Outfoxed: Why continue to watch when they're clearly partisan and dishonest?

Now, I’m sure an aspect of this thread will center on whether people believe that the movie Outfoxed is accurate.

Going on the premise that it is, how can people continue to watch?

Is it that the partisan lying is comforting to people who want to believe the world is the way Fox News portrays it?

With the obvious propaganda(which makes the Republican remarks about Moore’s movies being propaganda even more ludicrous), how can thoughtful people continue to watch and use it as support for their arguments?

I’ve read (not specifically on this board) many people stating that Fox is the only channel which is somewhat balanced, and presents both sides of the issues quite fairly.

So, the answer seems to be that these people just don’t buy your premise.

Clair, I don’t know who you’re talking to but I assure you. Fox News is a joke in the US. The only people who think it’s “fair and balanced” are people who think anything to the left of Mussolini is socialism.

Apparently you haven’t seen it but it’s pretty much just one long commercial for the GOP.

To what news group are we comparing Fox to?

There’s a group of people who watch Fox News.
There’s a group of people who will watch “Outfoxed”.

Those two groups don’t overlap much, if at all.

Right. They are such a ‘joke’ in the US that their ratings are right up there at the top of the list. Have you actually ever sat down and watched Fox DtC? I actually think that they are as ‘fair and balanced’ as the other major US news outlets, and I actually am coming to like O’Riley’s ‘Factor’ show. He really DOES make at least a token effort to be neutral and he frequently has people with very diverse opinions on his show. In addition, you can see that many of the intellectual (or at least politically savy) left wing crowd at least respect him…or at least the ones I’ve seen on his show. I’ve also seen him take Republicans and the right wing to task as many times as he takes the left. I really am starting to like the guy. (Interesting side note…He is currently on blasting a right wing group that is attacking Kerry’s service record, and he’s REALLY winging it to them. I’d like to see that kind of balance from the likes of Dan Rather for instance).

I even like the Hannity and Colmes. Hannity is SUCH a tool, but at least they make a token effort to have a balanced view point, and Colmes gets his shots in no doubt…and is more interesting than Hannity in most cases.

Whats funny is I never watched Fox until I started coming on this message board. I ‘knew’ Fox was a biased ‘joke’ and a propaganda tool. I started watching it because people on this board were always saying how terrible it was and I finally broke down and wanted to see for myself. And I was surprised. It was much better than I thought it would be. Is it my sole source for news? Hell no! Gods forbid. But I don’t think you can get a balanced look at the issues if you don’t watch it with the other major network news groups, as well as the various US and foreign news websites…and the BBC if you are lucky like me and have cable. :slight_smile:

You simply can’t be balanced unless you look at all sides and judge fairly, and if all you do is hang out on left wing websites/televised news shows, you will only get one side, just like if you only watch Fox or hang out exclusively on right wing sites.


Well, I don’t judge them all that harshly . . .

I listen to the news and talk shows carried on my local left-wing community radio station (WMNF 88.5 FM – “Not a member of the Big Brother Broadcasting Network!”) every chance I get – Pacifica Network News, Radio Nation, and Democracy Now, to name a few. I believe these shows are honest – at any rate, I’ve never known Amy Goodman, etc., to be caught out in an actual lie or misrepresentation – but I have no illusion that they are unbiased. They have a definite left-progressive bias (in other words, that of an adult human being with a mind and a conscience), and make no pretense otherwise. I listen to them to get a perspective not represented by National Public Radio or the commercial news networks – and in particular, to get coverage of a lot of stories those sources, even NPR, simply ignore. I assume Fox’s conservative viewers watch for the same reasons. In fact, I wish there were a left-wing TV counterpart to Fox!

(Plug: Buy Amy Goodman’s new book, The Exception to the Rulers! (Hyperion Books, 2004))

Even if Fox is biased, there’s a market for biased reporting. Michael Moore, Mother Jones, the American Spectator, etc. are all biased, but people still watch or read them.

Since I’m french and rarely even watch french TV, I’ve no direct experience about FOX. And I know from what I read here that it’s a long way from being balanced.
I was merely reporting something I read quite frequently on some boards. People mentionning that Fox broadcast the only “fair and balanced” news one can find in the US are fairly common. The OP asked why would people watch the “obvious propaganda” on Fox. The answer is apparently : they don’t watch propaganda. They watch something they perceive as balanced.

I suppose Mockingbird can name one completely unbiased news source, that all the world will see as a shining example of truth and fairness? One that both of us would agree on?

I have to agree: there is nothing wrong about producing biased slants on the news. I do find the suggestion that even NPR is as biased left as Fox is biased right outright laughable, but people are welcome to their opinion. I think it’s been pretty well established by now that Fox news journalism most certainly does bend to give the right a helping hand in getting their talking points out, and they do “journalism” in a way that gives innuendo a much bigger focus than actual factual reporting. But I can certainly see why that at the same time makes it more entertaining.

