Fair and Balanced

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The news team from Fox wrapped up an interview with Terry McAuliffe and relaxed into a bull session about the conference and the Democrats. First subject of discussion: Bush's trip to Iraq today was "totally the mark of Tony Snow." Also discussed:

FOX GUY 1: You know what's going to kill the Democrats?

FOX GUY 2: Themselves?

FOX GUY 1: If before his term is up, they catch bin Laden—through Iraqi channels. That would just…

And here he trailed off, but I think he meant "beat them to a bloody pulp, not that I'm speculating on what would be good for Republicans or anything."

UPDATE: To be fair to Fox, everyone's speculating on what would be good for Republicans. The no-Rove-indictment and Bush-in-Baghdad news has been greeted with some cynicism and some grit teeth among the actual conference attendees.

NEXT: Attn, DC Reasonoids: Happy Hour, Wed, June 14, 6:30PM

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  1. Sounds fair and balanced to me.

  2. Deadenders like that are like guys who held onto their dotcom stocks well into 2002. It’s going to turn around I know it!

    Fox News has this strange power. It’s like Teletubbies for the over 55 set.

  3. “It’s like Teletubbies for the over 55 set.”

    so does that mean its gonna turn you gay?

  4. An end to the Iraqi insurgency, Iran and North Korea both giving up their nuclear ambitions, a drop in oil prices…GodDAMN there’s so many ways the Republicans could totally fuck up the Democrats!!

    I hope those Fox guys clean their sheets after they get through with their dreams.

  5. This sort of exchange happens, oh I don’t know like a bizillion times a day on Fox news. What makes this one worth noting?

  6. “An end to the Iraqi insurgency, Iran and North Korea both giving up their nuclear ambitions…”

    fyodor,
    Even if all that were to happen next Thursday, there would still be plenty of time, before the elections, for buyers’ remorse to set in big time.

  7. I’m surprised nobody else seems to have figured out that the Fox News Channel is an elaborate parody. The placement of so many stereotypical angry white folks in one setting can’t be an accident, can it?

  8. I don’t know what is more pathetic: the Fox News Channel, or the fact that so many lefties get so worked up about the Fox News Channel. People, you have a remote, use it.

  9. People, you have a remote, use it.

    It doesn’t take a genius to come up with the obvious response to that, but I’ll do it anyway. They’ll say they’re not concerned with their own viewing habits but with the effect such politicking guised as news has on the general populace.

    I’ll leave it to all the other geniuses out there to provide the obvious responses to that.

    Does life keep repeating like this till you die?

  10. Can someone direct me to a T.V. station that doesn’t have bias or cheerleading (which includes rooting for a demise as well)?

  11. It doesn’t take a genius to come up with the obvious response to that, but I’ll do it anyway. They’ll say they’re not concerned with their own viewing habits but with the effect such politicking guised as news has on the general populace.

    I worry about that whenever I watch the evening news on ABC, NBC, CBS, or listen to “All Things Considered” on NPR.

  12. I’m waiting for the Fox News clones to actually paint their faces red, white and blue to match the set decor and graphics.

  13. Fyodor said:
    “Does life keep repeating like this till you die?”

    No, it gets much, much worse.

  14. You guys shouldn’t be so pissed at fox…i mean they were the only news channel to actually show those cartoons of mohammad.

  15. I wonder if Rove cut a deal. From what’s leaked (coming from Rove and Libby — Fitzgerald has been really closemouthed) this thing seems to have been run out of Cheney’s office, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

    I never really thought Bush was all that involved (maybe a generic “Yeah, let’s play hardball with that dick Wilson”) but I’ve always felt he had no interest in details of anything.

    I go back and forth from “Rove cut a deal” to “Fitzgerald simply lacked enough evidence”. Rove was up in front of the Grand Jury a LOT for a man who didn’t have charges brought, and a lot of damning-to-Dick evidence started popping up over the last few months.

