Tuesday, August 3

Trying to Keep A Straight Face

by justmy2 @ 8/03/2004 11:26:00 PM

In Howard Kurtz's Media Notes column today, he has the audacity to ask if Fox News is actually "Fair and Balanced".

I was going to talk about Fox News's coverage of Al Gore's speech, but the fair-and-balanced network blew off the former veep's speech in favor of Bill O'Reilly.

O'Reilly interrupted his segment to toss to the Gore address for about 40 seconds, then started to rebut Gore. When Jimmy Carter took the podium, Fox joined it late and got out way early. Instead, viewers were treated to an interview with Republican activist Bill Bennett. While Carter was talking, Sean Hannity told Bennett: "I call this the reinvention convention. One of the things the Democrats want to do is create a false perception of who they are."

How would Fox fans know, since they weren't able to hear Gore (the man who won the popular vote last time) or former president Carter? What happened to "we report, you decide"? While Carter continued, Hannity played the video of Teresa Heinz Kerry telling a reporter to "shove it."

This is the kind of thing that makes critics question whether Fox has a Republican agenda.

I've long argued that people should separate Fox's straight reporters from its opinionated talking heads. And yes, all the cable networks cut away from some mid-level speakers to give more airtime to their own anchors, analysts and guests. If Fox wants to keep its talk-show stars on the air, it's probably better for ratings. (Brit Hume did rerun four or five minutes of Gore after 10 p.m.).

But virtually pulling the plug on live coverage of Gore and Carter? How about letting them speak and then ripping them, or critiquing them, or whatever. The network is supposed to be covering the convention, not just using it as a backdrop.

Well, at least Hannity and Colmes put a Democrat on soon afterward. Jerry Springer.

"Makes critics question whether Fox has a Republican agenda."...are you kidding me? If that is still an outsanding question for him, a media critic, Howard Kurtz doesn't deserve his salary. But then again, his wife is a big time republican consultant. Maybe it is time to start questioning his agenda...

For those interested in how seeing how Fox News has turned into Faux News, the Republican News Chamber, "we distort, you comply", check out Outfoxed, which documents the machinery behind Fox, and News Hounds which documents the hourly distortions carried over your airwaves


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