Mind your business; De-Fox-Newsing

Dan Savage

Dear Dan: I have a friend who is getting married. She’s cheated on every guy she’s been with, including her last three husbands. This will be her fourth marriage. I’m sure she’s fed the new guy a million reasons why her first three marriages didn’t work out. She’s obviously a sex fiend, but she’s not kinky. And here’s the punch line: I found her fiancé’s profile on Fetlife, and he has some hardcore fetishes — even by my standards! I’m sure his kinks are going unexplored within their relationship/engagement and that they will go unexplored once they’re married, as my friend has been horrified during discussions of my attendance at BDSM events. I know your rule is generally to “stay the fuck out of it,” but I have a rule that goes like this: “I would like to know that the person I’m dating is a serial cheater who’s probably after me for my money.” So do I warn the guy?

— Fucked Regarding Imperiling Ensuing Nuptials, Dan

Dear FRIEND: Mind your own business, FRIEND, and do so with a clear conscience — because these two sound perfect for each other. He’s on Fetlife looking for someone to diaper him, and she’s probably cheating on him already. If your friend is still a dishonest, lying, heartbreaking cheat — if she’s still making monogamous commitments she cannot keep — why stop her from marrying a man who is already cheating on her or is likely to cheat on her shortly after the wedding? To gently paraphrase William Shakespeare: “Let thee not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”

Watching these two walk down the aisle will be like watching two drunk drivers speed around a closed racetrack. Maybe they’ll crash, maybe they won’t; maybe they’ll die in a fire, maybe they’ll get out alive. But so long as no one else is gonna get hurt, why risk your own neck trying to pull these fuckers over?

Dear Dan: My father is a friendly, kind, all-around good guy. We get along well and always have. But I now have to avoid all political discussions with him. He was always a bit socially conservative, but now he gets a lot of batshit crazy and simply dumb ideas from the scourge of our nation today: Fox News. How can we stop the dumbing down of our society by Fox News, Dan? We have to do something about this malady!

— Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: “Anonymous is right — Fox News is a malady, one that I’ve often joked is worse than Ebola,” says the documentary filmmaker Jen Senko. “It destroys families and has torn apart the country. That’s pretty powerful.”

Here’s what Senko did about it: She made The Brainwashing of My Dad, a terrific documentary exploring how Fox News and other right-wing media turned her mild-mannered, nonpolitical father into a ranting, raving, right-wing fanatic.

“We need to stigmatize ‘Faux News,’” Senko says. “I make it a point when I walk into a restaurant or some other public place and they have on Faux News of politely asking them to turn it off. I write to news outlets when they try to emulate Fox and complain.”

But how do you get your own dad to turn off Fox News?

“Speaking to loved ones is important but it’s difficult,” Senko says. “You have to approach them in a calm way, starting the conversation on neutral ground. Sometimes just getting them out of the house and away from the TV helps. There is a group called Hear Yourself Think (hearyourselfthink.org) that focuses on deprogramming Fox News viewers. You will find plenty of advice there. But if you can sit down with your loved one and tell them you are concerned about their anger and their worry and you feel that Fox News is helping to generate that, it can be a conversation opener. You can also get them to try to watch our movie!”

Go to thebrainwashingofmydad.com and watch the trailer to learn more about Senko’s terrific film. And you can — and you should — follow Senko on Twitter @Jen_Senko.

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