Well I finally broke down and got cable (it came bundled with the only fast internet service I could get). So at lunch time yesterday, I turned on the bubetoob and watched Fox "News." There appears a young Fox news anchor beginning a short story on Buddhist monks. He prefaces the story with some remark like, "Buddhist monks supposedly only love peace." (Hearing this, I'm thinking--some monk here in the U.S. must have gone on a shooting rampage or something.) He then goes on to say (without providing any background whatsoever) that some Buddhist monks in Thailand were caught brawling and were thereby defrocked!
I'd like to say a few things about this story. First, if Fox wanted to dig up dirt about decadent non-Christians around the world, they could have done better than this. There are millions of Buddhists around the world and while some have undoubtedly achieved an impressive degree of inner peace and social consciousness, I'm sure there are some deranged people wearing robes. Of course, the same could be said of any large group of people. This being the case, I have a hard time seeing how a handful of Buddhist monks fighting is newsworthy. The Fox News folks must all be extremely devout Buddhists who previously thought 100% of the Buddhist monastic order were enlightened sages. What a let-down it must have been to hear of monks fighting!
I wonder if any of Thailand's major TV news stations have ever run a similar story on American Christians. I can imagine the story now: "Christians are supposedly concerned for the poor and believe that it is virtually impossible for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet our news reporters have just discovered the story of an American Christian minister driving around a Cadillac!" Would such a story be newsworthy?
What's shocking to me is not that there are some bozos supported by some rich people with an axe to grind who are calling themselves a news station. The world is full of people spouting nonsense (occasionally, I even have lunch with them). What does surprise and upset me is that a large group of the U.S. population claim, with a straight face, that Fox News is the paragon news station, willing to tell the whole truth without a grain of bias. This is scary! People actually claim to believe this! (I still can't quite believe that they really do.) Are a couple of Thai monks fighting "a story" in any place besides a bar or a barber shop? Evidently, on Fox, it's something the entire U.S. populace needs to know about.