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Archive for Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fox not a news organization

July 24, 2011

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A few words on what Fox News is.

The question has, of course, been debated forever. Fox says it is, as the name would suggest, a news network. Its critics say it is actually the propaganda arm of the Republican Party and that its highest loyalty is not to accuracy, fairness or other journalistic values but to the furtherance of the party line. Not that any sentient life form should need the help, but events have recently arranged themselves such as to make painfully obvious which view is truth and which is tripe.

As it happens, one of the biggest news stories of the past few weeks has been the phone hacking scandal that now ensnares media baron Rupert Murdoch. For those who somehow missed it, it involves revelations that reporters at Murdoch’s News of the World British tabloid routinely paid police sources for information and hacked into people’s cell phones, including that of a murdered 13-year-old girl.

That’s led to the shutdown of the 168-year-old newspaper, a spate of resignations and arrests, hearings in Parliament, rumored hearings in Congress and criminal investigations here and in the UK. This story is a gift from the news gods, and any news organization worthy of the name would jump on it like a trampoline. Most have. Fox has not.

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism just surveyed reportage of the story in two time frames: July 6-8 and 11-15. In that period, according to Pew, CNN devoted almost 170 minutes to the story, MSNBC about 145. Fox? About 30. That bears repeating: One of the biggest stories of the summer gets, over the course of six days, a half-hour of attention from Fox “News.”

Now, let us be fair and balanced here. Fox is owned by Murdoch, and the last thing any news organization wants is to be in the awkward position of reporting on itself. To have to air that which might embarrass or damage colleagues or bosses is the definition of a no-win situation, especially since there will always be doubts, from within and without, about your ability to do so fairly. But when professionalism demands, this is what you do.

When CBS News’ report on President George W. Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard turned out not to be credible, CBS reported it.

When Jayson Blair hoodwinked and humiliated the New York Times, the New York Times reported it.

When NPR was mortified by a deceptively edited hidden camera sting, NPR reported it.

Fox’s failure to report — and allow viewers to decide — speaks volumes and offers definitive answer to the question of what Fox is.

It is the nation’s leading manufacturer of false outrage and fake fury — War on Christmas! War on Christmas! — the top supplier of bogeymen for those who need to feel terrorized in order to feel alive.

It is America’s No. 1 distributor of misinformation — Hide Nana! The death panels are coming! — a warehouse of conspiracy theories, junk history and dubious “facts” given credit by virtually no one who does not watch Fox.

It is a noisemaker, a box of cacophony from which reason will seldom emerge unscathed. And it is a bovine excreta machine.

But a news organization? No. That is a designation you have to earn.

Step 1: Report the news.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. lpitts@miamiherald.com

Comments

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

This is the first I've seen of this article and it's date is three days ago? Why? To address the article itself; I have been stating for at least the past year that FOX "News" should be kicked out of the White House Press Corps for not being an actual "news" organization. Failing that, Jon Stewart needs to be admitted. I actually wrote a blog post about FOX this past March when CNN reported that a FOX foreign correspondent was filing falsified stories about the Libyan revolution. The so-called reporter never left his hotel. http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/cait48/2011/mar/22/dissension-in-the-ranks/ This wouldn't have come to light if, in a terribly stupid move, the FOX reporter hadn't made false allegations about the other reporters from other real news outlets that actually were covering the story (and in the process putting their own lives in danger). Come to think of it, does anyone know of a FOX reporter that ever got killed in action? I can think of several from CNN, NBC, CBS but not a single one from FOX. (I even Googled it and, nope, couldn't find a one.)

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

Been into the current regime's stash of talking points, have you, Lenny?

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 4 months ago

Snap, ole buddy, defending Murdoch & Fox makes you the fool. And tool.

tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months ago

Again, do you dispute the facts above, including Cait48's? Tell us how their facts are wrong, not that they are trashing FOX. Besides Fox is a sister outlet to one of the slimiest, illegal publications in England, owned by the same guy. Hopefully the FBI is investigating all of Rupert's holdings. I hope the people whose phones were hacked go after Murdoch in civil court and sue him into the poor house.

sr80 3 years, 4 months ago

Murdoch could pay out several billion $ judgments and still be a billionaire !

