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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fox News at the gym
Posted by Jill | 5:58 AM
So the Grand Opening of the company gym at the Major Corporation™ that employs me is this Tuesday, and there are these bigass outlets high up on the wall that I'm told are going to hold flatscreen TVs. This is usually an ominous sign, because these days, most public places where you see flatscreen TVs means that said TVs are going to be constantly tuned to Faux Noise.

It's going to be hard enough to get me to take the plunge to go to the gym and become the hamster-on-a-treadmill (or elliptical, or whatever) that I never wanted to be, without listening to idiotic wingnut-bots piping propaganda into my ear all day. I'm only hoping that the "TV sound through your earbuds wirelessly" they're talking about becomes a reality, because there's only so loudly you can play WTF podcasts to drown it out.

As annoying as it is, I don't make a fuss about Faux Noise in doctors' offices. My experience has been that you usually find it in the offices of urologists and in imaging centers, where a sizable portion of the clientele is exactly the kind of Angry Aging Man that is the Faux Noise audience. My local bagel shop has it because it caters to the Town Geezers, who gather every morning to rant about our local government but then the one chance they had to actually change things, they voted in the same cronies who have been in power for thirty years yet again. The day I find it in, say, a gynecological office is the day I find another doctor. It's bad enough that Dr. Crazy Unhealthy Diet (of whom I was very fond until she went off the Diet Deep End) publicly crowed with joy in December 2000 about the selection of George W Bush and when someone has a long-stemmed Q-tip in your nether parts, you just smile benignly and say "Uh-huh". That should have told me something right there.

So how do YOU deal with Fox News in public places? Drown it out? Ask for a change? Find someplace else that delivers the same service?

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Blogger D. said...
I have usually been able to find the seat in the room that does not actually face the screen. That helps.

As for the sound: I'm a New Yorker. Blocking noise is second nature.

Anonymous jb said...
In hotel rooms with programmable TV remotes, I program out Fox News.

Anonymous Georgette Orwell said...
There recently was a brouhaha here in Massachusetts when a small group of people tried to get a channel--any channel--other than Faux on the health club screen. They failed, which depressed me, and were totally demonized in the process, which depressed me even more. I'm searching for the universal remote that shuts off any TV in the vicinity. I really resent being subjected to broadcast noise, no matter the source, in a public place.

Blogger skywind said...
The medical office where I have to get my blood tested every few weeks has a TV tuned to FOX with a sign that says "Do not try to change the channel. This is the only one that works." Somehow I find that implausible. Luckily I'm never in there for very long.

Blogger Bob said...
I was mad when the local Dunkin Donuts went from CNN to Fox. Sometimes the sound was up, sometimes not. But it really bugged me because I liked to watch the news even if I couldn't hear it. After a month or so it was changed back to CNN.

Anonymous mandt said...
"So how do YOU deal with Fox News in public places?" Carry a plastic knife and a small plastic bag, so you can scrape it off your shoe and place in the nearest garbage can.

Blogger Myrtle June said...
I ask for a change. I have for awhile now. The latest was two days ago at the walkin clinic for my cold/flu that would not go away. Asked and they handed me the remote and I changed to the history channel. Four people looked at me, one with daggers but didn't try to change it back either. :-) Then last summer when I injured my knee it was a large waiting room for several docs and faux. Asked for a change at my doc's window, nope. Asked at another and they didn't have the remote either. So I just waited outside on the comfy hallway couch. Upon the return visit, I asked again and recpectionist said "Its just the news" ... Um no "it isn't news. It is offensive, racisim is offensive". The last recheck it was not on! Success. I always ask.

Blogger casey said...
Hello skywind,

As one who works with a distributed television system there are many ways to fix that problem. # 1 Have them change the source (cable, satellite, fiber etc)to another channel. # 2 If there is only one channel ask them why and then request to have the television turned off. If they will not turn the television off then suggest putting the closed captioned mode on (after all silence is golden).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I use this gadget, Jill. It works great!

(P.S. At my house, I restrict Fux Noise channel with a parental control so no one can access it. My sanctuary.)

Blogger Porlock Junior said...
Another device:

Of course, the time I needed it badly, I hadn't packed it in my briefcase before the trip.