Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 30th, 2007
Fox News has a thing about Bigfoot. The sensationalizing news organization’s producers are drawn to the subject and repulsed by it. It is as if after they have made a programming decision to embrace the topic, they find themselves in a nightmare and turn on the concept they have created.
Fox News staff are enchanted by Bigfoot, but then send out waves of ridicule onto the subject, as often as possible.
If I seem a little bitter at Fox, perhaps I am a bit. Every emotional feeling has a history. Here’s mine.
In 2005, if you will recall, I was caught up in the incorrect misunderstanding that the media promoted about a million dollar reward for the killing or capture of Bigfoot. Nothing like that was ever announced. It began in Texas with some pre-announcement words about Bigfoot, money, and proof. There really was suppose to be a prize for a photograph leading to the final, ultimate proof of a cryptid – any one of them – by Wizards of the Coast’s Magic Cards division. Some way it got tied to only one unknown animal – Bigfoot – and to only one outcome for that creature – death!
The reality was that the prize money wasn’t about bringing back a body. About $10,000 in prize money was finally given away in WoC’s announced contest for the submitted creative crypid photos.
But the killing part was never part of it. Wizards of the Coast started worrying that people would be killed trying to kill what they thought was a Bigfoot. A stampede to the imagined killing fields of the Pacific Northwest was predicted.
What became difficult to kill, however, was the rumor about the taking out of a Bigfoot for a million bucks. This was all real news, by then. A counter-campaign was needed, and WoC called on me to assist them out, before someone got injured.
The Bigfoot story became such hot news that, with my Bigfoot! book in hand, I was flown to the Big Apple to appear on the morning news program, “Fox and Friends” on the Fox Channel. I was going to talk about the reality of Bigfoot, as well as the fact there was no million dollar bounty to kill a Bigfoot.
I was put up in a nice New York City hotel overnight. I taken by a car service to the Fox News building, and asked to calmly wait in the Green Room for my appearance. For over a day, and then intensively, for an hour, Fox News promoted the segment with the usual teaser. You know which one.
The metaphoric carnival barker’s visual was the footage of the Patterson-Gimlin film. Bigfoot and an expert would be on in 45 minutes, then 30, and finally 15 minutes, the cluttered prep room’s little television kept bursting forth with excited banter.
The Green Room wasn’t anything fancy, but two attentive production assistants asked me if I needed anything often, as I arranged my required props for the show on a table that was said to mirror the one that would be in front of me. I’d flown to New York with the full skull reconstruction of Gigantopitchecus and Bigfoot track casts. The sour faces of the Transportation Security Administration immediately did not want those artifacts to clear airport security, thinking the replica skull was “real,” and, then after they did let me pass, yelled out to other TSA agents to come look and laugh at this guy with the “Bigfoot stuff.” I’m use to it.
Anyway, “Fox and Friends” was going to have me on any minute. Ooops. My appearance was delayed. Who was this new guy in the Green Room with me?
It was none other than my former Senator from my own state of Maine, George Mitchell. Wow, now that’s super boring. I said to myself, if I’m going to be here for a celebrity sighting, why couldn’t the TV gods have sent me Jennifer Lopez, with whom I could discuss Chupacabras sightings? And what was Mitchell doing here anyway? He wasn’t scheduled to be on, unless, my word, did he have some Bigfoot insights, perhaps about them taking steriods?
Not a good sign, this Mitchell fellow, being escorted from the room so quickly. Out walked George Mitchell, and I never made it out of the room.
As it turned out, despite the cheery teasers about Bigfoot, Mr. Sasquath and I were officially bumped from the show in the last five minutes of the “Fox and Friends” last hour. All this waiting for nothing.
Why and by whom? It all happened because of the Georges, the Fox people told me: George Bush had nominated another right-wing Supreme Court Justice and George Mitchell talked right through my segment about the left-wing reaction to that nomination. Maybe Bigfoot some other day soon, someone half-jokingly said to me as I was hurried out the side. “Yeah, right,” I mumbled under my breath.
I was shown the door, without even a sincere apology offered. This is the way the news business is, and you are required to have a hard shell if you work often with cable media. I knew that. Still, what an enormous waste of time; nothing educational came out of this trip, at all.
Hey, after all, to them, anyone discussing Bigfoot is just talking about “soft news.” Now, if I had been there discussing Paris Hilton, that would be another matter, I guess.
Fox News doesn’t really care about Bigfoot, of course. I learned this lesson deeply in 2005. Below, this most recent Fox video reinforces that point. It is the new 2007 footage of Matt Moneymaker being interviewed via the phone. My empathy to Matt Moneymaker, in this specific situation.
Moneymaker’s “interview” is a comedic tragedy, complete with a fade out, as it ends, with the sounds from the studio of laughter. How sad it has come to this kind of treatment so routinely.