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Taking On The Fox Network

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  • Taking On The Fox Network

    Dear friends,

    Common Cause, MoveOn.org, and a bunch of other organizations have launched a campaign to take on Fox for pretending partisan news is "fair and balanced." They've posted a really horrifying but funny video clip highlighting Bill O'Reilly's hypocrisy as well as a complaint to the FTC at:

    http://www.moveon.org/fox/

    Check it out.

    The challenges to Fox's partisanship are mounting. It's crucial that we voice our disgust with Fox's deceptive advertising now.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Uh, why not just turn the channel? Is Bill O'Reilly being broadcast under the banner of "Fair and Balanced" any less offensive than Michael Moore's propaganda being called a "documentary"?

    Just asking...

    Comment


    • #3
      False advertising?? Not sure Moore has ever claimed to be 'balanced'. Fox implies that it is delivering something it blatantly isn't.

      We can get both Fox and Sky news (both part of Murdoch's New International) via satellite in the UK, and Fox makes Sky look like the BBC.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bill:

        This is Berry. For some reason when I made a post it appeared as though you had written it. I suspect I accidentally messed up one of your posts, this one specifically. I may have accidentally chose to edit your post as opposed creating a new one. Very sorry.

        Best,
        Berry

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jules
          False advertising?? Not sure Moore has ever claimed to be 'balanced'. Fox implies that it is delivering something it blatantly isn't.

          We can get both Fox and Sky news (both part of Murdoch's New International) via satellite in the UK, and Fox makes Sky look like the BBC.
          In that respect Fox is no different than the news services of CBS, NBC, ABC, AP, and so on, and so on.

          When Fox says its "Fair and Balanced", they are referring to the fact that it's about time there was a voice for conservative minded people. Do I think that Fox is biased in its viewpoint...You bet I do! And its about time there was a news service that catered to the conservative right!

          Its really quite refreshing to see people upset when they get a news broadcast that doesn't depict their line of thinking as "the only way it aughta be".

          I find it funny that people who vote Democrat are generally considered "open-minded and fair" yet these same open-minded, fair people are trying to silence the conservative voice in America. Doesn't make any sense to me. Who's wearing the swastika armbands now?

          Its a big world out there. Don't get too lost in your "Let's shut em up" fantasy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, I mean wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone just watched news channels that just confirmed their existing prejudices!!

            For the record - personally, I take a Murdoch owned Sunday newspaper (the Sunday Times) and the trust owned Observer (liberal). I can't read either the Daily Mail or the Socialist Worker because both are propoganda sheets first and newspapers second.

            If you want to see a country where one party has taken over the media and the government - I give you Italy.

            Another issue of course is that the scales are screwed : There is no Left wing version of Fox (as Bill points out, if people would watch it, there would be, but they're all out lying in front of bulldozers) - hence the Right getting in a tizzy about a bias to the Centre in the media. As I said before, 50 years ago it was Communism - now it's Liberalism - I think that says something about
            a) the real trend in America - towards the conservative point of view.
            b) that complaining about media bias is nothing new.

            You may also want to go look at the stats on the so-called liberal bias, as to a certain extent it is a myth - by numbers of papers sold, radio listeners and TV viewers, the conservative media wins hands down. But I guess where it isn't a myth is in the 'agenda setting' media.

            Comment


            • #7
              "(as Bill points out, if people would watch it, there would be, but they're all out lying in front of bulldozers)"

              Of course, I didn't say it so eloquently. :D

              I think the arguments about "bias" miss the point entirely. It should be a given that we all know and understand the potential or historical bias in any of our news sources (do you think the average American knows the general bias of say, the Washington Post? I think not) but more importantly, we should be reading and researching those positions that we DON'T agree with more than those we agree with. Anything other than that isn't learning, it is self-justification, which, to me, is a waste of time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bill
                " It should be a given that we all know and understand the potential or historical bias in any of our news sources (do you think the average American knows the general bias of say, the Washington Post? I think not) but more importantly, we should be reading and researching those positions that we DON'T agree with more than those we agree with. Anything other than that isn't learning, it is self-justification, which, to me, is a waste of time.
                Good point. I think any intelligent person would do just that. Why does this or that news source or opinion differ so much from what I believe to be fact or truth? Once that question comes up, it's time to start digging. Also, what you said about the average American not knowing about media bias, you are probably right. Most don't, and that's exactly what those news sources are counting on when they give, not the news, but their point of view of the news.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jules

                  Another issue of course is that the scales are screwed : There is no Left wing version of Fox (as Bill points out, if people would watch it, there would be, but they're all out lying in front of bulldozers) - hence the Right getting in a tizzy about a bias to the Centre in the media. As I said before, 50 years ago it was Communism - now it's Liberalism - I think that says something about
                  a) the real trend in America - towards the conservative point of view.
                  b) that complaining about media bias is nothing new.