    Hell, flipping on Dick would be doing Bush a serious favor. Cheney’s not exactly Mr. Popular, and it’s not like Bush can make him resign…

  16. Following up on joshua corning, what TV station do people here think gives the most exposure to libertarian people/ideas? Or are they about the same, each “Crossfire” or roundtable-style show having a cranky conservative who talks about laisezz faire economics and a liberal who wants gay marriage?

  17. The occasional libertarian surfaces on CNBC. That’s it, other than C-Span. Actually saw one of the Cato dudes on Larry Krudlow’s show taking on neocon bananaball Frank Gaffney over whether we should invade Iran, Syria, China, Russia, Venezuela, or Canada next. Why not all at once?

    Larry might have been CNBC’s token libertarianish guy back in the 90s but he’s morphed into another Bush apologist.

  18. I don’t mind this. I’d rather see this than a studied pretense of neutrality. Criticize the actual reporting of the facts, criticize the ‘fair and balanced’ label, for jeebus sake criticize the goofy sensationalism, but I have no problem with anchors having a bull session that reveals their personal preferences.

  19. “They’ll say they’re not concerned with their own viewing habits but with the effect such politicking guised as news has on the general populace.”

    …to which you’ll respond, “then you must truly be too stupid enough to understand how televsion ratings work – at its peak viewership (O’Reilly’s show), only one in one hundred Americans are tuned into Fox News. During the daytime, it’s about 1 in 300.”

    Meaning that basically the ratio of ignorant chuckleheads sarcastically sneering “fair and balanced, huh” or wearing “Faux News” t-shirts (and murdering the French language in the process) to actual Fox News viewers is probably about 10:1.

  20. I personally don’t see how any libertarian can have a problem with any bias now matter how big or small, how left or right so long as it doesn’t involve tax payer dollars (like NPR and PBS). I would prefer if Fox News would not pretend to be neutral when they are righties and I wish CNN et al would not pretend to be neutral when they are lefties but I also wish my pimple cream would remove as many pimples as it claims. Many products and services are delivered differently than advertised and the news is no different. Let the righties have their beliefs reinforced on FoxNews and rebuke what they hear on CNN (and visa versa with the Lefties) as long as people are free to take it or leave it I don’t care what biases any free market media product has.

  21. Hell, flipping on Dick would be doing Bush a serious favor. Cheney’s not exactly Mr. Popular, and it’s not like Bush can make him resign…

    Has anyone else heard of a rift growing between Bush and Cheney?

    I caught something in passing from some talking head the other day. It was kind of vague and I don’t recall where I was, and I only got a snippet.

    Also, I didn’t catch whether it was friction between people on the two staffs or the principles themselves.

  22. I would prefer if Fox News would not pretend to be neutral when they are righties and I wish CNN et al would not pretend to be neutral when they are lefties…

    Uh huh—CNN is so “lefty” that they gave Glenn Beck his own show. Please….the only people who believe CNN is a lefty organization are the Republicans who have been running around calling any non-Fox media the “liberal” media. CNN is a centrist / conventional wisdon network who has noticed Fox News killing them in viewership and decided to try and mimic (albeit rather poorly) what their successful competitor is doing.

    The only really lefty network that I can think of is LinkTV.

  23. I personally don’t see how any libertarian can have a problem with any bias no matter how big or small, how left or right so long as it doesn’t involve tax payer dollars (like NPR and PBS).

    Hear, hear!

  24. ChicagoTom: Giving one righty a show hardly insulates CNN from a charge of being left-leaning, IMHO, anymore than the fact that Alan Colmes is on Fox every weekday insulates them from the opposite charge.

    In my experience the people who don’t see the leftist tendencies in major media organizations are people who are to their left: e.g. I’m sure Code Pink doesn’t see CNN as “left.” So my test question to you: do you think PBS and the New York Times are also centrist/conventional/non-lefty?

