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Some Inconvenient Truths About Fox News

October 22, 2009


The Obama White House’s war on Fox News has put the spotlight on the current president’s extraordinarily thin skin, especially considering that The One can count on the rest of the media to embark on such objective ventures as psychoanalyzing Rush Limbaugh’s audience.  Those of us who actually bother to watch Fox regularly know that, despite their admittedly conservative slate of pundits, their hard reporting is solid and they employ more than a few left-wing correspondents, including Juan Williams, Susan Estrich and Bob Beckel (indeed, until NewsReal shed light on his extremism, FNC even employed Marc Lamont Hill).  But the Left’s long-standing caricature of Fox as a right-wing propaganda outlet becomes even more empty when we take a trip down memory lane and take a closer look at some of Fox’s more prominent personalities.

On law & order, homeland security, religious freedom, media bias, and other issues, Bill O’Reilly is a valuable ally of conservatives, but he refuses to be identified as such, presenting himself as an independent populist who refuses to endorse political candidates and commonly stakes out a “pox-on-both-their-houses!” stance on partisan battles.  He believes in global warming, has a long-standing habit of bashing oil companies over gas prices, and his judgment on Barack Obama during the campaign was quite favorable:

On the foreign policy front, Obama has convinced me that he is tough but cautious. He rose up quickly because he vehemently opposed the Iraq war. But now I see a man who understands the victory that has taken place in Iraq. I don’t believe he wants to screw that up. I could be wrong.

After going mano-a-mano with Obama on television, I am also persuaded that he is a sincere guy-that he wants the best for all Americans. He’s an ideologue, but not a blind one. He understands that his story is incredible, and, I have come to believe, he is grateful to the American system for allowing it happen.

Shepard Smith, Fox’s lead news anchor, has a long (and sometimes colorful) liberal record.  He has dismissed as “preposterous” the idea that media bias contributed to anti-Bush and pro-Obama sentiment, objected to describing the public option as a government takeover of healthcare, defended candidate Obama’s position on Israel, demeaned skeptics of mankind’s contribution to global warming, defended the infamous Homeland Security Department report on “right-wing extremism,” and, on a Fox webcast in April, blew his top over Bush Administration interrogation techniques, screaming, “I don’t give a rat’s a** if it helped; we are America!  We do not f***ing torture!”

Last, but not least, who can forget Fox weekend host and war correspondent Geraldo Rivera?  Rivera is one of the most vitriolic racial demagogues and amnesty apologists in the business, dismissing legitimate concerns about illegal immigrants committing crimes as fear-mongering for ratings, and infamously expressing a desire to spit on the “vile, hateful” Michelle Malkin in 2007.  Rivera enthusiastically supported Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and most recently, he jumped on the bandwagon to smear Rush Limbaugh as a race-baiter who has “gotten lots of laughs at the expense of black people.”

The White House and the Democratic Party enjoy a media at their beck & call, and as we see, the stereotype of Fox news as an RNC mouthpiece just isn’t true.  But because a network with true ideological diversity dares to employ pundits opposed to leftist dogma and report on the administration’s ugly side, they must be destroyed.  Remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism?  Those were the days…

  1. October 22, 2009 6:23 pm

    It is a mistake for the Obama Administration to bash Fox News. They will lose this one. Among the many things Obama simply doesn’t understand is the human dynamics of people who work together in the same business. The press will ultimately turn on him and protect their own, even though Fox may be on the opposite side of the political fence. If Obama persists in his attacks the press will take him on with a vengeance. Interestingly, when they do the newspaper and television news business will predictably boom. Once again people will be interested in news. The American people have long waited for the press to stop pandering to the left and give them views from various political and philosophical points of view. When they follow after a single political party they destroy their credibility in all areas of the news. Give the public a wider variety stories or information that satisfies their individual beliefs and more will enjoy following news events. At present, there is an enormous population that gives no attention to public debate because they have no confidence in those who write the news. And for good reason.

    I watch Fox News because they present a wide variety of commentary. The mainstream media is too predictable. At the same time, I don’t like some of the people who represent obvious points of view and find themselves warping everything they say to press a liberal or conservative agenda. I more interested in pure analysis without a political bent.

    In fact, I can barely tolerate some of the people I follow. Bill O’Reilly is an example. He uses the “no spin” zone to justify bad behavior in moderating a debate. Then, when he decides to be “fair and balanced” by kissing Obama’s backend, it is enough to cause me to seek out the vomitorium. That said, I find watching him worthwhile.