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

So you are acknowledging the obvious of Fox being a forum for Republican propoganda, hence the need for Dems to trash it?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

Yea, who needs that pesky freedom of speech anyway.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

Investigate what crimes have been committed against our citizens.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Why gram? Spend a lot of your time watching that channel, do ya? Please define your EXACT issues with the network.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Why gram? Spend a lot of your time watching that channel, do ya? Please define your EXACT issues with the network.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think they need to shut it down, but it should at least be moved to a branch of the Comedy Channel.

BrianR 3 years, 4 months ago

Na, I like Fox News, they should just move it to Comedy Central where it belongs.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

What's the difference between Fox News and MSNBC? Nothing.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

Nothing is something. Rove is not nothing. Harlem Globetrotters vs. Washington General Electrics. Ask a friend.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

They did quite a bit more than just biased propaganda in Great Britain, Liberty One. And thanks to their protectors here in our country, we don't yet know what crimes have been committed against our fellow citizens.

llama726 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem is that not everyone knows about it. Many people simply don't know that Fox News is that, because they trust Fox News when they're told that Fox News is "Fair." They set Fox News as the middle, which of course paints every other news organization as liberal, and fits their worldview the best.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

"This article reveals more about Pitts than it does about FoxNews."

Like what? That when he sees BS he calls it for what it is? Do you have a problem with that?

Well, given the amount of BS you spread around here, I guess I know the answer to that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

That would require two of us.

But I'll give it a stab and see if you can keep up.

What does this "reveal" about Pitts?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

The players change, bozo remains the same. And blames everyone else. Shocker.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

Just wanted to give you a chance at a gratuitous jab. Glad to see you're still your old self, jaywalker.

ksriver2010 3 years, 4 months ago

"It is what it is". That is the way I feel about Fox News or any other news source in the country. All media is propaganda, always has been, and why are we surprised when it is suddenly so obvious? And no more obvious than with the debt "crisis". The misinformation from the media and from the President and Speaker themselves has been monumental. "Seniors won't get their Social Security checks". The reality is that it would take 6 months to change the computer systems to NOT send the checks. The government won't default on its obligations. The real reality is that first the Federal Government will halt or delay its funds paid to the states for highways, medicaid, etc. Which would make our state budget issues even more significant.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

Media is not "all propaganda." It's perfectly possible for a news outlet to have a point of view and acknowledge it, without being propaganda.

Fox News doesn't do that.

ksriver2010 3 years, 4 months ago

"t's perfectly possible for a news outlet to have a point of view and acknowledge it, without being propaganda." True, Fox does not acknowledge it. But I completely disagree with your statement. News outlets should report the facts, not their spin on the facts.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

Miss Cleo lives unprecedented. I can't get over the fortune-telling, mind-reading, psychic abilities of the Limbaugh-locked thought-thinkers. Would the "most watched" ever be considered "mainstream" ?? Where can I go to get a pervy-wanker avatar?

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

No, he is upset that it is the most watched outlet calling itself a news channel without really being one, at least not all the time.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 4 months ago

The last boss I had, who constantly preached about ethics and character, was fired after a year for serious flaws in both departments.

He was also an immensely proud conservative from Texas. Yes, you know the kind.

He used to like to brag that FOX was the ONLY fair and balanced news organization and always complained about the liberal media. Years ago, when I was a brainwashed conservative, I would have accepted this as fact. I am disturbed that there are probably millions out there that are still in dire need of exit counseling.

I travel a lot in the rural areas of our country and have for many many years. I have noticed that their major news shows are Limbaugh, Beck, Savage and Hannity among others. If not for NPR, when you can get it, the world out their is a literal desert where insane people populate the air waves.

mloburgio 3 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Why is Fox a dreaded threat if they are fair and balanced? You indicate they aren't. Interesting.

The nation doesn't watch Fox, so anything said about its viewers do not spread to the rest of the country.

Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years, 4 months ago

Can anyone name a news outlet that isn't biased?

