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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


George Mason

KB; This morning the NYT is backing you up. They are reporting that CNN will be
the lowest rated news network in total viewership during primetime. As you have
posted above and previously, there is a reason FOX is number one in viewership in cable news. Their research and editing make them more reliable than the competition and they are willing to look under the rug in the White House regardless of the occupant.


The initial Fox report you cite in this post was not fair and balanced KB, it was misleading and slanted. The later report I linked in a response to "Fox News Gets Real" showed Fox White House Corespondent Major Garrett explaining the whole incident as a mix up, not as a purposeful exclusion of Fox from the interview. He should know, he was in the middle of it.

It is disappointing that you would acknowledge as much in a response to my post and then revert back to your accusatory stance here. As for the Times, it appears Rutenberg also fell for the sinister portrayal advanced in the original Fox "story" without bothering to fact check. Maybe he went to the same school of stenography as Judith Miller.


A.I.: I reviewed the clip of Major Garrett explaining the "White House Pool" issue. I am sorry, but I just don't see that in contradicts anything in the initial Fox story. Garrett says that the White House says that it was just an oversight. He is being very fair and reasonable, but then he wants to get access to White House officials in the future. He also acknowledged that this event was unprecedented.

Let me get this straight. Just at the moment that the White House is ratcheting up its campaign against Fox, after the President has been openly boycotting Fox, the White House just happens, by sheer accident, to leave Fox off a list of networks that will participate in the interview. Do you really believe that? Would you have bought it for a minute if it had been George W. and MSNBC?

Anyway, Fox's account was confirmed by the New York Times, as I pointed out above. Has the Times joined the vast right wing conspiracy? If Fox's account is the same as that of the New York Times, I think both news teams can claim that they were fair and balanced on this one.


So now the NYT's has credibility. How convenient.

I'll go with Talking Points Memo's report. Fox didn't ask for the interview initially, the other members of the pool noticed they weren't on the list and asked why. They were then included.

Perhaps Garrett or some member of his staff (if he has one) missed the invite. Maybe TPM was wrong and the Treasury forgot to offer. But all the brouhaha about the networks defending poor Fox from the big bad White House is way over the top. Watch the interview again if necessary. Garrett does say the incident should be taken in the context of WH displeasure with Fox, but he stops far short of saying the exclusion was intentional--even when asked leading questions designed to elicit that conclusion.

The other media you cite seems to have taken Fox's initial report at face value--good stenographers that they so often are. It is a "good story" in the sense that sensationalism draws viewers/readers. But I will continue to doubt the truth is even close to being as "sinister" as Fox initially made it out to be. And that is the problem with the initial Fox report. It inflates what happened way beyond reality to reach a conclusion not supported by facts. It's much like saying offering free, end-of-life counseling is tantamount to establishing death panels.


A.I.: you have just about worn me down on this one. No, the New York Times is not a reliable source, and neither is Fox. No single News Network is reliable; that's why we need lots of them, with at least one on both sides. But when the Times and Fox agree, what they agree upon is probably not a matter of mere violence.

I still see no evidence that the Fox/NYTs account is "beyond reality," but if it is, the Administration sure set itself up for it. The Times' article shows that the Administration's fears were justified: Fox has forced the Times to tell stories that it would have spiked in the past. That's pretty good work on Fox's part.

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