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Friday, October 23, 2009



Fox News Gets More Real

Talking Points Memo puts this story in context and is backed up by Fox "News" correspondent Major Garrett: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/wh-were-happy-to-exclude-fox-but-didnt-yesterday-with-feinberg-interview.php?ref=fpb

George Mason

One common trait among dictators is that they require enemies. The enemies are
isolated and targeted daily and blamed for all the failings of the government and the condition of the country. The blame is shifted to them and the dictator never has to assume responsibility. The Obama White House and the liberals in congress have been attempting this not only with FOX but also the Chamber of Commerce,the insurance companies, doctors,Chrysler bond holders and anyone who voices any skepticism of the Obama agenda. They have been able to promote this through a large majority of a willing and obsequious media. This administration has established czardoms with extralegal powers that reach beyond any we have seen before. Some of these may do great damage before they will reach the courts and be declared unconstitutional.
The pay czar incident may be an awakening by other media outlets that if they can do it to FOX they can do it to them. Both in terms of censorship and compensation.


I particularly like how Garrett, in the clip above, does not bite on any of the leading questions offered by the anchor. It seems pretty obvious he knows what he's supposed to say, but he just doesn't go there. Good for him. But if I were him, I wouldn't be running up any big credit card balances: http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2009/10/16/marc-lamont-hill-fire-by-fox-news/


You make some good points, but I think your concern is exaggerated here. I think that the White House is just engaging in some pushback against the exaggerations and hyberbole of the fringe right, which indeed has a home on Fox News (and Fox does have some very good journalists, Chris Wallace for one, and I really enjoyed Fox News Watch when Eric Burns hosted the show; it was better than Kurtz's on CNN). And I don't agree that CNN is the liberal network to Fox's conservative network. Afterall, CNN had Glenn Beck for several years, and now Fox hosts him. Did CNN have any programs during Bush the Younger's administration that featured regular commentary called Bush a fascist-communist-nazi totalitarian and other such nonsense? And to get back to Nixon, he called for the firebombing of the Brookings Institute and he had operatives (G Gordon Liddy, a mainstay of conservative radio) who were planning the assassination of journalists. I don't think what the Obama Administration is doing, even if you have this called right, is in the same universe as the many crimes of the Nixon Administration.


Erik: I agree that Obama is no Nixon. At least not yet. But the campaign against Fox is an embarrassment to the Obama Administration. Just imagine for a moment that the Dubya Administration had waged such a campaign against some media outlet. What would the left have thought of that?

As for CNN, I don't know how to weight partisanship but it is clear that CNN is as partisan in one direction as Fox is in the other. And yes, I have heard a lot of Bush is Big Brother on CNN shows. Fox carries Beck for the same reason that MSNBC carries Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews: such people bring in viewers. But here is the difference: Beck is breaking major stories that have big consequences. I don't like Beck much more than you do, and I do not watch his show, but he is doing what the press in a free republic is supposed to do: alerting us to what the rascals are up to. As long as he keeps doing that, he doesn't have to fear your opinion or mine.

A.I.: So the exclusion of Fox from the Pay Czar interview (a big story) was a mere oversight. Glad to hear it! Otherwise one might have thought it was part of the Administration's campaign against and boycott of Fox. Thanks for the correction.


Obama attacked Fox News and lied through his teeth when he said that they weren't real news. Obama sent a message to the MSM that they either continue to be his mouthpiece or they will be attacked as well. The few MSM outlets that stood up for Fox News did so most likely for reasons that are self-serving: they don't want to be next to get the shaft from Obama. The following Pew Research Center study of the general election (link below) shows that the MSM is a mouthpiece for Obama:


MSNBC's general election coverage of Obama was 14% negative and 43% positive. Their coverage of McCain was a whopping 73% negative and ONLY 10% positive. MSNBC was 5X as negative in their coverage of McCain as compared to their coverage of Obama (73% vs 14%), and they were 4X as positive in their coverage of Obama as compared to their coverage of McCain (43% vs 10%).

Fox News general election coverage of Obama was 40% negative and 25% positive. Their coverage of McCain was 40% negative and 22% positive. Fox News was EQUALLY negative for both (40%) and was actually MORE positive in their coverage of Obama (25% vs 22%).

The MSM's general election coverage of Obama was 29% negative and 36% positive. Their coverage of McCain was a whopping 57% negative and ONLY 14% positive.

The MSM was 2X as negative in their coverage of McCain as compared to their coverage of Obama (57% vs 29%), and the MSM was 2.5X as positive in their coverage of Obama as compared to their coverage of McCain (36% vs 14%).