                  You may also want to go look at the stats on the so-called liberal bias, as to a certain extent it is a myth - by numbers of papers sold, radio listeners and TV viewers, the conservative media wins hands down. But I guess where it isn't a myth is in the 'agenda setting' media.
                  Jules, you're hitting on part of my problem with Fox News. I agree in part with Bill when he says just don't watch it. However, Fox News has created a climate where if they are on the right, and there is no counterpart (or counterpoint) on the left, then the centrist media becomes the contrast. So the choices become Fox or MSNBC (or CNN). Since neither MSNBC nor CNN don't share Fox's point of view, many people incorrectly assume that they must be taking the opposite point of view. This effectively removes the left from the equation, which tilts much the media to slightly to the right. This wouldn't be an issue if so many people didn't watch (and believe everything on) Fox news. The same is true in talk radio, where Air America is barely a player amongst the Rush's of the world.

                  As for the liberal bias in the media, it's no secret than a majority of journalists are biased a little to the left. I would argue that you would have to be that way to approach the world with such openness. However, journalists do not control or own the media in most of the world, and certainly not in the US, where most influential media outlets are part of corporate conglomerates. I would take this one step further and argue that it is in the interest of media corporations to perpetuate the myth of liberal media, because it takes attention away from the fundamen tally corporate interests that ultimately control them.

                  On a final note, since I do know a little social psychology...
                  There are many self-confirming biases in our perception. We seek out information that confirms the way we see ourselves and the world. Jerico and I talked about that in a different thread, but I had to mention it again. :)

                  The related media research suggests that people read and watch news that confirms what they already think, and disregard or diminish other stories and sources. In other words, in general, people often look for "me, too" news, instead of objectivity. Anyone who's ever heard a ditto-head understands this phenomena well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jules
                    Another issue of course is that the scales are screwed : There is no Left wing version of Fox (as Bill points out, if people would watch it, there would be, but they're all out lying in front of bulldozers)
                    They might be out trying to earn a living instead, y'know? That kind of characterization is pure bigotry - as if there could never be cause in which such an act might have merit.

                    All the money is behind the corporations, the profiteers, and the handful of families that are practically nations to themselves. The news is not even serious journalism in most cases - but rather public relation releases carefully crafted to sway public opinions.

                    Yesterday, Michael Moore had this to say:
                    "...for instance, NBC, owned by General Electric. You know, I understand, I understand General Electric now has over $600 million worth of contracts in Iraq. They are war-profiteers. It doesn't surprise me that their news arm has failed to do the job that it needs to do to tell the truth to the American people about this war. There's nothing surprising about that. I understand that."

                    Murdoch is just more of the same.

                    But who is pounding on the door to the legislature and creating public relations films in the public interest? No one of course - and as a consequence all decisions are skewed in favor of the biggest, wealthiest interests.

                    So maybe lying in front of a bulldozer is a waste of time. But what do you recommend to someone of limited financial resources? Should they just be shoved aside because having no money and so they therefore should also have no opinion? The reality is that most people have limits on not only their finances, but also on their available time: scraping by, raising children, trying to get ahead.

                    While the many struggle to earn a dollar, the few are busy making sure it will always be that way - with them at the top of the economic pyramid.

                    Why work when you can fix it so that everyone simply has to work for you instead?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, log in if you want to be taken seriously. Anything else is baiting.

                      "They might be out trying to earn a living instead, y'know? That kind of characterization is pure bigotry - as if there could never be cause in which such an act might have merit."

                      Um, sport, if you hung out here a little more you would have known in an instant that the expression was a JOKE. Lighten up, Francis.

                      "All the money is behind the corporations, the profiteers, and the handful of families that are practically nations to themselves. The news is not even serious journalism in most cases - but rather public relation releases carefully crafted to sway public opinions."

                      Blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before. Bottom line is this: A PUBLIC RELATIONS release is only effective and meaningful if the PUBLIC RELATES.

                      "Yesterday, Michael Moore had this to say:
                      "...for instance, NBC, owned by General Electric. You know, I understand, I understand General Electric now has over $600 million worth of contracts in Iraq. They are war-profiteers."

                      Look, I happen to know a lot about GE and it's inner workings. This assertion is utter and patent bull****. Sure, it sounds good, and likely sells movies (so, does that make Moore a hypocrite? Let me go look that up in the dictionary to make sure...). If you think so, you have no idea how a corporation really works. None whatsoever. AND you haven't done your research, since a good selection of senior officers in the company are, surprise surprise, DEMOCRATS.

