Is Fox News really all that bad?

First off, I’m very liberal.

Second off, I watch almost zero TV news. I catch it at my parents (not necessarily Fox), doctors’ offices, and times like that. I do see a bunch of clips all the time of Fox News programs such as those featuring Hannity and O’Reilly. And sometimes it’s a clip of an ordinary Fox News story, not necessarily anything political. That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t watched large chunks of Fox News over the past few years. I interpret at doctors’ offices and often am waiting for patients. For some reason, Fox News is a popular choice to have on.

I think Hannity and O’Reilly are buffoons, but their programs are obviously and explicitly Conservative in message. One may blame the Fox Network for carrying such crap, but I don’t, really. There’s no hidden agenda, and those shows are fulfilling a demand for that message. In any case, I don’t think those shows taint Fox News itself.

So, what about Fox News? It’s slogan is, “Fair and Balanced.” People, especially liberals, accuse it of being blatantly pro-Conservative. The thing is, when I’ve watched it, it’s seemed like your typical stupid network news without a whole of lot bias either way. Plus, they have some hot blondes on there, which is nice.

I find network news to be boring and Conservative as a default setting. No matter what, it seems to reinforce the status quo. Keep calm and carry on, as the Brits used to say. No huge need for change, although there are problems problems problems, and isn’t that interesting? Yesssss, watch. Watch more. Consume more. And… be happy (THX-1138).

Fox News seems well-produced with competent newscasters (some of whom are hot blondes). It does seem to tell the basic news without too much of a slant; which is to say, it’s slanted toward the status quo–just like all news shows. There is nothing truly excellent about it, yet there doesn’t seem to be anything exceptionally execrable about it either.

TL;DR: Fox News is Conservative, but all network news shows ares fundamentally Conservative, inasmuch as they subtly and unsubtly validate the status quo.

What do you think?

It’s awful, and you seem to have selected a definition of conservative that has nothing to do with political conservatism, which is the issue with regard to Fox News.

I’m not trying to equivocate. It’s just that, when you’re really, really Liberal, they all seem pretty bad. I’m interested in hearing why Fox is worse, however, by those that believe it is.

Fox News is bad. All other cable TV news is bad, or at least the stuff that I’ve seen. Fox News is slightly worse than the rest. Their lies are slightly more blatant. One that I recall is they reported that Scooter Libby was found not guilty after he was found guilty. I’ve never seen any other network be so shameless in lying to promote the interests of their side of the aisle. I’m sure people who care about this sort of stuff can give plenty of other examples.

Further, the use of the “fair and balanced” tagline when they exist to be unfair and unbalanced strikes me as Orwellian.

Me? Rightly or wrongly, I think Fox proactively covered and nurtured the “Tea Party” movement, especially through the GB show. Kind of reminds me of the classic meme where the city desk editor tells his reporters, “Go out there and make some news.”

It’s certainly quite accurate to regard Fox News as a “conservative network” but I often think it would be better to see it as a populist, tabloidy network.

Other news stations are conservative in the way that the older demographic they pander to is conservative: they’re a little stodgy about sex and foul language, and a little more reverent towards religion, and talk about new things from the same perspective that a late-middle-aged person would have: A “look at the new thing kids these days are into” vibe.

Fox News is conservative in the way that the Republican Party is conservative. Republican interviewees get softball treatment, and when they leave politics routinely become Republican commentators. They create and run programs in election season with the intention of mud-raking against Democrats. They are the voice of the Republican Party more than anything else.

Because it’s an openly conservative network (I regard their slogan as trolling rather than Orwellian, if that helps) that makes no effect at objective journalism beyond that
catchphrase. The other networks save MSNBC do make that effort, however they may botch it on a regular basis.

It is in some respects. But it’s also openly politically conservative and it’s not hard to find examples of Fox News giving stories a conservative slant. I recall its outrage in reporting that most poor families in the U.S. have a refrigerator, for instance.

