[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Bill O'Reilly was kvetching earlier this week about how the rest of the mainstream media -- besides Fox News, of course -- was biased against the Tea Party movement because "they like to look down on the folks." Unlike the Real Americans at Fox.
He even went so far as to claim his crack staff of researchers had sifted through "thousands" of news stories and managed to find only two that were rated as "positive." Of course, judging by the news standards at Fox, "positive" coverage is indistinguishable from "promotional propaganda" at any other news outlet. Moreover, most journalists consider it their job to be neutral in reporting these matters, not "positive." Unless, of course, they work for Fox.
So let's just say that we're guessing the methodology of O'Reilly's researchers is questionable.
But the most revealing an interesting moment came in the following segment, when O'Reilly brought in fellow Fox sage Brit Hume to ruminate on his thesis. Hume made the following observation:
HUME: Well, I think also, Bill, it's fair to make a comparison between the kind of coverage let's say the big anti-war demonstrations that went on during the last part of the — last parts of the Bush administration, the kind of coverage they got. They there would be a parade of extremists up on the platform saying the most remarkable things and the coverage in a lot of mainstream media outlets would be focused on the nice couples and the little families that are down in the crowd and their kind of civic.Yeah, that's a very interesting analogy indeed. Especially considering the way Fox covered those same anti-war protesters, especially in contrast to its glowing coverage of the Tea Parties:
O'REILLY: That's a great analogy. It's a great..
Media Matters' review of Fox News' coverage of prior demonstrations finds that the network offered no such promotional coverage of 2003 and 2005 protests opposing the Iraq war, the 2006 immigrants' rights protests, or other demonstrations in support of progressive positions. Instead, the network's hosts, contributors, and guests often attacked participants in those protests.Leading the pitchfork parade against the anti-war protesters, of course, was Bill O'Reilly. Some examples:
O'REILLY: I called some of the anti-war demonstrators anti-American when they start saying that a -- the United States is a terrorist nation and, you know, giving us this revisionist history that -- this one and that one, we did this and that, and, you know, there's a line. We respect dissent here, by the way. If you're against the war, and -- that's fine, and we respect that. But, once you start attacking your country as fundamentally an evil place, which some of these anti-war people have done, then you're anti-American, in my opinion.
O'REILLY: All right. I believe there's a heavy strain. I don't think everybody -- And I know everybody -- I think there are some sincere peace demonstrators. I just think they haven't thought it through.And then there were Foxheads like Fred Barnes:
I always say to people who are doing this, remember Vietnam and remember Cambodia. What happened there, OK?
Because for every cause there's an effect, all right?
So you don't want Saddam Hussein removed for whatever your reason may be, but you can't guarantee anybody that this guy, a proven killer, will not turn around and do something very heinous. And then what happens? Are you responsible for that?
BARNES: You know, I was struck by how uninformed and morally empty these demonstrations were.Or Sean Hannity:
BARNES: These demonstrators are both morally vacuous, they're stupid, they're disingenuous.
BARNES: They just don't want a war and they hate the U.S., Mort's right about that.
HANNITY: Had we listened to the appeasement movement, the pacifist movement, the same protesters back then as the ones today, the world wouldn't be a safer place. Why do they even have any credibility based on their failure after failure, historically speaking?Ah, but that's not "looking down on the folks." That's "looking down on the liberals." Who, by the Fox definition, are not people.
HANNITY: Steven, by the way, these are Marxist groups. They do organize this thing with very anti-American ideas. I don't believe every anti-war protester is anti-American. I'm not suggesting that.