The Con Is On


The Fox haters have launched a new initiative, and this one aims to separate credulous patsies from their long green. And maybe get them to break a few laws.

The rabid mouth-foamers who hate Fox News have embraced Outfoxed and the newshounds, so it's obvious that they are nothing if not gullible. But the hucksters who pander to these sheep have taken their efforts to a new level, launching a scheme to separate these true believers from their money.

Introducing the FoxBlocker--a handy little device that you just insert in your cable line and it will eliminate the Fox News Channel! No more will you have to brave the terrifying prospect of even glimpsing Greta van Susteren while surfing channels. Instead you will be greeted with a screen full of snow. And probably a loud blast of static, something the PT Barnums who are marketing this gizmo somehow forgot to mention. You buy one set to FNC's number and presto, no more Shep Smith. Buried deep in their website is a semiliterate explanation of why it only works on channels 2-62:
As the frequancy [sic] of the channel gets higher, it becomes more and more difficult to block a single channel. While working with the product, we found that FOXBlocking channels greater than 62 causes the sound on the adjacent channels to become distorted. Unfortuately [sic], this is a limmitation [sic] of the product.

In fact, the FoxBlocker will degrade the signal on adjacent channels between 2 and 62 as well (there is no perfect rf filter), but letting that slip would chase away potential marks customers. Oh, and the FoxBlocker doesn't work if you have digital cable or satellite. The purchaser is informed of this minor point after clicking the "buy now" button, so that even if they can't use this technological wonder, they can still be bombarded with ads for all the books and videos the site is hawking. If you get the idea that sounds like "bait and switch", then you get the idea.

The site devotes an entire page to describing how the FoxBlocker can be used on other people's cable lines! Of course they note, with a wink and a nod, "this would not be right". Yet when you finalize your order they state:
Please select the channels of FOX News you want to filter from your cable lineup. These do not have to be YOUR channel of FOX News.

And it gets better (or worse).

The producers of FoxBlocker want their customers to believe they are providing a needed product that will actually perform a useful function. But what they don't tell you is that spending $8.95 for one of these toys (plus a preposterous $5.41 for shipping an item that weighs barely a few ounces) is a total waste of money, even if you really do want to block FNC.

Follow. If you have a recent television, you can set it to block any channel you don't want to receive (without degrading the adjacent channels either). But what if you don't have a such a set, or if you use a set-top cable box to tune your channels?

The box that brings cable TV will block channels and programs, too, once the subscriber has punched in the necessary code....Instructions on programming the cable box to block shows or channels are given out when people subscribe but few buyers read them and fewer still follow them.

And if your cable box doesn't have this capability?

The cable television industry said Tuesday it will provide free equipment to allow subscribers to block unwanted channels, a reaction to efforts on Capitol Hill to curb indecent programming. The offer is directed to about half the nation's 70.5 million cable subscribers who don't have cable boxes that can be programmed to block certain channels or programs.

The "FoxBlocker" is little more than a con, a scam so nervy it would make Henry Gondorff envious. They are encouraging criminal mischief, while raking in money for a pointless glob that nobody (except a law-breaker) needs. The most charitable interpretation of these snake-oil salesmen is that they are counting on the irrational empty-headedness of their customers, assuming that the people who want to block FNC are uninformed and ignorant. At least they understand their customer base.

posted: Thu - December 9, 2004 at 05:51 PM       j$p  send 

Ira Simmons
John: Thanks for a full expose!
 
I was very annoyed when boy wonder over at mediabistro.com posted the links to this "innovative product!"
December 9, 2004, 7:10:52 PM EST – Like – Reply


Ira Simmons
John: Thanks for a full expose!
 
I was very annoyed when boy wonder over at mediabistro.com posted the links to this "innovative product!"
December 9, 2004, 7:10:52 PM EST – Like – Reply


Hairy
Why not just do what I have done, program it out of the channel lineup on the tv. Finally free of the loudmouth's spouting their opinions and CRAP. Season's Greetings.
December 17, 2004, 9:47:06 PM EST – Like – Reply


Hairy
Why not just do what I have done, program it out of the channel lineup on the tv. Finally free of the loudmouth's spouting their opinions and CRAP. Season's Greetings.
December 17, 2004, 9:47:06 PM EST – Like – Reply


Brian P
You miss the point...obviously its not to really block out fox...people can choose 
not to watch fox..the point is to let advertisers know, that people hate fox so much
they are willing to spend money on a JOKE that symoblizes there hatred of fox.
March 26, 2005, 6:55:34 PM EST – Like – Reply


johnny dollar
Yes, pay good American dollars to a con artist so he can send an email for you. There truly is one born every minute.
March 26, 2005, 7:30:15 PM EST – Like – Reply


B
My Top Ten submission for Foxblockers slogan contest.
 
10. Raising awareness through depravation.
 
9. Ignorance good, tolerance bad.
 
8. Com. E Notch. Sponsored by Liberals for Restricted Access.
 
7. Filter for Oxymoron morons.
 
6. Not C FOX Notch. Made in China.
 
5. Factored out: Curing common intelligence.
 
4. Monkey Muffler - hear no evil, see no evil.
 
3. Fewer channels, less diversity, better mind control.
 
2. Notch O Mama. For Dependant Independents. 
 
And my number one pick: "Fair and Balanced" Buy our CBSblocker only $8.95. Order today and get the "Dan Rather" discount.
March 27, 2005, 12:20:43 PM EST – Like – Reply


Brian P
You can joke all you want about foxblocker. But I hope you people do realize that as far as intellectual integrity is concerned fox has some serious problems. I hope every one saw
how Bill O'reily talked to a man who lost his father in the world trade center, it was disgraceful.
March 27, 2005, 4:25:57 PM EST – Like – Reply


johnny dollar
It certainly was. Mr Bill was much too accomodating to a raving, irrational maniac.
March 27, 2005, 4:36:05 PM EST – Like – Reply


Brian P
I thought conservatives were suppose to be compassionate.
March 27, 2005, 4:45:27 PM EST – Like – Reply


Brian P
The way i view fox is simple, I dont trust people who never admit they are wrong, in my mind those are the people who are rarely right.
March 27, 2005, 4:47:24 PM EST – Like – Reply


Hoobie
>I dont trust people who never admit they are wrong
 
Yeah, I don't trust CBS either.
March 27, 2005, 4:53:51 PM EST – Like – Reply


Brian P
It is interesting that you mention CBS,
so it was proven that those documents were forged. But yet no one has proven the "content" of the documents to be false, in fact the evidences still suggests the content of those memos were absolutely true.
March 27, 2005, 4:57:13 PM EST – Like – Reply


David
Doesn't a functional brain already act as a foxblocker?
August 25, 2006, 12:15:57 PM EDT – Like – Reply