Home > D'vrei Torah > The Story of Noah as Hypothetically Presented by Fox News

The Story of Noah as Hypothetically Presented by Fox News

Noah's Ark as Represented by my Daughter's Toys

Noah's Ark as Represented by my Daughter's Toys

This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written. It’s a D’var Torah that I presented four years ago, a couple of months after Hurricane Katrina. It is a satirical look at how Fox News might have covered the story of Noah. Enjoy!

D’var Torah: The Story of Noah as Hypothetically Presented by Fox News

By Will Samuels, Presented at Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation, Metairie, LA 11/05/2005

Today marks a very important milestone in the post-Katrina chapter of New Orleans. The United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans is no more. The unprecedented partnership of two media giants—Entercom Communications which owns WWL, WSMB, B-97, and a number of other stations and Clear Channel Communications, which owns everything in the world, is now complete. Since September 1, a large majority of the radio stations in the city have been airing the same signal, all news and information utilizing air talent from all of the different stations. Within the last few weeks, several of the radio stations returned to their regular programming, but the collaboration remained and you could get the same news on a number of stations all around the state, and even worldwide on the internet. As of today, the partnership is no more. The Clear Channel radio stations are returning to their format, and the news will be found on the stations that you’ve been used to—WWL, WSMB, etc.

It’s been a remarkable couple of months that this radio partnership has been able to operate, and it’s pretty much the only thing that I’ve listened to on the radio. But lately, it seems like they’ve been running the same newscasts—how many times do you want to hear a caller complaining about FEMA? So things are finally getting back to normal in New Orleans radio. But this unprecedented partnership arrangement among media rivals has shown just how vital the media have been in covering the storm. The first week after, I was lying in a hotel bed in New York—the tv was on Fox News, the computer was on NOLA.com all the while streaming WWL over the internet. We were news junkies. But not everything was completely accurate coming from the media who were so desperate to find something new and exclusive to them. Yes it’s about informing the people, but it’s also about ratings. And so it seemed that many times accuracy took a back seat to efficiency when it came down to breaking news.

But during these last couple of months, we’re relied on the media like never before, so in that regard this morning I pay tribute to the self-proclaimed bastion of Fair and Balanced reporting Fox News. And I present to you this hypothetical newscast from almost 4000 years ago. Yes, it involves a suspension of disbelief, but I invite you now to tune in to this historical reenactment of Fox News covering the aftermath of the flood of Noah.

SHEPARD

Fair and Balanced. News from the speed of Fox. I’m Shepard Smith, and this is the Fox Report for this 27th day of the 2nd month, in the year 2198 BCE. Tonight, we’re once again live from Mount Ararat, but for the eight souls and thousands of animals who have been living in the large, seven-story ark that you see behind me, this is the day they’ve all been waiting for. For on this day, the door to the ark will finally open. And the passengers on the ark will get their first look at a new world, sprung to life after the devastating flood—the disaster of biblical proportion.

Tonight, our Team Fox coverage will take you inside the ark, examine some new legal issues, and provide first-hand coverage of life after the storm. We begin our team Fox coverage by going to our own Geraldo Rivera who has been in the ark as an embedded reporter for these many months. Geraldo, what’s the mood on the ship?

GERALDO

Well Shep, I can tell you that at this point, everybody’s just a little bit antsy. 8 people cooped up on a boat 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high along with either 2 or 7 pairs of every animal on the face of the earth can make everyone just a little bit tense. But I’m still here reporting as I have been every day since this storm began embedded among the fine people and animals of the SS Noah’s Ark, but Shep, it looks like today’s the day. After almost a year of being on this ark, it looks like today’s the day we can finally lower the gangplank.

SHEPARD

Geraldo, it’s been almost two months since you gave the exclusive report on Fox News about Noah’s dove coming back with an olive branch in its mouth. Why has it taken so long for the doors to be open on the ark?

