Friday, October 23, 2009


As the war of words between Fox News and the Obama Administration continues, one thing becomes clear -- assertions that Fox News gives slanted and biased, even dishonest coverage, applies even to the way Fox News defends itself.

Fox has been asserting that since the Obama Administration has begun their attacks their ratings are up. It's an attempt by Fox News to imply that Obama's attacks against them for bias and dishonest reporting has backfired and has driven more people to watching Fox News. This matters because it goes to the heart of the of the problem. After all if Fox News cant or wont tell the truth about itself, why would anyone think they would tell the truth about the issues they report on?

The fact is Fox ratings were up last week but not as a result of Obama's firing back at the network. The evidence is they were up because of the balloon boy incident, and it's aftermath, carried live by Fox as it was by the other cable networks and attracted a large audience on all of the cable networks and is still a story that is attracting a lot of interest.

Fox has media people who know this. But it didn't stop the News division from trying to claim that it was Obama's attacks against the network that increased their ratings.

Brit Hume, who has his good moments and bad moments tried to come to Fox's defense by asking if the other cable networks felt good about getting "a pat on the head" from the Administration. His implication is that the press' role should be adversarial in their coverage of politics and that being embraced by the Obama Administration is nothing to be proud of. But it begs the question. Distorting the news and using a purported news organization to promote right wing propaganda is nothing to be proud of either. Media Matters reported that over a four day stretch from August 24th-28th Fox News aired 22 news clips opposing health care reform and none supporting it.

And it was laughably obvious that during the Bush administration and Republican control of congress Fox News did every bit as much to deserve "a pat on the head" from Bush and the Republicans as Hume is accusing the other two cable networks of doing for Obama. Fox was about as adversarial over Iraq, Bush's failures in the 911 attacks and the economy as a trained seal is adversarial to a fish.

The real problem though, is with the media as a whole. Rick Sanchez, a CNN anchor has been blistered for airing racist Rush Limbaugh quotes that turned out to be false. And he deserves to be blistered. Sanchez is one of the sloppiest journalists on the air and his pandering to what he sees as a "young audience", probably college students who can watch his show at 3 p.m. is almost embarrassing as he keeps using the word " cool" in almost everything he says.

CNN continues a brand of journalism where their anchors just cant stop inserting their own opinions into the news, wanting to be the news as much as reporting it and their opinions are invariably wrong about everything all the time. And no one can deny that MSNBC went from being in Bush's pocket to Obama's pocket as soon as the political winds changed, though to be fair, Keith Olbermann was the lone anti-Bush voice on MSNBC when it wasn't popular be to anti-Bush.

Obama's war with Fox News is a war worth fighting,since they are hardly an unbiased objective news organization and their slogan of fair and balanced is simply a lie. But the two other cable news networks aren't much better when it comes to objectivity . The difference is, especially in CNN's case, its not an ideology that they are constantly promoting, its themselves.


Anonymous said...

If I recall, Fox News ratings were gaining over the others weeks before the "balloon boy" incident. If we are gonna accuse folks of lying then we ought to post the truth right alongside the accusation, should we not?


Marc Rubin said...

"If I recall, Fox News ratings were gaining over the others weeks before the "balloon boy" incident"

Like most conservatives your recollection is both selective and most importantly wrong. Fox News claimed that their ratings went up as a direct result of The White House's attack on them which reached a turning point the Sunday of the balloon boy incident when White House advisors were not made available to Fox. Fox then claimed in the ensuing week that their ratings were up as a result.

There are no accusations. Only the truth which to conservatives sound like accusations.

Anonymous said...

Fox's ratings have been up across the board for many weeks. I don't watch ANY TV news but have seen the ratings reports online. None of the other cable channels come close.

Fox is biased on one side, but then all the other channels are biased on the other.

The Obama administration will not win this fight--not to mention how immature it is. I think they need to put some of this effort into Afghanistan, frankly.

mahamis said...

My belief is that Fox News ratings are up due to the attack of the White House and will be confirmed if after a month, it is still up.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Fox's ratings are up or down, I've never watched it and probably never will. I also stopped watching MSNBC and CNN and pretty much every other news program because of the incredibly biased behavior during the Democratic primaries.

Personally, I think Obama expected every news program to constzantly sing his praises and will go after anyone who doesn't sing his tune. He has said as much when he says he will "get intheir faces". All of those Fox viewers, whether they are deluded or not are American citizens and the disrespect with which he treats them is apalling. For instance his dissing of Paula Deen (Food Network) because "her viewers watch FOX". That is a completely idiotic and childish statement for the President of the United States to make.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton never went after networks during his presedancy even with the continous savage attacks on him and the ever going lying. I guess because he had WORK to do.

Anonymous said...

For many years, I would never watch FoxNews and would freak out if I saw Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck as I circled the channels looking for something to watch on TV.

