Archive for Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fox News inaccuracy in a class by itself

October 4, 2009


Perhaps you are familiar with an old saying: even a broken clock is right twice a day. I’ve found that maxim valuable as I wade through the recent hand-wringing and recrimination among journalists and their critics over the fact that most mainstream media were slow to pick up on the story of corruption at ACORN.

New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt (a former colleague) and Andrew Alexander, his counterpart at the Washington Post, are among those who have asked whether that laggard performance reflects an unfortunate deafness to conservative media. As one of my readers put it, “There is a lot wrong with ACORN, and Fox was the only channel talking about it.”

I might join this pity party if I thought Fox a credible news source. I do not. Consider just a few of the network’s and its hosts’ recent lowlights:

June 3 — In a column, Bill O’Reilly says he never called murdered abortion doctor George Tiller “a baby killer.”

This is wrong. has documented 24 instances just since 2005, of O’Reilly referring to the doctor as “Tiller the baby killer.”

June 10 — Glenn Beck asks, “Why do we have automatic citizenship upon birth? We’re the only country in the world that has it.”

This is incorrect. Canada has it, as do 32 other nations.

June 18 — Sean Hannity says that under the Cash For Clunkers program, “all we’ve got to do is ... go to a local junkyard, all you’ve got to do is tow it to your house. And you’re going to get $4,500.”

This is false. The program required the car to be drivable and to have been registered for at least a year.

July 22 — Beck says the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy “has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population.”

This is untrue. The claim is based on a textbook John Holdren co-authored in 1977 that analyzed and “rejected” such coercive means of birth control.

July 31 — Kimberly Guilfoyle claims the government will get total access in perpetuity to the computer of any participant in the Cash for Clunkers program who signs up at the government Web site,

This is inaccurate. reports this claim is based on a security notice required of “car dealers” who access a secure area of the Web site.

Let me make this next point crystalline; “every” news organization from CNN to CBS to Miami’s Herald to L.A.’s Times gets it wrong on occasion, and every single report risks reflecting the biases — political, racial, religious, class, educational, geographical, generational — of the reporter. This will be true until the day the news business is no longer run by human beings.

But Fox is in a class by itself. In its epidemic inaccuracy, its ongoing disregard for basic journalistic standards of fairness, its demagogic appeals and its blatantly ideological promotions it is, indeed, unique — a news source in name only. That’s not just an opinion: a 2003 study found Fox viewers more likely to be misinformed than those who get their news elsewhere.

Yet because this network that cries wolf, this network of birthers, terrorist fist bumps and tea party promotions, got it right for a change, mainstream media should wear sackcloth and ashes for their failure to take it seriously? No.

What missing the ACORN story suggests is a need for mainstream reporters to develop more sources among conservative activists and bloggers. But Fox forfeited any expectation of being taken seriously by serious people when it made itself an echo chamber less concerned with reporting news than with affirming the ideological biases of its viewers.

When faced with a broken clock, after all, the person who wants to know the time has two options: try to guess when the reading is right...

Or get another clock.


Paul R Getto 8 years, 6 months ago

News became entertainment years ago. When we see news without advertisements like the BBC we'll know we are back on track. In the meantime, left, middle or right, the entertainers rant on. Read and listen to them all and make up your own mind. When the Republicans were giving money to ACORN a few years ago, and power relationships in Washington DC were different, little attention was paid to this issue. ACORN needs to clean up their act, fire a few folks, and continue with their efforts to promote power and influence for the poor. This, it appears to me, is the heart of the matter. The R's count on voter suppression and computer tricks to make sure only the 'right' people participate.

zzgoeb 8 years, 6 months ago

Amen Leonard!

Tomshewmon; As for Fox News, with Roger Ailes in know, Roger Ailes, handmaiden to the Dark Lord Chaney and mentor to Karl Rove, how could the channel be anything but a mouthpiece for the RNC? And as far as fact checking other outlets, go to to see who's getting it right!

We need the return of the Fairness Doctrine(look it up) to solve these issues...Fox would have to shut down immediately!

flicker 8 years, 6 months ago

O' Reilly, Hannity and Beck - those are all considered entrainment shows people.

Watch all news outlets on TV and you'll inaccuracies and misleading quotes all over the place (even on the news broadcast segments). Happens all the time on CNN and MSNBC as well. People who slam on Fox all the time on these boards crack me up. Their hypocrisy shines bright.

Oh, and, zzgoeb (Anonymous) says… "We need the return of the Fairness Doctrine(look it up) to solve these issues…Fox would have to shut down immediately!"

You scare me. Let's just hear the news the gov't wants us to hear. Sounds lovely.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 6 months ago

"We need the return of the Fairness Doctrine(look it up) to solve these issues…Fox would have to shut down immediately!"

