Fox News is usually so aggressively full of shit that it's easy to believe that no one takes it seriously. I mean sure, you know that some people (maybe even people in your own family) are watching it and eating it up, but generally you let yourself believe that everyone deep down understands that it should be taken with enough grains of salt to fill the Atlantic Ocean. It's also tempting just to dismiss their special kind of hackery as either enraging or amusing drivel and leave it at that—and, yes, there are times when it even gives you a good laugh (after you're done weeping, of course). But then along comes a story like this to remind us that, in fact, the spread of outright lies masquerading as journalism does have real world consequences—and they can quite literally be deadly.

The story comes via Facebook, where Tracy Knauss posted the above image along with this message:

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.


That is plainly awful, and, while this could easily be total bullshit, it sadly doesn't seem to be. As Crooks and Liars points out, one Hallie Jean Mayes Knauss Culpepper, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died on February 16th of this year. And her obituary describes her as a "lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Republican." Her fear of doctors must have stemmed from all the death panel talk that never seems to end on that blessed network.

If you're tempted to think of Ms. Culpepper as some kind of ignorant crazy person, don't. She owned a company that manufactured stainless steel kitchen equipment and was a completely functional member of society. Sure, there might have been other factors involved in allowing her to be so paralyzed by this irrational fear, but certainly a healthy serving of blame for her reluctance to seek medical attention can be traced right back to the lovely "fair and balanced" folks at Fox News. In fact, those same folks might want to think twice before continuing to spread these kinds of lies. If their relatives like to watch the channel that employs them, they just might end up having the very same problem on their hands when Grandpa or Auntie Marion refuses to go to the doctor on account of the evil menace that is Obamacare and ends up dead.


Fox News Lies; An Elderly Woman Dies [Crooks and Liars]