  25. Did I strike a nerve ChicagoTom? You missed the point. I see Fox as biased toward the right and CNN as biased toward the left (and I think both are big government statists that just chose different parties). And apparently you see CNN as the epitomy of neutrality but the point is that it is no worse for FN or CNN to have a bias than it is for The Weekly Standard or The New Yorker. They are all just products being sold in a free market. To me the controversy stems from the misguided notion that there ever existed an altruistic ubiased media. Unless computers do all the work of journalists, editors and producers then this is just simply not possible nor, in my opinion, is it a cause for any concern.

  26. Institutionalized news = Institutionalized religion. It’s about what you choose to believe. They’re all a joke, really.

  27. Wasn’t Al Gore going to have a tv network? Whatever happened to that? And I’ve never heard of LinkTV.

  28. I’m not sure I understand why media bias is supposed to be interesting. There’s bias in the media–so what?

    Do those who get upset about it think everybody would support [insert party] if only everyone listened to the right news?

    I suspect such people think of media bias as a secret and the secret bias as the issue. …that [insert media outlet] is acting as a Fifth Column!

  29. (The squirrels wouldn’t let me post this earlier. They may not let me post this now.)

    Discussions of Fox always make me think of this cartoon:

    http://www.cagle.com/working/040903/allie.gif

  30. LoL Stevo! That sums it quite concisely!

  31. “I would prefer if Fox News would not pretend to be neutral when they are righties and I wish CNN et al would not pretend to be neutral when they are lefties”

    YES! My job is done! Aruba, here I come!

  32. Did I strike a nerve ChicagoTom?

    Not at all. You just repeated the same line conservatives have been trotting out for oh 20 years or so without any form of evidence that CNN is a “lefty” network to back up your claims.

    …but the point is that it is no worse for FN or CNN to have a bias than it is for The Weekly Standard or The New Yorker

    That may have been the point that you were getting at, but when you state: and I wish CNN et al would not pretend to be neutral when they are lefties you go from making a general point about bias to falsely calling out a network (CNN) as misrepresenting themselves and being equivalent to Fox News .

    And FYI, I believe that bias should be left to the op-ed pages. All “media” has an obligation to report facts and scrutinize comments made by public figures and actually fact-check instead of just being an expsensive stenography service. That means that when a public figure says something that is demonstrably false — then they should say that — no matter who the person is or what their political flavor is.

    PapayaSF,

    How many liberal / progressive voices has CNN added lately? How about the NY times? In fact, if I remember correctly, the NY Times was a pretty big war supporter in the run up to the war and printed very few anti-war positions.

    If you are gonna claim that a network is liberal, then prove it. Just saying so doesn’t make it true. I have seen very few liberal voices being added to many of these large scale media outlets, but I do see quite a few conservative voices being added. Furthermore, I saw a LOT more coverage during the Clinton years of non-scandals (whitewater, travelgate etc) then of the many scandals of this administration. They have been treating the Bush admin with kids gloves compared to the treatment that the Clinton admin got.
    Yet people still try and peddle the “liberal media” angle.

    Major news organizations have been going to great lengths skew coverage of conservatives in order to prove they aren’t liberal. All these years of working the refs by conservatives have paid off.

    As for PBS, — I don’t really watch PBS all that much, so you may have a point about them leaning left,

  33. ChicagoTom,

    ‘Media’ is plural, so maybe they -have- an obligation.

  34. CT,

    Is it possible that the favorable treatment Clinton received was in the form of omission? I didn’t hear a whole lot about his foreign-warscapades. Certainly not as much as we hear now.

  35. Following up on joshua corning, what TV station do people here think gives the most exposure to libertarian people/ideas?

    HSN.

  36. Is it possible that the favorable treatment Clinton received was in the form of omission? I didn’t hear a whole lot about his foreign-warscapades.