  • crickets chirping *

tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree that just choosing which stories will air or be in print is biased. But have you ever listened to the interviews done by the NPR people? When they interview a conservative, they ask the liberal questions. When they interview a liberal, they ask the conservative questions. It's assumed that because NPR is partially supported by public funds that they are liberal, but all of their stories look at multiple sides of the story. Yes, there are usually more sides to a story than liberal and conservative. I know it's hard for some of you to believe. I have actually been persuaded to a more conservative viewpoint on an issue, because of NPR's reporting of all sides. Of course, I am not and will never be a lock step follower of any party. Those kind of people scare me, regardless of which party they bow down to. I have conservative views about some issues, and liberal views about others.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

Agreed. Although their focus is extremely Washington-centric.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 4 months ago

Bingo.

It is almost impossible to get real news anymore and when you do, it is definitely filtered and biased in some way.

Was Casey Anthony the only news on the planet for almost 2 weeks?

lunacydetector 3 years, 4 months ago

pitts is disingenuous. c.b.s. was extremely reluctant admitting they lied about bush's air national guard experience.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Lunacy, CBS didn't lie, they were duped. And they apologized on the air for believing a letter was legitimate.

Bush told us there were WMDs. Which inaccurate statement proved worse for our country?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

The information about bush's ANG experience was actually quite accurate.

What tripped CBS up was using some fabricated documents that looked real, and had accurate information. Likely a trap set by Rove so that the focus would be on the authenticity of the documents, and not the information contained therein. Fox was more than willing to oblige, being the loyal propagandists that they are.

And all available information indicates that the meat of the CBS report was accurate-- Bush was an AWOL deserter.

drake 3 years, 4 months ago

How much time did CBS devote to the Dan Rather scandal?

Mr Pitts simply says that CBS reported it. Well guess what, Fox News reported this story also even though it happened in another country.

I dare say that the majority of the time spent by the other networks covering this story was to try and link it to Fox News, their competition.

Honest, thinking people see the difference Mr. Pitts.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

That whole incident was mostly a classic Rovian setup. Rather's an idiot, and fell for it, and that's real story (aside from the fact that Bush really was an AWOL deserter.)

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

By the way, CNN is reporting that FOX "News" is under FBI investigation in the US for phone hacking of 9/11 victims, survivors and their families. You can just about bet that if the slime is in Britain, it's here too. This is a top down thing, not a bottom up.

Aiko 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank You Haiku! People tend to listen and/or watch what they want to hear and see.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

Corporations tend to control what will be on the menu.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

The actual incident which triggered his firing was pretty innocuous-- just the latest idiotic statement from someone who's made a career of it. Fox is where he belongs.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Can someone please tell me why, to date, FOX hasn't been allowed into Canada? You see, Canada actually has "truth in reporting" codified in it's broadcast regulations. It's been successfully used to keep FOX from expanding into that country. It was a source of rawness for Rupert Murdoch, Canada being a Commonwealth nation and all.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

That sounds like a good idea - truth in reporting.

Maybe we should give it a try.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

IIRC, Canada has some very strict "made in Canada" restrictions on broadcast media. That is probably the issue.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I think you need to Google a little bit more. It was not the issue.

Centerville 3 years, 4 months ago

Leonard Pitts is a journalist. Who knew?

whats_going_on 3 years, 4 months ago

Why is anyone shocked that Fox isn't reporting on this much? That "news" organization has the morality of a deranged serial rapist. After all, what better do they do than to rape the minds and screw the emotional well-beings of would-be free thinking citizens?

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 4 months ago

I think the excuse the news media will give us is that we want these kind of shows. They are giving the customers want they want and if the customers happen to be brainwashed zombies then so be it.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Oddly, that's pretty much the excuse FOX News gave, itself. They openly admitted that shows such as Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh were "entertainment" and not true "news" shows.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 4 months ago

If anyone likes actual numbers instead of just adjectives, here is something interesting,

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/dec10/Misinformation_Dec10_rpt.pdf

My summary: Fox makes money by selling what people want to hear; that's true of most media outlets. NPR, which does not live and die by commercial sales, has the least misinformed audience. Huh, funny that.