But now I watch FoxNews because I expect them to be crazy and deeply opinionated (and, therefore, I am not disappointed), while I used to expect ABC, CBS, and NBC to be fair, accurate and complete in their news coverage (and I was routinely disappointed).

I watch Fox now because I expect bias there, but I cannot watch the other news channels because I expect them to be journalists and they aren't -- they are Kool-Aid drinking sycophants for Obama.

They will NOT tell you about Obama's broken pledges and promises, whereas Glenn Beck is nightly running video clips of what Obama said back when he was trolling for votes. Then, Beck runs present-day clips of Obama saying and advocating the exact opposite of what he said back when.

That IS reporting.

Obama may not like it, but those are his own words -- not edited by anyone -- just exactly as he said them when he wanted you (us) to believe he was something other than what he is: an arrogant, whining, blaming, narcissistic, thuggish, politically Chicago-style, do-nothing braggart.

Obama wants to kneecap Fox because they haven't fallen into line and worshiped him as he expects everyone to.

But, my friends, our founders protected the press precisely so reporters, journalists, pundits, columnists, and commentators wouldn't become echo chambers for government or presidential pronouncements. Our founders expected the press to scrutinize and criticize the president and governmental leaders -- and hold their toes to the fire if need be.

Obama has almost every other TV channel and newspaper carrying water for him; surely he can endure the criticism coming at him from a single news channel.

Or is he too weak to endure that?

Anonymous said...

I believe Obama needs to quit worrying about his TV ratings and spend a little more time defining his real agenda. Right now he just makes shit up.

He attacks the insurance industry like he thinks we don't know he's in their pocket. He bitches about bankers bonuses, when eveyone he's hired every banker he can to protect those bonuses.

The man is a phony and he is getting away with talking out of both sides of his mouth.

No one including FOX news really calls him on it. FOX doesn't complain because the Insurance Companies are getting too good a deal (which is the truth). Hell, that's what they want. FOX just makes up phony controversies so that their audience doesn't see what he's really up to. They want their audience to dislike Obama, but they do not want them to realize that when they complain about how he's trying to make us all "socialists", the biggest recipients of government socialism will be the corporations. So they scream "socialism" and "death panels" and do not discuss the true consequences of "Obamacare".

Which is no worse than CNN and MSNBC who pretend that Obamacare will result in Medicare for all and that Obama is working hard to protect Americans from the evil corporations he just made a deal with. FOX deosn't present an honest view of the news, neither does anyone else.

Pamela of the Poconos said...

I've been decrying unfair news coverage since the early 1990's. I've seen what US coverage did to cast Bush The Lesser in the most favorable light. This included faithfully editing out as much as possible of his stumbling manner of speaking. At the time,BBC broadcast his words just as he spoke them, so it was possible to see just how poorly he spoke.

Which brings up another point: How could anyone have promoted him as fit for POTUS with such regrettable communication skills?

But I digress. Only Glenn Beck - on HLN until CNN fired him, and then on Fox - was willing to discuss Obama weaknesses regularly. All others were knee-deep in praise over the novice who, unlike Bush, appeared to speak eloquently, but of course, that has lately come into question.

Am going to end my rant with this: GWB and Laura recently announced their deals with a motivational speaking firm. No doubt GWB had a speech coach and many hours of tutoring ... because his speaking skill did improve dramatically over the two terms.

susan h said...

If Fox News is an "arm" of the Republican party, then MSNBC can be rightly called an "arm" of the Democratic party. Both are slanted right and left. I used to LOVE Keith Olbermann's ranting about Bush at the end of his show. But when he started trashing Hillary Clinton and drooling over Obama, I found I could not watch him and have not listened to MSNBC since. I have discovered Sean Hannity's show provides some useful information and he was not afraid to tell us the truth about Obama and his radical associations, which I felt was very important information that the MSM failed to disclose to the public. It was because of the MSM's demonizing of Hillary Clinton and the Clintons in general, their failure to tell the public about Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farakhan, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and other unsavory characters, that he was able to fool and con most of America into voting for him. As all of the major networks, newspapers, and media in general failed to do their job in telling us the truth about Barack Obama, and covering up his true life story (his Kenyan birth), I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that responsible journalism died in 2008.

Thinker said...

?? Is there a new blogger?? I mean seriously, this is how you feel?? ooooh no! Someone "got to you" huh? Another one bites the dust.

This is NOT a fight worth fighting. Fox is obviously biased against Obama, and CNN is obviously biased FOR Obama and MSNBC might as well be called Obama Network.

Thinker said...

Anonymous said:

"He attacks the insurance industry like he thinks we don't know he's in their pocket. He bitches about bankers bonuses, when eveyone he's hired every banker he can to protect those bonuses."

Exactly!!!! He tells the public one thing and cuts deals with the same people he talks about to us!

