Democrats & Liberals Archives

YOU Can Improve the Media

It has been called the “liberal media.” However, there is a big sector of the media, exemplified by Fox News, that uses a news format to obfuscate and distort the news, to smear liberals and Democrats and to present even sleazy Republican officials in the best light. Fox News is a star in the great Republican noise machine. Democratic candidate John Edwards struck a blow to Fox News. And you can do it too.

The Nevada Democratic Party made a big mistake by agreeing to co-host with Fox News a debate among Democratic presidential candidates. John Edwards boldly stated he would not attend. His campaign said:

There were a number of factors and Fox was one of those. We're already planning to participate in a jam-packed schedule of debates across this country ... we can't attend every single debate and forum.

In other words, since we can't trust Fox News to be honest, we don't want his forum.

You know how Fox will seek its vengeance against Edwards in the coming campaign, don't you? They will rain upon him red, green, blue, orange and purple smears. The trumped up smears will fly at him daily. If you think Kerry was smeared, watch and see how Fox, and the rest of the Republican noise machine, will smear Edwards.

This is how such things have played out before. If you want to have a more civil campaign, you must teach Fox a lesson. You can join the campaign to get the other Democratic candidates to refuse attendance as well. Here is what MoveOn.Org said:

We applaud John Edwards for sending a clear message to voters, the media, and other candidates: Fox is part of the right-wing smear machine and should not be treated like a legitimate news outlet.

Now it's up to you. Call or write to the other candidates, especially Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Tell them to drop out of the debate. YOU can strike a blow towards an improved and more honest media.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 8, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #211095

Wouldn’t attending this debate help edwards get his message across to tens of millions of people who he normally wouldn’t reach?

How would a debate not be honest? You get asked a question and you give an answer. Not much more too it is there?

And why would you use a left wing smear machine like moveon to help prove how right wing FOX is?

Posted by: kctim at March 8, 2007 5:49 PM
Comment #211097

It never ceases to amaze me how much venom can drip from liberal lips when the subject of Fox news comes up. Funny how this post comes up right as CBS and NBC evening news axe their producers due to poor ratings.

As for Senator Edwards not debating on Fox I’m sure CNN or one of the other networks will provide him with a debate forum where he can be guaranteed that the moderator will be a democrat.

Posted by: Carnak at March 8, 2007 6:04 PM
Comment #211100

I think it’s pretty stupid of Edwards. He should debate. That shows me he has nothing to say. If Hilliary and Obama do the same shame on them. That shows me that they don’t deserve the white house.

Posted by: KAP at March 8, 2007 6:20 PM
Comment #211110

If Edwards will only speak to “friendly” audiences…wouldn’t he be “pulling a Bush”?

Do you REALLY want to elect someone who is only different than Bush in name only?

Posted by: Jim T at March 8, 2007 7:44 PM
Comment #211111

Oh…and by the way…

“…there is a big sector of the media, exemplified by CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN News, that uses a news format to obfuscate and distort the news, to smear conservatives and Republicans and to present even sleazy Democratic officials in the best light. CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN News is a star in the great Democratic noise machine.”

Now. That’s better…and more truthful.

Posted by: Jim T at March 8, 2007 7:48 PM
Comment #211120

The MSM is completely bias; that’s why conservatives turn to fox, so they can (actually) hear conservative viewpoints without being bashed on a daily basis. Both viewpoints are heard and FNC is the largest mainstream cable news audience in America. Looks as though Edwards is running from a debate. Pathetic.

Posted by: rahdigly at March 8, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #211127

So Much BS. Please do us all a favor and turn off FOX. If you do not trust CNN et al try The News Hour on PBS.

Posted by: BillS at March 8, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #211129

My goodness, I can’t believe I was so blind. You are correct. Fox will seek vengeance for being slighted. The trumped up smears will be there to add to the fire.

I don’t get it. How can liberals dismiss FOX as not being mainstream, however, continually complain about their tactics.

