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Fox News isn't even pretending anymore

In theory, the national news media function in a free market of ideas: a self-regulating, relentless quest for what the old Superman comics called “Truth, Justice, and the American way.” (Actually, Clark Kent’s newspaper-reporter disguise strikes contemporary audiences as a sentimental anachronism. Today, he’d be a rogue cop or a CIA operative.)

In practice, Washington political journalism has become a subdivision of the entertainment industry: its best-known practitioners are second- and third-tier TV stars, and news itself a form of politicized “infotainment.” Even lowly print reporters and pundits can greatly improve their incomes by appearing on programs like “Hardball” and copping an attitude.

Chasing audiences and advertising dollars, corporate media seek to tell target demographics the kinds of stories those audiences want to hear. Nobody who watched CNN cover Michael Jackson’s death 24/7, for example, could imagine otherwise. For weeks at a time, only BBC America provided a halfway reliable window on the outside world — a hell of a note.

The boldest innovator, however, has been Fox News. Since President Obama’s election, the cable news channel has dropped all but the barest pretense of objectivity. Billing itself as “fair and balanced,” Fox has turned itself into what White House communications director Anita Dunn recently called “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”

Actually, that’s an extremely polite way of putting it. It’s closer to Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.” Fox openly promotes “Tea Parties” and other political demonstrations; it portrays every perceived White House defeat, such as Chicago’s failure to secure the 2016 Olympic Games, as a victory for something called “Fox Nation.”

“Obama Triples Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion,” reads a typical headline on the Fox Web site. In reality, the Congressional Budget Office projected the fiscal 2009 deficit at $1.2 trillion before Obama took office. Media Matters for America has compiled an encyclopedic list of similar absurdities.

“Doublethink,” Orwell called it: the ability to “hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them.” So it is with “Fox Nation” and “fair and balanced.”

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, “72 percent of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79 percent of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69 percent think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75 percent believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly.”

Almost needless to say, all of these things are categorically false. The “death panels” falsehood, for example, was invented by serial misinformer Betsy McCaughey (financed by the right-wing Manhattan Institute with money from tobacco giant Philip Morris), amplified by Sarah Palin, and then broadcast day and night by Fox News. And so it goes, day after day.

Appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” the White House’s Dunn made it clear that the Obama administration intends to deal with the network as a political enemy. “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” she subsequently told The New York Times. “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.”

As feckless and cowardly as the so-called “mainstream” media have grown in the face of conservative propaganda about “liberal media bias,” this strikes me as very good news. Something like it ought to have been done as long ago as President Clinton’s first term. For the better part of a generation, Democrats have conducted themselves as if they expected Superman himself to come flying in the window to save them.

Instead, they got Clark Kent: timorous poltroons like Newsweek’s former editor Evan Thomas, who last week acknowledged in a book review that “the media’s obsession with Whitewater seem(s) excessive in retrospect.” This 16 years after Jeff Gerth’s incoherent New York Times articles kicked off the longest-running shaggy-dog story in the history of American journalism. So how many cover stories did Newsweek run touting Kenneth Starr’s fruitless investigation?
Quantcast

The facts were available back then, but the fearless crusaders of the so-called liberal media mostly played follow-the-leader or ran and hid. For an irreverent take on CNN’s performance, read John Camp’s raucous memoir “Odyssey of a Derelict Gunslinger.” The veteran investigative correspondent tried to persuade his superiors that Whitewater was a hoax but got nowhere.

Providentially, the Obama administration appears to grasp that Rupert Murdoch’s minions may inadvertently have done them a big favor. By taking sides so brazenly, Fox has gained audience share at the expense of turning itself into a big fat political target. The establishment political press is far too timid and clubby to have made this discovery on its own.

But if the White House says something, they have to cover it.


Click to view image: 'News'

Click to view image: 'Simpsons'

Added: Oct-19-2009 
By: PeanutMM
In:
News
Tags: Fox News Lies, Lies, Republicans, BS, Fear Mongerers
Views: 12254 | Comments: 131 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • This is exactly why I listen to Fox and not the other networks. They are the only one still 'For the people...'

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • Freedom of speech is under daily attack by this administration. The proof is right here in this article.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (8) | Report

  • If "selfish" and "greedy" is the commonplace liberal interpretation of wanting to keep as much of what you earn as possible, then we are in much deeper trouble with liberals in power than I ever dreamed.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

  • it would be nice to have a link to the main article so we could tell where it came from...

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

    • Yeah, then you could just not talk about Fox but slander the source of the article.
      Sounds like most regressive drones on LL.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (-6) | Report

    • http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/10/15/fox_news/

      it's from salon. that puts it into perspective. more fox bashing from the far left.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (5) | Report

    • LOL!!
      You just can't refute the facts so you slander the source!!

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (-6) | Report

    • nope. whenever i put an article up here, even be it from a "right wing" source, i always link to the main article and let it be known who wrote it and where it came from in the text. to not do so is disingenuous. sources of articles do matter, because the people reading it can make up their own minds about whether the article has any merits or is just blatant cockpluggery for one side or the other. in the op's case, i think that they attempted to hide the source because it would show t More..