Obama knows that the MSM is his mouthpiece and he wants it to stay that way. He dcoes not want them to report on any info that Fox News digs up on him or his administration, thus he attacks Fox News as a warning to the MSM. He lied through his teeth about Fox News and so do his fellow liberals. Mindless liberals lie through their teeth and make up stuff about Fox News for pretty much the same reason that Obama does; any rational person that isn't a liar or an idiot, though, can see that the MSM is a mouthpiece for Obama and that the MSM is not real news. The above study shows this.


BTW, according to Pew Research, CNN's general election coverage of McCain was 61% negative and their general election coverage of Obama was 39% negative. A 22 point gap.

FOX NEWS general election coverage of McCain was 40% negative and their general election coverage of Obama was 40% negative. A 0 point gap.

MSDNC's general election coverage of McCain was 73% negative and their general election coverage of Obama was 14% negative. A 59 point gap.


With all due respect, Obama isn't even in the same ballpark (and you strike me as a principled conservative who would have problems with Nixon's dark side, too). As far as Obama's political strategy, it is too early to tell if it will pay off. Nixon used the right wing populist strategy very well and to much electoral advantage. "Nattering Nabobs of Negativism," helped mobilize the "Silent Majority" What I think Obama and company is doing is starting to a counter-offensive against the populist right. Remember too, that Nixon won in a real nail biter, he had luck on his side; Obama won in a landslide.

George Mason

Erik; I believe you are little off in your chronology. Nixon's election in '68
was close. The "nattering nabobs" didn't show up until "71." In '72 Nixon swamped a hapless McGovern. It was McGoverns one note, incoherent campaign versus Nixon's record (school desegregation, China, progress towards peace in Viet Nam)that was the difference, not "nattering nabobs." KB can correct this but Nixon won the largest landslide in electoral history.


As someone who rather enjoys/deplores watching rhetorical slight-of-hand employed in politics, the use of the term "enemies list" is an interesting case study. KB used the term in a previous post I suppose because it has become somewhat accepted as the term for Obama Administration efforts to counter some of their critics. Of course the term was first applied to a list of detractors the Nixon Administration compiled and went after with a vengeance. Karl Rove, Republican hatchet man extraordinaire, is one credited with first applying the term in its current context.

On one level, Rove's re-introduction of enemies list was brilliant because it congers up the negativity and distrust the Nixon White House evoked and transfers it to the Obama White House. On another level, it is misleading and illegitimate because Nixon & Company went far beyond simply criticizing their detractors or withholding interviews from certain media (things many Presidents have done); they also employed and/or threatened wire taps and IRS audits.

So my hats off to Karl for being the low-rent, deceitful S.O.B. he aspires to be. He's managed to conflate Obama and Watergate--brilliant, but deplorable.


Mike: My take is the Pew study does not so much show positive/negative reporting about McCain and Obama as it does about their campaigns (the "horse race"). McCain's campaign was inept at best while Obama's was credited with being very well run by those who judge such things. Poorly run campaigns tend to get crappy press unless a given outlet is quite dedicated to neutral reporting. According to the study, that apparently was true of evening news on the three major networks: CBS, NBC and ABC. Fox, on the other hand, more closely resembled MSNBC's cable news in terms of the extent of bias, although an opposite bias.


Erik: no, Obama is no Nixon. I said that. But his treatment of Fox is unambiguously Nixonian. He has selected a number of enemies to target, and they can be put on a list. That's an enemies list.

A.I.: Pew, about as non-partisan as you can get, has the figures in bold print. CNN was in the tank for Obama. But you seem to think this is a mere coincidence of a bad campaign by McCain. All I can say is your Obama Scout story sanitizer is working overtime. Maybe the Pew numbers mean what they say.


I don't quite understand that last. Do you mean MSNBC was "in the tank" for Obama? I didn't ever mention CNN which my reading of Pew said was fairly neutral and MSNBC was more positive for Obama. The latter was more Obama friendly, no argument.

Pew also said tone of coverage had much to do with the "horse race", that when a candidate was performing well in the polls, his coverage was more positive and vice-versa. So I think one might surmise some of Obama's positive coverage was a result of a well-run campaign which was enhancing his poll numbers.

A more important point though is the Pew study covered the campaign. That has little to do with coverage of Obama's Administration and its treatment of the press, which was where this discussion began.


http://www.lastingliberty.com has a good article about this today: “Fox News Obama’s Only Friend”. The author makes a great point.


A.I.: I refer you to Mike's comments above. Fox was equally negative in its treatment of Obama and McCain. CNN was more negative toward McCain by 22 points. That MSNBC was even worse doesn't save CNN. Nor does it help to point out that negative stories reflect the polls. A responsible news agency will report the facts regardless of the polling. When McCain was polling well, did CNN and MSNBC suddenly become pro-McCain? I don't know, but I am guessing not.

The topic of this post was whether Fox is a real news agency. Your evidence to the contrary was that Fox is biased. The evidence suggests that Fox is more fair that other 'real' news agencies.

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