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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I was flipping around Facebook on Tuesday when an interesting story caught my eye. Some lady pastor in North Carolina decided to raise a Christian flag and an American flag (in that order) on her church’s flagpole. Her reasoning? She said that she is a patriot, but God comes first. For any rational person on the planet, that would make nothing but sense coming from the pastor of a church.

But for the super patriots at Fox News, this will simply not stand! For some reason, Fox News felt it was necessary to make a big deal about a church putting up a Christian flag over the American flag on their flagpole. Let me break it down in simpler terms – Fox News wanted people to be appalled at what a private property owner decided to do on her own private property. Is she being unpatriotic? No. Is she doing something that most any other church would do? Yes. But now, thanks to Fox News, my head hurts again.

All of the 24-hour news outlets need to be shut down if we want this country to survive. Not only do these networks thrive on inciting riots and fanning the flames of racism, but now they are taking the most ridiculous incidents and turning them into a sense of national outrage. As of Tuesday afternoon, this topic was trending on Facebook and most people were mad at this pastor. It makes me sick, but Fox News is eating it up and pushing that divide between the different groups in the American public wider and wider.

The other problem with the 24-hour news networks is that they are experts at helping the United States government divert attention from real issues. While the news networks had everyone in a lather about Bill Cosby, did anyone notice that there has been another tenuous extension of the deadline for nuclear talks with Iran? Anyone? Did anybody notice that at all?

While everyone was fixated on whether or not the Jared guy from Subway was a pedophile, did anyone stop to read up on the situation with the Greek economy? There will be worldwide repercussions if that economy collapses, and it looks like it is going to. But is anyone talking about it? Is the Greek economy trending on Facebook? No, it isn’t. The deep concern over a sandwich spokesperson has pushed another critical international story off the social media landscape.

Why do you people even watch or pay attention to these 24-hour news networks? Their approach to reporting the “news’ has been a punchline for years. Yet there are millions of people who hang on every word Fox News says. These same people are starting to give Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency momentum. Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy four times! His views on foreign policy have the political depth of an episode of Cheers. But this is what we get with Fox News and the rest of the 24-hour news networks. We get a population of people who find it much easier to let extremists do the thinking for them.

So now what, America? Are we going to start being offended every time someone passes by a flag and does not salute? Do we bring back that heated and oh-so-important debate about whether or not “Under God” should be in the Pledge of Allegiance? Or is the Pledge too Nazi Germany for you to even think about?

We used to worry about and tackle real issues. We used to see our problems and then meet them head-on. Then the 24-hour news networks dumbed us down and social media put us in touch with each other. Once we started to meet opposition to our opinions from people all over the country in real time, it was all over.

This country will never be united again. This country will never be great again. Why? Because too many people are trying to twist the system in their favor and there are too many others who are wearing tinfoil hats while hiding in their basements. This country has become the exploited being ruled by the exploiters. Until someone stands up and says that it has to stop, it won’t. We will continue to get offended by pointless garbage and we will continue to believe that the adventures of a sandwich spokesperson really matter to the future of this country.

That’s it. I’m done. My head hurts.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and is offended by people. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or email him at

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