And thank goodness that ABC, CBS, NBC, & CNN are there to set the standard for how you do not smear. We would all be better following their more mature and enlightened model.

Posted by: Honest at March 8, 2007 9:23 PM
Comment #211136

The Conservative media is the opiate of the GOP, to be turned to when what the mainstream media says gets too painful. Whining about bias is a way to dodge all the incovenient truths.

Unfortunately, it’s lead the GOP to focus on message control, and to enmesh itself in it’s own deliberately cooked up stew of intentional bias.

People watch FOX news for the Commentary. The commentary is not only negative about Democrats, it’s downright abusive. We’re not going to get a fair shake from FOX, and if they follow through with threats of a campaign of abuse, it will only demonstrate further the wisdom of not letting them be the forum for a balanced, moderated debate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 8, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #211137

“Wouldn’t attending this debate help edwards get his message across to tens of millions of people who he normally wouldn’t reach?”

On the one hand, that is a great point, one with a lot of merit.

On the other hand, FOX is not a news network. I see no reason to lend it support. Politics often involves controversial issues on which reasonable people can disagree. However, FOX uses controversy as a way of lowering the level of civic discourse in order to improve its own ratings. There is nothing wrong with the right wing having a network which presents opinions as facts, uncritically repeats administration points of view, and offers wall-to-wall coverage of the state of the corpse of Anna Nicole Smith. But why would anyone contribute to its financial bottom line?

I have to weigh in on the side of Edwards.

Posted by: phx8 at March 8, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #211138

I think the point that I would make is that nobody’s entitled to perpetually positive coverage. You have to earn that. When everything becomes about shoring up perceptions, you get people who are good at getting into office, but only good once they get in there for creating problems and scandals that force the party faithful to do damage control for them.

Neither party needs such high maintenance politicians, but the Republican party has long tolerated them because they are so intent on taking back control from us at any and all points. The Republican party has made the mistake of trying to create a perfect shell of message control around them, of trying to win elections by image-based politics alone. It can be done in the short term, but perpetually it wears on good policy, and that people will notice regardless of the Herculean efforts one might apply to denials and spin.

FOXnews and other Conservative media outlets have helped the Republican party get and maintain power at the price of allowing them to indulge in terrible policy habits, habits which have undermined the electability and popularity of Republicans.

When trying to maintain political power, good results are your friends. People who will be honest with you are your friends. Opponents who keep you honest are your friends. Apologists are not your friends. Apologists will flatter your beliefs and overlook departures from good policies, the kind that makes it difficult for people to think kindly on your party.

In the long run, being able to step back from rhetoric and politics to take stock of what you have done, and how things have gone wrong is essential to maintaining good policy. Honesty with yourself and others is the best policy, and the best source of policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 8, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #211142

Edwards gets an attaboy! Why bother with Fox. News Hounds is much more entertaining when it comes to the news and commentary from the Foxsters.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 8, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #211144

Well said, Stephen.
This is a lesson I wish we all could learn. Neither side of the aisle has a clean slate when it comes to dishonesty, spin, innuendo, and we pay the price. Over the past 30 years or so, we have come, as a nation, to distrust our politicians and the political process.

I believe one of the main reasons for this is the perception, probably true, that the only aim of most of our politicians is to get and keep power. At one time, bipartisanship meant both sides siting down and making an honest effort to work out compromises and seeking common ground to solve problems. Now, the empty rhetoric about bipartisan efforts is just that, empty rhetoric.

We will see more of this the closer we get to next year’s election. I would venture to say that the 2008 Presidential campaign will be the most expensive and the dirtiest in recent history. I predict that by November, voters on both sides, except for the rabid partisans, will be ready to pull a lever that says “none of the above”.

And, our beloved media, with very few exceptions, will be in a feeding frenzy from now until then. We will learn that candidate X once lied to a teacher about homework in the 2nd grade and that candidate Y hates carrots. We will learn very little about their real views on foriegn policy, the economy, border security, or anything else of value. We are an entertainment driven society and have ADD when it comes to serious matters. And our country is paying the price.

