Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Glenn Beck Goes to War.

Glenn Beck gets more insane by the day.

Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, has - rightly - identified Fox News as hostile to the Obama administration. Is there anyone who has ever watched this channel who could possibly disagree with this?

She stated:

“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
Beck takes this to mean that tanks are about to be lined up outside the Fox News building.

What's interesting is that Beck doesn't even attempt to make the argument that Fox is not biased against the Obama administration, he is arguing that this is a matter of free speech. It is Fox's "right" to oppose them.

What happened to the claim that Fox was "fair and balanced"?

Beck proves Dunn's point even as he seeks to defend Fox.


Here Anita refers to Fox as the "research arm of the Republican party".


Here Billo gives his view. Bill ridiculously claims that the perception of Fox is the result of Fox news having some conservative commentators, as if no other network has ever invited a conservative to give an opinion. So that's simply blatant nonsense. He then demands that people should produce evidence that Fox News is biased, rather than "bloviating".

Well, I think the bias is most evident in the news selections Fox makes, which are often stories concerning Acorn and generally things which fit into Fox's narrative.

However, the greatest proof of Fox's bias becomes most evident when one compares what people who watch Fox think of things which can actually be proved or disproved. Research has shown that if you watched Fox news you were much more likely to believe things which were totally false.
Pollsters asked more than 9,000 Americans about three commonly held canards: that the United States had hard evidence Saddam Hussein had been working closely with al-Qaida; that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq; and that world public opinion was in favor of the U.S.-led war.

Overall, a scary 60 percent believed at least one of these fallacies. Eight percent believed all three.

The most commonly held was -- unsurprisingly -- the Iraq/al-Qaida link. Fully 48 percent of respondents believed this. The totals for the other two were in the 20 percent to 25 percent range.

But among those who get their news from Fox, 80 percent had at least one "misperception" and 45 percent -- nearly six times the overall average -- had all three
And this happened again recently concerning the health care debate. If you watched Fox you were much more likely to believe things which were simply not true:
72% of Fox viewers believe that universal healthcare gives coverage to illegal immigrants, whilst only 41% of CNN/MSNBC viewers think the same.

79% of Fox viewers believe this is a government takeover, whilst only 39% of CNN/MSNBC viewers think the same.

69% of Fox viewers think healthcare will pay for abortions, compared to 40% watching other channels.

75% of Fox viewers feel that universal healthcare could result in stopping care for the elderly, while only 30% watching other channels feel this way.
You can call that many things, but any news organisation which makes it's viewers less informed about facts - and in some cases six times less informed - can be called many things, but it can't be called a news agency.

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