Monday, October 26, 2009

Obama's Vindictive and Personal War on Unbiased News

There are three reasons for writing this post. First, I read a post, Obama's Vindictive and Personal War on Unbiased News by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown. Second, quite coincidently, immediately following that reading, I so happened to listen to Sunday’s edition of Reliable Resources on CNN news where part of the discussion focused on the Obama’s administration controversial rejection of Fox News. Third, due to my fairness sensibilities, both of these presentations ruffled my feathers.

So, who is kidding whom? What planet do Floyd and Mary Beth Brown live on? To claim Fox News is unbiased is the most uninformed comment anyone could make.

Of course, not all Fox News is biased, but their flagship program hosts, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck certainly are. And, of course, it is precisely these programs that are in contention.

Fox News at one time gave the appearance at least of unbiased and fair coverage with the conservative Sean Hannity and the liberal Alan Colmes hosting the Hannity and Comes program, but for some unknown reason that ended. Why did Alan Colmes leave the show? Does anyone know?

Fox News chair Rupert Murdoch is fairly well known for his philosophy and style of delivering the news, particularly in the print media, but the electronic media as well. He is frequently criticized for lowering journalism standards by presenting news in tabloid format utilizing sensational material. Fox News’s slogan and disingenuous claim that they are fair and balanced, when they clearly are not.

It’s important to keep in mind that Rupert Murdoch declares himself a libertarian. He is a man who is only interested in profit. Like Limbaugh and some other talk shows, liberal or conservative, their rhetoric is only meant to serve the bottom line. Whether or not any of them really believe in what they are saying is anyone’s guess; until one can read the human mind no one will ever really know. All I know is that ratings are the most important mission they all have, and that means increasing profits, and. Fox News Ratings [are] Increasing tremendously. reports, Matt Gross, who left Fox News in March 2001 after working as a web journalist and editor, wrote to Romenesko about Reina's note: Let me just say that the right-wing bias was there in the newsroom, up-front and obvious, from the day a certain executive editor was sent down from the channel to bring us in line with their coverage. His first directive to us: Seek out stories that cater to angry, middle-aged white men who listen to talk radio and yell at their televisions. (Oh, how I'd love to stick quotation marks around what is nearly a direct quote.) To me, FNC reporters' laziness was the worst part of the bias. It wasn't that they were toeing some political line (though of course they were; see the embarrassing series on property rights from 2000), it was that the facts of a story just didn't matter at all. The idea was to get those viewers out of their seats, screaming at the TV, the politicians, the liberals -- whoever -- simply by running a provocative story," he wrote in October 2003.

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown wrote in their post: When Communications Director Anita Dunn defined Fox News as ‘a wing of the Republican Party’ then mocked and belittled it by saying, ‘But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is,’ and continued by writing Illustrating just how thin-skinned our commander-in-chief is, he pronounced that Fox News is ‘operating basically as talk radio.’ The fact is, other than Barack Obama is thin-skinned, both statements are factual. Fox News centerpiece opinion programs are in fact in the mode of Rush Limbaugh’s radio talk show, and Limbaugh’s show is not a news program. They more than anything attempt to tell one how to think. This is in accord with the news presentation philosophy of Rupert Murdoch. Now, would anyone expect President Obama to be interviewed by Rush Limbaugh on his talk show -- no reasonable person would.

CNN’s Reliable Sources segment, White House v. Fox News, presented a very good discussion.

Although, and as I pointed out in my October 24th post, America’s Confluent Socialism-Capitalism: to be an American means accepting, to an extent, the blending-in of radicalism, diverse as well as congruent views, and even the wild, sometimes off-the-wall rhetoric of talk show host, and that of Limbaugh and Beck. This all-inclusive freedom of speech and democratic, cultural, religious, racial, political, social, and economic diversity is what makes America American. This convergence Americans should welcome and embrace. The inputs and infusions of ideas will always contribute to new ways of thinking and will make America progressively stronger, more knowledgeable, vibrant, and always challenging.

It’s un-American to deny free speech, but that does not mean one has to accept it as the gospel, that it’s unquestionably true. It should be treated only as input and the output from it should be collectively logical and reasonable.

Like a simple pendulum swinging back and forth from one course, opinion, or condition to another, at some point it comes dead center. It swings in accordance with the forces of gravity, and as the bob swings to the far left and then the far right as it collects all that is there, and as it swings, it sublates all propositions to a center point where it comes to some hopefully reasonable and logical conclusion; then the process is repeated. It goes on and on into infinity.

CNN Reliable Sources transcript
Fox News Channel Controversies
Fox News Ratings Increasing Tremendously"
Fox News Anchor Rebukes Dem Rep. For Mocking "Fair & Balanced"
Glenn Beck dives off the conspiracist deep end with nutty guilt-by-association game
Reliable Sources