    • October 22, 2009 6:51 pm

      “The press will ultimately turn on him and protect their own, even though Fox may be on the opposite side of the political fence. If Obama persists in his attacks the press will take him on with a vengeance.”

      I hope you’re right but I really don’t see it happening. To leftists in the media Fox News is not a group of fellow journalists who happen to lean right. They’re the enemy standing in the way of utopia who must be eliminated by any means necessary.

      • Walt permalink
        October 22, 2009 7:54 pm

        I would say that it would be nice if the mainstream media more actively came to Fox’s defense. Unfortunately, other outlets are less and less interested in practicing journalism, rather than ideological validation. MSNBC

      • jac mills permalink
        October 23, 2009 1:16 pm

        I love the “Utopia” designation, David. But until you have lived under Socialism, as I have in three countries, it might be prudent to avoid labeling that which Obama wants for the U.S. as the nether world for which we all might clamor. Given my experience, even 70 virgins apiece would not tempt, if you understand what I mean.

        • October 23, 2009 4:13 pm

          I’m confused by your comment. Please clarify/elaborate how you agree/disagre with my statement.

  2. October 22, 2009 8:37 pm

    Pres. Obama told the truth about FOX. It isn’t a real news organization. Those who find CNN & MSNBC “too predictable” are simply looking for “zing” to offset their boring existences, while the rest us do just fine with facts, as we have the ability to make up our own minds & create our own opinions, based upon those facts. Obama did not “shut out” FOX. That assertion is a flat-out LIE. He simply called them out for what they are…and what they’re not, but, pretend to be. Obama hosted similar dinners in January of this year with CONSERVATIVE commentators, journalists, and the like, as well met with Chris Wallace & other FOX on-air people. He had every right to express his view. FOX, of course, came back with a bunch of lies which were easily exposed by Olbermann & Maddow, who, rightly, pointed out FOX’s BS. Bush, on the other hand, shut out every single news outlet which didn’t do as they were told by his administration, gave questions to conservative ‘reporters’ at news conferences, planted stories in the NY Times & even paid a conservative “journalist”. To top it all off, they tried to blackmail MSNBC into firing Olbermann by threatening to participate in a debate he was hosting.
    Who’s blocking whom here?
    It would be nice if, for once, FOX-and their suppoters-got their facts straight.
    At least, it would be a change of pace.
    And the GOP wonders why, according to the latest ABC poll, voters who refer to themselves as Republicans is down by 1/5 since August, 2009.

    • October 23, 2009 11:09 am

      Interesting analysis–if you’re publishing Democrat talking points for “Angry Liberal Weekly.” If you want a factual analysis, well I can’t help you. I’m just your typical clueless conservative trying to enhance his boring existence by watching FOX news, Jerry Springer, and Judge Judy. Ooh, gotta go, commercial’s over.

    • Save America from leftists! permalink
      October 23, 2009 12:02 pm

      LOL. Thank you so much for your wonderful satirical comment, JT. I could almost take you seriously.

    • JCW permalink
      October 23, 2009 1:37 pm

      Heey, JT! Welcome to Earth where folks are a little more intellectual. How was life out there on that other planet where obviously you have been hibernating for a while? Now that you have posted your opinion, you can hop on to the spaceship and go home.

    • L. Fayman permalink
      October 23, 2009 1:51 pm

      Surely you jest – next time put in the sarcasm tag.

  3. Kevroc permalink
    October 23, 2009 12:00 am

    Let’s ask the average American what they think:

    “Excuse me Sir, do you feel that Fox News is a credible News source?”

    “OMG did you see Mya on Dancing with the Stars last night? She was gr-”

    “Ok, lets try again. Excuse me ma’am, do you view Fox News as a network with a ‘perspective’ or a credible News source?”

    “That Jon Gosselin is such a dirtbag, they should drag him by the toe-”

    “Last one… Hello little girl, what is your favorite school activ-”


  4. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 23, 2009 4:41 am

    Bill O’Reilly is more conservative in his books than on his program. I believe that Bill still wants to be accepted by the swells as he referred to them in Bold Fresh so he bends over backward to appear fair to Obama in the hope of getting him to come on the show as well. He does call out slime like Chris Dood and Barney Frank and vile judges that cut loose child molesters I admire him for that. Shepard Smith I have always known was just one cut above a Chris Matthews and Geraldo needs to go find another safe and put himself in it and leave instructions to have it opened in a hundred years.

  5. shane comeback permalink
    October 23, 2009 5:19 am

    Has any of the Obama peanut gallery that was invited to the WH,like Olby or Madcow,said anything about their tryst? (Love in the afternoon.)