Posted by: John Back at March 8, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #211151

Bitch all you want…Fox is beating the others in ratings. At least the Neilson families are watching them.

Posted by: tomd at March 9, 2007 3:04 AM
Comment #211163

The Neilsen Ratings in this case paint only part of the picture

In truth, CNN gets more viewers everyday, and commands greater prices for its commercial time. What should surprise you is that more people watch CNN among conservatives for the news than watch FOX.

What gives? People tune in to CNN to get the news, which usually means they don’t stay for long. They do, however, show up on a constant basis for that news. FOX has it’s line up of Pundits, which are the source of its main ratings appeal.

The myth of widespread liberal bias is meant to justify a retaliatory and quite intentional bias going the other way, to essentially say, “they do it, why can’t we?” The truth is, though, journalists are taught to refrain from inserting their thoughts and beliefs into stories. By intentionally pushing journalistic bias, FOX has the journalists get in the way of the story.

I would not myself want to be the victim of my own bias, because I recognize that my perspective is subjective, and that the real truth might lay beyond my theories of what is really going on. I don’t see the Democrats in Congress as saints. I grew up when the so-called liberal media was coming down hard on Democrats who were abusing their offices. I remember the reports on corruption, and that struck me as an appropriate, healthy thing for the media to be doing.

But FOXnews? FOXnews is a propaganda outlet, run by Bush 41’s former campaign adviser. I generally avoid it because when I did tune into it for information on the War on Terrorism, I found them repeatedly running unchecked claims regarding the WMDs that they had to retract. I don’t like to be misinformed, and it seems that FOX all too readily runs misinformation in the Republican’s favor.

I don’t like to be manipulated. I have clear memories of hearing Clinton reveal his affair with Lewinksy. I felt somewhat betrayed, because I had defended him against such charges vehemently. After that, I swore to myself I would be a more objective observer of events, because I knew at that point even the people I liked could lie to me, could do stupid things. I think of politicians as replaceable, but principles as being paramount.

There was a time when I thought Bush could be a great President, but with time, he put that notion, that the war could bring out the best in him, to rest in my mind.

Covering politician’s rear ends is unimportant. Having them govern well and govern accountably is. I don’t go after Bush because he is a Republican, or because I don’t like the President’s 2000 victory. I go after him because he’s a poor leader, more concerned about politics than policy, more concerned about looking good than doing good. He has a big mouth that says bold things, but often fails to follow through. He talks about how other people are defeatists and naysayers, yet doesn’t have the courage to ask great sacrifices, and make the tough choices.

I could respect a Republican president who would lead well and listen to others, who would admit that the world isn’t lined up behind him and his every deed. Bush, unfortunately has none of the humility to face that challenge which is necessary to truly be a good president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 9, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #211164

Democrats and Liberals,I think you protest too much!You protest because you do not want anything negetive to be said about a Democrat or Liberal and nothing positive about a Republican or Conservative.To you “that”would be fair and balanced.You want only good reported about a Dem or Lib and since you believe there is no good in a Repub or Conservative any good news must be a “lie”.Fair and balanced is reporting all news good or bad about a person or event such as the war on terror which is actually going on in practically every country in the world and good things and bad things are happening in that fight but most ‘news’ is about the bad,but not because most of the news is bad,but because all the news is not being reported,but only that which supports the writers opinion.Fox News Network is not perfect but FNN is trying to report news and they have opinion and editorials also and they are labeled as such.Cnn now has Glenn Beck and He is doing well in the ratings,but,most news reports are edited to leave out good news that does not support the writers or the stations point of view.All news should be reported accurately and not to hurt or to help a cause,then we can decide for ourselves!That is the FREEDOM we deserve.GOD gives us that Freedom and no one has the right to deny it.When you tell only part of the story you are not reporting news you are controlling the news!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rdcsr at March 9, 2007 9:33 AM
Comment #211171


Fair and balanced is reporting all news good or bad about a person or event such as the war on terror which is actually going on in practically every country in the world…

Could you share your world map with us, please.
I’m very interesting in your “every country” definition.

