Newsnets Race To the Bottom: Today's advantage: Fox

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For more than an hour CNN has been reporting a story, apparently confirmed by Fox's Jerusalem bureau, that two Fox employees have been kidnapped in Gaza. The story gets 36 entries on Google News.

So far, unless I've missed some brief mention, the Fox New Channel itself has made nary a peep about this story, while bloviating at full speed about Lebanon and the terror threat to a bridge in Michigan. Painful as it is to report on yourself, it's really bad form to let your competitor scoop you like that.

My ongoing coverage of which cable news channel is actually the worst is desultory, decontextualized, and confused—just like the cable news channels themselves. But I'd say Fox just surged ahead.

NEXT: The Daily Lieberman: No One Cares Edition

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  1. You hadn’t heard that Shannon Love is the new executive producer for Fox News?

  2. Damn…REASON has really gone downhill, what happened to the balance they used to have? Might as well just combine with SLATE.

  3. Comment that Reason has gone downhill?

    Drink!

  4. Damn, somebody really needs to do a Bruce Schneier-like analysis about who in the hell would want to blow up the Mackinac Bridge, or what good it would do them. Talk about Security Theatre, or Hollywood Plot Security!
    Give me a break.
    The bridge has no commercial value (well, not compared to the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, which if shut down would probably close the automobile industry in both countries) and rarely has even 100 people on it. Lousy terrorist target that even stupid terrorists could figure out…

  5. Geoff:

    “rarely has even 100 people on it…”

    Except every Labor Day morning, when 50,000 to 65,000 people walk across it in the annual “Mackinac Bridge Walk.”

  6. I switched to Fox News because of all the leftist bias on the other channels. Now, I’ve stopped watching Fox because I believe it is more biased to the right than CNN is to the left. Their pro-Israel coverage was disgraceful.

  7. Whoo hoo for the Mackinac Bridge!
    Screw you San Fran,
    with your trifling central span.

  8. Now, I’ve stopped watching Fox because I believe it is more biased to the right than CNN is to the left.

    Duh.

  9. It doesn’t matter that the bridge has no value to the terrorists: It’s all about the Homeland Security dollars.

  10. As long as the neocon Republicans are in charge, Fox News will function as the defacto propaganda department for the government. The stories, copy, graphics, anchors and guests are all chosen with a singular purpose in mind – the promotion of the current administration agenda. If the Democrats ever regain the White House or Congress, Fox News will shift their role to become the leading watchdog of government and politicians. Either way, Fox News will do their part to ensure electoral victory for conservative Republicans.

  11. Certainly Fox is more entertaining. CNN’s bias in some ways is worse. Fox is clearly a conscious propaganda machine, much like the old Itar-Tass or the China People’s Daily. It takes any intelligent person about 5 minutes to realize the bias and then you can discount appropriately. CNN is more pathetic – the reporters really believe they’re being objective, and they appear completely unaware of the liberal elite baggage they’ve imbibed from childhood. I usually try to ignore both and get my news from ESPN.

  12. Scott’s right. Or should I say correct.

    Fair and Balanced… To their own agenda.

  13. I don’t actually watch TV news of any kind any more but I don’t suppose it is possible that Fox is trying to protect their reporters by starving the story of oxygen? The journalist were kidnapped to create a media event and/or ransom so preventing a media event might create more favorable circumstances.

    I wonder what it would tell us if it turns out the journalist were targeted specifically because they worked for Fox?

  14. I don’t suppose it is possible that Fox is trying to protect their reporters by starving the story of oxygen?

    No. Unless Fox thinks terrorists only watch their channel, and wouldn’t notice the coverage on all the other networks.

  15. Tim Cavanaugh: Did it never occur to you that if two of their guys were kidnapped, there are dangers in talking about it on air? that they don’t want to prejudice the outcome?

    Sheesh.

  16. Tim Cavanaugh: Did it never occur to you that if two of their guys were kidnapped, there are dangers in talking about it on air? that they don’t want to prejudice the outcome?

    I don’t remember the Christian Science Monitor blabbing when Jill Carroll was kidnapped.

    Sheesh.

  17. Shannon Love and Hepzeeba, assuming there’s any truth to your theory that Fox is keeping its mouth shut in hopes of not endangering its reporters . . . what would that imply, then, about Fox’s willingness to cover all the previous kidnapping cases? “We don’t care if they die, so long as they don’t work for us?”

    Mind you, I am NOT saying this is Fox’s motivation. I highly doubt it is. But I think it’s funny that your attempt to excuse the network ends up making Fox look far, far worse than Tim Cavanaugh’s post did. Cavanaugh says they are merely incompetent; you imply they are downright evil.

  18. I can think of all sorts of reasons why the people closest to a kidnapping might say nothing while other media outlets talk and talk. I can think of reasons that don’t portray ANY of the media outlets in a negative light.

  19. I don’t remember the Christian Science Monitor blabbing when Jill Carroll was kidnapped.

    I don’t remember the Christian Science Monitor having a 24-hour cable network.

  20. CNN and Fox stink. The Colbert Report is more informative. He cuts through the liberal bias and gets to the truthiness.

  21. CNN and Fox stink. The Colbert Report is more informative. He cuts through the liberal bias and gets to the truthiness.

  22. CNN and Fox stink. The Colbert Report is more informative. He cuts through the liberal bias and gets to the truthiness.

  23. CNN and Fox stink. The Colbert Report is more informative. He cuts through the liberal bias and gets to the truthiness.

  24. Shannon! Get back to work! I’m not paying you to lollygag on company time.

  25. Perhaps, in Fox’s best hard news judgment, the story has no soap opera value.

    People are so into celebrities, but you never know what they’ll watch.

    Meanwhile, on an average day with no particular tragedies, 100,000 people die. Every one probably important to somebody, just not the same somebody. The tragedy is distributed, and so is the grief, so it just stays as part of life.

    If you’re TV, you can get people to wallow in grief, and sell them to advertisers.

    That’s what Fox has to make a news judgment about.

    How much money is in it.

  26. Half of Fox’s guests go for Bush, the other half go for Democrats. I fail to see what the problem is. Are Alan Colmes and Al Sharpton both Republican lackeys? Are you people blind?

  27. “Are Alan Colmes and Al Sharpton both Republican lackeys?”

    Yes, the Washington Generals of punditry.

  28. “Their pro-Israel coverage was disgraceful.” Are you kidding me?

  29. Al,

    Did you watch any of Fox’s coverage of the recent Israeli war? How many guests were on Fox that were opposed to Israel’s attacks on civilians? Almost all the guests I saw were pro-Israel. If you can’t see this Al, you’re blind.

  30. Al,

    I believe that it is you who might be vision-impaired (if not actually critical-thinking impaired as well). The Dem Fox News guests and hosts are simply tokens in an attempt to appear as though both sides of the argument are presented on equal footing. They are whipping posts.

    Colmes is much too meek to stand up to Sean Hannity on any level which is why they are paired together. It’s like Peaches & Herb. If they replace Colmes with another liberal-leaning host, the show would still be the same. If they want robust debate between the party philosophies they’d have Paul Begala or James Carville on the show (not that I support their views; it’s just that they’re as militantly leftist as Hannity et al are rightists). As for Sharpton, they recognize that his value to them is that he is already recognized as being an over-the-top caricature of liberal thinking and serves as a focal point for the Foxies to say, “See what a bunch of idiots the Deocrats are?”

    I used to like CNN’s Crossfire where they paired a liberal and a conservative and let them fight it out. What was so good about that forum was that, rather than thinking that both sides had good points, one left thinking, “Wow! The extremists at both ends of the political spectrum are narrow minded machines.”

    News – especially cable news – is nothing more than entertainment now. Gone are the days of Cronkite and Murrow being replaced by blondes in skirts with short skirts and boots sitting coffee tables that only as high as the average foot stool. My daughter, 13 years old, once said to me, “If you don’t agree with them why do you watch them so much?” and I answered, truthfully: “They have the best looking anchors.” I’m like most other guys (I think) – blondes in short skirts are a good thing. I just don’t confuse that with journalistic integrity.

    If experience and impartiality was really mattered, if that’s what gets a reporter out of the field and into the braodcast studio, then Candy Crowley would have her own show by now.

  31. “The Dem Fox News guests and hosts are simply tokens in an attempt to appear as though both sides of the argument are presented on equal footing. They are whipping posts.”

    You nailed it Pi Guy, The “liberal” side of their “fair and balanced” team never puts up the best arguement. They put up a weak arguement so the right side will obviously be the winner. Then they try to convince you they are fair and balanced.

    If you use “fair and balanced” as your trademark, your probably not. A news outlet that is truly fair and balanced will not have to tell you, they will show you. Talk is so cheap these days. Like Bush saying Hezbollah has been defeated, is he kidding? I think he’s priming the country to announcing the defeat of the insurgency in Iraq around election time.

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