Feb
25
2011

Latest Glimpse of Fox's Culture of Lying?

A front-page story in today's New York Times strongly suggests that Roger Ailes–the News Corp executive who runs the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Network, and Fox broadcast stations–urged a witness to lie to federal officials in order to protectfriend and politician Rudolph Giuliani. If true, what may be most remarkable about the story is how unsurprising it is coming from Fox. Other networks surely harbor biases, but it would be surprising to find, say, that a top ABC News executive had suborned perjury in a partisan ploy to protect a politician. But if the allegations against Ailes are […]

May
04
2009

The Right's Echo Chamber Reverberates on 'Reliable Sources'

Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz (5/3/09) seemed startled when the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza argued that "just because Bush or some previous president didn't garner as much coverage as Michelle and Barack Obama did doesn't tell you anything about press bias one way or another." "Are you kidding?" Kurtz exclaimed. He didn't express any similar surprise when CNN in-house conservative Amy Holmes came up with this "little-known fact": The Washington Times reported this last week…. Actually, at this point in his presidency, Barack Obama is the fourth least popular of the past five presidents. You wouldn't know that from the […]

Apr
27
2009

O'Reilly Tortures Fox Torture Poll

Fox host Bill O'Reilly has been passionately defending Bush-era torture for some time. But onApril 23 he went further; not only does torture "work," butit is actually broadly popular, too: According to a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, most Americans want tough interrogations of top terror killers. When asked if they would support using torture on Osama bin Laden to get information, 56 percent say they favor doing that, including 42 percent of the Democrats polled. Thirty-nine percent oppose. So there is little doubt that most Americans believe, in rare cases, tough interrogation is necessary. A poll thatasks whether Americans […]

Apr
15
2009

Tea Parties and False Balance

With Fox News Channel relentlessly promoting–and MSNBC mostly mocking– the right-wing "tea party" demonstrations around the country today, middle-of-the-road media critics are making a typically middle-of-the-road complaint: Yes, Fox shouldn't be sponsoring such events, but the rest of the corporate media shouldn't just ignore these allegedly newsworthy events. As Howard Kurtz put it in the Washington Post today: Some Fox News hosts have been pushing the tea party protests slated for hundreds of cities today, almost to the point that they seem to be the ringmasters of the event. "It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties. Here […]

Apr
02
2009

Remember When Fox News Thought Nazi Analogies Were a Bad Thing?

Do you remember when Fox News Channel thought comparisons between the U.S. government and Nazi Germany were insane and reprehensible? This was the channel's reaction when a couple of entries to a video contest sponsored by the progressive activist group MoveOn used Hitler analogies to criticize George W. Bush (FAIR Action Alert, 1/16/04): News Corp's Fox News Channel started the controversy on January 4, airing Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie's complaint about the Bush/Hitler comparison. "That's the kind of tactics we're seeing on the left today in support of these Democratic presidential candidates," Gillespie charged, calling such tactics "despicable." […]

Mar
20
2009

Fox News and Sarah Palin, Like Family. . . Really

Upon seeing that, "on her show Tuesday night, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren devoted an entire segment to criticizing David Letterman" for having "made jokes about Sarah Palin and her family," Political Animal blogger Steve Benen (3/19/09) notices that there seems to be a pattern here. In fact, it's hard not to notice that Van Susteren seems to enjoy closer ties to Palin than most media professionals. Matt Corley explained, for example, "In September, she hosted a one-hour 'documentary' on the GOP vice presidential candidate, titled Governor Sarah Palin–An American Woman…. After the election ended, Palin chose Van Susteren for […]

Mar
18
2009

Glenn Beck Offers New Fox Slogan

Jon Stewart (3/17/09) has found Glenn Beck expressing his philosophy in what may be its purest form: Believe in something! Even if it's wrong! Believe in it!

Mar
16
2009

Fox Host Mixes Up Enemy Chavezes

On this morning's Fox & Friends, the hosts were having a laugh about Mauricio Funes, the new president of El Salvador. Funes won as the candidate of the FMLN, the political party of the former guerrilla group–and he was once a freelancer for CNN. Ergo, Fox couldmake jokes aboutCNN's "communist" ties. One of the hosts (a substitute) tried to show that this was actually no laughing matter, since the FMLN "allegedly has ties to strongman Cesar Chavez." It takes the other hosts a little while to figure out that he means Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez–not the labor organizer regular host […]

Mar
09
2009

Strange Questions, Strange Journalism

Steve Benen of Political Animal points out a couple of strange questions posed by corporate journalists–one to each of last year's major presidential candidates. In this post, Benen quotes an unnamed New York Times reporter (apparently either Sheryl Gay Stolberg or Steven Lee Meyers) basically red-baiting Barack Obama: "The first six weeks have given people a glimpse of your spending priorities. Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?" The same reporter, or maybe a different one–I guess they were speaking ex cathedra–later pressed Obama: "If you're not a socialist, are you a liberal?" In a later post, Benen […]

Mar
06
2009

Bill O'Reilly's Fact-Checking Failure

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly tries to nail Obama on a "no more earmarks" flip-flop in his "talking points" commentary (3/4/09): O'REILLY: We begin with this: BARACK OBAMA: We are going to ban all earmarks, the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review. O'REILLY: That's President Obama pledging last January to end earmarks in federal spending. But now the House has passed a new spending bill full of earmark pork, and if the Senate OKs the $400+ billion spending bonanza this week, Mr. Obama is expected to sign it into law. Actually,that was Obama talking about the […]

Mar
05
2009

Media Keep Faith in Dow Jones as Oracle

Prefacing a Daily Show segment (3/4/09) with his version of current big-media reporting: "Recent opinion polls indicate that six weeks into Barack Obama's administration, the American public thinks they approve of his performance–but it turns out they're wrong," Jon Stewart runs clips of celebrity news figures like Fox's Sean Hannity asking, "How did the market react to this latest liberal spending spree? Well, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped almost 400 points," and of Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto asking, "The Dow is down more than 1,500 points, nearly 3,000 since Election Day, now is this a vote of no […]

Mar
04
2009

Fox Extends GOP's Fantasyland Railway

Noting that "Republicans and their adjunct outlets have been touting one specific lie above all others lately"–that of a fictitious "$8 billion earmark in the stimulus package to build a high-speed rail connector between Las Vegas and Disneyland"–Political Animal blogger Steve Benen reports (WashingtonMonthly.com, 3/3/09) that "yesterday, Fox News gave the story a twist, changing the details of the already-bogus claim to make a brand new lie": Check out this exchange between Fox News's Megyn Kelly and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) on the omnibus spending bill pending in the Senate: Kelly: It's a super railroad, of sorts–a line that will […]

Mar
03
2009

O'Reilly: Fox's Right-Wing Line-Up 'Balanced' by Former Host

Bill O'Reilly explainsthe diversity of viewpointsavailable on the Fox News Channel (2/27/09): The Fox News Channel features a variety of opinions. We parade in scores of guests each week with all kinds of views. Glenn Beck believes the nation is in crisis. Alan Colmes believes Obama could be the next FDR. Sean Hannity believes the Republican Party has the right formula. And I believe both parties need an overhaul. They need to start looking out for the folks. So you get a wide range of views, while our hard news people deliver solid facts. Huh. Three right-wingers and Alan Colmes–who […]