Sep 14 2012

Why people with brains laugh at Fox

This morning, some douche called in a bomb threat to the UT-Austin campus, necessitating a brief but certainly nerve-wracking and exasperating evacuation of buildings. The all-clear has since been sounded.

In reporting this breaking story, Fox News also revealed that Arkansas has been renamed Missouri, and that Alabama and Mississippi switched places overnight.

But at least Texas is BIG AND WHITE!

If we can’t trust you with 4th grade geography, Mr. Ailes and staff, are you surprised we don’t trust you with anything else?


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  1. 1

    I wonder how often this happens on other networks (and on Fox, for that matter). Anyone really bored?

    1. 1.1

      Well, in all fairness: it happened at least once on a local French news station, when they were reporting on the Belgians “not having a government for longer than Iraq” (yes, really!) a while ago. They reversed Flanders and Wallonia. That would be like reporting on one of the Quebec referendums and reversing Ontario and Quebec XD The mistake made the news on other stations, so that might be taken as a proxy measure of how unusual it was…

  2. 2

    How difficult is it to get a map which is correct? Probably LESS difficult than finding one this wrong!!

    1. 2.1

      Yeah, it seems to me that they would have to make an effort to get this wrong. Which they often do, like labeling republicans as democrats when they disagree with them.

  3. 3

    To be honest, I’ve always had a hard time keeping straight which one is Mississippi and which one is Alabama.
    Of course, on those rare occasions when I really need to know, I look it up in the atlas.

    1. 3.1
      CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

      Of course, on those rare occasions when I really need to know, I look it up in the atlas.

      Atlas? *shrug*

      1. dukeofomnium

        People have been killed for less.

      2. Martin Wagner

        Well played, sir.

      3. silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche


    2. 3.2
      Scr... Archivist

      Just remember that Mississippi is on the Mississippi River. Alabama is the other one.

      And if you can’t remember where that river is, remember that it runs through New Orleans, Louisiana. That’s the “boot” state.

      1. ashleybell

        Yeah but those states they mixed up are THEIR states

  4. 4

    Once the right wing Christians get into power you won’t have to worry your pretty little heads about all that atlassy stuff. You’ll be living in Jesus Land and that’s all you’ll need to know.

  5. 5

    I was always great at Geography. When did we get a state called Bing?

    1. 5.1

      It was renamed in honor of the Mathew Perry character.

  6. 6

    I’m a Canadian and always enjoyed the geography classes about the U.S. But Faux’s map is really screwed. Faux in French means false, in case anyone didn’t know! Talk about irony! I agree with Grumpy Old Fart (cool name) the south if it keeps fighting “evilution” according to them, will uneducate themselves out of existence.

  7. 7
    Jasper of Maine

    I think the TV is tapping into a parallel universe where the States are different. That’d explain why they’re always talking about things that don’t correlate to reality too.

  8. 8

    Can’t help but notice the Bing logo up near the state formerly known as Arkansas. If I were Microsoft, I would be pissed. But then, I like to laugh at Microsoft almost as much as I like to laugh at Fox.

    1. 8.1
      Martin Wagner

      I see the Bing logo as just the cherry on the Fail Sundae.

      1. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

        Bwa ha! Hahahahaha!

  9. 9

    In a high pitched voice: “Bing!”

    1. 9.1
      TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

      Ned?? Ned Ryerson??

      1. jedimasteryoda

        I think I’d rather see Ned the Head’s whistling belly-button trick than another M$ Bing commercial…

  10. 10

    It’s a plot to make us all dumber.

  11. 11
    Anonymous Atheist


  12. 12
    Anonymous Atheist

    Regarding the original news topic, rather than the wacky geographic hijinks:

    Strange… There were also bomb threats at two other colleges, in Ohio and North Dakota, today. http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Ohio-college-safe-reopened-after-bomb-threat-3866515.php

    This article says the FBI thinks the three threats are unrelated local matters, but it’s quite a coincidence of timing since it also says “Such threats against universities are rare, said Christopher G. Blake, associate director of the International Assn. of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. The last well-known case occurred in the spring, involving more than 40 bomb threats made by a man against the University of Pittsburgh.”

    1. 12.1

      Bomb threats, and actual bombs, are actually surprisingly common. It’s been a long time* but I once saw a figure reported that there was an average of about one actual bomb/destructive device incident per day nationwide, and so many threats that they just weren’t tracked. Three threats to universities may be a bit further out the bell curve than we’re used to, but I kind of doubt it actually rises to the level of any meaningful sort of statistical significance.

      * late 90′s I believe, and therefore before 9-11 and the following absurd hypervigilence and no acceptable incident mentality that’s ruled since. Those changes may have had some deterrent effect such that these figures are different now. Although I actually doubt it.

    2. 12.2

      Also, this has me thinking a little bit in terms of the bathtub curve that (sometimes/usually) applies to reliability of components in engineering. If we apply it to college students and mental health, every year’s incoming freshman are at the left end of the curve, so if there’s going to be a period of odd and unpredictable behavior, September is a good candidate.

