Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Newsweek Carries Water for TCO

At no point does Weisberg actually address the news end of FOX. Right out of the box is this:

Last week, when White House Communications Director Anita Dunn charged the Fox News Channel with right-wing bias, Fox responded the way it always does. It denied the accusation with a straight face while proceeding to confirm it with its coverage.

Consider Fox's Web story on the episode. It quotes five people. Two of them work for Fox. (emphasis mine) All of them assert that administration officials are either wrong in substance or politically foolish to criticize the network. No one is cited supporting Dunn's criticisms or saying that it could make sense for Obama to challenge the network's power.

Is he suggesting no one from FOX should comment on this? Considering the number of journalists who have come to FOX's defense, it's entirely possible there are none to defend the White House, besides Weisberg.

If you were watching Fox News Channel, you saw the familiar roster of platinum pundettes ....

Back to name-calling? As if the requirement to be taken seriously as a female journalist means one has to be ugly? I think the women on FOX are not only attractive, but well-ionformed and well spoken. Not only those who have opinions, but those who report the news.

There is no need to get bogged down in this phony debate....

Of course not. That might require actually showing evidence of bias in NEWS REPORTING. The only evidence Weisberg shows is bias in the OPINION SHOWS on FOX. But FOX makes no effort to hide that the opinion shows are exactly that.

Fox sponsored as much as it covered the anti-Obama "tea parties" this summer.

Here is where he is dead wrong. I've been to five TEA Parties. None sponsored by FOX. None covered by any other outlet, except the one on the Milwaukee lakefront. Several thoussand showed up in Sheboygan. Zero coverage. She-freaking-boygan, people. About 1500 showed up at Miller Park. Zero coverage. On the same day, a couple hundred paid SEIU demonsrators showed up in support of Obamacare at the Summerfest grounds and were front page news.

That Rupert Murdoch may tilt the news rightward more for commercial than ideological reasons is beside the point. What matters is the way that Fox's model has invaded the bloodstream of the American media. By showing that ideologically distorted news can drive ratings, Ailes has provoked his rivals at CNN and MSNBC to develop a variety of populist and ideological takes on the news. In this way, Fox hasn't just corrupted its own coverage. Its example has made all of cable news unpleasant and unreliable.

News flash: The Leftist bias in ABC, NBC, Perky-Girl-that-nobody-watches-CBS, as well as Newsweek, Time, WaPo and on has been well documented for about 30 years now. In fact, the name-calling and misrepresentation in Weinberg's article typifies what he calims to disdain.

In the end, Weinberg can pitch his little fit. I suspect more people will read his column now than would have had I not commented. And that still ain't many.

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