The Fairness Doctrine didn't apply to cable channels-- only broadcast media.

puddleglum 8 years, 6 months ago

omg! fox news anchors are the best. they are totally unbiased, even though they are all white, they show both sides of the racial coin: white people are generally good, god-loving peoples, while black people tend to vote for Obama and other 'take money away from the rich (who work very hard and do all the tough jobs) and give it to the poor, unskilled, uneducated (these people get to have all of the fun, working outside in a ditch on a lovely hot summer day shoveling asphalt-or they are blessed with spreading concrete around intersections in the middle of winter-I bet they even get to write their name in the concrete, while I'm stuck indoors, a slave to my air conditioning and heater, just not fair) anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, fox news. I once heard someone say it should not be called news but fox news digest, because it is discussion-based and heavily opinionated. well, let me just tell you that aside from some liberal lunatic ideas expressed by some of their guests-there aren't really any opinions. I mean, O'reilly has a 'no-spin' zone, where everything he says is true, and free of spin-just like the name suggests (duh)...and they always advertise that they are fair and balanced, and every other media outlet is biased. so that's true too. they also have pretty women as anchors and loud, white men that yell over whatever (false) statements their incorrect liberal guests are trying to pollute the airwaves with. Also, bill O says he is here to keep you safe, so he has the best interests for the american peoples. once again, Pitts attacks the all-white news agency, probably because he is jealous and he doesn't have the integrity to work there. nascar.

salad 8 years, 6 months ago

"Mr Pitts, I'd be willing to help you write that column." Except that you can't write a coherent sentence to save your life.

"I could probably fill a complete fold if you wanted me to. " I rest my case.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 6 months ago

Yesterday Fox reported that 2016 would hold the first Southern Hemisphere Olympics in history.

Morons forgot about Australia.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

I think he made excellent points about fox news. I have repub relatives who only get their news from fox and are the ones who believe Obama and the postage stamp email. They think all other stations are wrong, when in fact its the other way around.
Yes, all stations make mistakes, but fox is known for its radical conservatism, and wrong reporting. IT doesn't make fox any more credible when they reported on Acorn when others didnt. well, maybe just a touch more. Fox is the only station to report on the schoolkids video and make a mount everest out of ant hill.

Dan Edwards 8 years, 6 months ago

Right on, Paul.

That's exactly why the only news programs I watch are on PBS. Jim Lehrer's Newshour does a great job of informing and presenting both sides of the coin, yet allowing the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. They don't cover the Hollywood celebrity garbage that other news orgs can't seem to stop talking about. They leave out the extremist fringe of both parties and even when their commentators disagree, they do so civilly.

If people find it boring it's because it doesn't pander to extremist viewpoints, shouting over one another, sensationalism or spin to which for-profit news programs have all turned in hopes of higher ratings. I find it to be a breath of fresh air in this toxic media environment of "news" custom-tailored to your political ideology.

Thinking people of any political persuasion should want to be challenged in their views and presented with honest, informative debate. "News" outlets like fox and msnbc are the opposite of that.

notajayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

"Perhaps you are familiar with an old saying: even a broken clock is right twice a day."

Which means, eventually, Mr. Pitts might be right a couple of times, too. Wonder when that happens.

del888 8 years, 6 months ago

The thing that cracks me up about Oreilley is that whenever he gets a caller that disagrees with him, he just calls them stupid and cuts them off the air. He is afraid to have somone else's opinion known on his program. This is a sure sign that he knows that he is telling half truths. If he was truely 'fair ans accurate' wouldn't be afraid to be challenged. Fox News is a big joke. I can't believe that there are actually people who watch / listen to it. (By the way, I don't listen to KLWN for that very reason - to many nuts on the air)

BigPrune 8 years, 6 months ago

The shows in question from the article are just opinion shows on Fox put on by conservative commentators. Why doesn't Pitts go after the ESPN sportcaster turned liberal commentator (whatever his name is) that nobody watches that (I think) is on MSNBC? :)

RedwoodCoast 8 years, 6 months ago

Oh man, watch "The Daily Show" that aired Wednesday (I think). One of the faux reporters is interviewing some Tea Partiers who were protesting the G20 summit. Basically these three Tea Partiers were talking about how their only news source is Fox News. At the end of the interview, the reporter says in response to a reply to a question about Fox News, "If you can't say something right, then say something passionate." The three Tea Partiers nodded their heads in agreement. One even replied, "Well said." Funny, funny stuff. Very enlightening.

tomatogrower 8 years, 6 months ago

High ratings mean nothing considering the average American can name the winner of Survivor and the talent show thingy, but not their own governor. I just put it up to the same thing that happened to the Roman Empire. More people into gladiators and living it up, and hiding away from the serious business than people who really care. It really helps those who want to spread lies, and control the masses like little sheep. Try sending out a totally bogus email about orange juice causing cancer, and just watch it make the rounds, even when fact check and snopes put out the truth. It will go around for years, and some people will stop drinking orange juice. People are not being taught to think critically, so they will accept anything, especially if it's entertaining and dramatic. I mean why would anyone watch Channel 5 news. They are the worse, but the others emulate them, because their over dramatic crud gets the ratings. And how could Jerry Springer ever be successful with his gutter show? So, I'm not too impressed, because FOX has high ratings. Try another argument.

Corey Williams 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says… "Is Pitts really subconsciously complimenting Fox News."

Is it a compliment to say they are inaccurate?

Here you go, Mr_Nancy_Boy,

"'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."

kugrad 8 years, 6 months ago

Excellent letter. Thank you. Fox network even refers to shows such as Beck's, O'Reilly's, and Hannity's as "Infotainment," in defense of what they see as their right to disregard accuracy. Other networks are at least trying to be balanced. Fox is just 24 hours a day anti-Obama rhetoric with a large dose of racism, jingoism, xenophobia, and poor logic thrown in with the propoganda.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

I watched the Daily Show last night for a laugh -- it is a comedy show, not a news show -- and wasn't at all surprised when they showed film of Fox News anchors stirring up the crowds at various "teabagging" events so they could then in turn report about how stirred up the crowds were.