… and good things and bad things are happening in that fight but most ‘news’ is about the bad,but not because most of the news is bad,but because all the news is not being reported,but only that which supports the writers opinion.

Let’s see how Ockham’s Razor works on your claim:

most ‘news’ is about the bad not because most of the news is bad but because all the news is not being reported


most ‘news’ is about the bad because, well, most of the news is bad.

Nah. Ockham’s Razor can’t apply here. No way. Should be media bias. Only viable explication.

That is the FREEDOM we deserve. GOD gives us that Freedom and no one has the right to deny it.When you tell only part of the story you are not reporting news you are controlling the news!!!!!!!!!

I agree, better get your news from a single cant-be-biased source than multiple could-be-biased ones. Always was.
That’s your freedom at work, indeed.
Cross-checking news is so has-been. Only idiots still do it.
That’s their freedom at work too, though.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at March 9, 2007 10:12 AM
Comment #211179

Paul, I’ve e-mailed the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

To All,
With Fox”News” a picture can sometimes say a thousand words.

Why on earth would Edwards want to appear on Fox”News” when the hate-filled clown who just called him a “faggot” will surely be one among their panel of “political experts” who attack the debate directly afterward?
I say good for John Edwards.
Let’s just hope that Obama and Clinton have enough guts and sense to stand with him on principle.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 9, 2007 10:54 AM
Comment #211183

Beware blue column posters. “rdcsr” may be the same troll who has been banned using various blogtags over several months in WB. Trademark: no spaces between sentences.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 9, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #211184

Knowing Fox news penchant for one sided views and extreme right wing political agenda I have to commend Edwards for ignoring them. Why would anyone seriously interested in running for a presidency be willing to entertain an audience which consists of blind party loyalists. To appear in such a venue is only adding support to their totally biased agenda. Anyone of intellect hoping to get a fair, honest and open view of politics today tends to shy away from such extreme tabloid reporting. They have an agenda and it is not in keeping with good jounalistic reporting. Perhaps if more politicians were selective about their venues it would make such venues more honest and accountable in order to attain viewership.

Posted by: ILdem at March 9, 2007 11:04 AM
Comment #211186

I protest because I don’t like what’s going on with my government.

You had the bad luck to write your post right after mine, right after my candid comment on what Clinton’s admission of infidelity taught me.

Me? I grew up in a time where Democrats were regularly being hauled up in news reports for their corruption. Don’t tell me the media’s biased for liberals. I know better.

And you know what? I don’t mind seeing them put to the test. I want my party members held accountable. The Republican’s biggest mistake was not doing that for their party members.

Furthermore, I’m quite familiar with the charge that the MSM is hiding things to make conservatives look bad. Well, come out with it! If you know this is going down, tell us what’s really happening, and let’s determine the credibility of the information.

Frankly, one of the big reasons I avoid FOX news is that I have no taste for being told what to think. For the same reasons, I avoided Bill Moyer’s NOW on PBS, and wouldn’t switch the channel to watch Lou Dobbs with a ten-foot poll. Despite it’s pretensions to objectivity, FOX new’s bread and butter is Right Wing Op-Ed. That doesn’t sound like “we report, you decide”. That’s more like “we decide”.

That seems abhorrent to me. There’s a reality out there that goes beyond party loyalties. If we lose track of that, Republican or Democrat, we suffer for it. Good policy comes first, politics comes second.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 9, 2007 11:59 AM
Comment #211218

The mainstream media most certainly is not liberal. In fact, they’ve been trying very hard the last 7 years or more to paint Bush, and the GOP, in a positive light to the point where they’ve practically betrayed the American people who trusted them for information. Why do you think Howard Dean pioneered the whole “netroots” idea of getting the message out? He didn’t just do it for fun, it was in large part because the media wouldn’t give him the proper time a major presidential candidate would deserve.

If you really think the media is liberal, just go to media matters and look at all the right-wing misinformation they facilitate. There are also many books written in the last few years that debunk it, like “What liberal media?” and “the Decline of truth from 9/11 to Katrina”

Here’s a review of one book about how the media “rolls over” for Bush:
Bush’s lapdogs

The only reason many Republicans think the mainstream media is so liberal, is that it at least is willing to mildly criticize the president and GOP at times, as opposed to overt propaganda like Fox “News.”

Posted by: mark at March 9, 2007 4:16 PM
Comment #211219

Some certainly are better than others, but even the mainstream media networks other than Fox are certainly not “liberal” and in fact slanted towards the opposite side.

Posted by: mark at March 9, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #211250

Hey Paul and everybody reading this thread, a friend of mine just sent me this link, and I thought you might want to check it out.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 9, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #211261

Great News!!! It’s official: Democrats Dump Fox.
This is very, very smart move for our party! It’s taken too long, but now we are finally treating Fox like what they are — a rightwing propaganda television station.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 9, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #211272

Now if we really want unbiased news lets watch MSNBC or listen to Air America. They aren’t on Murdocks payroll. Ha!!! There’s 10 liberal stations to 1 conservative station and thats 1 too many for you libs. I’ll be watching for you out in the crowds with Chavez protesting Bushes imperalistic takeover of the world.

Posted by: Papioscar at March 9, 2007 9:16 PM
Comment #211305

Chavez is a Latino Bush. He’s a loud mouth arrogant power-grubber who uses the offenses of others to commit his own.

As for that ten to one ratio? That’s only if you believe that we actually have ten. I would say that we don’t really have a dedicated station solely to ourselves, and that we don’t need it.

The Republican approach has been separatism. Instead of putting themselves in a position where they have to actually debate their positions with Democrats, they’ve gone off to the side and formed their own station where theirs are practically the only voices talking.

Democrats have done no such thing, and that’s why the Republican majority has turned out to be relatively short in comparison to the Democrat’s long hold on power, despite all the things they tried to do in order to maintain power, despite having this dedicated network of conservative pundits, columnists and radio hosts distributing unalloyed talking points to the masses.

You see, the Republicans have tried to make their ideology impervious to criticism. To do that, they’ve created such a degree of dogmatism in the system that there’s hardly room for individuals to take more moderate stances, to acknowledge the errors of the leaders, to become flexible in the face of hard realities.

FOX helped this happen. It was part of that system that helped to cover for candidates, that helped to push the party line politics. It helped blind conservatives to the problems in their system. It might be gratifying to have a station that flatters your politics, but in the long run, it’s just a recipe for getting out of touch with reality, and the other people who don’t rely on the conservative media for information.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2007 7:27 AM
Comment #211323

You seem to be saying that truth has a liberal bias. Btw, what exactly is conservative about constantly lying and smearing others the way that Fox”News” does? I would think real conservatives wouldn’t want to be associated with such a shameless and obvious propaganda machine.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #211333

“what exactly is conservative about constantly lying and smearing others the way that Fox”News” does?”

Care to back that up with one lie or smear that Fox News has done? Remember to distinguish between opinion shows and news shows.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #211336

Sure tomd, just look at the link to the picture in my first post. Scooter Libby Not Guilty? When he was found guilty of four out of five charges? Then click on that link I put up in my later post. It’s is highlighted in red and says “this link.” Watch the Youtube video contained within the link — lots of examples of smearing there.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 2:08 PM
Comment #211343


The first link you sent me to does indeed show what you say. It’s kind of funny though, I usually get most of my news from Fox. That’s the first place I heard the verdict and it was guilty on 4 of 5 counts. The picture you link to is a pic with no way to verify if it’s real or not. I’ve tried Fox New Archives and can’t find it.

The second link you gave I hope you did for humor. It is a collection of one second sound bites that were in no way “attacks” and political commentators. If you can break down that clip and show me an attack, I’ll concede. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reily are not news anchors. I know you know the difference.

