Friday, December 16, 2011

Was Fox News Always This Bad?

I used to watch and like Fox News, but don't like or watch much anymore. I get news online. But when you're at the gym on the tread mill and there are 10 screens I usually decide that Fox is the most interesting, so I watch it sometimes. I can hardly believe how deceptive they are or that I used to watch them unaware of this.

A while back I watched Hannity interview Dick Cheney. The transcript is here. Here's Hannity supposedly doing an interview and they are talking about the Plame/Wilson affair. Plame's identity was leaked and this was possibly a crime. Hannity first points out that the prosecutor knew at the beginning that the source of the leak for Novak was Amitage. And yet the prosecutor went after Libby anyway. That's supposedly outrageous. Why does he go after so many other innocent people, like Libby? "Doesn't this make you mad?" Hannity asks?

Hannity betrays that he knows certain details about this event that suggest he must know that this is grossly misleading. I explained the details here, but in summary yes, Armitage was Novak's source. But Plame's name was leaked to multiple reporters by multiple people, including Libby and Rove, and that would be just as much of a crime as what Armitage did. It doesn't matter that only Novak published the information. This info was leaked in a coordinated effort coming from the Vice President's office. Fitzgerald was attempting to determine the facts and decide if a crime had occurred as part of a coordinated leak. Libby concocted a story to throw Fitzgerald off the trail. That's a crime for which he was properly convicted. Come on, Sean. You must know this stuff.

Then last night was the Fox Republican Presidential debates. Gingrich apparently took $1.6 million from Fannie and Freddie as a "paid consultant." Yeah right. He's selling influence. According to Bachmann it's doubly bad because Freddie and Fannie were at the center of the financial collapse.

Gingrich should respond by saying no they aren't. Every independent study has shown that they are not responsible. In fact if anything they relieved some pressure because they did have higher mortgage standards due to government oversight, so they issued fewer loans that defaulted. Gingrich must know that. But his response assumes the Bachmann caricature is right and everybody else played along. He has to sustain right wing caricatures because that's what his financial backers demand. And presumably tea party Republicans believe these lies. So they all have to pretend that up is down in order to pander.

Bachmann also claimed that Iran was months away from getting a nuke "according to the IAEA." No. That's just not what the IAEA report said. Nor do we really have good reason to think he wants to wipe Israel off the map. This is out of this world nonsense which passes unchallenged or is defended by the Fox moderators. Fortunately Ron Paul corrected Bachmann in this case, but later Hannity would interview Paul and peddle the same nonsense. They are so aggressively misleading it's strange that they are taken as seriously as they are.


HispanicPundit said...

If you find Fox News biased you should check out MSNBC. Far worse!

Jon said...


Sheldon said...

Hey Hispanic Pundit, At the link, a critique of MSNBC commentary from the left.

Jon said...

Let's remember also that MSNBC is the network that fired Donahue because of his anti-war positions, which weren't patriotic enough. He was the top rated show and his views reflected the majority opinion of Americans, yet he was canned for not towing the war line (which of course is equally pushed by Democrats).

Also Cenk Ugyur. Too critical of the Obama administration as they lurched further right. Well to the right of the American people. Harsh criticism is unacceptable. They even tried to buy him off to shut him up.

Both MSNBC and Fox News serve power, but different factions of power.

Sheldon said...

Exactly right Jon, It is clear that management at MSNBC saw the light that they were not going to out-Fox Fox News, so to have a profitable cable news network they would have to capture the liberal Democratic segment of the population.

It is clear MSNBC is biased and shills for the Democrats, and are generally apologists for Obama. While Fox is the opposite for conservatives and Republicans.

If the MSNBC was truly on the left and progressive, they wouldn't be cutting Obama as much slack as they do.

However, when it comes to comparing the truth content and news value of versus Fox and MSNBC, Fox is the network of bigger and more bolder lies and less news value.

Then there is the shallowness and outright idiocy of Fox News, which is off the charts.

However, I think the concept of "bias" is clearly not useful when comparing the two networks.