    How many unilateral wars did Clinton start? How many doctrines of pre-emptive strikes did he declare as the new policy of the United States?
    How many countries did Clinton attack under false pretenses? How much did he expand the power of the executive under the auspices of “we are at war” while initiating a perpetual war on a concept?? Were his wars the focal point of his presidency and his re-election campaign? How many times did Clinton refer to himself as a “war president”?? If anything, Bush’s actions have been BEGGING for more scrutiny, yet somehow the major media outlets seem to be too busy cheerleading to scrutinize the War on Terror.

    I guess investigating, fact-checking, reporting the truth just isn’t sexy enough….what with all the white rich girls that have been going missing in exotic locations.

    And I do remember quite a bit of “wag the dog” accusations leveled at Clinton for his military actions…not to mention the constant barrage of draft dodger accusations that would find their way to print.

    Really, you expect anyone who was awake during the Clinton years to believe that he got positive coverage by omission?

    For fuck’s sake — the NY Times had a FRONT PAGE, 50+ sourced profile of the Clinton’s bedroom /sex life — and Clinton isn’t even president anymore.

    How many 50+ sourced articles were written about the Iraq War? Or the failure of our intelligence apparatus that allowed 9/11 to happen? Or how about an in depth piece about GWBs cocaine and alcohol habit? Or Laura Bush’s automobile killing spree?? Those things are off limits to the “liberal media”, yet profiles of Bill and Hillary’s sex life are A-OK ?

    Oh the liberal bias.

  37. ChicagoTom,

    I think there’s some bias leftwards at CNN. And at the New York Times and elsewhere. Just as Fox leans right, along with other news sources. However, I also think that political bias at the larger media outlets goes straight out the window if there’s money to be made. Therefore, if Fox could make billions off of criticizing Bush, they’d do it. Just like the media couldn’t possibly ignore the lurid and profitable story that was Bill Clinton in the Oral Office 🙂

  38. Study from UCLA about Media bias here:

    http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

    “Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.”

  39. “Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist”

    …and so is government waste. I bet somewhere someone’s doin’ a tax funded study to find out if water is wet.

    Media bias is real!? Holy shit! What are we gonna do now?

  40. How many unilateral wars did Clinton start?

    Kosovo: While not strictly unilateral, since it was endorsed by NATO (the original coalition of the willing) wasn’t approved by the Security Council since there was no way that Russia or China were going to agree to it. And while it did temporarily stop the targeted killings, things could heat up again soon.

    Operation Desert Fox: Major four day bombardment of Iraqi sites for alleged failure to comply with WMD disarmament talks with UNSCOM. Opposed by Russia, China, France and other security council members.

    How many doctrines of preemptive strikes did he declare as the new policy of the United States?
    How many countries did Clinton attack under false pretences?

    The missile strike against the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant was predicated on fairly flimsy evidence. To be fair, some Republicans and even some Democrats openly opposed Clinton on this.

    How much did he expand the power of the executive under the auspices of “we are at war” while initiating a perpetual war on a concept??

    Clinton did ramp up US involvement in the drug wars of Columbia.

    Seems like the main difference with the present administration is scale. I guess they do things bigger in Texas.

  41. CNN quickly obliges our questions of its bias with this story about the former mayor of Atlanta getting sentenced to prison for tax evasion. Strangely, his party affiliation is never mentioned.

    Now let’s compare a recent CNN article about a Republican lawmaker sent to the slammer. Oddly, his party is mentioned in the first sentence! Funny how that happens.

  42. If you look at the US media in comparison to the world’s media… it is mostly biased to the right. Far left sees US media as right biased, because it is to the right of them. Far right sees media as left biased because it is to the left of them. Centrists notice that most of the major players are fairly centrist with slight tilts to one side or the other. I would say CNN is pretty close to center, MSNBC a little to the left, Fox a little to the right for news, way to the right for views, PBS pretty centrist, NPR center left. Pacifica, way left…

  43. Following up on joshua corning, what TV station do people here think gives the most exposure to libertarian people/ideas?

    Maybe a porn channel?

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