This video apparently shows Fox News saying the metric system is bad and giving arguments on why the current US customary system is better.

I do not come from the USA and have never watched Fox News, but I've often heard that they are capable of delivering dumb things in a serious manner, and are sometimes being taken seriously.

It seems to me that 20% of the comments on the video think it is fake or satire, and the community I initially got the youtube link was also unanimous that the video is in fact satire.

On top of this the hosts sometimes smile lightly, like one would when telling a joke but trying to keep a straight face.

Is this an actual news segment or is it a deep fake?


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    Welcome to Skeptics! This is a tricky one. I think we can agree the arguments are absurd. Poe's Law famously explains how hard it is to tell the difference between parody and absurd views. But there is no way we can answer this question with evidence - we can only give our personal opinions on the matter, which are off-topic. – Oddthinking Jun 9 '20 at 21:13
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    We could change the question to some variant of "Is this video authentic?" - i.e. did it really stream to air on the Tucker Carlson show, but that seems to miss the nuance. Note also the false dilemma: Was James Panero being satirical? Was Tucker Carlson being satirical? Was it not satirical, but one or both knew the arguments were nonsense? Did they not even care whether the arguments were nonsense, as long as it was controversial content? We can speculate about what they were thinking, but that's pretty much all we can do. (If it helps, Panero has continued his crusade off the cameras.) – Oddthinking Jun 9 '20 at 21:18
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    The one comment that should not have been deleted was made by @jeffronicus, who provided a link to the segment from Fox News itself: video.foxnews.com/v/6045110807001#sp=show-clips . – David Hammen Jun 10 '20 at 8:12
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    @Oddthinking - It's a bit odd that you closed this. The question "was this an actual news segment" is easily answered ("yes, it is authentic"). And because it was broadcast on a very widely viewed medium in the US it certainly qualifies as "notable". I'm voting to reopen. I've modified the question from "Is this an actual news segment or is it satire?" to "Is this an actual news segment or is it a deep fake?" – David Hammen Jun 10 '20 at 8:19
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    @F1Krazy - The underlying issue is whether the question should have been closed. It is very easy to remove the issue of satire from the question. The underlying issue is not whether Fox News intended that broadcast to be satire. It is whether the linked video is authentic or is instead a satirical deep fake created by opponents of Fox News of the kinds of things Fox News tends to broadcast. Leaving satire out of the question reduces the question to an issue of whether the video is authentic or is a deep fake. – David Hammen Jun 10 '20 at 8:33

The original question asked whether the video is satirical. The answer to this is no. We can prove this on the strength that the arguments made by Tucker Carlson's guest have been published non-satirically in print.

James Panero, who proudly promotes this interview video on his personal website, claims in the interview that customary measures come from "ancient knowledge, ancient wisdom. From the Romans, 12. From the Babylonians, 60."

This argument was also made by John Michell in his 1988 book The Dimensions of Paradise.

As we have seen above, the English units relate numerically to the earth's dimensions through the powers of 12 [...] Greek and Roman units, being based on those numbers [5,040 and 7,920], had the maximum numbers of subdivisions.

Michell's book is sometimes taken as pseudoastronomy. Regardless, it shows that the argument that customary measures are "natural" is a real minority view in the Anglo-Saxon world.


This link, titled "Can the US continue to stand alone against the metric system?", is from foxnews.com, and has been there for several days that I know of. It is apparently the same video as the YouTube link, so one must assume that it is "authorized" by Fox News.

Of course, this doesn't prove that it's not intended as satire, but the odds of it being a "deep fake" are vanishingly small.

enter image description here

(I'll note that the above link doesn't work with Firefox or Edge -- you must use "Internet Explorer".)

  • I believe you, but I cannot get it to play, mobile nor desktop. Just spins for an ad or something. – fredsbend Jun 16 '20 at 22:36
  • @fredsbend it played fine for me, maybe a noscript or adblock issue? – DenisS Jun 16 '20 at 23:40
  • It is a shame to see this question reopened after being edited to a strawman claim, and this answer that doesn't address the OP's question. – Oddthinking Jun 16 '20 at 23:57
  • @fredsbend - Doesn't work with Firefox or Edge -- you must use "Internet Explorer". – Daniel R Hicks Jun 17 '20 at 0:06
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    @DanielRHicks Using Chrome, opened in Incog window and it worked. Probably an extension. Thanks. – fredsbend Jun 17 '20 at 0:14

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