Try again please.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #211355

Sorry tomd, I’m no longer doing the heavy duty research for you rightwingers, as I firmly believe that you should do your own. However, just to be helpful, I will give you one link to a website called Media Matters (dedicated to the collection of obvious misinformation that is stated as fact in the media about Liberals and Democrats).
Here you go:
Hume again declared Libby did not commit the “actual leak” in Plame case”

Remember, that’s just one page on that site, and there is loads more about Fox”News” misinformation and smearing you will find there.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #211357

Wrong again Arienne,
In the media matters clip you linked to Brit Hume doesn’t say that Libby did not commit the “actual leak” What he says is that Libby is “he is not accused of the actual leak, which was done, we now know, by someone else.” And that is wrong?

I’m not asking you to do my research, mearly to back up your blanket statements. If you can.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 4:09 PM
Comment #211358


The initial challange was to show one instance of lieing or attacking on Fox News. Not a news opinion show, a news show.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 4:12 PM
Comment #211368

“What he says is that Libby is “he is not accused of the actual leak, which was done, we now know, by someone else.” And that is wrong?”

Yes tomd, that is wrong. Libby actually leaked the same information to Judith Miller prior to the publication of Novak’s column that which outted Valerie Plame.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #211369

Britt Hume is considered to be a reporter of straight news on Fox.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 5:19 PM
Comment #211370

Britt Hume gave that report at the time of jury selection. At that time Libby wasn’t accused of be the leak. He was accused of purgury. Britt didn’t lie.

Is this the best example of Fox News lying you can come up with? Hardly worth the effort.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #211377
As Media Matters has noted, the indictment special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald obtained against Libby on October 28, 2005, asserts that Libby mentioned Plame’s CIA employment to Miller on June 23, 2003, July 8, 2003, and July 12, 2003. After sitting in jail for 85 days, Miller herself identified Libby as her source for the information on Plame.

You are hardly worth the effort of debating tomd, because the above quoted info was known prior to the jury selection, but you didn’t even bother to read it.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #211389


We can debate Scooter Libby all day but the fact remains he was charged with 5 counts in the indictment. 1 count of obstruction of justice, 2 counts of lying to a grand jury and 2 counts of purjury. In the context of Britt Humes report, he wasn’t being charged with being the “actual leak” As we know Armatage was.

But, more to the point, This entire thread is about how Fox News lies and smears liberals. We have spent the last few hours arguing samantics about one statement on one newscast that was really quite trivial. Hardly enough to justify the claim that Fox news lies and smears libs.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #211390

Duh. You asked for ONE LIE, tomd. And I gave you one lie. Libby was an actual leaker. Armitage was an actual leaker. Rove was an actual leaker. So you see, not only was Brit Hume lying about Libby, he was displaying utter ignorance, too.
Now, you can continue to look at the thousands of Fox”News” lies and smears that are listed on Media Matters website and debate them with yourself if you like, but my job is done here.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 10, 2007 7:28 PM
Comment #211391

Goodnite Adrienne,
As Fox News would say “We’ll let the viewers decide”

Don’t forget to set your clocks up. Saves energy you know.

Posted by: tomd at March 10, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #211583

Your article is a perfect example of what Augustine said, that belief precedes understanding. No manner of proof to the contrary could sway a mind so dedicated.

Posted by: Clay Barham at March 12, 2007 2:39 PM
Comment #211934

So, Edwards dissed FOX. Nothing new there. Clinton had reporters and networks analyzed all the time to see who was reporting for or against him. He then only allowed access to favorable associates of the Democratic machine.
I wonder if it would be OK with you libs if President Bush only allowed FOX access to any information coming out of the White House, and dissed ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, the list goes on and on. Seems Edwards is running scared to me!! Can’t take the heat; he surely doesn’t need to be elected to the hot seat!


Posted by: JD at March 14, 2007 12:22 PM
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