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Cox asks Utahns to turn off cable news, Facebook and 'start living life again'

Posted at 12:43 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 18:16:31-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox asked Utahns to quit cable news and Facebook to heal political and social divides that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor was appearing at an event for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday, helping to launch "Giving Machines," special vending machines that allow people to donate to charitable causes all over the world. He was speaking about charity when he broke from his prepared remarks and directly addressed the people of Utah.

"There’s so much anger, there’s so much division in the world today. And I’m going to ask Utahns right now to turn off cable news, to turn off Facebook, to turn off the things that we find anger," he said. "To turn off those things that pit us against each other and to start living life again."

The governor urged people to reconnect with their neighbors and do acts of service and kindness. Asked about his remarks by FOX 13, Gov. Cox said he has seen divisions among Utahns that started before the COVID-19 pandemic, but have only increased since then.

"We’re seeing it everywhere. There’s so much anger, so much divisiveness out there right now," he said. "I hope if nothing else, at least for a season at least during Thanksgiving, during these holiday seasons, we can put that aside. I’ve encouraged people to find people who maybe they were friends with that they’re not now, we’ve often seen the political divide has hurt families, it’s hurt neighbors and friends. If you do do a kind act for someone, it has a way to soften those things and remind us what really matters."

It is not the first time Gov. Cox has called for a cable news and social media detox. In May, the governor was speaking about a legislative resolution against critical race theory when he said he was "eight years sober" from cable news, and urged people to ignore "talking heads who make their money from making you outraged." He acknowledged appearing on some cable news shows to "appear as a voice of reason."