The O’Garbage Factor by Jacob Weisberg

Fox News isn’t just bad. It’s un-American

Jacob Weisberg

Jacob Weisberg

Newsweek/Jacob Weisburg —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.

If you were watching Fox News Channel, you saw the familiar roster of platinum pundettes and anchor androids reciting the same soundbites: this was Obama’s version of Nixon’s enemies list, the rest of the news media is in Obama’s corner, Obama should get back to governing, and so on. On The O’Reilly Factor, Alan Colmes, the network’s weak, battered house liberal, mumbled semi-agreement while “Doctor” Monica Crowley and Bill O’Reilly lit up the scoreboard with these talking points.

Any news organization that took its responsibilities seriously would take pains to cover presidential criticism fairly. It would regard doing so as itself a test of integrity. At Fox, by contrast, complaints of unfairness prompt only hoots of derision and demands for “evidence” that, when presented, is brushed off and ignored.

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.

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3 Comments

Filed under Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Television, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

3 responses to “The O’Garbage Factor by Jacob Weisberg

  1. Peter

    You are kidding, this is your response to the criticism of Fox News by the WH? This is the funniest article I have read this year, it completely lacks any journalistic information. You talk about the pains you go to to cover Obama criticism, but the fact of the matter is that you, Newsweek, NBC, CBS, CNN, ABC and rest do not even cover criticism let alone fairly. And you wonder why your subscriptions are down, way down?

    • Fox news is NOT a news organization that is an empirical as well as a visceral opinion. Their “news” content is just a set-up for the fire and brimstone that comes when crazy-legs-Beck hits the airwaves and continues until the bewitching hour.

      and Greta has some nerve trying to say her show is any form of journalism after the myriad of puff-pieces she put together on the conservative sweetheart Sarah Palin.

      As for the “subscriptions” to 44-D, we’re growing by leaps and bounds…

      Watch out FauxNews 😉

    • audiegrl

      Peter,

      No, actually I don’t think Jacob Weisberg was kidding at all when he wrote this piece for Newsweek magazine. Which BTW, is hardly what you would call a left-leaning publication.

      I know O’Reilly always brags that he has 2 or 3 million viewers per night on his cable show. But what he doesn’t tell you is that shows like Law and Order: SVU average 10 million viewers on one night of the week. He completely mis-characterizes his numbers as something that has real electoral impact.

      I think that many right-wing radio and TV personalities are still confused and over-inflate their own importance.

      We live in a country with 300 million people, just because 1% of American’s watch and listen to their shows, does not a majority party make.

      In essence, they are confusing ‘ratings’ with ‘votes’. As long as they continue to alienate voters, the Republican party will be in the wilderness for a long, long, time. But at least they’ll still be able to watch Fox. 😉

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