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Brit Hume and Fox News “Fair and Balanced”?

January 3, 2010

Have seen this posted around the internet and was absolutely amazed, better yet, appalled at the pure ignorance on a supposed “fair and balanced” TV news program, although Fox News isn’t the most “balanced” in my mind anyway. Brit Hume has been in the broadcasting game for a while, and you’d think, better yet hope, that he’d have the mental aptitude to not make idiotic remarks like this about Tiger Woods…

“He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

What? Are you kidding me? Nope, and I’m not kidding you… watch… you’ll see…

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 4:13 pm

    We’re all one. If anything, I feel badly for Brit Hume, who is mired in wrong perception… but aren’t we all to greater or lesser degrees? Here’s a thought, maybe Hume really believes what he said and offered it out of care and concern?

    The Buddha taught of non-grasping and having no fixed, unchanging “self.” Would the Buddha have been “outraged” by this or feel “personally” insulted? I don’t believe so. Certainly the truth should be spoken here with regard to what Buddhism actually is, but without attachment to aversion or grasping at an identified self and other. All beings deserve compassion, even Mr. Hume. This is a great opportunity for the Buddhist community to express compassion and lovingkindness instead of fighting to be seen in a certain way or being attached to outcomes. Was the segment fair? I guess the question to ask is – Fair to whom?… Who is there to be offended?

    Wishing you all ease,
    Susan

  2. anonymous buddhist permalink
    January 6, 2010 1:57 am

    O’Reilly Factor video can be watched here: @http://wp.me/pGbtj-hT

  3. anonymous buddhist permalink
    January 4, 2010 6:24 pm

    Here’s what I think: http://wp.me/pGbtj-he

  4. January 4, 2010 12:51 am

    Hi,

    Yes, but wasn’t Hume speaking for himself and not Fox news? As far as I can see his was just giving his personal opinion. Which is (a) he thinks that Buddhism doesn’t offer the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith and (b) that he thinks Tiger should turn towards Christianity.

    And in response tho his opinion he gets blogs written about him calling his opinion idiotic and, elsewhere, initiating a letter writing campaign by enraged Buddhists to a news channel!

    Can people not express their opinion? If I say I think it would be great if everyone were Buddhist, am I not allowed to say that? Is Hume not allowed to point out that Chritstianity places more emphasis on forgiveness than Buddhism does, is Hume not allowed to express his opinion regarding what Woods ought to do when he’s asked for his opinion?

    It seems that the entire Buddoblogsphere is busy getting angry and outraged and insulted and offended – over what?

    Even if Hume had insulted Buddhism, what of it? Are people not permitted to insult religions? Is our role to identify possible insults and then rush to the defence of Buddhism? Where does it stop?

    All the best,

    Marcus

  5. January 4, 2010 12:24 am

    @Marcus

    No disrespect in the least, but this particular blog never mentioned anything about Tiger Woods breaking the precepts because, to be honest, it’s not my place. Who am I to judge someone? Are we sure he even ever took precepts?

    I know that I for one am not perfect, and have broken precepts. I enjoy the occasional beer, and that breaks the precept of not drinking alcohol. I am not perfect, and for sure Tiger is far from it as well, but that’s his junk to clean up, I have my own.

    Brit Hume on the other hand, is supposed to be a “fair and balanced” reporter, that’s what his network sells itself on. An opinion is one thing, but it’s riding along the line of separation of church and state, especially with all the political talk on Fox News.

    The great thing about blogging is the fact we too can voice our own opinion, and when someone comes to this blog they know what they are getting in advance, a Buddhist slant. Fox News and Brit Hume, again, are supposed to have the “fair and balanced” approach. If one calls a combination of fear and ignorance a “fair and balanced” argument than my apologies to Brit.

  6. January 4, 2010 12:00 am

    @Marcus,

    I can certainly appreciate your comment. But I would refer you to the Digha Nikaya 1, the Brahmajala Sutta, in which the Buddha directs: “If others malign me or the Dhamma, or the Samgha, you should explain (to them) what is false as false, saying ‘It is not so. It is not true. It is, indeed, not thus with us. Such fault is not to be found among us.'”

    We all fail at times at keeping the precepts. Our failures are our own. Tiger’s failures are his own. But misrepresenting the Dhamma is not the same as an individual transgression. At least, that is my view.

  7. January 3, 2010 11:38 pm

    Hi,

    I didn’t see many (any?) Buddhist blogs calling out Woods on his breaking of the precepts, but when one person offers his personal opinion on what Woods ought to do now from a Christian perspective, suddenly the Buddhist blogsphere is lit up with talk of “being offended” and letter-writting campaigns.

    If one comment giving one person’s opinion causes this outpouring of letters, where does it stop? Do we end up carrying placards saying “behead those who say Buddhism isn’t a peaceful religion”?

    Wishing peace to all,

    Marcus

  8. January 3, 2010 7:22 pm

    I like it Richard, I think it hits the nail perfectly.

  9. January 3, 2010 6:09 pm

    I blogged about this as well, plus I sent an email to newsmanager@foxnews.com and to yourcomments@foxnews.com Below is what I sent. Probably too long, I have not perfected the medium known as email.

    I would like to express my extreme disappointment at Brit Hume’s
    comments regarding Tiger Woods and the suggestion that Mr. Woods ought
    to give up on Buddhism and seek forgiveness in Christianity. Mr. Hume
    is a news man and I am surprised by his display of ignorance over what
    Buddhism is all about before he makes a comment implying that Buddhism
    is incapable of offering forgiveness. In doing so, Mr. Hume has
    insulted Buddhists not just worldwide, but the more than 1 million
    within the United States (current estimate is there are from 1 to 4
    million Buddhists in America).

    Buddhism is a supremely moral doctrine that provides practitioners
    very concrete guidance on moral behavior, as well as very precise
    descriptions of what would likely happen to someone who fails to
    behave with rectitude. The Buddha taught his son, Rahula, a mere child
    at the time, the following: “…Rahula, when anyone feels no shame in
    telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not
    do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, ‘I will not tell a
    deliberate lie even in jest.'”

    Rather that seek forgiveness, we Buddhists focus on correcting the
    immoral mind so that we do not commit further wrong acts, as all
    action – thought, speech and behavior – arises from the mind. The
    Buddha teaches us to cultivate a sense of shame when we commit an
    immoral act so that we can correct the wrong way of thinking that led
    to the act’s commission and not commit the same or similar act again.

    I do not know whether Mr. Woods is a practicing Buddhist. But I do
    know that his infidelity broke Buddhism’s Third Precept, which is to
    refrain from wrongful sexual acts. By following Buddhist teachings,
    Mr. Woods is fully capable of redeeming himself through learning how
    to turn his mind away from immoral thoughts and deeds.

    I could go on a great deal more about Buddhist morality, but suffice
    it to say that Mr. Hume should be certain of his words and their
    truthfulness before speaking them. That is also a lesson the Buddha
    taught his son Rahula, who was only 7 years old at the time.

    Richard Harrold
    Chicago, IL

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