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Fox News Is Un-American

Of course this is no news to anyone who understands the role that journalism should play as well as the responsibility a media corporation has when they lease the public airwaves.  However, this was a very good essay and I thought it a good read.  It was in Newsweek (which itself has sadly gone down hill in journalistic standards since the days of Robert Parry, Greg Palast and others from the Reagan/Bush era purges) and was written by Jacob Weisberg:

The O’Garbage Factor

Last week, when White House Communications Director Anita Dunn charged the Fox News Channel with right-wing bias, Fox responded the way it always does. It denied the accusation with a straight face while proceeding to confirm it with its coverage.

Consider Fox’s Web story on the episode. It quotes five people. Two of them work for Fox. All of them assert that administration officials are either wrong in substance or politically foolish to criticize the network. No one is cited supporting Dunn’s criticisms or saying that it could make sense for Obama to challenge the network’s power. It’s a textbook example of a biased journalism.

And that is the Fox we have come to know and loathe.  A few tidbits from the piece:

There is no need to get bogged down in this phony debate, which itself constitutes an abuse of the fair-mindedness of the rest of the media. One glance at Fox’s Web site or five minutes’ random viewing of the channel at any hour of the day demonstrates its all-pervasive slant. The lefty documentary Outfoxed spent a lot of time mustering evidence that Fox managers order reporters to take the Republican side. But after 13 years under Roger Ailes, Fox employees skew news right as instinctively as fish swim.


What’s most distinctive about the American press is not its freedom but its century-old tradition of independence—that it serves the public interest rather than those of parties, persuasions, or pressure groups. Media independence is a 20th-century innovation that has never fully taken root in many other countries that do have a free press. The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American, so much so that he has little choice but go on denying what he’s doing as he does it. For Murdoch, Ailes, and company, “fair and balanced” is a necessary lie. To admit that their coverage is slanted by design would violate the American understanding of the media’s role in democracy and our idea of what constitutes fair play. But it’s a demonstrable deceit that no longer deserves equal time.

A peeve of mine are the various personalities that appear on Fox and give it some credibility and legitimize it, by their appearance, in the eyes of a woefully undiscerning public .  Fox is to be blamed for their blatant hypocrisy and politically slanted propaganda, but the American public are almost equally to blame for their willful ignorance and dumbed down capacity to see through this ersatz “news” channel’s deceitful practices and dereliction of their responsibilities as users of the public’s airwaves.  And, as the piece noted, their methods have led to a near useless brand of news channels across the spectrum.

Fox News.  Doing their part to keep America ignorant and divided.  Americans.  Doing their part to facilitate their own ignorance and division.

I don’t know who is more to blame.

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