Monday, April 18, 2005

FOX News is the Devil !!

Washington Post columnist William Raspberry joins the chorus decrying Fox News, declaring them "dangerous" in his very first sentence. It would be nice if he used that word to describe Al-Qaeda, but anyway, let’s give him a quick Fisk:

The in-your-face right-wing partisanship that marks Fox News Channel's news broadcasts is having two dangerous effects.
The first is that the popularity of the approach -- Fox is clobbering its direct competition (CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, etc.) -- leads other cable broadcasters to mimic it, which in turn debases the quality of the news available to that segment of the TV audience.

Two things: He does not go far enough in describing the clobbering here – Fox is drawing more than all of its competitors COMBINED. Second, where does he see a copycat? Anyone? Bueller??

Part of the FNC approach, on the other hand, is to promote itself as "fair and balanced." I suppose it does so with a wink and a nod to its far-right audience, who must know it isn't balanced. Certainly those near the center of the political spectrum know it.

With a “nod” to its “far-right” audience? Bro, if the Fox audience is made up of primarily the far-right, then the Democrats are in bigger trouble than anyone has been led to believe. Then again, Raspberry does not grace us with his definition of “far-right”.

But it has been generally accepted that the mainstream media at least try to get it right -- even when they too grudgingly acknowledge their errors after the fact.

Accepted by whom? Yourself, as a member of the biased MSM? You should recluse yourself of this one, buddy…
Now I’m going to pull a few quotes where Mr. Raspberry is somewhat on-target:

I think the plan is not so much to convince the public that its particular view is correct but rather to sell the notion that what FNC presents is just another set of biases, no worse (and for some, a good deal better) than the biases that routinely drive the presentation of the news on ABC, CBS or NBC -- and, by extension, the major newspapers.

This is correct! That’s why viewers are flocking to Fox – they are tired of hearing the same liberal canards repeated over and over as fact in the bulk of the MSM.

What worries me is that journalism could become a battlefield of warring biases: I'll sock it to your guy, your party or your position on a public issue, and you'll sock it to mine

Well, the liberal media has been socking it to conservatives and their ideology for some time, Mr. Raspberry. Sorry we decided to fight back, and sorry so many people seem interested in hearing about it.

But if the Times and The Post or any other mainstream news outlet -- including the major networks -- come to be seen as the left-of-center counterparts of Fox News Channel, why would anyone accept them as authoritative sources of truth?

Because the simple truth is, THEY ARE the left-of-center counterparts of Fox News Channel. You are upset at losing your position as the authoritative source of truth? Then you should have ditched your biases a long time ago, brother. Too late for tears now.

The second, far more dangerous, effect is that it threatens to destroy public confidence in all news.

Alas, here is where Raspberry is most on target. Public confidence in news is already destroyed. BUT IT WASN'T WRECKED BY FOX!!!

The Times, Post, Reuters and columnists like yourself have been weakening the foundation for years; now the bill has come due.

Unfortunately, this diminishes us all. Now truth has become subjective, nobody believes anything, and rumor and innuendo are becoming the coin of the realm.

This does not help create an informed democracy, but then again, neither does a mass media with an openly left-wing agenda, with its bias appearing not just in its editorial pages, but apparent in headline selection, story composition, and even story selection (Sandy Berger, where are you?)

Just don’t blame Fox – they didn’t start it; they're just the best at it...

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