Fox News Told to Take It Down a Notch by Own Kind

by Liz Colville

The picture emerging of Tucson shooter Jared Loughner — this article is a pretty thorough portrait — is of a relatively normal guy who descended into mental illness in his early 20s. While he certainly may have been influenced by political rhetoric, a direct link between political rhetoric and his crimes really can’t be made at this point, nor can we really speculate about his mental state.

But! There is positive side-effect of his atrocious acts, for those fed up with Fox News, at least. The network (and hopefully the media at large) is taking a step back and reevaluating how it’s sending its messages, and possibly even what those messages are. We can dream.

The president of the news outlet, Roger Ailes, apparently told his staff to chill out following Saturday’s violence. In an interview with Russell Simmons on Simmons’ website Global Grind, Ailes says:

I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.

The rest of the discussion is a bit strange and all over the place, but, well, this is a start.