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Wow. The far-left here in the US sure has a lot of hate to dish out. First and foremost of course they hate the president. Murderer, War Criminal, Liar, etc….we all know the talking points. You got nutty professors like Jay Bennish, going on inappropriate diatribes in his geography class, comparing Bush to Hitler, and this “geography” “teacher” got what he deserved. Good riddance. All you school kids, start taking your tape recorders to class, you hear?
The far-left will never like President Bush and will never understand or want to fight The War on Terror. There’s nothing we can do about that, so let’s just move-on .
The far-left also has it out for Wal-Mart. Actually Wal-Mart is representative of a greater evil to those on the far-left, that being American corporations and the free-market system. Fortunately most people understand how beneficial companies like Wal-Mart are to the US economy and for those families on the lower end of the economic spectrum. Therefore the mediocre Wal-Mart bashing films and store boycotts are mostly participated in by college students who will see the error of their ways in a few years and leave their pointless pursuit to the next batch of undeveloped minds that graces the halls of academia.
Of all of the things that the far-left is required to disdain in order to get their credentials in the mail from George Soros, a special amount of vitriol is reserved for The Fox News Channel. Since the network debuted in 1996, there has been a growing chorus among college professors, movie stars and liberal journalists implying that the network slants their news to the right and that they are little more than a mouth-piece for the Bush administration.
The chorus has caught on and the foot soldiers in the far-left movement have been echoing the sentiments for quite a while in their typical low-brow way. Here’s an example.
On the night that convicted murderer and founding member of the “Cryps” gang Stanley “Tookie” Williams was executed, Fox, like all of the other cable news networks, had a correspondent outside of San Quentin to cover the execution as well as the anti-death penalty protests which accompanied it. While the Fox correspondent was doing his report, a group of death penalty protesters surrounded him and began shouting things into his microphone, and holding up signs behind him while he was trying to do his job. They wrote “Fox Lies” on little slips of paper and held them up next to the reporters head. They yelled similar slogans at the camera and at one point a huge mean-looking black guy stood right next to the reporter and began staring him down as if he was about to kick his fair and balanced ass. Of course this guy was just a mindless thug who had probably never even heard of Fox News until tonight, but his fellow protesters did nothing to stop his intimidating tactics and instead continued their juvenile behavior. Fortunately, like most Fox News reporters, the guy was a pro, and was not distracted. He kept on going as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening until “Tookie” was finally put down.
Of course this is most likely an isolated incident, but it is a very good example of the mindset and behavior patterns of those who despise Fox News and who believe that it is more of a propaganda tool rather than a legitimate news outlet.
Now, unlike the folks on the left-wing blogs, I am going to attempt to be “fair and balanced” here and say this; Fox News as a network does lean to the right. Their most popular news analysts are conservatives. Guys like O’Reilly and John Gibson make no attempt to hide their conservative leanings and they have huge audiences, because they’re smart guys and people enjoy watching them. However it is important to keep in mind that they do not report hard news. It is “news analysis.” Sean Hannity is not a reporter, he is a right-wing commentator, but no one ever claimed he was a reporter. It is important to know the difference. CNN has news analysts as well and most of them lean to the left. But more on that in a moment.
The people who do the hard news for FOX, usually are not criticized, by the anti-FOX folks, due to the fact that they don’t interject their opinion into the news. They aren’t supposed to and guys like Shepard Smith and Carl Cameron don’t do it. They may indeed be conservatives off the camera, but when the camera’s rolling they do their job, and keep their opinions to themselves.
In fact, Fox has many high profile reporters who are well know liberals. For example, Greta Van Susteren, who consistently has the second highest rated show on the network, after O’Reilly, was known for her Democratic leanings before FNC even existed. Tabloid journalist Geraldo Rivera was a huge Clinton supporter, and despite what you may think of his tactics or reporting skills, there is no doubt that he is indeed a high profile member of the Fox News family.
So why all the hatred? Here’s why. For years conservatives and many moderates in this country have been bitching about the monolithic liberalism, which has been espoused by the press since the 1960’s. Poll after poll has been taken regarding the political leanings of those in the journalistic community over the last 50 years and these studies have consistently shown that generally three-fourths of reporters espouse political views that are considered liberal. In addition to this, journalists have overwhelmingly supported the Democratic candidate for president over the GOP candidate, in every election since 1960. This is still the case and anyone who denies it is either fooling themselves or they themselves are so liberal that to them, anything that doesn’t echo the sentiments of the Village Voice is considered a right-wing paper.
Before FNC became popular, the only thing close to a right-leaning national news outlet that conservatives had was The Wall Street Journal. Their editorial page was consistently right-of-center and was the only escape for the 50% of the country, who couldn’t stomach the obvious left wing slant of papers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Boston Globe and USA Today.
It wasn’t just the op-ed section either. Anyone who was even remotely independent minded could see that the hard news coverage in these papers was slanted to the left in everything from the wording in articles to article placement.
This clear slant wasn’t just confined to newspapers either. The three major networks where most Americans still get their news today also leaned left. CBS replaced far-left leaning anchor Walter Cronkite, who still today makes his political leanings well-known to all four people who care to listen, with further left-leaning news anchor Dan Rather.
In cable news, Ted Turner, no neo-con himself, started CNN. The left loves to bag of FNC news analysts like O’Reilly, but how many of you remember Jesse Jackson’s short lived news analysis program. There are only two differences between the shows. The first are the host’s clear differences of opinion on important issues, and the second is the fact that O’Reilly’s show is the most popular show on cable news, while Jackson’s show failed miserably.
