March 4, 2009

What exactly is up with Fox News' fetish about warning kids to stay away from Mexico?

Bill O'Reilly pushed this story last night, and his vision of the scene in Mexico, with a bunch of tough Tony Montana-style drug lords hanging out in every smoky den, was about what you'd expect from the author of Those_Who_Trespass. Which is to say, largely bereft of reality. His guest -- who clearly knows her way around these scenes far better than BillO -- was incredulous: "Where do you get this stuff?" she asks at one point.

Well, he's probably getting at least some of it from his own Fox News operation. Indeed, between Glenn Beck's kookoo for Cocoa Puffs ranting episodes warning of a looming apocalypse coming our way from south of the border, and the rest of the Fox team's reportage on events there, the cable channel is becoming one big running ad: "Mexico is Scary!!! Stay Away!!! Stay Away!!!"

Here are just some of the stories that have run at Fox in the past few weeks:

Students Warned About Spring Break Travel to Mexico

U.S. State Department Issues Travel Alert for Mexico

Colleges warn students about Mexico travel

College Students' Spring Break Hopes Dashed by Mexico Drug Violence

U.S. Says Threat of Mexican Drug Cartels Approaching 'Crisis Proportions'

If Violence Escalates in Mexico, Texas Officials Plan to Be Ready

Will Mexico Bring Down the U.S.?

What Happens to the U.S. if Mexico Collapses?

Mexican Drug Cartels Armed to the Hilt, Threatening National Security

Mexico is a big country. It is also a lovely country. The only place that's currently unsafe is the border region right now. Stay away from border towns, and don't go looking for drugs, and you'll be fine.

In fact, it's grotesquely irresponsible to smear and damage the tourism business for the rest of Mexico because of those problems. You'd think Fox News was trying to hurt them or something.

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