Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UK Guardian Calls Fox News Biased

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In a pot, kettle, blackness moment, the Guardian--the paper that makes The Nation look centrist--actually published a piece calling out Fox News for its right-wing slant:

Journalism with a point of view is a fine thing. It's what I do. The difference is that I say I'm a liberal journalist while Fox executives and "reporters" insist they play it straight. But everyone in the US knows that my description is true. This is precisely why its fans watch it. Walk into any bar, hair salon, gym or motel lobby in the country (what an arrogant, limey prick--ed); if the TV is tuned to Fox rather than CNN, you know that the owner or clientele or both are Republican. It's a secret - although not actually secret any more - sign of fraternity among conservatives, the way a solid red tie worn by a single urban man used to signal to other urban men that the wearer was indeed "that way".

So everyone knows, but, because of the conventions of journalistic propriety, Fox can't admit that it's a Republican outfit. It would have no credibility with politicians if it did and would be too easily dismissed as "ideological media". To get around this problem, its marketers devised what must be the most deviously ingenious pair of advertising slogans of all time: "We report, you decide" and "Fair and balanced".

This is all based on Judith Regan's affair with Bernard Kerik and the allegation that two top execs at Fox News told her to lie, supposedly to "protect" Rudy Giuliani. The fact that this allegation comes from a woman who was fired in a very public way amid accusations of anti-Semitism and has a serious ax to grind is not noted. Regan also claims to have evidence that has yet to be produced.

Another side that the Guardian fails to discuss is that Fox News is a choice whereas the BBC is supported by a forced tax on all TV owners and admits a liberal bias. Imagine living in a country where you are forced by law to pay for what may be the most liberal-leaning news network in the world. If liberals don't like Fox News, they have the right to not pay for it or not watch it. If conservatives in Britain don't want to watch the Beeb, they can avoid it but still have to pay for it. In other words, liberalism forced on the populace by threat of law (at $192 per year). It sounds exactly like a liberal Utopia.

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