GERALDO

Well Shep, allow me to recap some of the chronology of the last few months. As you recall, it was the ninth day of the second month of Noah’s 600th year when he got the call from G-d to go into the ark and that it would start raining in seven days. Once his building the ark was complete, it took him a while to load up all of the animals, his family, food, and entertainment, so he and only just made it into the ark before the waters started rising. As you may recall, I reported live that Noah didn’t even go into the ark once the rain started on that 17th day of the second month. Perhaps he was trying to hold out as long as he could hoping that G-d would renege on the punishment and that the rains would stop. Perhaps he just didn’t want to leave his home. You tend to get a bit set in your ways after 600 years, and Noah may have felt that he just wanted to hunker down and ride it out. He’s been through many storms in his lifetime, so maybe he thought it wasn’t going to be that bad. But, when the waters started rising and once they got up around his ankles, he realized that this wasn’t a test. This was the real thing, and he had to pack up his family and all of the animals and ship out.

Shep, it rained and rained for 40 daysies daysies—nearly drove the animals crazy, crazy, and remember there was an incredible storm surge of 23 feet above the highest mountain peaks. The waters had nowhere to go. Any attempt to drain them would cause them to drain upon themselves since the entire world was flooded. So, the ark floated for 150 days before settling here on Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. Then, it took until the 1st day of the 11th month to even see the tops of mountains. Then, Moses sent the raven and the doves out during the 12th month, and it wasn’t until New Year’s Day—the 1st day of the 1st month of Noah’s 601st year that the ground even began to start drying. So here we are, a full one year and 10 days after the rains started to fall that the ground is finally dry for us to open the doors and see what’s left of our homes.

SHEPARD

Thanks, Geraldo, for that report. For Noah, this marks the end of a chapter that began so long ago. An incredible 120 year building project from the time Noah first got the call from G-d to build his ark. A consummate gardener, Noah had to plant the trees to yield the go

her wood, watch them grow, then cut them down many years later. In fact, as an aside, Noah told me earlier that one of his first projects after he settles on dry land is to build a vineyard. The ark is Titanic in scale- seven stories high and longer than four football fields, and it took Noah a normal person’s lifetime to get the permits, and to deal with fire codes, handicapped accessibility, occupancy requirements, and even zoning before building the ark. Plus, not to mention during the entire building process there was a constant parade of onlookers calling “Wa’cha doin’, Noah?” For Noah, he was steadfast and calm—he would tell them he was building an ark because G-d was planning to flood the world because humanity had sinned. He told his neighbors, you better get out there and repent or at least stock up on some canned goods and an ax. But everyone just scoffed and laughed at Noah. Now, nobody is laughing.

Once the door to the ark opens, what comes next. So much rebuilding. 8 people—Noah, his sons Shem, Ham, Japeth, and their wives whose names we still don’t know after all of these months of reporting, charged with the responsibility of being fertile and increasing, and repopulating the earth. Who will help them rebuild? How will they cope with the debris and the bodies of those left behind in the storm’s wake? How will they make the earth a better place than it was before the flood when the earth was corrupt before G-d and was filled with lawlessness. For this, let’s check in with our legal correspondent Greta Van Susteren to see how proposed legislation in the aftermath of this disaster could change the very ways of life in this world and the ways in which we treat others. Greta?

GRETA

Thanks, Shep. In the wake of this disaster, proposed legislation has been brought before Congress concerning new prohibitions against certain things in our way of life. Certainly, this will shake up the lawless nature of citizens in the world before the flood. At stake are seven commandments referred to as the Noahide Laws which, if passed, will be universal laws for all humanity. Shep, this is huge. As proposed, those people who follow these laws will be determined to be Righteous and will be guaranteed a spot in the world to come. And this, now more than ever, after the flood which has wiped out this entire world, property values on a share in the world to come have skyrocketed, so it will be interesting to see how these proposed Noahide Laws will be accepted if they clear Congress.

SHEPARD

Greta, can you tell us what in the text of the laws?

GRETA

Well, Shep, the legislation is still in committee, but it comes down to seven key principles:

No Idolatry- believing and worshipping one G-d.

No forbidden sexual acts—incest, adultery, bestiality—as proposed, these will all be forbidden. Sex would only be to fulfill “pru urvu, be fruitful and multiply,” which as you recall was the topic on my very first show.

No murder—every life is sacred—we saw how important that was during my coverage of the Cain and Abel trial.

Not to curse, or to blaspheme G-d. Speech is important because that’s what separates us from animals.

Not to steal—including cheating workers, using false weights and measures, looting, (and we saw in the early days of this flood so many people going into places and wantonly taking animals, earthenware, garments, and coins). This will all be forbidden.

