Hallie Jean Mayes Knauss Culpepper was a vibrant, beautiful woman. She was stylish. She was sharp as a tack. She was good-natured. She was a trailblazer, a businesswoman, a woman who gave to the community and to her country. She was a “dyed-in-the-wool Republican.” She was a mother of three and raised five of her grandchildren. She was an avid watcher of Fox News. Fox News taught the woman of courage a new emotion – fear. She feared the President. She feared the Government. She feared healthcare. She feared Muslims. She feared death panels. On February 16, 2012, Hallie Jean Mayes Knauss Culpepper died at 85 years old because Fox News made her fear her doctor.
She left behind a beautiful family (pictured), including her grieving son, Tracy Knauss, who posted this on his Facebook page:
I know this personally. FOX News killed my precious mother, Hallie. She watched FOX religiously. And when she fell ten days before she died, she refused to go to the doctor because, “I don’t want Obamacare to get all of my information!” she declared, recalling the warnings from FOX News “anchors.” She was emphatic. She was not going to consort with the Muslim enemy. As she made out her will she told her lawyer, “I don’t want any of my money going to the Muslim Brotherhood!” And her last protestation dealt with “Obama’s death panels.” Mother died just days later. I hold FOX News responsible for my mother’s death.
In an exclusive statement to Addicting Info, Tracy Knauss said of his mother,
Her mind was sharp and keen. Her father, a lawyer, was elected by the people of Fayetteville, AR to serve as their representative at their state’s first constitutional convention. When Eisenhower ran for office, she drove me to the airport and put me on her shoulders so I could see him when he briefly got off the plane to make a quick stump speech. She was a poll watcher and was serious about her politics, but not fanatical. It was the advent of FOX that began to get her riled up. Out of nowhere she’d throw out a comment about our president being a Muslim. I could see FOX was doing a slow snatch of her brain. It strained our relationship, but I was her “rock” as she called me to the end. I bought her weekly groceries and looked out for her. Prior to FOX my mother and I could talk about politics, but FOX erected permanent barriers where no “meeting of the minds” was possible.
In study after study, Fox News viewers are consistently shown to be the most misinformed. On the left, we are often guilty of turning their viewers into caricatures. We imagine them to be poorly educated, lacking in basic hygiene, racist and frankly, stupid. Hallie Jean was none of those stereotypes, yet for her, Fox misinformation became her death panel. While the stereotypical Fox viewer might be good for a few laughs, the real Fox viewers are people much closer to home. They are people that we encounter every day and people that we love. They are people like Hallie Jean.
Fox News preys on the Hallie Jeans of the world. The average age of the Fox viewer is 65 years old. Liberals often cite that as evidence that Fox will age itself out of existence, ignoring one important fact, that for every Fox watching senior that dies, another senior tunes in. As people’s eyes age, they begin to lose their ability to sit in front of a computer or to read a newspaper. For many seniors, TV, along with talk radio are still the most age-friendly media and Fox knows it. They also know something else, seniors vote. If Fox News can sway the most consistent voting bloc in the country, there’s a chance they can sway elections.
While we’ve known for years that Fox News is a danger to our democracy, we’d never imagined, until now, that Fox could actually be a danger to lives.
Tracy Knauss, a publisher and an Occupy activist was no fan of Fox News before he lost his mother,
FOX News is no more than an arm of the Republican Party and a mouthpiece of the 1%ers in the plutocrat’s attempt to own and control America. Fox’s short-term objectives of using propaganda and misinformation to gain viewer loyalty, have worked toward their long term goal of a symbolic Plantation America, home of greed and land of the slave. Their objectives are close to being accomplished: the elimination of the American middle class via their attack on unions and the subjugation of women through the assault of their reproductive, socio-economic and political rights, and the suppression of fair elections by brainwashing workers via social issues to vote against their own self interests. Their final assault will now be against the colleges and universities, the last fortress of free thought in America. However, Fox didn’t count on the Occupy movement which, I predict will morph into a People Party that will use term limits and other needed rule making to restore true self government to our nation.
I have watched FOX news many, many hours. A hallmark of their commentators is to brow beat and disrupt any guest who’s making progress on a point of contention. And many times they start with a false premise to lead to what appears to be a valid conclusion, but in fact it’s unsound because of the false premise. Fox has become America’s blinders, keeping citizens focused on their agenda while preventing them from looking elsewhere, just like the way we treat draft horses. Beasts of burden. That’s what we’ve become.
Since the death of his mother, his anger toward Fox News has understandably escalated. He hopes that the word of his mother’s death from misinformation will spread. He hopes that ultimately, his mother will be to Fox News what Sandra Fluke has been to Rush Limbaugh, a ray of sunshine into a black hole of propaganda.
Was Hallie Jean ultimately responsible for her own decisions? Of course she was, but she made her decisions from the information she had at hand. That information was fear, handed to her in a neatly wrapped package marked, “fair and balanced.” Fox News told her there was no reason to look elsewhere for her news. Fox News told her that everyone else lies. As surely as Hallie Jean drank the kool-aid, Fox News added the poison.
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