It’s mostly Laurie Dhue and Juliet Huddy that make it more entertaining…

I watched Outfoxed last night, and it left me with one big question:

How can you tell which Fox News programs are “news”, and which are “commentary”?

I’ve been told by FNC defenders that their “news” is perfectly balanced, and only their “commentary” is slanted. Leaving aside the issue of what that says about their slogan, how is anyone supposed to know which shows they can expect to be balanced?

In terms of look and feel, they all seem basically the same: FNC logo in the corner, ticker at the bottom, white title on a red banner just above the ticker, talking heads sitting at a desk in front of a backdrop. But sometimes the talking heads read headlines, and sometimes they say things like “200 days until George Bush is re-elected” or “at least Kerry has Kim Jong-Il on his side”.

I’m amazed that the defenders of Fox News, or the people who watch it, haen’t seen Outfoxed and think that O’Reilly(Mr. Shut Up) is anything approaching balanced.

What happened to looking at both sides and then making a decision. Is extreme partisanship blinding aspects of both sides?

Fair and balanced my ass!

I’m a chronic channel surfer but I watch FOX more than any other news network. I do so in part for the same reasons my wife reads the “laddie mags”. Magazines like FHM, Maxim, and Stuff are both titillating and outrageous. That is, they are sexy in a misogynistic and infantile manner. This is a double bonus. My wife can enjoy the racy pictures and commentary while becoming outraged anyone would print such swill.

That’s how I feel about FOX. They represent a fundamental paradox of modern conservatism. Conservatives defend markets but markets aren’t conservative. Markets are revolutionary. They promote not the familiar and chaste but the new and exciting because that’s where the money is. FOX’s standards of decency are pretty low, almost as low as my own. They push the envelope to increase their viewership. Plus the procession of conservative dunderheads they offer up give me a chance to rant.

Another reason I watch FOX is because they are reliably conservative. I am of the school of thought that believes that no one is truly objective except the ignorant. While there is plenty of ignorance on FOX I have no doubts about their slant. This is easier than with CNN, and MSNBC to a lesser extent, because those networks actually do provide something other than conservative pundits or goodnatured and weakminded moderates to be steamrolled by the Forces of Good. When the network doesn’t wear its agenda on its sleeve it is less informative. That is, it is more difficult to accurately interpret the reality of events when you don’t know the opinions of the person covering it beforehand. FOX is reliably conservative so reading between the lines is easier.

A lot of people get their news from the Daily Show. Some bemoan this is an example of the dumbing down of America but once you take into account their agenda ( to make fun of people ) you can get a somewhat accurate picture the events they cover. The problem with slanted journalism isn’t what you see but what you don’t. If something doesn’t fit their agenda at all then they can just ignore it leaving the viewer with nothing to go on. So I read a couple newspapers a day, surf the channels and the web to supplement my knowledge.

SURE! Cecil Adams’, The Straight Dope!

A guy in the IMDB made a good case about FoxNews… they are about market choice. Their choice being right wingers. These people don’t want a balanced view… they want their view of things reflected on the news they watch. Call it New Entertainment or Marketing choice…

My issue is about them using the “Fair or Balanced”. There are way too many people who take Fox seriously… and they have few other means of information that take Fox as being 100% correct. This means that any other news source is therefore unreliable and partisan. The repeating of the same mantra about “Fair and Balanced” induces this.

If FoxNews wants to be the Pravda of America… go ahead… but don’t use false catchy phrases.

I think it’s important to note that although FNC has higher ratings, CNN has more viewers. That is, Fox wins if you count the number of people who watch in a day and multiply by the average length of time each was watching, but more people actually tune into CNN each day. The article’s explanation is that CNN viewers tune in to catch up on headlines - that is, actual news - but Fox viewers tune in for opinion shows.

That site Frostilicus links (which gives statistics showing how Fox gave the DNC much less airtime than CNN or the other networks) just shows that TV news networks know their audience. Fox is slanted to the right, and consequently so’s their audience. The DNC isn’t so much news as it is a liberal love-in. Unless something unusual happened (terrorist bombing etc.) what was there to cover? Kerry has been the defacto nominee for months. Its all just pomp & circumstance at this point.

Fox was launched because Murdoch knew that, post-Clinton, there was a huge market for an openly conservative TV news network. And he was spectacularlly right. The slogan “Fair & Balanced” was used because its a none-to-subtle dig at the liberal slant of every other TV news network, CNN in particular. Its not so much that Fox itself is being overly fair & balanced, rather that when they came into being in 96 TV news in general became a lot more so.

What’s even better is their phrase “We report, you decide”. Its their way of saying, “This is what we think, don’t agree? Then change the channel”. As opposed to CNN and Rather/Brokaw/Jennings who seem to be saying “Blindly trust us, your parents did!”

For those of you who seem to think Fox News is a joke, I know people, people just to the right of Atilla the Hun, who still call CNN the Clinton News Network. You people are just the liberal equivalent of them. :smiley: