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A Biased Look at FOX News

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I am biased against FOX News – I detest it. I dislike FOX News for what I think are good reasons. It misinforms. It uses false information to create public opinions that are dividing America. It is nurturing the mob mentality among a certain segment of American society. It is impeding social progress in America. It is using journalistic terrorist tactics against conventional facts. It is making a mockery of long established journalistic standards. It is providing a forum for a sneaker wearing clown with a blackboard to act as a social commentator. It is owned by super rich foreigners who manipulate ill-informed white Americans for some mysterious end. It also pays big money to scurrilous on air people while losing money and having fun doing it. I hate FOX News.

There used to be a black comedian on television called “Redd Foxx.” He was called “Redd” because of his hair color. I like to call FOX News “White Fox” because of the restricted color of its on camera mannequins and the hand puppets who watch them. I think my moniker is a natural fit. So with your kind indulgence, here is what I think about the present state of White Fox and what I see in its future.

The FOX News Channel was created as an alternative to the alleged liberal bias in the major media. In fourteen short years, the network has risen to the top of the clamoring cable clan outdoing CNN and MSNBC. White Fox is the indisputable grand ratings dragon of the cable news competition. White Fox gained 80 million viewers from its launched in 1996. It claims to present a “Fair and Balanced” view of the news, and it has spent millions promoting its brand. White Fox (FNC) is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Rupert Murdoch is an Australian business titian, about whom Bill Moyers once said, “He buys lobbyists the way Almeda Marcos bought shoes.” Murdoch has been widely accused of destroying the foundation of American democracy – a free press, as seen in this documentary.

The man who owns the next largest share of FNC is Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who gave former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ten million dollars for finance relief efforts after 9/11, but then released a statement blaming the attack on the World Trade Center by Saudi hijackers on the United States policy in the Middle East. Giuliani returned the money. These are the two foreigners who control the network that is moulding public opinion among America’s under-informed.

White Fox didn’t struggle long with growing pains. It allied itself with the Republican Party and the conservative movement and found a large audience of chronically malcontented people who welcomed FOX’s validation of their disgruntlements. FNC justified their fears and with concentrated programs that gave them other reasons to feel dreadful. FOX News really hit its stride during the George W. Bush presidency when it became so cozy with the White House that “some people said” (a phrase often used on FNC to sidestep having a source) it was a quasi-arm of the Republican Party. White Fox received talking points from the White House and issued a daily memo of the day’s attack target to its newsroom personnel and on air staff. There was absolutely no risk to FOX’s credibility for running misleading or blown out of proportion stories that whipped people into a frenzy. FNC’s influence was obvious and widespread among people resentful of the social changes America is making, but the election of Barack Obama has driven it beyond faulty journalism. FOX News openly supports and promotes conservative anti-government causes while the personnel of one its competitors MSNBC, supports free health clinics for uninsured people – each becoming the news itself. I guess taken as a whole, that’s a balanced approach, but they should stop making news and simply report it.

Deregulation of the broadcast media is what has brought us to this point. The Federal Communications Commission was formed in the 1930s to regulate broadcast stations as public trustees of the airwaves and to maintain the Fairness Doctrine. In 1981, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill to deregulate the broadcast industry. Prior to this time, one major media outlet could not buy up another and broadcasters could not own multi-media or same market media. This was to prevent conglomerates from forming and decreasing the diversity of opinion moulders. Deregulation has given the people’s natural resource – the airwaves – to self-concerned industry types. The profit motive now controls the people’s airwave, and now the American people pay high cable subscription fees to be bamboozled by those who control a medium that the people once owned.

As much as White Fox has to do with the desecration of the quality of the news we receive, it’s not all their fault – some of the blame has got to fall on viewers themselves. I mean who watches a network known for giving doctored points of views and false news and for what reason? Eighty million people do, that’s who- but why? Could it be that the provocateurs, liars, and propagandists on White Fox are unresistingly appealing? I don’t think so. They all look (even the women) alien to me – loathing has a way of distorting the face in unattractive ways. I know it’s not FNC’s “Fair and Balanced” reportage of the events of the day that brings millions to their television sets – that could be gotten at other channels with far better looking people. It may be the company they get at FOX News – misery loves company. Or, is that these millions of viewers want to be misled? That just can’t be. It’s a mystery to me why people watch White Fox.

