Mar
15
2010

Fox Reporters Worried About Their 'Credibility'

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz turns in a profile of Glenn Beck today (3/15/10)that includes a few interesting anecdotes.He reports that "Fox staffers note that veteran producer Gresham Striegel left the network after clashing with Beck and say the host has surrounded himself with loyalists" from his own radio company, and that "a vice president was assigned 'to help keep an eye on that program' and review its content in advance–a full-time job." Kurtz also notes that some Fox reporters aren't crazy about what his new fame is doing to them: Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among […]

Mar
02
2010

Fortune Journalist–and Mitt Romney Adviser?

Sasha Issenberg reports in the Boston Globe (3/2/10) that Fortune magazine Washington bureau chief and Fox News pundit Nina Easton advised Republican Mitt Romneyon his recent book No Apology. Easton told the Globe that she "offered some writer's advice on things like structure and how to better tease out themes in his writing." This isn't the first time Easton has had conflict-of-interest issues; her husband was a media consultant to Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, and earlier worked for John McCain's bid, entanglements that Easton dealt with by avoiding writing about her spouse's boss (L.A. Times, 3/19/07). As Issenberg notes: Many […]

Nov
20
2009

Sarah Palin in the No Spin Zone!

Sarah Palin's highly anticipated visit to Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor saw the famously tough-as-nails host ask the tough questions of the right-wing leader: O'REILLY: OK. The latest poll has you with a 23 percent favorable, 37 percent don't know. You do the math, OK. And you're up at 60 percent of people who could like you. You are the biggest threat because you are a star, media star, whereas you're the only Republican. There aren't any other Republicans who are media stars but you. Now, that's why they're attacking you so vehemently. Do you know that? In other words, […]

Nov
06
2009

Bill O'Reilly and Cuban-Style Tax Rates

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, commenting on a tax increase in California: That could happen on the federal level. Already Nancy Pelosi and her far-left crew want to raise the top federal tax rate to 45 percent. That's not capitalism. That's Fidel Castro stuff, confiscating wages that people honestly earn. Setting aside the truth of the charge against Pelosi, Fidel Castro must have been the president of the United States in 1982-86, when the top rate was 50 percent. Or maybe all of the 1970s, when it was 70 percent. Or from 1950-63, when it was 91 percent.

Nov
02
2009

Comparing Fox and CNN Through a Funhouse Mirror

Once you've given up trying to defend the idea that Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" slogan can be understood as anything other than irony, the fallback position is generally that everyone else is just as biased. Or as the headline over John Harwood's piece in the New York Times (11/2/09) puts it, "If Fox Is Partisan, It Is Not Alone." To back up this assertion, Harwood–who's the chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, and host of the New York Times Special Edition on MSNBC–relies on surveys by Scarborough Research that asked about the partisan identification of the audiences of cable channels. […]

Oct
29
2009

You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Argue That the Afghan War Prevents Terror–But It Helps

Dick Morris was on the O'Reilly Factor the other night (10/28/09) advocating a troop escalation in Afghanistan–and his argument was characteristically peculiar: Listen, terrorist gangs like Al-Qaeda are like HIV virus. They swim in your bloodstream. They don't make you sick. When they latch on to a cell, a nation state, and they use the DNA of that cell, they then become a threat. When they use the accoutrements of nationhood–secure boundaries, a diplomatic corps, an export and import trade, and air force and navy, a tax system, a conscript population–then they can knockdown the World Trade Center. We have […]

Oct
27
2009

Fox's Phony Debates

When Fox News Channel was developing Sean Hannity's TV show, it was known as Hannity & Liberal To Be Determined. That liberal turned out to be Alan Colmes, who would eventually leave the gig after doing his part by playing the Washington Generals to Hannity's Harlem Globetrotters. It hardly mattered who sat in the "left" chair–they were there to get roughed up by the home team. Until recently, professor Jane Hall was a regular guest on the O'Reilly Factor, debating conservative Bernie Goldberg. She's left Fox, and as she explained to CNN's Howard Kurtz (10/25/09), she never considered herself a […]

