Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Holding Fox Accountable For Their "We Distort, You Absorb" Style


I'm in the middle of reading Eric Boehlert's fantastic new book, Bloggers on the Busand I was thrilled to be reminded of the heroic-- almost revolutionary-- efforts that bloggers made to delegitimize Fox News on behalf of the cowering wimps in the Democratic Party power structure. The blogger victory over Fox was breathtaking and until Boehlert's book, it hasn't been properly analyzed or even recounted.
Complacent Democratic politicians who avoided picking fights had adopted a "go along, get along" strategy with Fox News, hoping that if they were nice and cooperative, then Fox would be nice and cooperative in return. That strategy didn't work. In 2004 a study conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that during the height of the presidential campaign, just 13 percent of Fox News panelist comments about Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry were positive, compared to 50 percent positive for Bush.

Bloggers went into action to derail the Nevada Democratic presidential debate on Fox. When it started, it seemed like an impossible task. Harry Reid, the epitome of the "complacent Democratic politicians who avoided picking fights," wanted the debate to happen. Back to Boehlert for the aftermath of the bloody-- and successful-- battle to get it canned.
That's when key Fox News players, in front of and behind the cameras went bonkers. Frustrated for weeks that they had no leverage in the unfolding debate within the Democratic Party about whether or not to go forward with the proposed alliance, the channel's executives erupted with rage when they were finally, and unceremoniously, dumped.

On the air, Fox News pundit, Mort Kondracke claimed that the netroots campaign to cancel the debate amounted to "junior-grade Stalinism." The afternoon host John Gibson also invoked Stalin, as well as Trotsky. And Bill O'Reilly claimed that the network's online debate opponents "used propaganda techniques perfected by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of information. They lie, distort, defame, all the time." [a little hysterical and a lot of blatant projecting?]

This came from [Fox News head honcho Roger] Ailes himself: "The candidates that can't face Fox, can't face Al Qaeda. And that's what's coming." (Did that mean Fox News was the equivalent of Al Qaeda?) Bloggers were thrilled that the CEO of the most successful cable news channel couldn't resist becoming publicly embroiled in the debate over the debates; they knew they'd struck a nerve with Rupert Murdoch's empire,

The Fox News brand had been dented.

Yesterday, in an interview with CNBC, Obama, provoked, dented it a little more.
Brushing off suggestions Tuesday the media is not critical enough of his administration, President Obama couldn't help but take aim at one cable news channel in particular.

"It's very hard for me to swallow that one," Obama told CNBC when asked whether he thinks the media is too easy on him. "First of all, I've got one television station entirely devoted to attacking my administration."
The interviewer quickly assumed Obama was referring to Fox News, a suggestion the president didn't disagree with.

"Well, that's a pretty big megaphone," he said. "And you'd be hard-pressed, if you watched the entire day, to find a positive story about me on that front."

"We welcome people who are asking us some, you know, tough questions," he continued. "And I think that I've been probably as accessible as any president in the first six months-- press conferences, taking questions from reporters, being held accountable, being transparent about what it is that we're trying to do. I think that, actually, the reason that people have been generally positive about what we've tried to do is they feel as if I'm available and willing to answer questions, and we haven't been trying to hide them all."

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At 9:22 PM, Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Fox sucks. You'll get more accuracy and more real news from a back room National Enquirer writer. Parents, teach your kids no manners at all and how to be excessively mouthy, and watch them grow up to be Fox commentators and pundits!

At 7:03 AM, Blogger vanya said...

lol! I'm already teachin' them how to say "Fox sucks." And for some reason it reminds me of "swiper no swiping"!


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