Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?

At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from COMEDY CENTRAL to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media-hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment-television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized-news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called “Fair & Balanced” Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television-propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to The News Wars between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out FOX alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

FOX is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist-reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to FOX NEWS is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and COMEDY CENTRAL, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by FOX NEWS should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that FOX has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their opinion-makers.

10 thoughts on “Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

  1. So how do you fell about MSNBC?

  2. Eric,

    I’m going to say that I basically agree with your premise, though maybe my conception of its implications is a little different. In most of the rest of the world, no news organization even pretends that there is any such thing as “objective journalism.” If you live in, say, London, you choose your newspaper (or channel, or web site) based on your own political leanings (as people do here), but the difference is the organizations do not try to hide the fact that they are a left paper or a center-right paper or whatever and so there is a level of forthrightness that our objectivity worshiping system lacks.

    Having said that, I definitely think that the White House’s handling of this affair has been sloppy and they’d have done themselves credit by simply saying, “sure, MSNBC is biased, but it’s in our favor, so we have no quarrel with them.” The thing that’s especially problematic for them is that as opposed to the Bush administration, who restricted access to ANY news organization they deemed hostile, thereby bullying reporters across the board into more or less towing their line for a long time, the administration has chosen just one organization to pick on. This is problematic because journalists are loyal to their profession before anything else. Thus reporters who would normally be hostile to Fox are coming to their defense against the administration in a sort of wagon-circling move.

  3. MSNBC is certainly spun toward liberals and tends to play soft ball with Democrats but I am not aware of anything that qualifies as “bad journalism”, more often than not my only problem is surrounding retractions and MSNBC is pretty good about it. FOX until recently was in fact rather good at getting retractions out on bad reporting, now I am convinced they are more interested in commercialism than they are in hard evidence or good journalism.

  4. Excellent points, David.

    Like I touched on briefly, I see the large “sin” committed by FOX not around the opinions they broadcast or the slant they prefer but in that they refuse to admit this to be the case.

    This element of full disclosure is vital to a news group, be they large or small.

    I make efforts to cut an issue down the middle but if anyone ever asks me which side of an issue I am on then it is important to take that position. When a network, not an individual broadcaster, takes a stance on issues but will not admit to the obvious catering in their straight-news coverage in certain cases they obviously do not intend to view both sides of an issue.

    You are right to say there is no such thing are pure objectivity, but an institution like a network should be held to a public standard in my personal opinion.

  5. Is there any such thing as Truth in Journalism? If so, who’s telling the truth, and how can one tell?

  6. I believe there is such a thing. A large part of it is simply declaring your biases and being fact-based in your arguments.

    It’s not to say all other journalism is useless but in the end the lack of journalism in the US comes down to simply this.

    Far too many in the media are feigning objectivity and Fox is only the place it is most rampant.

    The Rachel Maddow show just covered this issue.

    She was saying, and I agree, that it is possible to do the news with an agenda and still not spread nothing but misinforamtion and jaded opinions about the oppposition.

    I think people have just forgot what else is “news” besides non-news stories created by people with insane agendas. Be is Ballon-Boy or Glenn Beck, it really doesn’t matter. The “news” is found on my website at times and not on the TV.

    Though I recommend just buying a newspaper rather than reading a blog, even if it’s mine.

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  9. I’ve seen progression in every post. Your newer posts are simply wonderful compared to your posts in the past. Keep up the good work!

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