I take solace in the fact that FNC may not have a good future. Some people say, when they look at demographics, that FOX’s average viewer is 65 and white (I’m 69 and black), and this will cause shifting ratings in the coming decades.

White viewers over 65 are the demographic that gives White Fox its edge in the ratings. A great many of White Fox’s viewers are white men over 65. Over the next decade and a half Fox will lose a lot of its subscribers to the grand reaper and younger Americans watch Jon Stewart, who, by the way, has been polled to have a better informed audience. FNC is relatively young and has not yet displayed any ability to adapt to changing demographics, so its future is bleak.

Plus, I forecast a down shift in White Fox’s high ratings after this year’s mid-term elections. The conventional wisdom is that the out of power party usually picks up seats in the House and Senate during mid-term elections. This November’s election will stun the experts because the Republican Party will lose additional seats and be humbled to its knees.

I have the sense that the progressives in the country will rally this November, as we did in November 2008, to give the Republican Party the defeat they so richly deserve. We will give the party of “No” what they have given America the past two years – rejection. The Republican Party will be forced to re-think its one position of “No” to everything. They will have to start honestly working with the Democrats to fix problems or go on a death march to oblivion. If the Republicans choose the latter, White Fox will accompany it and they will perish together. If the Republicans choose the former, that will be the beginning of the end for White Fox as we now know it. FNC will have to re-invent itself or die alone.

 

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About Horace Mungin

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    Horace, I enjoyed this article very much. My only problem with it is in this one area, which I quote below:

    “They all look (even the women) alien to me –loathing has a way of distorting the face in unattractive ways. I know it’s not FNC’s “Fair and Balanced” reportage of the events of the day that brings millions to their television sets – that could be gotten at other channels with far better looking people.”

    I think the problem with TV news is this perception of wanting “good looking” people reporting it. It’s all part of the entertainment value rather than hard reporting.

    I think, in the end, that you seek the same thing I do: a return to true reporting on events and news from unbiased people. That means real news people, reporting the facts, and not men and women with movie star appearance that are just talking heads.

    Thank you for this article and your refreshingly honest point of view.

  • John Wilson

    I don’t watch FNC for two reasons: I don’t have cable and never will, and it is utterly predictable. There really is NO news on FNC. How do I know? Sometimes I’ve watched an excerpt on youtube or somesuch, and just accounted it a waste of time.

    I think that the airwaves belong to the citizens and that outright advertising should be banned. Institutional recognitions should be allowed but not ads prepared by the advertiser.

    PBS and NPR (especially NPR) have made a strong rightward shift the last few years in response to unremitting accusations of left bias by rightists. Now I notice that the first thing NPR news reporters give is the anti-administration view by republicans. It goes something like this: “Today Obama introduced a resolution in favor of Motherhood, but John Boehner protested that this was a publicity grab”, followed by an excerpt from Boehners speech. They seem to always lean over backward, way backward, to mollify rightist critics. Much like the administration itself.

    Bush had appointed an outright rightwing conniver in Ken Tomlinson. Rightist bullying seems to have intimidated the staff of NPR.

  • dave

    seriously…. the author has some mental problem or is totally unreasonable. you can delete this post too i suppose. the author posts hate speach, racial hate speach. that i guess is allowed in USA. also allowed is my comment, that the author has a mental problem or is a racist. either way, really should consult a professional with their problem.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Excellent article, Horace!

    Straight to the point and BTW…they look like aliens to me…:)

    Media Matters

  • dave

    ” It is impeding social progress in America. ” there is the problem in a nutshell. 80%+ of folks in USA dont want liberal progressive “progress”. they want to be left alone, to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they dont ‘break the law’. well…. The great thing about America is that everybody gets to create their own utopia. We all get to celebrate life in 300 million different ways. It’s Darwin approved.

    Trying to force one vision of utopia on everybody just makes “liberals” freaks in my book.

    Even the author is allowed to hate USA and wish that others live in their utopia. We, the other 80%+ population, suggest maybe finding a communist/marist/other country that suits them, move there. Just be sure to take your hate with you. thanks, dave

  • Tmungin

    Great article! I don’t like Fox News too and I don’t waste my precious time watching any of their shows. Fair and Balance is not their strong suit. I get my news from CNN,NPR and NYTimes on the Internet. Fox news is a joke and it would be good to someday see their network become irrelevance.