Charlie Bannister 3 years, 4 months ago

Fox is not a news organization? Hmmm. Then I guess PMSNBC is a wing of the DNC and gets its talking points from them. This is nothing more than a partisan argument which has zero merit. I watch all the cable news networks and some have a liberal bias and some tend to have a conservative slant. I can tell you one thing for sure. The lame stream media has been in the tank for this utter joke of a so called president since he announced his candidacy. Jimmy Carter reincarnated, only much, much worse.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

pill-popping dittos, you have listened well

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

Somebody should bury this piece. There are too many comments. What if someone who hasn't thought about these ideas starts thinking ? What if someone with no ideas starts having thoughts ? Just because this Pitts column fell into a 3-day memory hole, there is no reason to suspect that there isn't a reason to filter our info. People say that we get the Charlie Sheen and Laci Peterson stories because that is what we are interested in. Let us embrace the bone-headed logic that maybe we aren't shown things that are not interesting. Why should we hear about stuff that will bother and confuse us ? Nobody wants to know about the new nuclear weapons plant in KC. It's none of our business why I-70 was shut down Monday, and I certainly do not wonder what was written on the dude's truck. Give me Liberty, or give me... squirrel.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 4 months ago

The fact that Fox "News" is so blatantly anti-democrat and so stridently pro-GOP disqualifies them from being a news organization.

Objectivity is part of the news. Every reporter and news organization has their biases, but most keep them in check and at least maintain some objectivity.

Fox has thrown objectivity out the window. They are an opinion/commentary organization similar to MSNBC, the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report.

gogoplata 3 years, 4 months ago

Antipropaganda. 1. It really doesn't matter if a Republican or a Democrat sits in the White house, they are almost the same on the things that really matter.
2. Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi don't really care about the American people, They care about power, just like George Bush and the rest of his crew.
3. The Troops are not fighting for your freedom.
4. Paper is not real money.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

"3. The Troops are not fighting for your freedom. " What's so cynical about that is that the troops are aware of this, themselves. Only the upper echelon still buy into it. To the rest of them, the military is just a job; admittedly a dangerous one but the way it was explained to me by a Staff Sergeant, lots of jobs are dangerous.They just accept it as part of the job.

gogoplata 3 years, 4 months ago

I still hear a lot of propaganda from some of the people I know in the military. Others know the truth.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank God we live in a country that gives them the right to say whatever they wish. However, it's obivious that Fox"News" is just Political Republican far right-wing propaganda feeder for those that don't have sense enough to seek the bigger picture and see the whole forest instead of the tree their dog takes a leak on in the back yard!

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Interesting. If I follow the logic here the only “news” organizations would be those that reported events pretty much the same. Now, Mr. Pitts has been fixated on the Murdock affair for several columns. To him it is big news. To me, not so much. So far most of it seems to be confined to the UK, the appropriate authorities are sorting it out and I really doubt that if there is anything actionable, action will not be taken. I don’t need to be reminded of the situation on an hourly basis for days on end.

If “Fox” or any other “news” provider has an opinion closer to mine above does that make them unworthy to be called a ”news” organization or do they have a different but certainly acceptable focus. The notion being put forward by Mr. Pitts smacks ultimately of censorship by some entity entrusted with the determination of what is “news”.

Very bad idea for oh so many reasons!!??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

"To me, not so much. So far most of it seems to be confined to the UK, "

Perhaps you should start paying a little attention.

notaubermime 3 years, 4 months ago

You mean other than the FBI investigation of News Corp and calls for Congressional investigations as well?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Bozo. It's not just confined to the UK. (See my above post at 9:06). As for "the appropriate authorities", what made it such big news in the UK is that the "appropriate authorities" were not only aware of it, they were facilitating it, to the extent that when his role in it came to light, the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard resigned. There were also links to multiple members of Parliament and Prime Minister David Brown. Such a thing could happen here in the US given that at least half of the potential candidates for the GOP nomination next year are on the FOX payroll. No one is saying to stifle, censor or silence FOX; only that if FOX is going to claim to be a news organization that they actually report news, not opinion or entertainment.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

I am aware of all that. I am also aware that the political authorities are into it up to their ears. The Liberals are satrting to bash the conservatives (party titles there)

What is here?

Why is not reporting it as much as other MSM a problem?

Is this just more Fox bashing or is there an issue here?

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Do we lynch them now or wait for the investigation to find something - if it does?

