This morning I watched the Today Show lead story at 7:00, and then the Fox News lead story at 7:30.
I may be comparing apples to oranges because of show formats, but the difference between the network reports could not could not have been more stark.
The Today show was grim (as it should be). The main theme was How can this happen in America?, Why the hell didnt we plan for this? and where the hell is the Nation Guard?. Tim Russert, a fairly moderate guy, was very grim.
The Fox theme was upbeat and basically said…Help is on they way! and Everything will be fine today!
Fox kept showing a lineup of Fire trucks poised to enter New Orleans (btw- why were they just parked there and not in city helping yet?). Banners on the bottom of the screen stated things like “Bush orders aid to New Orleans” or “Bush to send in National Guard”. The message was esentially that Bush is here to save the day!
Is Fox desperately spinning this disaster in light of Bush’s low approval ratings?
You’ve gotta be kidding. Couldn’t you just as easily argue that the Today was “spinning” news on the grim side…in order to make Bush look as bad as possible? Oh, I forgot…the Today Show news was “grim…as it should be.”
I don’t think so. Fox has been just as hard on the response–or lack of it–as the other news media. We’ve all been told that help is on the way but we haven’t seen any actual proof. Massive supply convoys moving in is a big deal, even if there are still thousands to rescue and get to a staging area. Tell you what. Watch the Big Story and Special Report. Then watch Hardball and Countdown. (I’ll do the same if I get a chance.) If there is a major difference on how they report the story, maybe then I’ll think about the possibility that there is spin going on.
Another thing that will be interesting to see will be on Sunday with Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, and Face the Nation, especially if they interview the same people. Personally, I’m hoping to see Tim Russert tear Brown and Chertoff each a new one.
Shep is interviewing someone who is describing the horrible conditions in the Superdome. Pictures show a trashed-out S.D.
“Good news” that the S.D. has been evacuated.
Reporter showing a long line of people “about to be fed”. There was an exchance of gun fire, but police are starting to be seen. There is some sign of order now.
Has order been restored in that building (not sure what building: S.D.?)? There is a law inforcement presence now.
Do not go to the Convention Center-- it’s chaos.
Comfort kits are being distributed by the Red Cross in Baton Rouge. Interviewing an older Black Man who was in the SuperDome. Now they switch to an elderly Black woman whom they interviewed a few days ago. [I can’t understand what she’s saying.]
I have flipped back and forth between Fox and CNN constantly over the last few days. I haven’t noticed a bias with Fox or CNN. Even Bill O’Reilly came down very hard on the federal government efforts lasty night.
Yes, I suppose he did. But why wasn’t the National Guard there two days ago? How many Guardsmen and Army regulars are stationed in LA? What have they been doing since Monday evening?. Even Joe Scarbarough was asking that on Wednesday night.
What FOX is counting on, is in the patented right wing Timeline Avoidance System® that will allow typical Fox viewers to ignore what happened before and so they will only remember the good (but late) response to the disaster. However, I must say that the TAS is beginning to fail, so there is hope.
As one of MSNBC’s approximately 6,000 remaining viewers, I just caught their reporter Michelle Hofland in N.O. expressing outright outrage that it had taken so long (5 days) for the aid shipments now just arriving to get there.
I don’t want to revive the blamefest, but kudos to her for expressing that outrage on-air and reminding some small minority of Americans how long it’s been.