The very concept that this is supposed to be news "reporting" is obviously beyond Fox's radar. Seriously Fox News fans, since when do journalists create the news in order to report it? Pathetic.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 6 months ago

Even Rupert Murdoch himself claims to be embarrassed by Faux Noise. Guess he only keeps it on because of the ratings, and they wouldn't have those ratings if there were more than one network for the conservatives. Once again money talks. So so sad.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

A classic case of the PItts calling the kettle black. Fox rails a bit too much for me, but you can't get news on the other networks. NBC didn't cover anything on Van Jones (ex?) communist and a convicted FELON in Obama's czardom, or the problems with cash for clunkers or all the pork in the stimulus bill and exactly what that pork is.

There was only one network that REALLY covered Acorn, and as a result probably got Acorn on the rails where they should have been a long time ago. So, Fox isn't perfect and they have their bias, but where else can you get the news? On Chrissy Mathews' liberal circle jerk? Nope.

So, until the other networks start being real journalists, then Fox is one of the few places where the news gets covered.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago

"That’s not just an opinion: a 2003 study found Fox viewers more likely to be misinformed than those who get their news elsewhere."

Sorry BoBo, but in 2008 the Pew and Rassmuessen both found that the Fox News Viewers had higher intelligence levels, higher education attainment, and also were more informed on the topics.

Why don't you quote some new studies if you are going to wwrite about "inaccuracy", oh ahd BTW let's disregard everything on CNN and MSNBC. They have been off constantly.

This myth of Fox News being biased and inaccurate is BS.

I checked every story and compaint that Pitts had on the internet through multiple sources, and all of Pitts supposed inaccurracies that he pointed out are all wrong.

So Pitts has the problem with accracy.

Plain and simple, he is biased.

After such a good artilce on Acorn I guess he had to do something to atone for that sin in liberals eyes.

What a crock.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

The "mainstream" media misleads by not doing stories, especially ones that put Obama in a bad light, which are just about everything about Barack Obama.

The church he attended for 20 years should have been enough to summarily end his candidacy, but that was given little lip service by most media outlets. His dicey associations, his comments, and a host of other "stuff" should have been the end of BO and saved us all, but they weren't reported on. So, now we've all got this (highly incompetent) president who's staggering around the world with a "love me" sign on his back. Gawd.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

And this at a time when the country needed a highly competent and experienced president/chief executive to get us out of this mess. Instead we get a candyass guy whose only real life accomplishment is to become POTUS. Double Gawd.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

Bring back Walter Cronkite. It seems that the networks are more interested in creating and directly the news than reporting on it. Even David Gregory's Meet The Press promo said, "one of the greatest news creators...." creators? DG, you're no Tim Russert.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

Pulitzer Prize Board voted for Pitts in 2004? Well, maybe he was better. All he does now is support Obama and slam anyone who says anything bad about him.

Fox definitely has a conservative bias, but at least you HEAR about some issues, then you can decide for yourself if they are right or wrong. Other networks you hear nothing. So, I'll stick with Fox.

Orwell 8 years, 6 months ago


How about providing those "multiple sources" for us? If it's all Malkin and Coulter and NewsMax, I'm unimpressed.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

The "lies" PItts points out are harmless. While MSNBC didn't cover square one on Van Jones being a felon & an (ex?) communist. They gave Obama a pass on attending a racist church. They don't question the numerous czars he is lining the white house with. Or his association with know communists, including his own mother.

What MSNBC DOESN'T cover is much more harmful than anything PItts pointed out in his article.

flicker 8 years, 6 months ago

witchfindergeneral (Anonymous) says… "Cable news depends on sensationalism and entertainment value for viewership. It is hypocritical to denounce MSNBC while touting Fox News—the two networks are essentially two different sides of the same vacuous coin."

It would have been a hypocritical statement if he/she wasn't responding to Pitts accusations. Don't loose sight now.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

So, witch, you're saying it's better to just report on the pretty puppies and where Matt Lauer is now instead of the real issues?

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, Fox & MSNBC & Obama & Coulter.....none of 'em top a nice glass of scotch on a cool evening. Bye for now.

flicker 8 years, 6 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Don't loose sight now.

....and I'll try not to lose sight of my spelling.

corduroypants 8 years, 6 months ago

Fox is the last bastion of people clinging to the past and afraid of the future. And if you constantly say that you're "fair and balanced," then you probably aren't.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

Subject: Idiots in media

Let’s just look at the education of some of the leading liberal and conservative commentators :

Keith Olberman: Graduated with a BS in communication at Cornell at the age of 16

Chris Matthews: Masters in Economics from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Rachel Maddow: Doctor of philosophy in political science at Oxford

Rush Limbaugh: college dropout (two semesters)

Sean Hannity: college dropout

Glenn Beck: college dropout (one semester)

puddleglum 8 years, 6 months ago

g.o.p. (grampa's old party) is the only party that really cares about the people of the united states.

