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Apparently Fox thinks that strange people are named Walter. Their third season sci-fi show Fringe is centered around the mad science of a mad scientist named Walter. Earlier this week, the network debuted a detective fiction show called Finder centered on the eccentric Holmes-ian named Walter.

One network, two shows featuring outlier characters named Walter. Is this a coincidence, or further evidence of the Fox network influencing culture by turning the name Walter into one associated with mad genius? I'm on to you, Fox!

Previously, Walter was stereotypical shorthand for "dour, cranky old man," perhaps with no small thanks owed to either Walter Cronkite or Walter Matthau. Prior to that, Walter was a name reserved for daydreamers and schemers, like Walter Mitty or Walter Neff. Now, thanks to Fox, Walters are exceedingly clever sociopaths.

I suspect that this shift in portrayal says more about modern entertainment than the actual personalities of people named Walter. But I think it will help if I go ahead and start building an alibi: "Don't blame me, blame Fox. They made me do it."

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To be continued...


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