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (4) | Report

  • What you resist persists. Apparently Fox News is doing something right, siphoning off independents and moderates from Obama. The numbers don't lie.

    If you don't like it don't watch it.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • The numbers don't lie? So you think high ratings is way to judge the credibility of a news source???

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (-6) | Report

    • I think his point is that Fox is not a news source, but a political tool. Just like CNN and MSNBC, for that matter, but much more blatantly so.

      As such, Fox is most effective.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Well I actually believe he is trying to tie in that Fox News is more credible because it has higher ratings than channels like MSNBC or CNN. That is something that has been posted by right wingers on here for quite some time.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (-1) | Report

    • Yeah, my point was that he made a slightly different point than what he was trying to make :D

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

  • "%u201CObama Triples Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion,%u201D reads a typical headline on the Fox Web site. In reality, the Congressional Budget Office projected the fiscal 2009 deficit at $1.2 trillion before Obama took office. Media Matters for America has compiled an encyclopedic list of similar absurdities."
    *****

    So wait, you're saying that the budget deficit under Obama ISN'T 1.4 trillion? or just that it's ok that it's 1.4 trillion since the CBO said it would be 1.2 trillion? More..

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (5) | Report

  • All men from Crete are liars. I'm from Crete and I tell the truth! Philosophy 101

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (5) | Report

  • Do you mean the fact that our President is for ever larger government and erosion of personal freedoms by way of Cap and Trade, the VAT, the takeover our our industries under the guise of 'making them accountable'?

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • why stop at "faux" news? all of the cable/network newscasts are entertainment driven. look at this stupid fucking balloon story for example. the real tools are the ones who promote one cable outlet (i.e. mslgbt, communist news network) over another.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • LOL, you just can't refute the fact that you willy, are the biggest multi-account troll on LL.

    It's so obvious! This post was submitted by a new user account created *Today* and the supposed poster isn't defending his post, but what do you know, the first respondent is willy!

    Willy, King Troll!!

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • Sorry, that 'moron' comment wasn't necessary.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • With regard to providing healthcare for illegals:

    It's categorically false? I would like to form an opinion on this but I have yet to see the final legislation. All I know is that in Obama's address he said they wouldn't be covered, then Joe Wilson called him a liar, to which Obama responded "That's not true" and it turned out that in the draft copy there WAS in fact text that implied coverage for illegals.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • After all these years, all you can come up with to "degrade" Fox news is "Faux" news? Pathetic libdicks.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • All you can come up with is "libdicks"?

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • Nope. Fox is pure Rupert Murdoch propaganda. Rupert and his neocon pals have their lies at the ready 24/7.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • "lies" are actually the truth that is never reported by the lefties. How would you know what they are reporting anyway unless you are a closet fan. Watch with an open mind and maybe you may recognize that you've been swallowing crap for years.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • Nope.
      Fox is the propaganda arm of the gop. A fact you just cannot refute.
      Neocon mamdmen scum propaganda, nothing more.

      Fox = lies!!

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • New account eh??
      How many do you have now Hypnotroll??

      Start date: Oct.17, 09.

      You're the troll of trolls and every time you use words that break the rules here I will flag your comment.
      You need to click on: (see rules first)!!!!
      Troll.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • Freedom of speech - It is a bitch ! ! !

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • fox is no different than the rest except they lean to the right....doesnt mean what they report isnt true

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • Ya, what they report is the truth. There is a reason why Fox News gets ripped by multiple sources.

      Even The Simpson's which is a Fox show rips on Fox News for their biased and bs reporting.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • Well, he's right about one thing. Fox is the only news outlet not pretending that Obama's administration has substance.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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  • Willy is doing an awesome job of destroying credibility for the left wing on this site. It's no wonder she won't tell who she voted for in case it does too much damage.
    You, in essence are a neo con willy.
    Thanks for all your help

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

    • This thread is about Fox not me, troll.
      Fox is pure baloney, all you want to do is attack me and troll.

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • Flagged, multiple accounts troll!!

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • Fox screws up but they tell more of the truth than any of the msm. If you want opinions from the administration, watch cnn and msnbc.
      Obama and his administration are complete failures. Even moreso than the bush crew and carter. Fact

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

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    • same to you....willy you have more accounts than any one here and all you can do is flag people because you cant debate then on the topics.....maby we should all flag what you say over and over

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

    • Nope, one account!!
      I can debate when all abide by the same rules.
      If you use language I canpot use then I will flag you as well.
      The mods know I have one account!!

      Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

      (-1) | Report

  • "THE SIMPSONS".... is now regarded as a viable news source, preferable to Black Entertainment Channel.

    Yes, it must be true, it is NOT a cartoon series... LOL..!!

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • It seems like it's becoming Americans vs. Liberals~ who will win?

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Fox "PWNS" the left, and they are powerless to do anything about it.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • .

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • PeanutMM.....funny that you joined LL today and this is your first article posted!
    Part of Obamas propaganda campaign against Fox?????

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • These LL trolls all have multiple accounts!
    Thats what the Liberal, Jew hating trolls do!

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • You look pretty dark to me.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I think the greedy members of the government just don't want to see their playhouse burned down.

    Posted Oct-19-2009 By 

    (0) | Report