Monday, December 07, 2009

The War on Fair and Balanced

One thing that has been a surprise about this White House is it's pettiness. We all thought it strange when the President of the United States took on a popular radio talk host. While it pleased Rush, it seemed beneath the President. Then came the war on Fox News. Now we understood that the White House was determined to undermine opposing voices by using it's own power to do so. Pretty chilling.

Back in October the White House called on other news organizations to isolate and alienate Fox. It started with communications director Anita Dunn branding Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news" in an interview. Then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox." Obama senior adviser David Axelrod also urged media outlets to join the administration and said that Fox is "not a news organization."

It was a strong not so subtle message to other media outlets to not follow Fox News on stories. From the look of the "climategate" story, where e-mails between climate change scientists reveal an effort to "trick" the data into saying what they wanted it to say, it seemed the msm was following orders and not following Fox News on this story. It took ABC two weeks to mention it and the report did not quote any of the emails that suggested manipulation of data on global warming by scientists at the UK's University of East Anglia. NBC and CBS sooned followed. The problem here is, just as in the green jobs czar Van Jones and ACORN controversy, when they are finally forced to follow the story because the story had evolved into a bigger story, they end up looking ridiculous for not reporting on it previously.

When it seemed clear that this tactic wasn't working with the American viewer, Obama backed down. Fox News Channel's Major Garrett sat down with the President during his visit to China for an interview. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shows up on Fox News in November.

Obama may have backed down, but that doesn't mean that the mainstream and liberal media didn't get the message and seems to be obeying. Consider, for example, that executives at National Public Radio recently asked the network’s top political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News. they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network. She did and reported back to them that she didn't see the problem and would continuing appearing on the network. Journalist Juan Williams, who is a political analyst for the radio network of NPR was asked to no longer identify himself as such when appearing on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor.

As cited in the article, NPR says that Fox "uses" Mara and Juan as "cover” to defuse arguments that the TV network is distinctly right-wing. Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate wrote in an Oct. 17th Newsweek column that “by appearing on Fox, reporters validate its propaganda values and help to undermine the role of legitimate news organizations,” Respectable journalists — I'm talking to you, Mara Liasson — should stop appearing on its programs.”

Hmmm...let's think about this. Fox News "uses" liberal pundits to project a bi- partisan image? I'm pretty sure that's what "fair and balanced" is all about. You have a conservative voice and you have a liberal voice. Then you get both sides. How this is "using" I have no idea. This is a good thing. This is why Fox News is a ratings bonanza.

Let's just be honest here Mr. Weisberg. Your problem is not with worrying about the state of legitimate news. Your problem is that Fox News presents the conservative side that no other mainstream media outlet does, and you HATE that view being represented. This is about nothing more than censorship.

In all the years that we conservatives have had to put up with the liberal bias of CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS, I have never heard one peep from my side that they should NOT be on the air or should not be reporting. We may disagree, but we also understand the freedom of the press. Some of you on the left are becoming the people you hate. The kind of people who would censor an opinion because it's doesn't agree with yours. Weisberg, you should be ashamed.

And of course the greatest irony is that NPR is about as leftwing as you get and they complain about bias? Please.

This isn't the end of it. Obama may keep appearing on Fox News and the White House "boycott" of Fox News will soon be forgotten. But make no mistake about it, the MSM got the message and they are following orders as best they can.