      1. Hatchetfish

        Rats. Link should read bathtub curve

  13. 13

    Any outside confirmation that this isn’t altered? The JPEG artifacts around the state names look very suspicious. Of course, it could have been Fox that messed it up when they flushed the color out of Texas. They could have moved all the state names off the map and put them back wrong (why go to that much trouble I have no idea). It’s just such a stupid thing to screw up, I’d like more than just one picture of a tv screen.

    1. 13.1
      Martin Wagner

      This is not exactly Fox’s first, let alone their worst, map error.

          1. azgeo

            Wow. I could have spotted all those state errors for them when I was 7. Although that might have something to do with the United States puzzle I loved playing with…….

      1. hypatiasdaughter

        No, their worst is when a Republican Congressman is caught a sinnin’ and he gets labeled as a Democrat. It eventually gets corrected, but by then, it’s firmly planted in their viewer’s minds, never to be erased, that those Dems have done evil again
        (Not that Democrats are sin free, but, gees, they don’t need to bear the burden of BOTH Dem and Repub foibles.)

    2. 13.2
      Anonymous Atheist

      If you zoom out far enough on Bing Maps Aerial view, Bing actually removes all the state labels for you, and you get something that looks exactly like what Fox News did their sloppy labeling on, if cropped down. http://i.imgur.com/SCo5C.jpg If they had any sense they could’ve zoomed in one level closer so that the state names reappeared, but of course they didn’t.

      1. leedawson

        Thank you everyone. I see what happened now: Bing doesn’t use State abbreviations at any zoom level, or at least I couldn’t make it do so after playing with it for 10 minutes. So Fox just guessed which State was which. I really shouldn’t be surprised by their stupidity any more.

        1. Anonymous Atheist

          Yeah, on the closer zoom levels, Bing uses the full-length state names rather than the two-letter abbreviations.

  14. 14

    My favorite is when “Faux and ‘Friends’” was discussing possible “Lincoln/Douglas” style debates between Clinton and Obama during the primaries. The pictures they flashed up on the screen were Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Seriously.

    1. 14.1

      LOL, that made my day!

      1. hypatiasdaughter

        Well, home and xtian schooled kids need to get jobs somewhere. Why shouldn’t Faux News hire them?

    2. 14.2
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      I think I just wet myself.

  15. 15

    Ironically, I just heard a conversation between two high school students (walking between classes) about how to remember which was Mississippi and which was Alabama.

    It took them 10 seconds to get it correct between them. Maybe Fox should hire some high school students? Naw. They would be too informed.

  16. 16

    1) It’s one thing to get the particulars of a foreign country wrong, but your own? You’d think they’d get their patriotic credentials revoked.

    2) Don’t they have standard maps for this stuff? Do they really make each new graphic from scratch? Why don’t they have these maps pre-made with all the fact-checked names on there?

    3) I wonder how many Fox News regulars either didn’t notice or thought it was completely insignificant. It’s not like these people care about reality anyway.

  17. 17

    While it’s well within my abilities to overlook something obvious, I can’t seem to locate a source reference in the post.

  18. 18

    Don’t know where Martin got it, but I dug up this.

    1. 18.1
      Martin Wagner

      Wow! That page is a veritable link smorgasbord of hilarity.

  19. 19

    This is funny. Another recent funny one was when the picture of the Russian naval ships was used as a backdrop during the Democratic Convention during the support the military section.

  20. 20
    eric (not from Mesa)

    While Fox News may be a target rich environment, errors like this are not unique to Fox, and are not very surprising for networks that try to fill 24 hours with timely content, much of it live. There will be mistakes that seem inexcusable in retrospect, but is it reasonable to expect 100% accuracy? These gaffs can fun to point at and laugh, but I don’t see how you get from “Network aired an inaccurate map” to “Network lacks credibility”, which I take to be the implication of “people with brains laugh at”. It may be true that Fox lacks credibility and that people with brains laugh at Fox, but it’s not because they goof up map labels from time to time.

    In case anyone thinks this is isolated to Fox, http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=cnn+map+mistake

    Some of the highlights include misplacing London, misplacing Switzerland, and displaying the Punjab instead of South Carolina. I’m sure other networks have similar goofs, but I haven’t bothered searching for them. In addition to the news networks, I would expect some funny goofs from ESPN and the Weather Channel, as networks with a similar model of filling 24 hours with timely content, much of it live.

  21. 21

    In reporting this breaking story, Fox News also revealed that Arkansas has been renamed Missouri, and that Alabama and Mississippi switched places overnight.

    There go you elitist libruls’ nitpicking about meaningless facts. We know they’re all Southern states, so who cares if they’re not all shown in the right place? You’re missing the big picture. These campus terrorist threats are clearly happening because they’re emboldened by the Muslim Kenyan Nazi usurper in the White House.

    1. 21.1

      More incorrect information! But, what can we say, but….HAAAAAAAAAA. Do you work for Faux, by the way?

      1. tommykey

        No. I don’t. Just trying to channel the mindset of people who do watch it.

      2. Martin Wagner

        I detect facetiousness.

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