In these contentious times, political arguments are a common occurance in American life. A lot of those times, the arguments are between people who get their news from very different places.
One high-end workout facility in Minnesota has been witness to this phenomenon, and has reacted by trying to solve the problem at its core.
125 Live, a “Center for Active Adults” in the Rochester area, has banned both Fox News and CNN from the TVs in its common areas, The Post Bulletin newspaper reported. This followed several incidents of arguments and other “bad behavior,” as well as fights over the remote and resentment from members of having to watch the channel that they dislike or distrust.
“To curtail the arguments, I made the decision to suspend CNN and FOX News,” 125 Live’s executive director told members in an email. “I understand that many of you will be upset, but safety of members and staff is a priority to me.”
The main driver for the decision, according to the newspaper, was when a woman who disliked politics was “shouted at” for switching away from one of the news channels.
Attendees are able to still watch the channels on computers, and on their own personal devices, just not on the facility’s main TVs. There’s no word on whether MSNBC has been banned as well, although from the context it appears that CNN and Fox have been the main drivers of the dispute.
Members of the facility quoted by the newspaper mostly applauded the move; one man said his once-high blood pressure dropped both when he began working out at 125 Live, and when he stopped watching cable news.
This is not the first time this has happened; a YMCA in Pennsylvania banned cable news in 2017, for much the same reason, per WBRE.
— Heather J. Carlson (@hjcarlsonk) March 14, 2019
Rochester is located in Olmsted County which, according to Streetsmn, was won by Hillary Clinton with 45.3 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election, although the Democrat carried the county by less than 1,000 votes. Clinton won Minnesota in that election, although it was closer than the last few elections.
The website of 125 Live describes it as “a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed to focus on the diverse needs of individuals 18+ and provide a wide variety of physical, social and intellectual opportunities to engage the minds and bodies of our community.” The facility includes a gym as well as a library and other community resources.