Other laws forbid eating the flesh of a live animal—to avoid cruelty to animals. And finally, my favorite as the Fox News legal correspondent, we’re commanded to establish courts of justice and other laws or customs that will help enforce the other Noahide laws. So you see, Shep, in the wake of this flood, this is some really ground-breaking stuff here.

SHEPARD

Wow, Greta, it does seem that there’s enough there to keep you pretty busy sorting through the legal matters of the Noahide Laws. Thanks for that report.

Throughout the storm and the flood, our very own Steve Harrigan has been in the middle of it all. Reporting throughout the most dangerous of conditions. Now, he’s finally able to report from the sunshine. Let’s check in with him and see if he’s dry.

STEVE

Well, Shep. After almost a year of being in these same wet clothes, it looks like things are finally beginning to dry out. You may recall my reporting live from the storm, bearing the brunt of just torrential rains that wouldn’t stop, but I was out there reporting from the thick of it, because that’s news. Then the flooding—I rode up the waters bringing you constant updates here on Fox News. My own safety was irrelevant. What was important was bringing you the story.

But now the rains have stopped, and the waters have receded, and our forecast has finally changed from isolated showers with a chance of street flooding to warm and sunny with temperatures in the 70s. And Shep, now that the land is drying, I see signs everywhere. There are signs for contractors, sheet rock removal, restaurants, lawyers, even signs for people who make signs. But there’s one sign in the sky today that gives us all hope for the future. A sign from G-d that says never again will there be a flood that will destroy all humanity (well, except for between the months of June and November), but for the most part this rainbow is a sign of peace—a symbol of our covenant with G-d, and I can tell you it gives great hope for the future of these people.

SHEPARD

Thanks, Steve. Indeed, a rainbow. A symbol in the sky that’s a fitting end to a great calamity. A sign that no matter how dark things get, the sun will indeed shine again.

Now let’s check in with Bill O’Reilly to see what’s coming up next on The O’Reilly Factor. Bill?

BILL

Shep, now that the ark is open, why has it taken so long for the waters to recede? It’s been seven months since the ark first landed on Ararat. How long does it take to dry out the world? And who’s to blame for this mess anyway? A lawless people? A vengeful G-d? Kathleen Blanco? We’ll sort through the debris and find out the true cause. Plus, we’ll take a look at who didn’t get on the ark. Why was it only Noah and his family? Were all of them really righteous enough? New reports suggests that one of Noah’s sons may not be as clean-cut as the media would have you believe. And why was Noah chosen anyway? He’s 600 years old for Pete’s sake. We expect him to be able to help repopulate the earth? Come on. And what about the thousands of people below the poverty level who didn’t get out before the flood, all of them crying out “where is our ark?” What’s going to happen to their legacy? Finally, we’ll talk to Jesse Jackson—you won’t believe his plan for bringing people back to earth after the flood.

SHEPARD

Thanks, Bill. It’s bound to be an explosive O’Reilly Factor coming up next on Fox News. From Mount Ararat tonight—this is a day that will go down in our world’s short history. After so many long days and nights of rain, flood, and waiting for signs of life. tonight, there is new hope that the world will survive. But there are great challenges ahead for Noah and his family to determine what’s the best way to fill this clean slate. How will the people live? Where is it safe to build? How can you build above a new established flood elevation if the entire world was under water? Perhaps one solution is to build a giant tower that reaches the heavens. But that is a report for another time, we’re out of time for this edition of the Fox Report. Join us next time, when I’ll be making the journey to and reporting from Canaan where a group of religious leaders is poised to announce the creation of the world’s first religion—it’s called Judaism. That’s next time on the Fox Report, for now I’m Shepard Smith. Fair and balanced—this is Fox News.

Conclusion

Yes, I watch too much television, and as we attempt to break away from our news obsessions, my hope this morning is that people follow the media and use them for all of the good they do in providing information and resources. But that they realize, especially those people who are out of town and are basing their opinions of New Orleans, or of Israel, solely by what they see on television, that the picture presented is often incomplete or inaccurate and it is only by seeing things for themselves with their own eyes can they truly learn The Big Story. Which, coincidentally, is another show on Fox News.

Advertisements
Categories: D'vrei Torah
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: