Media Criticism

Alex Pareene Implies Actual Government Scandals Are Just Part of Inane Fox News Reporting

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For the good of Salon readers everywhere, and because the the "lol dirty hippies deserved it" angle of media coverage of Occupy Wall Street (or any other protest) is tiresome, Alex Pareene watched Fox News for two days, instead of his usual NY1 and MSNBC to see how they covered that protest movement. It was a very educational experience for other reasons:

For instance, I learned that basically everyone in Congress is demanding that Eric Holder retire because of something to do with Solyndra. Someone on a panel said that the people in Congress demanding Holder's retirement were not very important members of Congress but that person was shouted down because every member of Congress is important, especially when they are providing grist for the Fox faux-scandal mill.

I also learned that there is a baby missing, named Baby Lisa, and that Baby Lisa's mother almost certainly is responsible, because Baby Lisa's mother had an online dating profile. I had literally never heard of Baby Lisa before Monday, but Fox covered Baby Lisa more than any other story save the Penn State situation. 

Regardless of Fox's tone, this is a strange juxtaposition, no? The missing white girl/woman/general tabloid atmosphere of cable news is a fine thing to mock, if not an original critique. Why are critiques of the U.S. Attorney General as breezily dismissed by Pareene? And could Pareene have meant the Operation Fast and Furious/Gunwalker scandal instead of Solyndra, since that seems to be what the 43 Congress folks asking for Holder's resignation are mostly mad about?

In case he meant one or both "faux scandals," Tim Cavanaugh has done splendid coverage of the $500 million boondoggle known as Solyndra (Please note his September critique of other people who like to pretend it's a manufactured controversy.) And Mike Riggs has often written up Fast and Furious— a scandal with an actual body-count that it still being strangely under-reported. 

Critique Fox News all you want, but Pareene would certainly sound more credible if he seemed able to tell the differene between subjects Nancy Grace should be harping about and something actual journalists should be covering. 

Reason on Solyndra and on Fast and Furious.

(Addendum: Pareene gets a point for correctly identifying Judge Andrew Napolitano as a libertarian and noting that he "has principles," even if he is "a kook.")