– by Deborah Levinson
Like many liberals, I’ve never had a high opinion of Fox News, but even I was willing to believe they tried to adhere to some journalistic standards. And apparently, they do – except that they’re using the same standards as The Onion.
Yesterday, Fox posted a scaremongering story entitled Scientist: Terrorists May Use Robots in Future Attacks. The story relies on the incredibly lazy “journalism” of simply reporting on a press release and embellishing it with a few facts the reporter no doubt gathered by typing the word “robot” into Google.
But personally, my favorite part of this story is the accompanying photo (shown here). Apparently, the robots the terrorists are going to use to kill us are none other than the Daleks, the brutal, ruthless mutant cyborgs developed by Terry Nation in 1963 for the BBC science fiction show Doctor Who. It’s a wonder Fox News didn’t call for the arrest of Nation’s heirs, not to mention the show’s current writing and production team, as terrorist sympathizers.
Instead of demanding Russell T Davies’ head on a plate – I suppose after the Series 3 finale, there are enough Doctor Who fans demanding that themselves – Fox continues to link fact and science fiction, speculating that while it may be hard to believe terrorists are secretly designing homicidal killbots, in fact, U.S. company iRobot is allowing its customers to modify and reprogram their Roomba house-cleaning robots. Obviously, because iRobot also has a thriving business designing and selling robots to the U.S. military, it must be possible for ordinary consumers to transform their ostensibly harmless carpet-sweepers into unstoppable death machines bent on destroying the American way of life. Damn you, iRobot, for encouraging hobbyists interested in science and engineering! Don’t you know that learning about electronics and computer programming is tantamount to giving aid and comfort to the enemy?
Oh, Fox News. I never thought you’d fill that void in my life left by the loss of The Weekly World News, but you just may do that yet.
Guest Scrogue Deborah Levinson is a design developer living and working in Boston. She obviously knows way more about Doctor Who than is healthy.