The democrats are constantly picking on poor little business owners.


kugrad 8 years, 6 months ago

3 October 2009 at 3:59 p.m.

Suggest removal

Permalink ASBESTOS (Anonymous) says…

“That’s not just an opinion: a 2003 study found Fox viewers more likely to be misinformed than those who get their news elsewhere.” Asbestos writes:

"Sorry BoBo, but in 2008 the Pew and Rassmuessen both found that the Fox News Viewers had higher intelligence levels, higher education attainment, and also were more informed on the topics"

BULL#$## this is just made up. I just got off the Pew website where survey resuls (which don't actually measure intelligence levels by the way) showed that regular Fox News viewers were the second to lowest group in knowledge of the issues, with only those who watch local news only scoring lower. It was also just a survey about knowledge of a few issues, not an intelligence test As for this: "This myth of Fox News being biased and inaccurate is BS."

That is ridiculous. If you can't accept that they are biased, you are functionally illiterate. Their bias is beyond question. Their accuracy is partially a matter of opinion, mostly because they report more opinions than news.

Asbestos rambles on:.. "I checked every story and compaint that Pitts had on the internet through multiple sources, and all of Pitts supposed inaccurracies that he pointed out are all wrong. So Pitts has the problem with accracy [sic]"

Ok, first of all, you are lying, but let's forget that. Pitts has his facts straight and you have already shown very limited comprehension skills when erroneously reporting the Pew findings, this is just more of the same. You could not have done what you said because Pitts is correct. YOUR internet search VS that of a well-educated literate writer whose work is highly regarded even though you don't like his opinions? Pitts wins, sorry Asbestos, but you aren't in his league.

You lost all credibility by suggesting Fox isn't biased, which couldn't be more readily apparent if they scrolled it across the bottom of the screen 24/7.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim2, I too say "what a crock" to asbestos's claim that there isn't bias or inaccuracy in Fox News reports. Take a look at the following video of a Fox News producer and a reporter inciting the crowd at a protest rally, and then tell me all about how Fox News is accurate and unbiased. Is it really a news agency's job to rev up a crowd in order to report on how the crowd was revved up?

What this video shows is fact, and it highlights the bias and inaccuracy that defines Fox News. Feel free to refudiate if you wish, but the tape doesn't lie. Fox News is biased and innaccurate.

By the way, who is Barry Joe?

Some people hate Obama no matter what. I can deal with that. At least I know that Bush once had a 90% approval rating, thus when he later had extremely low approval ratings he earned them with bad performance. Since so many on the right demonstrated their hatred and disrespect for our current President since even before day one, it is pretty clear that dissaproval is based on placing party before country.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and here is a pretty interesting compilation of clips that show various examples of how Fox disregards the ideals of journalism. Watch it if you think you are brave enough.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Really barry, that "Darwin bless" line -- gee, that just keeps getting funnier and funnier. I mean, it was funny the first time, so obviously the 475th time you write it it is really, really super funny. Really.

Beyond that, what? Dan Rather? At least he had the decency to apologize for being duped once he realized he had been. At Fox News they are the ones trying to perpetrate the duping, and it is amazing how many are falling for it.

I notice you didn't comment on the videos. Why not?

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 6 months ago

Pitts' is a genius, no not really he's just another mouthpiece for the liberal left so I ignore most if not all he says.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago

Just one word for the liberal frothers hating Fox News:


Nobody did the story, and two people outdid the entire "Lamestream media".

How about that bit about what Jon Stewart did?

Here is one for the ostriches.

"These two, are you f<<<<<< kidding me?"

kansasmutt 8 years, 6 months ago

FOX news ranks right up with the Simpsons. Nothing but fiction and laughs. If you watch FOX for real news, your dreaming .MSNBC is a bit better , but no news show is news, just opinions of those who tell it. Real news shows are gone and have been for 30 years. They all are just opinions, like Rush , Billy O. Nancy G . and the rest I think Rachal Maddows is one of the closest to real news anymore. Plus she puts a funny spin on the wierd stuff.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago


I am not "cheering the fact that Chicago" did not get it. I really did not care if the President went and engaged with the IOC, other countries do it, President Obama should have been able to do that as well, as it would have been better of the U.S. and Chicago. The point was the "coverage" of the event on CNN and the rest. Fox merely reported. Yes Hannity did opine, but he is not the "news" section of Fox News.

The second point is that "the rest of the countries" acted as they always do towards the United States, it makes no difference whom is in the Whitehouse.

"By the way, speaking of FOX news inaccuracy, didn't FOX screw up in describing RIO as being the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to have an Olympics?"

Actually NO, and this is rather funny, the quote was from President Obama.

Do you actually read or check on these news stories?

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago

From PorchPerson:

"By the way, speaking of FOX news inaccuracy, didn't FOX screw up in describing RIO as being the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to have an Olympics?"

From the Miami Hearld: "Brazil is trying to bring the games *to South America for the first time**, and Rio is positioned as a strong contender against Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo ahead of the International Olympic Committee's vote on Oct. 2."

Gee, according to PP the President, the President of Brazil, the Miami Hearld and the rest of the news are inaccuarate.

Where is that arrogant laughter now??????????

Comcast as well:

President Lula of Brazil:

""It is time to address this imbalance. The opportunity is now to extend the Games to a new continent. It's an opportunity for an Olympics in a tropical country for the first time, to feel the warmth of our people, the exuberance of our culture and the sensation of our joy.""

