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News and Commentary
Author: BobR    Date: 04/09/2010 12:31:21

FOX News - you either love it or hate it. People on the left decry their obvious bias and loose journalistic standards. Those on the right like being told the things they want to hear, all the while believing that what they're watching is "fair and balanced". FOX's biggest problem is that they blur the line between news and commentary. Keith Olbermann at MSNBC is unapologetically to the left, but when he makes his "special comments", it's clearly labeled as "Commentary".

Apparently, though, the folks at FOX don't really care. Their current bad boy Glenn Beck showed a moment of honesty when he proclaimed that FOX News is an entertainment company:
The host also explains that he sees himself much more as an entertainer than a political activist, saying that he doesn't "give a flying crap about the political process":
With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We’re an entertainment company," Beck says.

Well that's nice. The problem is when people take what they say seriously, as if it IS news. I'm talking about the Tea Party folks that are actively supported and sponsored by FOX. I'm talking about people like Gregory Giusti who threatened Nancy Pelosi, whose mother blames his radical ideas on FOX News:
Giusti was arrested Wednesday afternoon for threatening Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over recent healthcare legislation.

"Greg frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family, which gets him into problems," Eleanor Giusti said. "I say Fox News, or all of those that are really radical, and he, that's where he comes from."

Naturally, that's just her opinion, and his mental illness is certainly the biggest factor in his actions. However, the problem is when you peddle propaganda as truth to those who are mentally unstable. How many other mentally unbalanced people out there are hearing FOX News "analyst" Sarah Palin say "reload", and think she means literally?

A new poll sponsored by FOX News themselves seems to be showing, however, that they may be hitching themselves to the wrong wagon. The poll shows that the IRS is viewed more favorably than the Tea Party. If Glenn Beck is shooting straight, and it really is all about entertainment for money, than perhaps they shouldn't be such cheerleaders for the Tea Party.

Rupert Murdoch - the Aussie at the head of FOX - is possibly beginning to see the light. In an interview where he claimed that Democrats were equally represented in employment at FOX News (and then was unable to name any), also stated that they should not be supporting the Tea Party:
During an interview with Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club, the founder and CEO of FOX News, Rupert Murdoch, answering a question from a member of the audience, said that FOX News should not be supporting the TEA Party or any other Party.

We'll see how that works out in the reality-based world. Considering that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity pretty much breathed life into the Tea Beast, it will be difficult for them to extricate themselves, especially when Hannity covers their events with such breathless admiration. Btw - is Hannity supposed to be considered "News" or "Entertainment"? It would be helpful if they cleared that up. Perhaps they should change the name of the channel to "FOX Infotainment".

The problem with FOX News being taken seriously as a news channel is just one leg of the tripod of media (print and radio being the other two). Conglomerates gobbled up radio long ago, which is why Rush Limbaugh and his hateful lying dreck is spewed out of radio stations nationwide. It gives the hard-line ideologue at the top of the corporation a venue to influence millions of listeners with a monopoly on the airwaves.

The print media - despite the notion that newspapers are all independent - are following the same model. Ogden Newspapers owns numerous small town papers, and has been shown to "astroturf" the opinion pages:
When you read an editorial in your local newspaper, your natural assumption is that it expresses the views of that paper's staff and reflects local concerns. This, however, does not appear to be the case with the many small-town papers owned by Ogden Newspapers, Inc.

On March 31, an editorial headed "ACORN can't distract public from the truth" appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel, published in Fairmont, MN. It was bylined by Gary Andersen and Lee Smith, the paper's publisher and editor, and it slammed ACORN as a "front for liberal politicians" that has been involved in "illegal actions."

Over the next few days, the identical editorial started popping up elsewhere, with no byline and under a variety of headings. On April 3, it appeared in the Minot Daily News of Minot, ND under the heading, "Good riddance to ACORN." On April 5, it was in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette of Williamsport, PA, headed "ACORN victim of its own transgressions."

These papers have one thing in common. They are all owned by Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, WV.

This sort of insidious monopoly over media is troubling, because it puts concentrated power to sway public opinion in the hands of just a few people. Whether it's newspaper or radio or TV, a diversity of voices, ideas, and analysis of the facts is vital to an informed populace. Monopolies are very hard to break up once they're created. The proper approach is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Of course - FOX and Rush and Ogden Newspapers will simply report that as "Big Government" trying to interfere with the "Open Market", which we all know is "bad for business", right?

Right.

43 comments (Latest Comment: 04/09/2010 23:55:02 by trojanrabbit)
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