In addition to cable, the big three networks and all but one of the major national newspapers, the left also had control of the governments news sources. Liberal voices more than dominated on NPR, while Bill Moyer’s show was left-leaning standard bearer on PBS.
Add to this the BBC and there you have it. About 95% of all citizens in this country got their news from a source that overwhelmingly favored and wrote coverage favorable to the left-wing of American politics.
While those on the right could see this obvious lack of balance in the media coverage of the freest nation on earth, there was really nothing they could do about it except complain on talk-radio, the only media outlet that was dominated by conservatives. Even these shows however, had to break every hour for news updates from the networks that owned the stations which carried their shows, and usually these networks were one of the big three. Even talk-radio was infiltrated by the liberal media.
Things started to change in 1996 when Rupert Murdoch started FOX News. At first, the left paid little attention to the fledgling network. Cable news was dominated by CNN and to a lesser extent the uber-liberal MSNBC, and those channels were in no danger of being overthrown by the network which until now had been known primarily for The Simpson’s and Married with Children.
Then came the one-two media events of the Florida recount and 9/11. FNC, which had been gaining slowly for years, suddenly overtook CNN. When this happened the left went ballistic. They started an all out assault on FNC which included the constant bashing of FNC personalities as well as a poorly made, inaccurate piece of propaganda called Outfoxed
They set out on a mission to convince America that FNC was simply a tool of the right in their continuing efforts to brainwash people into voting for George W. Bush. Ted Turner started calling Rupert Murdoch names. Left wing blogs began giving examples of things said on FNC that espoused conservative viewpoints, usually given by news analysts, whose job it is to give said viewpoints. Editorial pages became even more liberal as if to try and counter O’Reilly, who despite his huge success doesn’t even come close to the circulation numbers for the New York Times or the viewer ship of The NBC Nightly News. The left was trying to make it seem as if somehow FNC was not a legitimate news outlet. That they were not playing by the rules. However their case was hurt by the fact that FNC remains one of the few news outlets which hasn’t gotten into huge trouble as of late for questionable news practices.
The New York Times was sent reeling when Jason Blair, a young affirmative–action hire, admitted to faking news stories. Dan Rather went forward and reported the bogus Bush National Guard story, which was based on fake documents. Newsweek claimed that soldiers at Guantanamo had flushed a Koran down the toilet in order to tick off detainees. No truth to that either. CNN’s managing editor Eason Jordan claimed that US soldiers in Iraq were intentionally targeting journalists, but never gave any evidence to back it up. He was subsequently sacked.
Meanwhile, FNC has stayed out of trouble and is yet to be accused any of these underhanded practices. The only thing that FNC’s critics can really say is that O’Reilly and a few other news analysts are conservative. So what? These analysts admit to their political leanings. No one’s trying to pass Sean Hannity off as an unbiased reporter.
Despite FNC’s success, the media is still dominated by the left. Most mainstream media outlets still outwardly refuse to run any stories that make the president look good, like the recent release of audiotapes in which Saddam Hussein discussed how to hide WMD’s from the UN, or any stories that make the left look bad, like when Al Gore went to Saudi Arabia and verbally attacked the President. It doesn’t matter to the MSM if the president’s reasons for invading Iraq were justified, or if the former VP is engaging in behavior that borders on treason. They are going to report, only what they feel like reporting. If it doesn’t jibe with their political slant, then you’re not going to hear about it.
To be fair, it’s not really their fault. Like in those in Hollywood, most reporters don’t even know how to view a story from a conservative angle. They are incapable of it.
Things are changing however. As the old guard of liberal journalists like Helen Thomas, Dan Rather and Judy Woodruff begin to fade; a new breed of journalist is emerging and since conservative journalists, who were previously rejected by other outlets, can now go to FNC without fear of retribution for political views which may differ from the top brass, a wider less biased array of voices is starting to come to the forefront of American media.
With the success of FNC other outlets also seem to have discovered that most of the population does not share the average journalist’s political leanings. MSNBC has hired conservatives like Joe Scarborough and papers like the New York Times and LA Times have begun admitting their past bias and attempting to gain back the public’s trust by adding balance to their news coverage and firing left-wing bomb throwers like Robert Scheer from their editorial staff.
CNN has had to adjust as well, now that they are consistently in second place. They have balanced out their coverage a bit, but have also tried to gain traction among liberals with left leaning commentators like Jack Cafferty. Similarly, MSNBC’s thinking about bringing back Phil Donahue.
You see folks. FNC was never that far to the right. It’s just that all of the other news outlets were so far to the left that people forgot what unbiased news coverage was supposed to look like. Because many of the analysts on FNC do lean right, to a ultra-liberal it seems as if they are out of the mainstream, when the truth is just the opposite.
FNC’s hard news coverage is as unbiased if not more so than any other news outlet out there, so it would be better if the left just learned to live with it and took some notes on how to run a successful media outlet. Because when Air America dies out, which will probably be very soon, and the daily newspapers go the way of the dinosaur due to the internet, the playing field is going to be more level than it has ever been before, and while this is not the optimal scenario for liberals, it is for the majority of Americans, who don’t want their news slanted to the left or to the right. They just want their damn news.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
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Posted by Falling Panda at 10:22 PM