He must really think that we are stupid. I bet you he is laughing at us.

glennmcgahee said...

I'm sorry but if its a choice between the 3, FOX gets my viewership. It all began last year during the primaries. I never watched FOX before. I'm thankful for FOX, even today, at least, cover the seamier side of Obama politics. Its all propaganda anyway no matter which media outlet we choose. People do need to use their own brain though and question everything.

Anonymous said...

Thinker said...
?? Is there a new blogger?? I mean seriously, this is how you feel?? ooooh no! Someone "got to you" huh? Another one bites the dust.

I am afraid you are correct Thinker. I haven't been on here in a long time but after reading the praises of that disgusting, mysoginistic piglet, grayson, and this silly post about the silly wh/fox news "fight" (which can only profit both the wh and fox news in the long run) of all things, I fear another one has bitten the dust. Yes, fox is extremely biased, msnbc is extremely biased, cnn, while biased to a degree, is really just rather lame and depending on the weather you can't trust the stories/sources abc and cbs air. You don't shut them down, you don't get all your bloggers, whether faux or true "progressives" to join the blacklist. this is just sad.

Anonymous said...

I do believe Fox is baised and anyone who thinks otherwise is a BRAIN DEAD Republican. I mean give me a break, you know that they could not get enough of Bush no matter what he did, and anyone who disagreed with any of his crazyassed lies was just unpatriotic.

Fox still sucks up to Darth Cheney like he is some kind of respected elder statesman rather than a evil, lying pusbag trying to keep the evidence of his evildoing from ever seeing the light of day. That's how Fox is. It is not a big secret.

Marc knows that. Marc also readily acknowledges that MSNBC is wholly owned by Obama. He was on the forefront decrying Chris Matthews' nightly public fellatio for months on end. He has posted more than enough objections to Oblerman to have his negative view of MSNBC's bias accepted.

He has also spoken about CNN and their willingness to suck up to whoever has the power. They are true power junkies.

Marc doesn't have as many complaints to list about MSNBC and CNN because they sway whichever way the wind blows. WHen it becomes less fachionable to idolize the Precious, they will turn on him like a pack of hungry mongrels. Fox will still hate him, not becuase he is right or wrong, or popular, but because they are always going to favor Repulicans over Democrats, even bad Democrats. That's how they are.

And they slant both their news and their commentary. So do the others.

THat is what Marc said and he is right. The shame is that there is no television news program anymore that can be trusted to tell the truth. They all inject tehir own opinions and pretend they are trying to be "balanced". I do not care about balance, I want the truth. None of them do any kind of investigations. THey go to the same "unnamed sources" again and again and repeat whatever that liar said without ever questioning or holding anyone to account.All OF THEM DO IT.

I don't consider this a fight worht having for Obama, because he pretends that he is fighting for real news and that is a lie. All he wants for FOX to love him like everyone else. He wants all negative stories about him gone. That is shameful. News stations need to be held to account, but Obama is the wrong guy to do it. His hands are dirty.


Marc Rubin said...

"Yes, fox is extremely biased, msnbc is extremely biased, cnn, while biased to a degree, is really just rather lame"

Im afraid you dont get it and neither you nor "Thinker" who feels its not a fight worth fighting get it either. But thats ok. Just for your enlightenment though it is NOT about bias and never was. Go back to the title of the peice boys and girls and see if you see the word "bias" in the headline. The word is "lies" and maybe you dont understand the differnce between lies and bias, or you so are used to being lied to you dont care OR you dont have enough facts to even know when you are being lied to but that is the issue -- not Fox's bias -- but their lies. And the lies ( willing and knowing misrepresentation of the facts) that makes this hardly silly. Unless you are so silly as to not care that you are being lied to.

Thinker said...

I guess I'll never understand how a Liar In Chief could accuse Fox of lying when he does the exact same thing.

Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie, and he's supposed to somehow switch hats & take up the noble crusade against Fox?!

Yeah, right. He looks like a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

I do think that there is a good reason to fight biased news coverage. But, I do not think Obama should be leading teh fight unless he is honest enough to mean it for both sides. Obama doesn't want any negative coverage of himself. That seems to be his only goal. He did not ever demand retraction of all of those Hillaryhate crap stories posted by his unbiased friends at MSNBC and CNN. He egged them on and fed them to those shows.

Obama has no credibility when he demnads unbiased news. He has been one of the main beneficiaries of biased news treatments over the last few years.

Anonymous said...

I watch MSNBC every morning.
I do not see anyone falling in line with the Obama administration. I see healthy debate on the health care subject on Morning Joe on a daily basis. When I flip to Fox they are having rallies and holding signs that compare Obama to Hitler. Fox is propaganda plain and simple. Its not a "liberal bias" in the media, when someone catches you lying, thats not how it works.