15. February 2005 · Comments Off on Is FNC Too Fair And Balanced? · Categories: Media Matters Not

ChronWatch’s Cinnimon Stillwell critiques Fox News Channel:

     Fox News Network has become a favorite target of leftists these days, who, in all their impotent rage, like to ascribe various sinister motives to what they see as a staunchly conservative news channel.  An entire documentary, Outfoxed, has been devoted to the idea that Fox News is part of a right-wing cabal to control the country.  The left is particularly fond of mocking Fox’s claim to be “fair and balanced.”  Of course, when you’re dealing with a crowd that considers the New York Times to be conservative, your frame of reference is going to be just a tad bit skewed.  But for those who once had hopes that Fox News would actually fulfill such paranoid fantasies, the channel has been a major disappointment.  Fox is certainly a cut above the competition, but as far as providing a real alternative to the liberal agenda of the mainstream media (MSM), many viewers are still waiting.

     The problem is, Fox News has become just a little too fair and balanced.  Where else can you catch such luminaries of the left as Katrina vanden Heuvel, David Corn, and Eric Alterman on a regular basis?  You hardly see these people on television at all, yet Fox has apparently decided to give the entire staff of The Nation a platform to spew their anti-American invective.  The more moderate Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, and the annoyingly plastic Flavia Colgan are also part of Fox’s liberal stable of commentators.  Indeed, every show has to have a liberal guest or two on the panel, lest Fox be accused (horror of horrors) of being conservative.  But is Fox so busy trying to present “both sides” that they’re neglecting their conservative fan base?  After all, liberals still dominate the MSM and already have more than enough outlets for their talking points.  Rather than providing a true alternative, Fox seems to be following suit.

     In its daily news coverage, Fox News essentially presents the same stories as everyone else.  While news is news, the media literally shapes our view of reality by deciding which events to focus on and what slant to give the coverage.  As such, Fox does little to differentiate itself from the crowd.  Often, they go so far as to give voice to the canards making the rounds of the liberal media.  For instance, in the wake of the tsunami disaster when the UN’s “stingy” comment was being repeated ad nauseum by all the other stations, Fox followed suit, wasting an entire week on what was essentially a non-story.  And they do it all the time.  Instead of simply reacting to the left’s agenda, Fox News should be putting forward its own.


     Such hosts, when they’re not hawking their wares, are blowing it on interviews with easy targets such as Michael Moore.  Instead of skewering them with facts, their egos only permit them to puff up their chests in indignation.  Meanwhile brilliant minds such as Thomas Sowell and Victor Davis Hanson are nowhere to be found.  Former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge is one of the few television shows where viewers can hear such intellectuals engage in stimulating political discussion, and it’s hosted by none other than PBS.  When PBS is ahead of the political curve, it’s time for Fox News to take note.

Personally, I’ve never been that critical of PBS, they give voice to left-wing loons like Bill Moyers. But it was also the place to find Ben Wattenberg and William F. Buckley. As for FNC, if it wasn’t for Brit Hume, Tony Snow, and Neil Cavuto, I likely wouln’t even watch.

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