You guys need to read more than DailyKos, and MediaMatters and Huff PO. Watch something other than "Air America" MSNBC.

You are koolaide drinkers.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago

I forgot the Liberal "News holy grail" of the CNN:

"But the Brazilian pitch, made on the sentiment of the games being staged for the first time on a sports-loving continent (South America my add), had clearly struck a chord with delegates, said Pinto."

""An American Games will produce a higher return for the IOC," said Samuelson.

For Rio, the major appeal is in bringing the Olympics to South America for the first time."

That was from Sameulson of the Austrailian News.

I guess you are fully spanked on this PP.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 6 months ago

And the Fox quote was "South America".

Boosh 8 years, 6 months ago

"In Rio, where parties erupted as crowds learned they would host the first Olympics in the Southern Hemisphere, the news that Chicago had been eliminated was greeted with surprise."

Bottom of story.

jaywalker 8 years, 6 months ago

An ideologue chastising ideologues for being ideologues. Time well spent, Lenny, thanks for wasting mine.

RedwoodCoast 8 years, 6 months ago

NavyVet: You'd do well to read up on how prevalent Marx's influence is in 20th century and modern social philosophy. Granted, I'm no fan of communism, but you obviously are not aware of the degree of influence of the Marxist critique. Kind of makes that comment sound unbelievable and incorrect.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 6 months ago

Faux News = The Jerry Springer Show of news.

RedwoodCoast 8 years, 6 months ago

It seems that the only job requirement for Fox News is the ability to obfuscate.

camper 8 years, 6 months ago

Long gone are the days when I'll watch Fox news. Those were innocent times of course. O'Reilly was being critical of the big oil companies and Colmes was even around to offset some of Hannitys' rubbish.

But all was generally good in the world for Fox. Then something happened.

The Republicans went completely insane by staging the likes of Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, Joe six pack, death squads, etc. etc. And to boot McCain said "the fundamentals of the economy are strong". At the time I thought the Republicans were completely crazy. So bizzare in fact that it is possible that they threw the election on purpose (I thought) because no party in the world could clean up this mess in four years. Better to sit back, work on the tan, sabatoge recovery and reform, spread misinformation (a euphamism for propoganda), stir up fear, and in general obstruct progress. For this reason, I am completely tuning out Republican rhetoric. Once we get back on track, I'll be willing to hear what they say. I just hope it is sooner than later.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

Except for Tom's semi-entertaining rants, good comments above. I did notice that many of those against Leanard Pitt's comments seemed to be ad hominem, while those in favor of his comments provided evidence. Hmmm, makes one wonder.

@beatrice, re your 1352, 3 Oct: You asked of the Fox fans, "...since when do journalists create the news in order to report it?"

You probably realize I've a very low opinion about Fox News, even to the point of having a slip of the keyboard and calling them Faux News. However, this has been going on since time immemorial. Remember the adage, "If it bleeds, it leads." Your links are just examples of ongoing idiotic behavior.

I contend that the TV and cable news is much more opinion-oriented, directed at reinforcing their viewer's opinions than news was 30 years ago, even 20 years ago. People watch shows that support their own views and decry all other.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim, I absolutely agree with you that slanted news as presented by Fox and on MSNBC, especially by Olbermann, is annoying at the very least. However, what of the content of the clip itself? Why won't you address the content? What do you think of Fox truncating Al Gore's response to a congressional hearing question in order to give a completely different meaning to that response? What do you think of Fox producers and reporters stirring up a crowd in order to report on how stirred up the crowd is?

You may not care for the messanger, but what about the message? If you feel anything coming from the oppositiional viewpoint media outlets (slanted as they may be) is bogus and unworthy of comment, then should liberals even consider the ACORN report by Fox, or should we just dismiss it as obviously flawed considering the source?

In other words, what about the content of the clip? Do you think it okay for "news" outlets to create the news, or should they just report on what they see?

hartk678 8 years, 6 months ago

Here's the most recent Pew research I could find involving Fox news et. al.

I could not find the study that one commenter referenced that claimed that Fox news viewers were now better informed than other major media outlet viewers. (versus the 2003 study which claims the opposite.) And there is nothing even close to a study like that from Rasmussen.

The latest "public knowledge" study was from 2007. We continue the downward slide to stupid.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, nuh-uh! Your guys tried to take us down the toilet -- so there!

Seriously tom, have you stopped trying?

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

@beatrice, you forgot to mention that Fox News refused to carry President Obama's speech about Health Care before a Joint Congress. I say this is controlling the impact of the news by omission.

I don't know if Pilgrim will respond to your question, but I will if you don't mind. No, it is not alright for "news" outlets to create the news. Yet unfortunately, that is what people expect, people on both sides of the fence. We have degenerated into a majority society of people not wanting the truth, or wanting only the truth supporting their narrow opinions. A society of Archie Bunkers if you will, on both sides. That's one reason citations and links (with analysis) are the exception here on the LJW forums rather than the rule.

I appreciate the demand/desire for truth, but I don't think our society could really deal with the truth in the long run. As Jack Nicholson said in a Few Good Men, "You can't handle the truth!"

