Monday, November 26, 2007

Fox Cannibals

This is getting some attention around the blogosphere:
Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) suggested on Sunday that Fox News is biased against his campaign, charging that the network highlights commentators who have been critical of his run for the presidency.
The story probably wouldn't be as interesting to me if I hadn't read this previously about Fox trying to handicap John McCain:

Earlier in the week, Fox had demanded that the McCain campaign cancel an advertisement that prominently featured his performance in a debate Sunday night that Fox News had sponsored. The advertisement featured a video clip of Mr. McCain’s shot at Senator Hillary Clinton for pushing a $1 million earmark for a museum commemorating the Woodstock festival in 1969, ending with the biting observation that he was “tied up” during the concert. Mr. McCain was in a North Vietnamese prison at the time.

Earlier tonight, the Web site Talking Points Memo pointed out that the campaigns of Mr. McCain’s rivals, specifically Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, made liberal use of footage from Fox images to promote their candidates, but had not been told to remove the images.
Fox has always been fairly transparent with their agendas, I'll give them that. It's interesting now to see them so invested in one GOP cadidate at the expense of the others.

I feel kind of sorry for John McCain, who I still really like. The poor guy must have some really bad karma... you may recall that he got screwed in South Carolina in 2000 by the Bush campaign's dirty tricks (I suspect this laundry list of offenses is more accurate but I can't vouch for the source).


Anonymous eagle eyed milton said...

First off, I voted for McCain in 2000 and am a Right-ist. Secondly, I have grown tiresom of Fox (how many times can they cover the Aruba missing girl case). Thirdly, as much as I like powerpoint counter points by Bill O ....I have to smirk everytime I think about the harassment case that got 'settled'...his cred is zero. I was pondering the old days of watching mesmerized as Lynne Russell told me the days news...sigh. So what am I saying? oh yes! Fox is pushing Rudy...but aren't the other networks being overly soft to Hillary? Where is the middle ground for TV network news these days...I would so love to have my favorite magazine 'The Weekly" on the network news...the best from both the left and right each getting their best shots ...but wait, that would mean 'fairness in broadcasting' which won't sell air time....Logic...your holiday break has really has been filled with great insight.

4:10 PM, November 26, 2007  
Blogger Logic101 said...

I think you're on the right track there, e.e.m. News has become a commodity with huge financial consequences. We're seeing the last days of any pretense of integrity. I think its decline started when CNN made its big splash during the first Gulf War (who wasn't up all night watching the Wolf Blitzer and and the Scud Stud?). Suddenly news was hot.

The O.J. Simpson trial sealed the fate of journalistic integrity... it was like, Eureka -- there's gold in them thar news entertainment stories! It's been a steady stream of missing white women ever since.

Fox News made a great fortune from dousing itself in high-sheen lip gloss and wrapping itself in the American flag (which, come on, can we admit has been kind of gross?). They did what they set out to do, though, targeting, and then marketing to, a very specific audience. I've heard MSNBC is putting forth an equal and opposite effort but that's just because Keith Olbermann is the first unabashed cable news lefty with his own show (I refuse to count Colmes from Hannity and Colmes... only Fox could have dug up such a stereotypical liberal weenie to please their minions). I'll believe MSNBC is going full frontal leftist when they get rid of Tucker Carlson and Chris Matthews (or make them play weenie sidekicks on Olbermann's show).

Do you see the difference between, say, CNN propping up Bill Clinton during his presidency (via the Clinton News Network) and Fox news pandering to a whole demographic? The first was bad enough... the other is horrifying, not just because of purely commercial intent but because it has caused a horrible divide in this country where people feel like they only have to listen to what they want to hear.

The blogosphere is the same way. I admit struggling mightily with this myself... who doesn't like their world view reinforced daily? But I know in my heart it's wrong. Loving and respecting my Republican leaning family members reinforces to me all the time that not everything to the right is wrong (although I really do like watching Keith Olbermann's show when I can stay awake for it).

As long as vast sums of money are involved it's only going to get worse. With all those news companies competing for viewers they're going to have to find ways to differentiate and look for niches. They're watching each other and learning from each other like a pack of raptors. Regardless of our individual political affinities, we're all just starting to look like dinner to them.

5:16 PM, November 26, 2007  

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