  • Mr. Mod

    Most of the time the other news outlets just don’t cover a story rather than write a biased one. That’s dangerous too. Sometimes they do stories like Fox News just from the other political end of the spectrum. Treating the tea party like Fox treated Code Pink and all the other groups. Also misogyny and sexism isn’t cool no matter what the political views but CNN, NPR, NY Times are all guilty of it in their zeal to attack Fox News or anyone linked to them via interviews, etc.

    Rather than give myself a headache since I hate politics, but it boils over occasionally like now. I say all the news are biased and they should stop wasting my time having to read multiple outlets to get what’s really going on. All the channels spout crap and only sometimes make sense. Nobody is reporting the truth anymore. It’s ALL opinion for ratings and that’s what people seem to want now. Someobody to interpret reality the way THEY WANT to see it. Not the way it is.

  • Barbara Fridinger

    I agree with Mungin and its good to hear comments from a person who can express with
    knowledge!My one addition, WHO wants to hear all the screaming and talking over one another??

  • Baronius

    Horace and John – Fox News isn’t a broadcast station. This has nothing to do with the airwaves, or with broadcast deregulation. You’re completely wrong.

  • Baronius

    Another factual error: according to the most recent Pew study (October 2008), regular viewers of Hannity & Colmes scored better on a simple survey of politics than regular Daily Show viewers, 42% to 30%.

  • Baronius

    Also – How multi-colored are the rainbows on CNN and MSNBC? Is FNC really that much whiter?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    It’s time for Pew to do another study, that one is two years old.

    and…what happened to Colmes?

  • John Wilson

    Baronius: Sorry you were misled. I was talking about the ‘airwaves’. I don’t see cable.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Setting aside Horace offers no link to support his position, why would anyone compare a comedy show that spends maybe eight of its 30 minutes, four nights a week, on politics with a show that spends the vast majority of its 60 minutes dealing with politics?

    And who is the “grand reaper”?

  • Libby

    In my opinion, all of the news in the US is biased depending upon the individual broadcaster’s views and the corporate environment of the broadcast stations. I for one listen to many of them, read online, read foreign news blogs and formulate my opinion. I don’t believe anything I am told. I am disgusted with all of it. We have got to think for ourselves!!!

  • John Wilson

    Indeed. The broadcast news is weak and insipid, just an echo chamber. I don’t even watch PBS “Newshour”.

    Read independent media, and for your TV quotient catch some things on Megahertz Worldview like RT “Russia Today” or “Taiwan Report”, BBC or “France24″. For opinions I like Keiser Report.

  • http://johnnydollar.us/ StewartIII

    “One Horace Mungin has invented his own [nickname]* for FNC:

    ‘I like to call FOX News “White Fox” because of the restricted color of its on camera mannequins and the hand puppets who watch them.’

    Such creativity. Such [imagination]*. Mungin goes on to explain to the uninformed rabble what caused the rise of FNC:”

    ‘Deregulation of the broadcast media is what has brought us to this point. The Federal Communications Commission was formed in the 1930s to regulate broadcast stations as public trustees of the airwaves and to maintain the Fairness Doctrine. In 1981, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill to deregulate the broadcast industry.’

    “Um Horace, you are aware that Fox News Channel is not broadcast media, right? It’s a cable channel, and the 1981 deregulation dealt with broadcast stations. Sheesh.”
    ***
    J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!

  • Guy

    dave, you hit the nail on the head about liberals. All they want is to “control” everybody else’s life while they live off of them. Talk about phonies! And they have the nerve to call Fox “phony patriotism?” So exactly want would you call what CNN or MSNBC preaches?

    Why can’t liberals simply learn what their grandparents used to preach to them….”mind your own business.”

  • Susanna

    I apologize on behalf of at least half the Australian population that an Australian as vile as Rupert Murdoch has polluted your press with Fox News ( the other half may disagree)The trouble is that Fox News is so outrageous and so replellent that I find myself watching it -not really believing that it is for real. In Australia if a female news reader or reporter was as “dolled” up as FN “gals” are, we would not take them seriously!