Oct
23
2009

Fox's Flawed Football Analogy

The White House's beef with Fox News Channel continues, as do the right-wing cable channel's bizarre attempts to defend their journalistic integrity. Take this example from today's New York Times (10/22/09). Obviously the White House is most offended by the likes of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck; this is unfair, according to Fox: But Michael Clemente, senior vice president for news and editorial programming at Fox, said the White House was conflating the networkâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s commentary with its news coverage. That, Mr. Clemente said, "would be like Fox News blaming the White House senior staff for the Washington Redskins' losing record." […]

Oct
19
2009

Know Your Enemy

Politico (10/14/09) published a list of top topics on Glenn Beck's Fox News show, based on a search of Nexis transcripts since the show's January 2009 debut. It's instructive to look at the placement of some individuals, groups and places in the news as an indication of Beck's sense of whom and what his audience should be informed about: ACORN: 1,224 Van Jones: 267 SEIU: 259 Afghanistan: 97 Iraq: 95 Valerie Jarrett: 52 Mark Lloyd: 50 Al-Qaeda: 50 Bill Ayers: 46 John Holdren: 43 Jeremiah Wright: 42 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 41 Osama Bin Laden: 40 Taliban: 38

Oct
13
2009

Fox Commentators Guarding Bias Henhouse

In a 2001 study, FAIR found that in its regular one-on-one interviews, Fox News' flagship news show Special Report With Brit Hume favored Republican guests over Democrats by a greater than 8-to-1 ratio. After the FAIR report, Hume told the New York Times (7/2/01) that if the data warranted, he would rectify the bias: "If it is a reasonable question, and we find that there is some imbalance, then weâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ll correct it." A 2002 follow-up study (Extra!, 7-8/02) showed some improvement–a mere 3-to-2 bias in favor of GOP over Democratic guests–but by 2004, FAIR showed, the ratio had crept back […]

Oct
06
2009

O'Reilly Joins Beck in Fantasizing About Assaulting Michael Moore

Michael Moore says he won't appear on Glenn Beck's or Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show to promote his new film Capitalism: A Love Story because there's too much hate speech on those shows. Last night, O'Reilly strengthened Moore's argument in a segment in which he discussed Michael Moore's body language with regular guest Tonya Reimer: O'REILLY: Right. Would it be wrong if I slapped him? REIMAN: We'll have to let him judge that. O'REILLY: You just want…. REIMAN: Not a big fan, are we? O'REILLY: You know, it's an interesting question. I admire his entrepreneurship. I admire his creativity. But […]

Jul
02
2009

Fox: New 9/11 Needed for U.S. to Become Violent Enough

The folks at Fox News, so quick to denounce dissent as unpatriotic during the George W. Bush era, have now moved from generally hoping for the failure of the Obama government to wishing another September 11 upon a country too slow to violence for their taste. Mark Howard of News Corpse (7/1/09) gives us video and a transcript of Glenn Beck & Co.'s suggestion for a remedy for our diseased nation that is so far gone now that there is only one solution: Another 9/11…. [guest Michael] Scheuer: …The only chance we have as a country right now is for […]

May
22
2009

False Balance Alive & Well in Environmental Coverage

Jonathan Hiskes of Grist–who recently exposed "The NYT's Favorite 'Climate Change Denier'"–has now (5/13/09) caught Fox News giving airtime to Marc Morano's charge of Al Gore "profiting off global warming campaign" : Say you're a harried cable news producer with 24 gaping hours to fill with finished material every day of the week. Say you're constantly in need of articulate guests to offer a diversity of viewpoints. How do you do it? One way is to take up offers like this one from the PR folks representing Marc Morano. Refresher: Morano was formerly an aid to climate-change-denier-in-chief James Inhofe (GOP […]