Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fox whines that White House 'attacks' confuse news with opinion -- in a 'news story' that gives only one side

-- by Dave

As we mentioned elsewhere, the folks at Fox News were all up in arms Monday about Anita Dunn's scathing commentary in which she pointed out the cold truth: Fox News has become a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. In fact, the outraged howls could be heard on every Fox program yesterday (except Shep Smith's).

Fox's chief defense is that the White House is confusing its opinion shows with its news coverage. It ran one such "news story" outlining the "attacks" by the White House on Fox, which included the following fine whine from Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente:

"It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming. It seems self-serving on their part."

Actually, the White House is not alone. Indeed, anyone watching Fox News throughout the day will suffer much of the same confusion.

Fox is trying to pretend that only on its "opinion shows" such as Glenn Beck, The O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity is there free-ranging criticism of President Obama and his administration. But that's a load of hooey.

If you watch Fox's daytime "news" programs -- from Fox & Friends to Happening Now to Special Report with Bret Baier (where this report aired) -- you'll find that, while they lack the viciousness of the "opinion" programs, they nonetheless are heavily slanted with an anti-administration bias. "Reporters" like Carl Cameron and James Rosen constantly bring on Republican spokespeople and reliably transmit GOP talking points as though they represent fact (when in reality they usually have an estranged relationship with the truth). Anchors like Gretchen Carlson and Trace Gallagher regularly comment on the news they're reporting with an unmistakable right-wing slant.

A classic case, in fact, is this very "news" story that ran both on Baier's segment and earlier on Happening Now: It is wholly a defensive piece of propaganda that reliably gives the Fox News line -- comparing Obama's recognition of cold reality with Richard Nixon's paranoid "enemies list" -- with no attempt whatsoever to explain the White House's point of view.

If you wanted to see why the White House might confuse Fox's "news" programming with its "opinion" shows, one need look no further than this "news report" itself. Speaking of "self-serving."

Of course, there is a mountain of such examples already plunked in the middle of our national discourse. The most notorious recent such case was Fox's ardent promotion of the anti-Obama Tea Parties, beginning back in April and continuing through the "Tea Party Express, which produced such "news" segments as the one where Griff Jenkins was openly cheerleading the tea parties, and a Fox producer was caught working up the crowd to cheer. Then, of course, there was the whole 9-12 event, which Fox not only avidly promoted (it was, after all, wholly the creation of Fox's Glenn Beck) but actually attacked other networks for ostensibly failing to cover it as avidly as they did.

But that's just scratching the surface. Everyone knows it -- and Fox just wants to pretend it all away.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

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