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Comments

Bruce

Jeff,
In your world, "Fair and Balanced" is the center of what you read in the Washington Post, New York Times, and hear on NPR. But in the real world, there are points of view that are never represented in their fora.
You say that Fox is biased for conservatives and against liberals more than other media. So what? Fox is still mainstream. Any news is bound to be biased in one way or another, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Fox still reports the news as they see it. And they provide a valuable public service by showing that there are contrary viewpoints to those portrayed in the other media.

I'm not a shill for Fox. I would not recomment that anyone use it as their sole news outlet. Limitations of the media ensure that they can not explain stories completely, nor cover as wide a variety of subjects as print media. But they give both liberals and conservatives fodder for reflection and further research.

Moshe Avram

Sadly, I have to agree with Bruce that Fox is "mainstream." This is so because the country has become so extraordinarily conservative over the past 30 years. It's really rather frightening. We are now seeing, in our polity, the juiced-up return of the "angry white male" movement of the early '90s in the form of the so-called Tea Party. Not sure it will have the same result electorally as the AWM movement -- I'm thinking probably not -- but I guess we'll find out this November.

That said, certainly I wouldn't call what mainstream Fox does "news," just as I wouldn't call MSNBC's programming "news." CNN and the networks barely make the grade. Most if not all of these "news" organizations are operated by entertainment or advertising executives. Unlike the old network news operations, which were expected to operate at a loss, they are now required to make money.

I happened upon "60 Minutes" yesterday for the first time in several years to discover that the two features focused on, respectively, an "investigative" piece about some scam artist I'd never heard of (oooh that's a tough one in this country), and Al Pacino. Then, to my horror, I saw that Katie Couric is now on the "team." That was all the incentive I needed to turn the tube off and go fold laundry in wonderful silence.

bob

I think it's essential to point to the fundamental flaw in the reasoning behind the defense of Fox News as providing a counterbalance of views seen or heard on other outlets. There isn't any other outlet close to advocating the liberal viewpoint as often, as openly, and as exclusively as Fox does with the conservative view. The mythology that the "mainstream media" is as biased as Fox News, just in the opposite way, is disproved every day -- and Jeff's point about how mainstream media's own rules prevent them from characterizing Fox accurately is maybe the most powerful example. Surely a left-wing biased media monolith could say its opposition is irretrievably right-wing -- unless it had to abide by standards of fair treatment unknown at Fox. As long as Fox touts itself as "fair and balanced" it is lying and as long as it has defenders and a revenue stream it will continue to do so.

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