Derek Neibarger 8 years, 6 months ago

only thing more pathetic than Fox News is the people who jump to it's defense. not far behind in 3rd place are the people who think it's actually worth their time to argue with the Fox nutballs. You're all idiots. Fox News is a bunch of actors playing the role of "journalist", CNN is the the celebrity gossip "news-lite" channel, MSNBC is trying to compete with CNN, and local news channels either just reflect in the selfish stupid arrogance of their region, or the inbred bigoted stupidity of their region. America is a country of idiots and liars. Enjoy.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

Actually Tom, the discussion is primarily about Fox News, not the other news outlets. Take a look at Pitts' compliment to Fox as seen in the title of the article (you yourself said this) and you'll see what I mean.

If you want to talk about news outlets, you should talk about them in general, not selectively as you wish. Pitts said this in his piece.

"Let me make this next point crystalline; “every” news organization from CNN to CBS to Miami’s Herald to L.A.’s Times gets it wrong on occasion, and every single report risks reflecting the biases — political, racial, religious, class, educational, geographical, generational — of the reporter. This will be true until the day the news business is no longer run by human beings."

Why do you want to leave Fox out of the discussion? Is it because you can't seem to defend against what is inherently true? Or, is it that you realize that if Fox is left in the discussion, everything "you" say applies to Fox also?

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

"After Last November, I couldn't agree more. The more intelligent and ingenuous of America have turned to America's Number One News Source, The Fox News Channel."

From Webster's dictionary:

ingenuous: a. showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness; b. lacking craft or subtlety.

Tom, you may be on to something there.

Intelligent? I think that could be disproven, but I agree on the childlike simplicity and lack of subtlety of FOX brand viewers.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, what else can you say? Nothing. There is nothing else you can say. In fact, you haven't said anything new in many months. It is the same rant, over and over again. You hate liberals. We get it. Nothing but whining with no solutions.

Ralph, one of the interesting things about the news is that while I agree there are "sides," which I personally find repugnant, it is clearly those one the right who want to get their news from a reliably biased source -- hence the popularity of Fox News. The left, not so much, hence fewer viewers of MSNBC.

I'm just sorry none on the right around here have the courage or have the ... well ... something else ... to answer the question on whether or not it is okay for new producers and anchors to create the news on which they report. I find this very telling about their desires for accepting slanted, biased, and un-true "news."

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, all you do is whine. Ever since your side lost the election to Obama, despite your predictions that America would never vote for a Black man, you do nothing but whine (and probably stamp your feet and throw little temper tantrums). Chuckle now if you want, but know that we have been chuckling at you for much, much longer.

"Mainstream Fox News" is an oxymoron. What next, are you going to tell us that they are "fair and balanced" too?

Also, who is this Messiah of whom you continually write? Have you found religion?

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, It's good to see you haven't lost your ability to entertain.

In answer to your response to me, yes, Pitts did say Fox is in a class by itself. However, read this from his article (it's further down than the first couple of paragraphs, so you may have missed it). It should provide a better response than I can.

"But Fox is in a class by itself. In its epidemic inaccuracy, its ongoing disregard for basic journalistic standards of fairness, its demagogic appeals and its blatantly ideological promotions it is, indeed, unique — a news source in name only. That’s not just an opinion: a 2003 study found Fox viewers more likely to be misinformed than those who get their news elsewhere."

Now, I asked you some specific questions about why you want to remove Fox News from this discussion, even thought the article is about Fox News. Could you explain why when you're asked specific questions about things, you seem to have a tendency to talk like a politician: attempt to redirect the point of the question; speak much, but say little; or outright ignore the question? Do I need to reiterate the questions, or can you find them above.

Regarding your back-handed retort to beatrice, "Getting dressed down by a lib about whining? Classic. Thanks for the chuckle, bea." You may as well direct that at me also. Only for me, include something about why your writings continue to be rants most of the time instead of being something substantive? Your posts might be taken more seriously if they were not rants.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago


OMG, I've fallen for one of the classic Republican / Conservative tricks. The dicussion focus has changed from FOX News being in a class by itself, to comments on Tom's posts. Sneaky, Tom, very sneaky.

beatrice 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom -- But, but ... Bush!

Don't worry, I'm sure your time will come. I'm sure you will get a full eight years to whine about Obama.

And Ralph, I have no doubt that Fox News will be distorting the truth and fabricated the "news" the entire time. (Hopefully that helped bring the attention back to Fox News.)

Bob Forer 8 years, 6 months ago

Why do you guys even engage this shewmon person. He doesn't even live in Douglas County. Rather, in the metropolis of Linwood, Leavenworth County. Population 374 at last count. He a uneducated yee-haw from hicksville, missiouri. A washed up, neer do well, almost fifty redneck with an opinion. In other words, he's irrelvant. Ignore him.

pace 8 years, 6 months ago

People who look at FOX news aren't looking for news, they are looking for strokes for their prejudice and ribbons for their delusions, it is part of the age of buying what makes me feel good now, not gee the truth is hard and the decisions on what to do, harder. The ads that tout that everyone is happy with their current health care, coupled with the idea the cure to health care is to deregulate the Health care Insurance companies should be obvious but instead they are sold american. The idea that one man, can fix decades of decadence, then disappointment that everything isn't fixed and the answer is to hate each other. Can you hear how loud they scream at town meeting, they must really be sincere, not right, just have strong feelings. Feelings, we need to rise above those and pray for wisdom, not gratification.