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

A large chunk of change gets budgeted for Media Contracts. FOX would be foolish not to dip into that gravy. Maybe we'll hear all about it 3 days ago. I double-'doch dare you to investigate your wildest notions.

jonas_opines 3 years, 4 months ago

Is that you Invictus? Or is it Barry? Haven't been around enough to tell.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Just imagine, there is more than one of them. Scary.

Joe Hyde 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for that link, Agnostic. I've never watched a Fox News program, after hearing years ago that their programming is sharply slanted to the political right. So I always thought Fox's programming would be slanted, nothing more excessive than that. Wrong.

What those show hosts were doing in the clips extracted from their shows, it sounded to me like it fits the definition of Incitement to Riot. Those folks are way, way beyond slanted -- they are openly hostile and aggressive in stating their "news", while simultaneously committing fabrications and tellilng what they must know are outright lies.

The nation has no need for this kind of berserk gonzo opinionating being able to masquerade as legitimate, certified news. So I hope the FCC just looks at what's happening and orders the "news network" part of the operation shut down. They can still have their little hate-talk shows, but they will not be allowed to fly under the banner of real news.

Regardless, I hope the FBI is keeping its ear to the ground whenever passing through Fox's neighborhood.

Jean Robart 3 years, 4 months ago

Fox IS a news corporation. Too bad if you don't agree with their presentation of the news.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Ummm no ma'am. Not when Fox themselves admits it isn't. And they do. They just continue to present themselves as a news organization and people are dumb enough to keep taking them as it's presented.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

...or so you have heard ? Let me tell you what the strangers think. Let me tell you that they all love Pink. Only Russians use a skating rink. Peta people will invest in mink. It's true, It's true. I heard it on the radio. It's true , It's true. What say you ?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow. Why do you sound so desperate? Heat getting to ya?

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

The leadership at Fox admits they blend news and entertainment, but their parrot followers defend them anyway. It's kind of funny to watch if it didn't leave a significant portion of the country ignorant on purpose.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

Are you a real person? Or just an automaton programmed to puke out this party-line tripe?

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

So the mob decides who is a news organization??

Now IMHO, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS and countless other sources of information are simply tools for the rest of us to use to seek information. You listen/read/watch whatever you choose. Hopefully you chose well enough to form good conclusions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

"So the mob decides who is a news organization??"

Of course not. We'd never trust that decision to a "mob." We trust you George. Only you are capable of making that decision.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

That should have been "... entrust that decision..."

camper 3 years, 4 months ago

I've seen some people even say that NPR is liberal biased.

Jean Robart 3 years, 4 months ago

of course it is--along with MSNBC,CBS and ABC

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Bah. If I'm right this is the same guy that used an icon of Obama in white face.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I cited an instance on this thread at 2:45 AM. I guess you either missed it or had your blinders on.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

So the mob decides who is a news organization??

Now IMHO, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS and countless other sources of information are simply tools for the rest of us to use to seek information. You listen/read/watch whatever you choose. Hopefully you chose well enough to form good conclusions.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

First of all, thanks Moderate. Rationality isn't common 'round these parts, love how you stand out.
Second, as to this unbelievably pathetic "piece" from The Pitts, ... what does this guy get paid for this drivel? He lists a bunch of scandals with other orgs and states they "reported it"??!! Ummm...so did Fox!! Pitts' proves as much. Think maybe he didn't provide the ratios for his "evidence" ''cuz they might not be favorable......? Naaaaw.

Yes, it's simply shocking that any company wouldn't publicize their own boss' exceptionally serious scandal. But all Pitts offers up Is: - CBS selflessly reporting on ............Dubya? Ooooo! What a personal sacrifice for a news network.
-the Times cutting loose on one of their own -- a reporter they celebrated 'til he was discovered, but still, only a reporter. Not the person writing the checks.
-and NPR admitting they had a guy caught on camera. Gee, thanks for admitting that what we saw and heard was what we saw and heard. And again, the person NPR had no problem "reporting" on was merely a pawn, not the king.

