Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fox whines that White House 'attacks' confuse news with opinion -- in a 'news story' that gives only one side.

Fox News are playing the victim card for all it is worth, implying that Obama refusing to talk to them, based on the fact that they are simply the broadcasting wing of the Republican party, is somehow the same as Nixon's "enemies list".

They also imply that the Obama administration are confusing the work of some of their most conservative commentators with the overall tone of the channel. It's quite simply a load of utter bollocks:

If you watch Fox's daytime "news" programs -- from Fox & Friends to Happening Now to Special Report with Bret Baier (where this report aired) -- you'll find that, while they lack the viciousness of the "opinion" programs, they nonetheless are heavily slanted with an anti-administration bias. "Reporters" like Carl Cameron and James Rosen constantly bring on Republican spokespeople and reliably transmit GOP talking points as though they represent fact (when in reality they usually have an estranged relationship with the truth). Anchors like Gretchen Carlson and Trace Gallagher regularly comment on the news they're reporting with an unmistakable right-wing slant.

A classic case, in fact, is this very "news" story that ran both on Baier's segment and earlier on Happening Now: It is wholly a defensive piece of propaganda that reliably gives the Fox News line -- comparing Obama's recognition of cold reality with Richard Nixon's paranoid "enemies list" -- with no attempt whatsoever to explain the White House's point of view.

If you wanted to see why the White House might confuse Fox's "news" programming with its "opinion" shows, one need look no further than this "news report" itself. Speaking of "self-serving."

Of course, there is a mountain of such examples already plunked in the middle of our national discourse. The most notorious recent such case was Fox's ardent promotion of the anti-Obama Tea Parties, beginning back in April and continuing through the "Tea Party Express, which produced such "news" segments as the one where Griff Jenkins was openly cheerleading the tea parties, and a Fox producer was caught working up the crowd to cheer. Then, of course, there was the whole 9-12 event, which Fox not only avidly promoted (it was, after all, wholly the creation of Fox's Glenn Beck) but actually attacked other networks for ostensibly failing to cover it as avidly as they did.

Indeed, this very report is typical of the way in which Fox News operates. For example, when they state that some commentators on their channel sometimes criticise Obama harshly, they use a clip of Glenn Beck saying:
Beck: The Obama's... they are doing all they can to bring the Olympic gold to their beloved Chicago and their friends.
Is that comment even remotely indicative of the bile which this man normally spews? I mean, it's not even awfully offensive. It's perfectly reasonable for a president to want to bring the Olympics to his own country. Why didn't they allow Beck to elaborate on why he thought Obama was doing this? I mean, why wasn't Beck shown telling us that Obama was doing this to enrich his buddies and that the fact that this was "a done deal" was "the biggest story in American history".

Indeed, why not show him calling Obama a fascist, a socialist, or - as in his most famous quote - a racist?

Fox have shown none of the comments which would lead any reasonable person to conclude that this channel - or even the commentators on it - are anti-Obama.

"We Report, You Decide"?

Oh, no. As always, Fox have decided and that very much influences they way in which any story is reported.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

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