                      NBC is a ratings and ad dollars whore. Simple as that. It grabs eyeballs, it goes on the air. It doesn't grab eyeballs, it doesn't. It is as predictable as dropping an egg on the floor. That egg will, if unimpeded, hit the floor every single time. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Um, sport, who said there was any significant difference between the two political parties when it comes to corporations? And who said Democrats couldn't be war profiteers?

                        I haven't heard much from Kerry asserting we would be out of Iraq the day after he took office or anything like that.

                        I think your understanding of how corporations work leaves something to be desired. Often as not, there is a herd mentality. Nobody wants to be the peg that stands out just to be pounded back down.

                        You sound really smart when you build your own straw man arguments to defeat. You sound like an ignoramus otherwise.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill
                          The real essense of the issue here to me is still one of commerce. If no one watches, then you may see a change, either in commentators or in advertising. If people watch, you won't. And no amount of coalition work is going to change that.
                          Sorry. I can't agree with this.

                          We can influence the media in three ways:

                          1) View or don't view.

                          You can change the channel. You don't have to change the channel. Confirm or contrast what you believe. If you want real information, you'll have to spend time researching (I recommend The Internet). You can read the government numbers on the web easily. You don't have to consume slanted opinion when facts are readily available.

                          2) Engineer our own outlet.

                          Set up a blog. Create your own newspaper. All the big companies have. We can too. We are doing it all the time. The Internet is a moderate's haven, whichever side of ying/yang you swing. I always find balance within myself and not in the opinions of others. I generally value the opinions of the visitors here and I can't name a person in the media I'd bet all my chips on. I'll rely on a chorus of voices rather than a couple of ranting loudmouths. I'm not characterizing anyone in this thread, of course. Rush, Stern, O'Reilly and Moore know what sells. If they don't, their producers do.

                          3) Activism.

                          One of America's great weaknesses is the commercial influence over the dissemination of information. When large companies presume to speak for or get paternalistic with us (we know what you need, just shut up and check out these tits)), they do it one person at a time. It's them against the hapless viewer. Governments and companies are desperate to diminish the power of the individual while consuming our resources en masse. Trivialize activism and you say to the community that only those with money have a priority over free speech. That is a familiar paradigm when you think about how our justice system works. If you have the money you can broadcast anything you want. The BBC seems to be a good deal to me. People, it's okay to boycott Fox. It's okay to get into groups and lay down in front of bulldozers. I choose to be a part of the largest group, the unorganized moderates, and seek out a variety of media.

                          The problem for most of these media outlet's is that they are all serving the same crappy menu. I remember when ON TV (a cable channel back in the late 70's consisting of a single proprietary channel) arrived in Los Angeles. Within a couple of years, they were showing Popeye The Movie like 3 times a day. 20 years later and we have 100 channels showing crappy programming 3 or 4 times a day, i.e. Nickelodeon show Spongebob Squarepants about 6 times daily. CNN had my attention in the early 90's but now you get the same 5 stories every 15 minutes. The pundits are crawling out of the woodwork these days and they all ramble on like Baptist preachers during a potluck. Television is driving hardcore watchers, like me (I've clocked a lot of hours in front of the tube), to The Internet for real information. As the television is devoured by it's own fucked up proliferation, it's glorious polar opposite, The Internet, makes it possible to discover almost anything you'd like to know, usually in real time.

                          I've been watching Google News and I think you'd all benefit from perusing it from time to time. http://news.google.com/ is a great way to learn more about a topic. You can read a topic from many different newspapers. You can read topics from newspapers and television outlets from around the world. The real mindbender is reading about America from places like China, India and elsewhere.

                          American conservative (FOX) or liberal (NPR) media are corporate whores used to influence you to buy stuff and isolate you from information that is likely to piss you off. While pundits rant on within dichotomies, business and government make decisions on your behalf, which should be reported or seldom are. American media is not a forum for any sort of meaningful debate, but rather it is an entertainment outlet. It is akin to a very crappy Gilligan's Island episode that you've seen before and vaguely remember.