Bob Forer 8 years, 6 months ago

Heck, yes. Tom. Most folks who reside in Linwood are backward, stupid, uneducated rednecks. Just like you. So stay there. YOu are too unsophisticated for us Lawrencians. And yes, we are snobs.

blindrabbit 8 years, 6 months ago

FOX, a news channel, you have to be kidding; it's strictly entertainment for the Dittoheads that need that pre-digested crap! Don't believe it, just look at the junk FOX Network puts on it's Entertainment lineup. Great material for the uninformed.

Deb Stavin 8 years, 6 months ago

Note to Rush Limbaugh: Africa and South America are continents.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

All of those mentioned by Pitts are commentary guys. Yes all networks have them, the differance is that they are clearly identified on Fox. ORielly does not take phone calls, so I don't know where the witer guy came with that. And ORielly regularly has on people that disagree with him. So obviously some of you also have no clue.
I guess Fox can't compete with the sterling reputations of guys like Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Jack Caffery.
And you also have to remember that even the "fact check" webs are often as idealogical as the shows you slam.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, I watch Faux News more than you give me credit for, and take what they say with more than a grain of salt.

You're ranting and painting with a broad brush stroke when you say things like, "Hardly one original thought or opinion and they're all more or less the same. How many of you Fox News haters actually watch them for any substantial amount of time? Probably very little or none. It's like this: “I know I hate Fox News because they tilt right”…….right?"

Ranting and broad brush strokes is most of what I've seen on Faux News (sorry, slip of the keyboard there).

Additionally, you have to question the motives for (in your words) the major front-running "news" network refusing to carry a Presidential speech before the Joint Congress. Obviously political and very petty. The rest of the "lesser known / watched" (your terms) networks carry events like that regardless.

Also, are you going to answer the questions I asked you? Here they are again in case you can't find them.

Why do you want to leave Fox out of the discussion?

Is it because you can't seem to defend against what is inherently true?

Is it that you realize that if Fox is left in the discussion, everything “you” say applies to Fox also?

c_doc77 8 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, Fox News sucks. But to say it is in a class by itself isn't exactly accurate. They are the worst by far, but truthfully all cable news sucks, as does most newspapers (present company excluded of course). Its full of Operation Mockingbird propagandists like Glen Beck and Anderson Cooper. The best news on TV is PBS, or if you want to sort through a bunch of worthless information, C-SPAN.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 6 months ago

So South America is the only continent in the Southern Hemisphere? Wow, learn something new every day. I'm sure a couple of other continents, including one where an Olympics was held, feel a little left out.

But, what the heck, I never expected Fox News or anyone watching it to have the slightest clue about anything beyond their backyard.

Left_handed 8 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Shewmon. You seem to have prevailed in your banter with the left-leaning denizons of this site. Given their inability to counter your arguments, they have resorted to that ulitmabe liber weapon of the ad hominem attack. If you keep it up, they may well wheel out the "irrefutable liberal argument" of "Whatever!".

Well done, sir, well done.

headdoctor 8 years, 6 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… What is abundantly clear on this thread is that the lefties on this here l'il ol' forum......

Let me see if I have this clear, Tom. Lefties means anyone who disagrees with you. Correct?

Ralph Reed 8 years, 6 months ago

@Left_handed: Good bit of sarcasm at 0849. Well written.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

If FNC is suffering from a "disregard for basic journalistic standards of fairness" and has an "epidemic of inaccuracy" then why is it crushing it's competition so soundly? Shouldn't people be turning away from it in droves? Shouldn't it really be as irrelevant as those on the left constantly say it is?

Given the continuing growth in FNC's ratings, it seems pretty clear those who think FNC is irrelevant because of (liberal reason dujour) are in the ever-growing minority, hence the increasingly shrill nature of their attacks.

Like they say; "We report, You decide." Looks like we are - in ever greater numbers.

Melissa Sigler 8 years, 6 months ago

If anyone REALLY wants to take Fox News seriously, all they need to do is watch this.

Yikes. That guy is disgusting and creepy in every sense of the word.

BigAl 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, I watch Fox News a lot. I admit that I have quit watching Hannity and Beck for the same reasons I don't listen to Limbaugh. Fox News pretty much bashes Obama from morning until night. During the evening, it gets worse. Beginnning with O'Reilly, Fox News hammers Obama all night long. That is a simple fact.

They spread hate and fear and are hurting this country. Beck and Hannity don't care what they say and Beck even admits that he doesn't check all his facts. This is what you call fair and balanced journalism?

BigAl 8 years, 6 months ago

I appreciate you saying that about Hannity and Beck. I still think that Fox is the most biased network out there. And it isn't even close. I do watch Fox. I watch O'Reilly quite a bit. I like Shephard Smith and Chris Wallace. But to go blindly and not know that Fox is highly partisan is crazy. By the way, I don't watch MSNBC and I don't care for Olbermann. He is too far out there for me. Much like Beck and Hannity on the right.

Again, I honestly believe that Fox is hurting this country with their hate filled bias.

Cooky_the_Cook 8 years, 6 months ago

ivalueamerica (Anonymous) says…

Yesterday Fox reported that 2016 would hold the first Southern Hemisphere Olympics in history.

