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“If Fox News was around on X” is a satirical image macro series revisiting various milestone events throughout the U.S. and world history in the perceived editorial bias of Fox News Channel, a cable and satellite TV news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group.
On April 1st, 2003, FARK hosted a photoshopping contest with the theme “What if Fox News were around during other historical events?” Nearly 200 monochromic images featuring Fox News Channel’s logo and news ticker were posted to the contest thread.
Although the FARK contest was well received by the community, the series largely went unnoticed and until the late 2000s. One of the earliest mentions of the phrase “If Fox News was around in…” can be found in the comments section of LGBT activism blog Queers United, posted on May 20th, 2008. Cable TV pundit Jon Stewart also used a similar rhetorical device in an episode of The Daily Show aired on December 2nd, 2009.
STEWART: I’m sensing a no one. By the way, wasn’t the Gettysburg Address, c’mon. The guy like choked on a pretzel. Alright? C’mon. By the way, my guess is that if Fox News was around in Lincoln’s time, they’d s**t all over that speech. “Oh. Four score and seven years ago. Slow down, Harvard. Real Americans say 87.” Alright, so the Right is bummed out. Well, then according to the fundamental laws of political Newtonian physics, the Left has to be elated.
A compilation of photoshopped images from the FARK contest thread was posted onto FunnyJunk on March 8th, 2010 and a similar image was posted onto Democratic Underground forums on April 8th, 2010.
On February 1st, 2012, a Facebook community page titled “What If Fox News Was Around” was created. The first image uploaded onto the page featured a historic photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Social Security Act of 1965 and a lower-third headline reading "Is Medicare “Johnsoncare” the beginning of Communism in America?" The photo received over 100 likes 37 shares.
On February 5th, 2012, the administrator of the Facebook group launched the single topic blog What If Fox News Was Around, which ultimately brought a resurgence of “If Fox News was around” on the web.
Most image parodies of Fox News Channel segments involve an original photograph of a historical event, a header at the top of the image describing the event and its date and a marquee in the lower third displaying a comically absurd headline as a satire of the news organization’s often criticized conservative bias.
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