Earlier this week, Dr Seuss Enterprises decided to cease publication of six of his books, including titles such as If I Ran the Zoo and On Beyond Zebra!, due to racially insensitive portrayals of Black and Asian people in them.
The company argued that those portrayals were “hurtful and wrong” and said its decision to end the publication of the books was a sign of support for “all communities and families”.
However, in the alternative reality of Fox News, the move was seen as a dangerous attack on American culture.
Media Matters for America, an organisation that monitors and scrutinises right-wing media outlets, noted that Fox News spent almost double the airtime on 2nd and 3rd March talking about Dr Seuss than it did talking about the progress with the vaccine rollout or Wray’s testimony.
And if that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, the video below illustrates what it looks like in practice:
Fox News' Dr. Seuss obsession reveals the dishonest desperation of the right-wing war on “cancel culture"… https://t.co/pNXtaBCcsk
A Fox News reporter even questioned Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki about the supposed controversy...
The obsession with Dr Seuss is all part of Fox News’ so-called war on “cancel culture”, creating a vague “us vs. them” narrative to stir up anger among its viewers and turn them against Democrats.
This has long been a part of the news channel’s message - see, for example, the old “war on Christmas” - but with Donald Trump no longer making stories as the president, the frequency of these minor controversies has ramped up.
This week alone, we’ve had “cancel culture” outrage about Dr Seuss, The Muppets and Mr Potato Head after the organisations behind those brands made adjustments to make them more inclusive.
Fox News’ current obsession with “cancel culture” appears to be a sign that the channel hasn’t worked out what its role in a post-Trump world is yet.
The Republican Party is also attempting to get in on the act, with House Republican campaigns apparently offering donors copies of the Dr Seuss book The Cat in the Hat (which remains in publication).
According to Axios, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has started sending books to donors who give $25 to GOP campaigns to retake control of the House of Representatives.
“We won’t be able to speak or think freely by the time the Dems are through. Chip in $25 now and we’ll send ‘Cat in the Hat' right to you,” a message on the NRCC’s online donation page said.