I rarely tune to Fox so I can't speak on how skewed they are. As far as their 'talk shows', no doubt they're politically right, idiotically so with folks like Hannity and Beck. Their morning people are so smarmy I've never been able to stand 5 minutes of 'em so I can't speak on their 'balance.' When I have seen actual news reports from people like Harris Faulkner it's been just plain news.
The funny thing is just how often I hear or read about "Faux News". Please scroll up a couple inches and read George's post again. MSNBC and CNN...no bias there, huh?? Not to mention the countless mainstream mags and papers that are admittedly left of center, .......and yet Fox is the bogey man? It's extraordinarily sad that so many people are so blind, or better yet, unfair and unbalanced.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

So that is the meat of your criticism - they IYHO, mislead the buyer.

Come on - they all slant the news - inadvertently or deliberately - through omission and commission.

Caveat Emptor!

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

The shift from reporting the news to selling a product is exactly what the editorial is about.

Once that happens, journalistic integrity goes out the window.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

jafs they all do it. Why select out FOX. What part of my they all do it did you gloss over!!!

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't select FOX.

Although I imagine their view is quite a bit more slanted than many other news sources, from what I can tell.

My point was that your acceptance of the "caveat emptor" philosophy shows an acceptance of news sources as the sellers of products rather than the reporting of news.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

That is exactly how I view all of them!!!!!

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I know.

And that's the problem.

News sources should be in the business of reporting the news, not selling a product.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, stop by from time to time but haven't been commenting often. As to your point above, that's fair. It is a pretty ridiculous tag line. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of that idiotic ad campaign Papa Johns ran some years back: "Fresh from a can." Can't people sense the oxymorons before they air them?

parco814 3 years, 4 months ago

Usually I'm in Leonard's corner, but I disagree on this one. FOX is a news organization, but it is a destructive one, a symptom more than a cause of a society that generally rewards ignorance and punishes critical thought.

All news sources have a bias; FOX is dishonest about its bias by describing itself as "fair and balanced," when in fact it is a jingoistic reactionary (not conservative) news source. One of the main problems is that millions of people believe FOX is fair and balanced.

They believe this because they want to believe it, and they want to believe it because they see themselves as victims of the "liberal media." The audience is as much a part of the problem as the source is, just as American voters are as responsible as politicians are for the rottenness of the nation's government.

FOX and other corporate news sources are just that, corporate news sources, i.e. corporations. For me, the best way to determine a source's bias is to look at the amount and type of advertising it contains (if it is a commercial source; sources with little or no advertising also have biases, but are usually much more honest about them, i.e. the reactionary magazine National Review and the leftist magazine Z).

FOX has an extremely effective format, an ideal vehicle for its reactionary ideology. The best and really only way to deal with FOX is to inculcate genuine critical thinking and to apply that thinking to all news sources, not just FOX. The so-called liberal mainstream media sources such as CNN, NY Times, CBS, NBC, and ABC sell a similar ideology to that of FOX, but without FOX's aggressive energy. All of these sources reinforce capitalism and individualism; none question the social, political, and economic structures of the west.

No news source simply reports the news, contrary to Pitts' statement, even though there is good reason for Pitts and others to be alarmed by FOX's approach.

parco814 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't say FOX was the only problematic news source George--I also was critical of other major news outlets. But since FOX is the topic here, and since FOX tends to polarize people more than the others, I focused on FOX.

No George, those who dislike FOX do not have to shut up and watch something else, nor is criticism of FOX, or "ranting" in your words, a path to censorship. No one on this thread has the power to censor FOX and neither does Pitts. I am 100% for FOX doing news exactly as it chooses. I am also for vigorous, relentless criticism of FOX and all news outlets. If you want to shut down dialogue about it, perhaps you're the one with censorious motives.

All sorts of people, mostly those who call themselves conservatives, have been complaining about the "liberal media" and talking about "liberal bias" that dominates the entire media spectrum for at least 30-40 years in this country, and doing so in a way that implies it's simply self-evident truth that the media hate Republicans and love Democrats. The anti-FOX ranters have a long, long, way to go before they even come close to taking up as much space in the public dialogue. But you don't see that as a problem, do you?

And who are you to say who is or is not reasonable and worthy to participate in public discourse?