Morons forgot about Australia.

porch_person (Anonymous) says…

By the way, speaking of FOX news inaccuracy, didn't FOX screw up in describing RIO as being the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to have an Olympics?


Boosh (Anonymous) says…

“In Rio, where parties erupted as crowds learned they would host the first Olympics in the Southern Hemisphere, the news that Chicago had been eliminated was greeted with surprise.”

Bottom of story.

Cooky says....

That is an Associated Press story on the Fox Sports website. The mistake was made an AP writer. I don't see how that makes anyone at Fox News a moron. ivalue, porch, and Boosh got it wrong here, and they are the true morons.


Rex Russell 8 years, 6 months ago

The "Fair and Balanced" moniker that gets played over and over reminds me of something my grandfather once said. If someone starts a sentence with "Frankly..." or "To tell you the truth,....", ... they are about to lie to you.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

You're right Tom - cheap entertainment it is!

bcdi 8 years, 6 months ago

I am amazed at the people who bash Fox News for comments regarding trivial parts of our lives and fail to give them any credit for uncovering illegal activities of our Government such as Acorn, Czars (who answer to no one!), songs in our schools putting Obama at the same level as God (in his eyes we are all equal-- by the way is 'his' supposed to be capitalized or just adorned?..... and we can't sing Christmas songs or talk about God in school so shouldn't Obama material be banned too?) and they are showing films at our schools about how our Government is supposed to take care of us (which was traced back to Acorn created).

There are many more instances but I don't think it would matter to these bashers. They just want to stick their heads in the sand and watch CBS and ABC and believe everything is fine. you know....."Can't we all just get along!"

Well these are the people that will enable Obama to convert America to a Socialistic Disaster where the Gov't will tell us what we can do/not do, say/not say, think/not think.

Just make a list of all the changes he is working on so far: what you drive (junking drivable cars), health insurance (you are too old for this expensive surgery), proposed tax on soft drinks and jiuces( damn those soda drinkers!) and you can find many more to add.

KS 8 years, 6 months ago

The LJW must be leaving this story up so they can get to 2,000,000 posts sooner. Old story.

flicker 8 years, 6 months ago

Know how to tell when you live in a ultra lefty town? A story about Fox news reached 155 comments and they're still coming.

mirakel46 8 years, 6 months ago

 People who believe Fox News is accurate, fair, and balanced probably also believe in UFO's, horoscopes, and the legitimacy of professional wrestling.  Fox would be an enormous source of amusement--like a TV version of supermarket tabloids--if so many people didn't take it so seriously.  
 Fox could provide a valuable public service by presenting rational and persuasive counter-proposals and opposing views.  They choose not to.  A positive contribution from the right would be a welcome alternative to the mad rants of Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, et al.  They could learn a thing or two from the likes of George Will, Cal Thomas, and even Pat Buchanan: people with whom I usually disagree, but whose opinions I value because they are calm, rational, and persuasive.  I will NEVER take Fox's ranters seriously.  Let them continue to preach. . .er, scream. . .to the choir, and in doing so squander any opportunity they might have to impact the shaping of public policy.

Satirical 8 years, 6 months ago

"Fox News is inaccurate" - said by people whose major source of news is "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

Beck, Limbaugh, Stewart, etc. are all entertainers. Listen to the news from 5 sources, then form your own opinion.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

Irrelevant? FNC's ratings are so big, liberals and independents have to be watching it too, cause if you believe the polls, there just can't be that many conservatives. Pitts is just moaning about the demise of the leftist-media. It's their own fault. Nobody wants to watch that one-sided crap.

At least FNC makes an effort to include the other side of the argument on some of their shows (Hannity and Beck excluded of course). The networks dropped even the pretense of fairness a long time ago. They're in the tank for the lefties, and if you're in the tank too, then they appear just fine to you. If you're not, and judging by the ratings you aren't, then FNC is your only other choice.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago


"...tolerates your incessant, semi-literate drivel."

I gotta hand it to you Tom, no one gets them slobbering and stammering quite like you can. Bravo.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

vanguard: "I think my second point is that America, lacking common principles to unite is going to fall apart."

Have we ever been united by common principles? It seems like one consistent factor in the development of America is filling in the empty spaces in a giant area, largely accomplished by people trying to get the hell away from everybody else. Maybe the problem now is that there's nowhere new left to go to.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

"However, I do think that there were principles like working hard in school and at work to get ahead, striving for economic independence based on that hard work, help rendered to your neighbors who help themselves to better their lives, and pitching in equally to create a better society."

Well, I doubt any of us will ever be able to ascertain whether that was true or a romantic fiction of the past, but it seems that a potential difference as well is that, in the past, America was a place that you could come to from anywhere (in the world) and build up your own life using those values above. Then we got successful and we shut the door on those kinds of people who were not born here, unless they are already somewhat elite in their abilities and skill-sets when they get here.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

Vanguard, I won't question your family story, and that wasn't my intention. I've heard and known plenty of similar ones. I simply question whether they represent a unified historical narrative. There are certainly others that we could choose from.

I'd tend to agree with your last comment though. Well, rather the last one directed at me.

maxcrabb 8 years, 6 months ago

See what Leonard Pitts has done to this community?

He's made everyone start laughing.

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