  6. jac mills permalink
    October 23, 2009 5:55 am


    You write about Fox’s commentators without a mention of Glenn Beck? He is not a journalist as he states, but, minus the peripherals, he is one of the best reporters in America. I know that is not saying much because America’s media caved long ago, but were Beck being judged on results, say, for a Pulitzer Prize (which is as meaningful now as the Nobel Prize), without his “on-air stunts” he would have to be a shoe-in, even by those depleted judges of such awards.

    But the article is spot on, except that you were too kind on O’Reilly’s attributes. He has become an opportunist masquerading as a journalist who exists on ego and self-promotion. I believe his ratings will start falling as his show edges even more towards Entertainment Tonight.

    • October 23, 2009 6:36 am

      Jac: Glenn Back is not a traditional journalist who gives us the evening news as a series of events that happen on any given day. He attempts to put meaning to a maze of what otherwise might seem to be unrelated facts on events going on. He’s a teacher, not a journalist, who helps everyone understand a bigger picture. His work on letting us know what kind of people Barack Obama has surrounded himself with is a genuine public service. I find him interesting. His is, however, a difficult TV format—which he handles rather masterfully. He uses both education and entertainment. To do what he does day after day would be demanding. If I’m free when he comes on, I watch.

      I’ll watch people from any place on the political spectrum if they put on a good show that gives me a straight forward perspective, even if it conflicts with my beliefs. The problem is: Few people are sufficiently skilled to present an array of perspectives on events or issues. Their knowledge base is limited. They leave me when they start spouting predictable talking points from one political party or the other.

      There is a definite place for Fox News. For Barack Obama to attempt to bash them shows that he isn’t prepared to be President of the United States. To attempt to cut off public debate is a high offense. Our national freedom demands a free press. There is also a place for traditional network news. There are limits to what any one of them can do that keeps us satisfied day after day. It would be better, however, if so-called journalists who deal with debate on public policy issues would declare their world view. Katie Couric is the classic example. She is a liberal with an agenda. Probably a fine individual otherwise, but she wants to convert the world to her point of view (a misguided one, in my opinion). There is no looking at or analysis of people, policy, or events from various perspectives. Her problem is that her bias puts her in a box that automatically causes many people, such as myself, not to like her or listen to her.

      While I prefer that journalists or commentators don’t attempt to be mouthpieces for either political party, I’m willing to listen if they can make their case. If they can keep my interest. Unfortunately, few can do this, despite the large salaries they earn.

      • jac mills permalink
        October 23, 2009 12:57 pm

        Thomas: Beck repeatedly reminds that he is NOT a journalist, and he certainly is not a shill for ANY party. He hammers all the organized political parties and their elected members. As long as Beck gives the truth as he knows it, I am happy, stunts or not. I would rather watch him than most others who claim journalism credentials. Journalism today, for the most part, is but a shell of what it once was, and even a non-journalist such as Beck is showing how it should be. Thanks for the discussion, Thomas. Let’s do it again. Jac.

      • JCW permalink
        October 23, 2009 1:42 pm

        ” The problem is: Few people are sufficiently skilled to present an array of perspectives on events or issues. Their knowledge base is limited.”
        Good point, Thomas. And too few viewers know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  7. October 23, 2009 7:24 am

    Jac, there’s a lot about Fox I didn’t touch on, partially since NewsReal has extensively discussed Glenn Beck, but mostly because my intent was to call attention to examples of Fox’s centrist, and even left-of-center, facets, because they put the lie to the meme that Fox is merely a part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

    So JT, did I hallucinate all those questions George W. Bush and his press secretaries took from Helen Thomas? I don’t recall Bush saying any of the other networks weren’t real news organizations — even when Dan Rather promoted forged documents about Bush’s National Guard service on the air. And if Obama isn’t shutting out Fox, what do you call this?

    • jac mills permalink
      October 23, 2009 1:00 pm

      All I was trying to say, Calvin, was that Beck is the most vital of the Fox commentators today. Cheers. Jac.

  8. MaryAnn permalink
    October 23, 2009 7:59 am

    I was heartened by the action of the press pool. Maybe they are beginning to understand what the WH is attempting to do to FOX, it will also try with them, the minute they start questioning appointments and policies? I hope so.

  9. Houston permalink
    October 24, 2009 4:08 pm

    JUAN WILLIAMS is Right-wing Extremist, not a Liberal. You people See a Black face and automatically assume, Democrat!!!!!

    • November 10, 2009 5:24 pm

      Houston, I applaud you! You could school ignorant left wing mouth pieces on how to give dumb comments like yours a good comedic delivery.


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