “eat at each other.” Tirades against Fox News only incites more tribalism. Follow the money…We can denigrate the poor chimps & their “animal nature”–but why don’t we take a look at our own human nature. Only 170k to 370k chimps are left in the wild. They are unjustly being eaten into extinction by human hunters for food (bushmeat). Others are captured & horribly used for human medical laboratory experiments. We humans have sanctimoniously projected all our evils unto our close ties to our “animal” nature–& look where our shadow in the “U.S. democracy” has taken us: 10 billion animals per year are slaughtered–with 99% raised on factory farms, where they endure horrific cruelty, raised in confinement–never feeling grass under their feet or sunlight. Every day 23 million land animals are killed on them. In the U.S. 10 billion are killed annually. If aquatic farmed animals are included, the number increases to 13.8 billion as of April 19, 2023. All U.S. human military fatalities from 1775 to 2023 (horrific as they are) total only 1,304,702 (Aaron O’Neill, Statistica, April 2023). What are we really consumed by? Just some food for thought…

  4. Avatar

    Our True Heart Selves~Eternal Sacred Souls are evolving towards Cosmic Consciousness of Loving Diverse Oneness in our physical and non-physical sacred multidimensional-diverse Cosmos within and through God’s Spirit of Divine Love….

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Yes, and?
      Thank you for the reminder.
      It can be a long challenging road, can’t it?
      We have the choice to revel in the challenge and
      to model for others a different way of being.
      A way of love and care. A way of knowing that there is much more
      than what we are distracted to focus on? I work quite intently to
      be a force to lift and to model positive energy wherever and whenever I can.
      I am not always successful, and it is my goal, perhaps even my purpose.
      Important to not allow ourselves to wallow in the negativity overwhelm.
      Center, stand tall and assist the next to center, stand tall and move on.
      I think that’s what you are stating. I just needed to spell it out a bit.

  5. Avatar

    Okay, yes, we’ve got that embarrassingly cantankerous relative, the Chimp.
    But Bonobos are equally closely related to us and they feel more like favourite uncles than unhinged schizophrenics.
    Bonobos are much less aggressive than chimps, don’t kill one another, have amicable relations with neighbouring Bonobo communities, live in groups mostly run by grannies and in which females form strong friendships which inhibit male aggression. Bonobos are also known to share food with strangers – an action once claimed to distinguish humans from all other animals. On top of all this bonobos are notoriously into sex – of every possible kind.
    Leaving out Bonobos and concentrating on Chimpanzees is like bringing back a genetic version of original sin, ‘scientific’ pre-destination.
    (Wikipedia is a good place to start for info on Bonobos – esp, the sub-section on ‘Behaviour’)

  6. Avatar

    Thank you, Jo Anne, for the info about the bonobos. I was thinking the same thing–they seem to be more interested in relationships, albeit often sexual.
    Watching Fox news exclusively or other negative media, including FB and all the other “social media”, is like soul suicide, in my opinion. There are other more balanced outlets like the Christian Science Monitor and BBC and AlJazeera, etc. There are also contemplative sites like this one, Richard Rohr’s DM’s, Contemplative Outreach, etc., that I see as spiritually nourishing.
    Fox’s abrupt firing of one of the chief liars has everything to do with CYA and nothing to do with journalistic integrity IMO.
    I assume that Matthew will report on the wonderful news from the Pope that women will be included in bishops’ meetings.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you, Sue.
      Soul Suicide – hmmmmm.
      I certainly agree with your appraisal.
      Yes, always good to hear something positive and
      supportive, even baby steps.
      Those always come first, don’t they?

  7. Avatar

    Thank you Jo Anne for your teaching. …the wise voice of an anthropologist.

    I believe discernment is critical to keeping our souls intact as we are bombarded by the media’s frenzy to get our attention.
    Common Dreams is a news resource I value. They seem to consistently tell it like it is. Sadly it wasn’t Tuckers rate grabbing behavior that got him fired it was the simple fact that he cost Fox News money. Big time! He became a liability, not an asset.
    I quote Common Dreams;

    “Friend ,

    Tucker Carlson is finally out at Fox News. After years of racist rants, right-wing disinformation, and countless white supremacist conspiracy theories, the pundit finally went too far.

    And what exactly did Tucker Carlson do to finally get shown the door?

    He cost his bosses at the Fox Corporation money.

    After paying $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit, Fox News finally drew the line. He was worse than racist, dishonest, xenophobic, and hateful. He was a financial liability.”

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Hi Ellen,
      Thank you for your comment and your mention of Common
      Shared suggestions of this type, provide readers with information and an
      opportunity to review and evaluate the suggested resource.
      Thanks for your comment, including the quote.
      YES! hard to believe; no mention of the obvious wrongdoing and lack of accountability
      to all who “trust” Fox News, because the other OBVIOUS is that FOX NEWS’ execs, seem to understand
      accountability exclusively in Profit and Loss, at the sacrifice of the good of the whole.

  8. Avatar

    I learn what’s going on in the world from written sources. I don’t listen to performers who are masters of timbre, volume, and vocal emphasis and use these skills to manipulate audiences.
    People can be and are influenced by what they listen to and are swayed by emotional appeal. These abilities are critical to both lawyers and performers, and if they’re not mastered, the effort is wasted.
    I *read* about current events. I read about important issues from different sources. If there’s an event with 10 witnesses, you’ll hear 10 different versions of what happened–and if you’re lucky, you might be able to discern something close to the actual sequence.
    It’s not incidental that after agreeing to pay out close to $1bn; and facing other plaintiffs with full access to Dominion evidence, fauxgnus sees enormous financial exposure. Negotiations are probably now engaged attempting to settle the TC suit, since the plaintiff isn’t unlikely, after Dominion, to add fauxgnus itself to the suit charging it contributed to her abuse by allowing TC the freedom to pursue slander and lies.
    fauxgnus fired a high liability to protect its profits. Typical capitalism.

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