                          The idea that FOX will cease broadcasting junk because we've all migrated to different sources is not a strong argument against protesting their flimsy content. I do believe that FOX exists because people want to consume their crap. Such media reflects what society is thinking. Media do riff on what society emphasizes in its cultures. I believe FOX will change its content when we change. Activism is a powerful tool for catalystic change in society. The media will do its best to put a new label on the same old beer can and paint non-drinkers as abberant factors in the marketplace.
                          The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jack and Bill - indeed - as soon as I read anything in the UK media about, say, Tony Blair's big speech in the US, and how the US public love him, I take a quick look on CNN to see if said speech even made the US media.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Berry Sizemore

                              One of America's great weaknesses is the commercial influence over the dissemination of information. When large companies presume to speak for or get paternalistic with us (we know what you need, just shut up and check out these tits)), they do it one person at a time. It's them against the hapless viewer. Governments and companies are desperate to diminish the power of the individual while consuming our resources en masse. Trivialize activism and you say to the community that only those with money have a priority over free speech. That is a familiar paradigm when you think about how our justice system works. If you have the money you can broadcast anything you want. The BBC seems to be a good deal to me. People, it's okay to boycott Fox. It's okay to get into groups and lay down in front of bulldozers. I choose to be a part of the largest group, the unorganized moderates, and seek out a variety of media.
                              I agree with you in principle. I especially agree that corporations are the symbol of paternalism in US society, which is especially problematic when you deal with information. The ideal resistance to that is to reject it and find many alternative sources.

                              Here is the however. However, I'm not sure everyone is motivated enough to do that. I think they should be, but I don't believe that most are. Having said that, though, I do think that when enough people abandon traditional news sources enough to register an market loss, corporate media may finally pay attention to those ideals of journalistic integrity. After all, corporate music didn't care about downloading music until CD sales suffered just a little bit. They didn't put out those fires quickly enough, so I'm hopeful that big business has learned a lesson about the populist power of the internet.

                              Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                              The problem for most of these media outlet's is that they are all serving the same crappy menu. I remember when ON TV (a cable channel back in the late 70's consisting of a single proprietary channel) arrived in Los Angeles. Within a couple of years, they were showing Popeye The Movie like 3 times a day. 20 years later and we have 100 channels showing crappy programming 3 or 4 times a day, i.e. Nickelodeon show Spongebob Squarepants about 6 times daily. CNN had my attention in the early 90's but now you get the same 5 stories every 15 minutes. The pundits are crawling out of the woodwork these days and they all ramble on like Baptist preachers during a potluck. Television is driving hardcore watchers, like me (I've clocked a lot of hours in front of the tube), to The Internet for real information. As the television is devoured by it's own fucked up proliferation, it's glorious polar opposite, The Internet, makes it possible to discover almost anything you'd like to know, usually in real time.
                              This made me laugh. I remember when cable TV first arrived in my hometown. It was supposed to open up all of these viewing opportunities (15 channels instead of 4! ), but my memory of many of those new channels is exaclty what you say--the same shows four or five times a day, except for the ESPN of that time, which broadcast a bunch of Australian Rules Football.

                              More seriously, I think you've hit the nail on the head. More channels may not mean more choices. It may only mean more repitition. This could be a problem when it creates an illusion of more choice that people buy, which is compounded when most channels are duplicating what at least two other channels offer.


                              Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                              American conservative (FOX) or liberal (NPR) media are corporate whores used to influence you to buy stuff and isolate you from information that is likely to piss you off. While pundits rant on within dichotomies, business and government make decisions on your behalf, which should be reported or seldom are. American media is not a forum for any sort of meaningful debate, but rather it is an entertainment outlet. It is akin to a very crappy Gilligan's Island episode that you've seen before and vaguely remember.
                              I strongly agree with this. Corporate news and entertainment have become indistiguishable from one another. My strongest evidence of this comes from NBC. The highest paid person at NBC news isn't it's editor and public face (Tom Brokaw), but rather Katie Couric, who's responsibilites are usually only marginally journalistic. When the Today show is more important than the evening news, I don't have to wonder why many stories go unreported or under-reported, while others are repeated endlessly. To use Katie Couric as an example again (don't mean to beat up on her)-- she has mentioned Teresa Kerry's "shove it" story more often than Cheney's "fuck yourself" story. I think it is a bit more important that an elected official threatens the sanctity of the Senate (which is incidentally one of the reasons Clinton got crucified. He did what he did in the Oval Office), than when a candidate's wife gets frustrated with an agressive reporter.

                              Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                              The idea that FOX will cease broadcasting junk because we've all migrated to different sources is not a strong argument against protesting their flimsy content. I do believe that FOX exists because people want to consume their crap. Such media reflects what society is thinking. Media do riff on what society emphasizes in its cultures. I believe FOX will change its content when we change. Activism is a powerful tool for catalystic change in society. The media will do its best to put a new label on the same old beer can and paint non-drinkers as abberant factors in the marketplace.
                              This is one of the best (and most cynical) descriptions of American marketing and advertising that I've ever heard. [/code]

                              Comment

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