If you're a massive Star Wars fan, you might want to avoid FOX News even more than usual.
A few weeks ago the network made entertainment headlines when a FOX commentator, Carley Shimkus, appeared to make disparaging comments about the franchise and its fans. It now seems like the exact same thing has basically happened again.
I have to admit, on my first viewing of the video I assumed Shimkus had struck again, but this time the anti-Star Wars baton has been handed to Katherine Timpf, a National Review reporter who, at first glance, looks, talks and pulls patronizing faces in an extremely similar manner to Shimkus.
However, whereas Shimkus actually had some kind of 'genuine' concerns about the 'over-saturation' of Star Wars marketing, Timpf mostly takes issue with "space nerds" (her words). Check out the video below:
Unintentional insult was added to injury when comedian (and quasi-off-brand-young-Steve-Buscemi-lookalike) Avi Liberman adds that George Lucas is trying to "cleanse his palette after the last bad trilogy" with The Force Awakens. Of course, as we all know, Lucas has nothing to do with this new trilogy -- other than cashing the Disney check that is.
Now, before we all go stampeding to the comments or tweeting our own death threats, some contextualization is needed. Firstly, this conversation happened on Red Eye, FOX's late night/early morning 'satirical' talkshow which probably means Timpf was being slightly ironic, sarcastic and/or playing with a "too cool for Star Wars" persona. Furthermore, the inaccuracy regarding Lucas was later corrected by Red Eye's Andy Levy. So there's that.
Having said that, we should also understand this kind of showcase is FOX News's bread and butter. Their entire modus operandi depends on creating arousal (by which I mean anger, rage or excitement) within the viewer (whether that arousal is directed at Obama, Syrian refugees, or in this case, one of their guests) to result in what journalist and Outfoxed author Alexandra Kelly termed "water-cooler talk with an attitude". This of course leaves little room for traditional journalism, as it has been eliminated in favor of punditry, pontification and "infotainment". This isn't just limited to their 'softer' entertainment-based shows either, for example, media and propaganda experts Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber highlight FOX News’ The O’Reilly Factor as one of the worst offenders, stating that O’Reilly’s confrontational approach does not generate discussion but acts as entertainment, akin to watching WWE Wrestling.
Anyway, I'm getting carried away. My point is that in today's increasingly demanding and diverse media landscape, it is this kind of content which continually grabs people's attention, but not because it's actually worthy of it. FOX News, like internet trolls, thrive on hitting us in our rage-filled weak spots and exploiting that emotion for their own gain. Don't let her comments be the proton torpedo to your thermal exhaust port. Don't let them "feel your anger", instead use the force and feel smug in the knowledge Katherine wouldn't get any of these references.