Nov
02
2008

False Balance, TV Critic Style

New York Times TV reporter Jim Rutenberg (11/2/08) tries to make a case that Fox News and MSNBC are (in Tom Rosenstiel's words) "reverse images of each other." Here are the actual quotes used by Rutenberg to demonstrate this supposed parallelism–first, Ann Coulter on Fox (10/30/08):

I feel like we are talking to the Germans after Hitler comes to power, saying, "Oh, well, I didn't know."

And then Chris Matthews on MSNBC (10/29/08), addressing those who wouldn't vote for Obama because he's black:

He's been a good father, a good citizen, he's paid attention to his country…. Give the guy a break and think about voting for him.

Again, these are the quotes Rutenberg picks to show how similar the coverage on Fox and MSNBC is–one arguing that you shouldn't vote against a candidate based on his race, and the other comparing that candidate to a genocidal dictator.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.