If you look at the above graphic for more than, say, five seconds, before you see something terribly wrong, then you need to go back to the fifth grade and start your education all over again. Try paying attention this time.
We all know that Fox News is to real news what a whiffle bat is to a Louisville Slugger and I had long since written them off as clowns and partisan hacks, but I at least assumed that they had to be functionally literate to do their jobs.
I no longer grant them that.
The thing that really irks me about this is not the obvious racist implications of putting Frederick Douglass, a abolitionist and former slave in the graphic instead of Stephen A. Douglas, who was a short, rotund white guy who supported slavery, but that the whole thing could have been avoided with a cursory Google search. In this age of instant information, where I can find a thorough rundown of the War of the Roses as quickly as I can find high-quality candid pictures of the latest celebrity nipple-slip(yeah, not going to link to that), the graphics folks at Fox News, couldn’t be bothered to do even that.
What’s more, they must’ve actually had to look up Frederick Douglass on PURPOSE to get his photo, meaning that they’re stupid enough to actually think that Abraham Lincoln debated Frederick Douglass when running for a Senate seat. Never mind that Frederick Douglass was probably in New York at the time the debates actually took place, not Illinois. Never mind that Douglass and Lincoln did not formally meet until 1863. In this “fair and balanced” look at the history of our country, details like these hardly matter. Making a salacious graphic that catches the eye while being more than slightly racist does.
The saddest part of this whole thing for me is that, given our country’s disinterest in education and the systematic dismantling of our schools and education system over the past 7-8 years, there is probably a large swath of the country that didn’t catch this and identify it as horribly flawed. Hey, some of you might have looked at it at the top of this page and not seen what was wrong. The devaluing of intelligence and education in our country is something that I find deeply depressing and extremely troubling looking toward the future. A country where more people can draw Paris Hilton’s shaved vagina from memory by cannot be bothered to know how our system of Checks and Balances works or whether evolution is a valid scientific theory, or, for that matter, that a scientific theory is not the same as your hunch that the redhead in front of you in the checkout line at Wal-mart is actually a natural blonde, is not one that I want to live in.
If you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go cry, now…