FOX news is a powerful, influential corporate institution and not immune to criticism, sir. You seem to see FOX as some sort of beleaguered victim. Now that is ignorance, that is stupidity, and no one needs your permission to express an opinion about FOX or any other media outlet.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

How did I get accused of shuting down dialogue. Ranting on FOX as the majority of contributors on this thread are doing is not dialogue.

Yes, you did mention other media but you did focus on FOX. How about MSNBC?

I think I have been clear. They all have bias. We should be noting that and not focusing ion just one of them that happens to be on the right.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

I am appalled by the absolute ignorance – maybe stupidity in this thread. No one makes anyone watch FOX. If those on the right choose to do so, is that not their right? If you do not like what they sell, don’t listen to it.

Your ranting only leads to concerns that you wish to censor FOX. That is frightening.

Mr. Pitts laments our inability to get along in his column today yet he lambasts FOX in this column. Getting along means accepting that others may not see the world the way you do. The notion of a world of reason seems to have devolved to a world of reason as I reason – if you do not reason as I do – well you are unreasonable and not worthy of participation in public discourse. Even more frightening!!

Sounds to me as if elements of the left are so unsure of their product that they must censor anyone or thing that challenges it.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you think that news sources should have to maintain any standards at all?

Even sellers of products (not news) are held to some basic standards - truth in advertising, safety, etc.

fastwalker 3 years, 4 months ago

what standards do you propose? how would regulation of standards be conducted and administered? i'm not in disagreement. flesh it out.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I don't have it all worked out.

But, how about basics like telling the truth? And, if you make a mistake, correcting it as quickly as possible, and apologizing for it? Not inciting people to violence? Etc.

As far as regulation, perhaps we could create those standards for organizations wishing to call themselves "news" - if one wishes to do that, they have to meet those basic standards.

That allows FOX to continue, but not call itself "FOX news" any longer, if they aren't willing to meet the standards - and, of course, the same would apply for CBS, ABC, etc.

There are a number of fact-checking groups that could help keep the news folks honest, or at least inform us when they're not being honest, just as they do with election debates.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

No, but we have a strong popensity to assume our view is the truth and anybody else has an inaccurate (not true) view.

Most of what passes in this space is opinion. There are some facts but mostly opinion. Opinion, however heartfelt is not truth.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree, which is why news sources should be offering facts, not opinions.

Or, offering facts and then a couple of different ways to look at them, from different points of view.

parco814 3 years, 4 months ago

In the world of George, dialogue=censorship.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe I said that - are you emulating the Fox you define?

fastwalker 3 years, 4 months ago

do your history, people. what is 'journalism' but propaganda? that's first. i'm not a republican, but i am so sick of liberals prescribing the cures to the nation's perceived ailments (eg right-wing talk radio, fox news) by recommending simple deletion. i used to consider myself a leftist. not anymore. i've been disaffected by the left's zombie-like hive mind conformism, and inability to consider the scope of their opponents' arguments. i am progressively more stupefied by the comments on the ljw forums.

yeah yeah, fox is propaganda. and so is every other 24 hour cable news orgy of stupidity. go on, gobble down what jon stewart says and spew it back up to anyone who disagrees (instead of actually analysing why they might be exerting the energy to defend their position) - it's the same thing the pinheads listening to rush or watching fox news do, too.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

jafs (anonymous) replies… I agree, which is why news sources should be offering facts, not opinions"

Of course I agree with you but who determines what is fact?? That is why we have established freedom of the press so that the populace determines what is fact and not some board or group.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

The "Both sides do it" answer needs to stop. With very few exceptions, like Rachel Maddow and Dylan Ratigan, Corporate "news" outfits promote corporate desires. Why would the vast and powerful "liberal media" fail to report on the things that are harming us ? Why aren't we hammered with stories that are anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-injustice, anti-coruption, anti-pollution, anti-swindle ? MSNBC gets rid of hosts that won't play along. Phil Donahue was correctly against our stupid, stupid, stupid pre-emptive war on Iraq. He had to go. Jesse Ventura got paid to not do his show after his crazy ideas were found to not match conventional wisdom. ComCast in - Olberman out. Cenk Uygar of the Young Turks on YouTube can tell you what happens in the real world of "Both sides". Many of you are too smart to continue being duped. Find out for yourself.

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