Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fox is Conservative-So What?

With all the uproar over the White House attacks on Fox News, I thought I would consider the oft-repeated charge that Fox is to the right and not really "Fair and Balanced". I have thought a lot about Fox's "fair and balanced" claim, and to be honest, I think it is not quite accurate. In my mind, Fox definitely leans to the right, and most of the comment you hear on Fox News is conservative. Fair and balanced? It depends on your point of view.

First, let's not forget that Fox's CEO is Roger Ailes, a conservative. One of their top anchors, Britt Hume, is conservative. Then there are Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck (the latter recently having moved over from CNN). Both are unabashedly conservative and critics of President Obama. There is no pretense of straight reporting here. Theirs are commentary shows. Bill O'Reiily, controversial in his own right, defines himself as an independent "traditionalist", who can come down for or against anybody. There is no question, however, that he is down on the far-left.

Hannity's show, in my opinion, was better when he had Alan Colmes there to debate with him. He still does manage to fit in a liberal or two and engage in healthy debate with them.

In the financial area, which I don't follow because I don't understand it very well Fox does seem to have a bevy of critics of the Obama Administration's fiscal policies.

Fox does, however, have several liberal, Democratic voices including Colmes, who makes regular guest appearances. One could hardly call Geraldo Rivera, Juan Williams, Bob Beckel or Greta van Susteren right wingers.

But let me concede here that Fox has a decidedly conservative bent.

So what?

It is the only news network that doesn't lean solidly to the liberal, Democratic side. Against Fox, you have arraigned ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC. The latter, with characters like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz don't even bother to engage in debate with opposing voices. Chris Matthews has all but admitted that he wants to have Obama's baby. But let us play tit for tat and use Hannity and Beck to cancel out Maddow and Olbermann. My question remains; why is Fox considered such a threat by the left? Is it because Fox's ratings are way higher than CNN and MSNBC combined? Is that why Olbermann refers to Fox on air as "Fixed News" and regularly includes Bill O'Reilly in his nightly "Worst Persons" award?

And don't forget that in addition to all the liberal news networks, Fox is under attack by other forms of media. Most of the major newspapers are liberal, and in the case of papers like the New York Times and LA Times, not even making a pretense of being fair and balanced. Then there is Hollywood, whose vapid, empty-headed "stars" fall all over themselves to tell us common folks how to live (the liberal way).

Have I mentioned the universities? Yes, actually, about a thousand times.

It all comes down to this, in my view. Why do the liberals have a problem with conservative folks having their one news outlet-(along with talk radio-open to all but dominated by conservatives)? It's bad enough that the various news outlets feel compelled to attack a rival outlet. It's a hundred times worse when you have the all-powerful White House trying to isolate and discredit a major news outlet because it is virtually the only outlet that is offering any criticism of an administration that does not tolerate criticism. Can you imagine the White House having a web page that has a link to "Read more Fox lies"? It is downright Nixonian (or Nixonesque, if you prefer).

I want you liberals out there-especially the ones who were so upset about George W Bush "shredding the Constitution" and wiretapping suspected terrorists, as well as all that water boarding stuff-to ask yourselves this question. With the blatant attacks on Fox News by the White House and the looming Fairness Doctrine that would put an end to talk radio altogether, is this what you want to see-the elimination of all media outlets that criticize the current administration? Or is that actually part of the entire "progressive" agenda?

Whatever the Bush Administration did that upset you "rights" advocates was done to prevent future 9-11s and save lives. Can anyone honestly claim that this administration is going after its opponents to save lives? Or is it to protect their power?

But I digress. I say let Fox be Fox, and let MSNBC be MSNBC. I have slammed the latter on numerous occasions, but I would never support a conservative administration trying to destroy it. There is a reason Fox's ratings are so high-and rising higher. Somebody in the news media has to be there to criticize and keep this administration honest.

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