The main gripe with Fox “News” is the way the line between, as Jon Stewart put it, “opinutainment” (i.e. editorializing) and reporting is removed, and opinion and news are smeared together. Accidentally putting a “D” next to the names of disgraced GOP and that sort of thing is not the real problem

Of course an editorial board is supposed to stake out a position; that’s expected. What I disagree with is constantly using the editorials to generate stuff which is later reported as news, as Fox does, and making it extremely unclear to the casual viewer whether they’re watching actual reporting or rather editorializing. No other major media source does this to anything like the extent Fox “News” does.

The actual, literal “news” component of Fox “News” is only something like 90 minutes per day. But that’s not obvious unless you’re paying close attention. If the channel were called something like “The Fox Patriot Channel” and the part called Fox News was clearly distinguished from the opinutainment, it wouldn’t be so disgusting.

Let’s start off with a quick admission: I’m a liberal.

I find Fox news to be fine when the item they’re discussing isn’t political in nature. When the topic is political in nature, I often can’t believe the arch-conservative slant they put on the topic.

Unfortunately, I find MSNBC to be just as bad in the other direction. Whenever MSNBC puts on Al Sharpton I run away screaming.

It’s not news.

I believe Jon Stewart had a segment a while back about how Fox News “reports” something in the morning, keep talking about it during the day, and then have the pundits at night saying that everyone is talking about this (often made-up) issue and then discussing it. Or about how the rest of the media isn’t talking about it, since it’s a made-up controversy.

They are very liberal when it comes to the use of question marks. They sure love to post headlines that are incredibly biased, but put a “?” at the end of it. The news equivalent of “Hey, I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.”

I just went to their website and two of their top four stories end with a question mark, both trying to make the “other side” look bad.

Or, as Jon Stewart calls it, the Cavuto Mark.

Well, if you consider that Fox News viewers rank as the least informed news consumers in the nation, I think you can say it is pretty bad But it is important to remember that Fox is, in a very real sense, the propaganda arm of the GOP. It is not interested in educating its viewers.

The problem with fox news is twofold from what I see

  1. They pretend to be unbiased, and their audience seems to sincerely believe it. I watch a lot of Rachel Maddow, but I am aware she is biased. If she told me ‘I’m fair and balanced’ I’d laugh. Fox news viewers take that crap seriously about fox offering balanced coverage. Fox also feeds into the paranoid ideation that all media outlets (except fox and talk radio) have a liberal bias. It creates an insular world where it is easier and easier to make/keep people misinformed. People who vote and have loud opinions.

  2. Fox news fills a desire by the authoritarian right to be grossly misinformed because they like the way the lies sound. They pretend to be a journalistic organization with integrity, but they constantly misinform their audiences (who are willing participants, to be fair).

If fox changes their slogan to ‘feeding half truths to people who want to hear them’ from ‘fair and balanced’ I don’t think I’d care.

It’s bad, alright. But they do have their moments, such as the other night when Brit Hume (I think) tried to nail down Ryan on the 20% tax cut they’re proposing. Ryan kept saying “it’s net zero”, but Hume kept coming back and saying no, it’s not, and how do you propose to offset the $5 trillion hole it’s going to create. I think the control room probably finally told him to drop it.

By the way “Net Zero” would be a great caption for a photo of the two of them.

Fox News is in the bag for the GOP. They promote Republican candidates and positions, whether they are genuinely conservative or not, and attack Democratic candidates and positions, again without respect to their conservatism. This is the problem with Fox News. They have no journalistic ethics but pretend to be a straight news source. Personally I don’t have a problem getting the news from FN. I realize their slant and can adjust for it and I’m not adverse to attractive women. Unfortunately unsophisticated viewers actually believe the propaganda being spewed. This is bad for America. We need more organizations fighting ignorance and fewer organizations promoting it for their own selfish purposes.

Chris Wallace and “revenue neutral,” but yes, that was an actual good question- something that’s increasingly rare in any political interview.

Fox News perpetuates ignorance. Thats a problem.