When I first saw this image on Facebook, I wasn't sure how on earth Fox News could have killed someone's mother. And then I read the message that went with the photo. Tracy Knauss posted it on his Facebook page along with a message which said in part:
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.
Hallie Jean Mayes Knauss Culpepper passed away on February 16, 2012. Ten days earlier, she had fallen, but as Knauss says, refused to see a doctor. Her obituary notes that she was a "lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Republican" who at one time had also been a business owner (TECO Products, now Griffin Products).
And it seems, she got her news from Fox. It's not hard to understand where she got the idea that "Obamacare" had death panels. Just three days before Mrs. Culpepper's death, they were still calling them death panels. Republicans have been working hard (with the cooperation of some turncoat Democrats) to repeal that board, which is really the last best hope we have for keeping Medicare out of the crosshairs of budget hawks.
The death panel lie has been around since the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, when Liberty Council first started circulating emails to seniors and Sarah Palin amplified it. Then we had the Fox News Parade of Idiots saying it over and over again, along with the usual complement of birthers. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that a lifelong Republican who entered the age of television with the Fairness Doctrine where fair coverage and truth telling was part of the mix, would believe what Fox told her?
Don't write this woman off as some ignorant back-country hick. She clearly wasn't. She owned a company at one time. She paid attention to events and politics in the news, or at least, in the news as she understood it. She, like most of her neighbors, voted Republican. But until Fox News came along, Republicans weren't stupid. They had different philosophies about government and its role, but they weren't blatantly invested in advancing a lie-based ideology until Fox News came along.
It isn't hyperbole to say Fox News killed her. She fell and feared the doctor would kill her. That fear can be laid at the feet of Roger Ailes and his obsession with advancing lies to promote his agenda. When are they going to be held accountable for this?