Third Party & Independents Archives

The Echo Chamber

During the Watergate hearings, John Dean made the press aware of an Enemies List, the top 20 enemies to the Nixon Administration was to be targeted with retribution once Nixon was re-elected.  While reading the list on the air, Daniel Schorr was shocked to read his own name at number 17.  It was at this time that most Americans really became aware, not just esoterically but in a very real way, of the potential power that could be wielded against the press in an effort to construct an Echo Chamber for their agenda, a way to marginalize and quiet their opposition to allow an administration to more effectively put their agenda in place.  Since this time charges of similar underhanded efforts to manipulate the press and other political opponents from the White House have been made public, but none so overtly or so boldly as the Obama Administration’s current hypocrisy against Fox News.

Now, I am decidedly not a Fox News watcher.  The opinion shows are dreadful to listen, let alone watch and what they pass off as news is appallingly stomach turning at best.  But I don’t limit my disdain to JUST Fox News as most liberals do, or to CNN and MSNBC as most conservatives do.  In fact, I find most ‘TV News Channels’ to have become a cacophony of bleating egos, more concerned with attaining ratings than anything approaching integrity, including the precious NPR who has admitted, finally, that they do accept advertising as most of us has already accepted some time ago.  So while I am not standing up for Fox News practices in any regard, to have the Executive Branch of the United States of America getting the idea that they can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to what is or isn’t valid journalism.  I’m pretty sure that most everyone who isn’t playing partisan games will agree that no governmental agency should be attempting to make that determination.

Fortunately, real news people who are interested in the integrity of the relationship between government and the press have spoken up.  Granted, the number is far smaller than I would like to see, but leading the charge appears to be ABC’s Jake Tapper.  Jake got into a back and forth with He Who Cannot Be Trusted To Tell The Truth (Robert Gibbs) and made it clear that their attempt to get the other news organizations to play ball with their pushing out of Fox News from their brotherhood wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.  Soon, faced with the idea of standing up for Journalistic Integrity and trying to make your news network suddenly number one, the ones real Journalistic Integrity are starting to make themselves known.  And so are the others, such as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann who wouldn’t know what journalism was if it sat on his lap and called him daddy.  Can anyone spot the ironies in his discussion with Richard Wolffe?

It's not about news, it's about personal attacks," Wolffe argues.

Does he just realize that he said that to the man who runs a segment called ‘Worst Person in the World’?  Who has made a lucrative living by being one of the major attack dogs for the liberal community?

Did he not get the IRONY?

The hypocrisy for me, to be honest, was to see the attacks against Fox News being made on MSNBC.  Just about every claim they can and have made against Fox News has been committed by MSNBC in their zeal to try to take views away from Fox News and doing so by ‘playing their own game’.  No one can possibly take any of this seriously when they use an organization that is as left leaning as Fox News is right leaning and then complain that they aren’t ‘real journalists’.  And one of the worst accusations made by Fox News critics has been that they get their ‘talking points’ from the White House directly (now from the RNC).  But if this is a bad thing, why is it apparently ok for the White House to email Mika Brzezinski and for her to read this email ON THE AIR, accepting the WH view of the topic they were discussing as the accepted truth and moving on?  As bad as Fox News is, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything close to that level of brash disregard for Journalistic Integrity, even Joe Scarborough was a bit shocked.

But these events just appear to me to be the latest attempts by the left in the United States to build and sustain an Echo Chamber of political views, not just to feed their own egos but to push an agenda that is fraught with problems.  It is too politically dangerous to have to defend these new programs and laws, if there can be a way to stifle and marginalize opposition to them then the safer the politicians who are being tasked with enacting these policies can feel.

When President Obama was elected the thought from the left was that they had everything they needed to enact their policies, the people wanted everything that they had been selling and now was the time to push it all through.  Despite that being a different mindset than President Obama had suggested was the right way to govern, that was what started to happen.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the Senate and House floors.  The people, who wanted something different but weren’t necessarily willing to go as far as it appeared the Executive and Legislative branches wanted to go, started to grumble.  Much as I had predicted would happen the day after President Obama was elected.  And the right picked up on this dissent and did what they could do to whip it up and get it frothing. 

No one is guaranteed to have no opposition to their agendas when it comes to politics.  But many on the left felt as if they had been promised such and were searching wildly for something to blame all of this dissent on.  After all, it couldn’t be their agenda, the people WANTED it!  So they started off attempting to marginalize the opposition.  Attacking groups that were getting involved and helping further the Tea Party protests that had been going on for years before the election of 2008 they felt that they had successfully limited this effort.  However, in doing so they had marginalized many in the middle who were upset about the direction of the new president who they had just helped elect and alienated them, stripping away their trust and turning them away from their agenda.  Still, the numbers were small and an acceptable hit.

Then came the attempt to pass the Health Care reform packages without any kind of debate.  More people got upset about this, it not only portrayed the arrogance of Washington to many who were uneasy about the increasing power of the federal government over the past 80 years, but highlighted an area that President Obama had campaigned on, transparency.  So when that attempt stalled and the congressmen went on recess, those people made their voice heard.  And, as they did with the Tea Party protests, the right picked upon the dissent and helped forth it for their own political gain.

This was too much for the left.  They again went after the groups who were involved in assisting with the Tea Party protests, but when this didn’t work as well, they started in on the protesters themselves.  This failed even more miserably and finally they pulled out their big trump card and labeled the ‘majority’ of the dissent coming from racist views.  To their credit, the administration backed off on this tact, but not very loudly, allowing the Echo Chamber that was being constructed to start its positive feedback loop and make the accusations true, whether there was anything behind it or not.

The bad news from all of this is that the numbers for the president continued to decline.  They are down for the Democrats in congress.  They are down for the Republicans in congress.  There are some on the left that try to use this as a positive, at least their negative numbers aren’t as bad as their opponents, but it sounds a bit weak to me.  Bad is bad.

So now, it appears that more work needs to go into ramping up the Echo Chamber.  This is where Fox News comes in.  Long an enemy to the left, if they can push Fox News out of being considered a legitimate news source, unlike the good news organizations like MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS and NPR, then the left can further marginalize and segment off a portion of the voting public as being ‘inconsequential’.  They can increase the positive feedback loop they are trying to create and block out the largest portion of the negative feedback that has been preventing it from getting ramped up to their liking.  At least, this appeared to be the plan.

However, the administration made two crucial mistakes.

First, it underestimated the power of Journalistic Integrity and how much of it still exists, even in those who they see as friendly to the administration.  The insinuation is that if Fox News is ‘bad’ and ‘unfriendly’ to the administration, then the other news organizations are ‘friendly’ to the administration.  And the last thing a real news journalist in post-Watergate America wants to be considered is ‘friendly’ to anyone.

Second, it attempted to push Fox News out of the bureau pool too soon.  The pump was just not primed well enough.  If the administration had not offered the interview of the Pay Czar as a  bureau pool interview and instead simply made the interview a private affair to the other organizations but Fox News, as it had done with the President Obama interview a month earlier, they could have started a precedent, one that could have eventually worked in alienating Fox news.  But they overreached and the Bureau Chiefs, all of them, rejected the notion.  They appear to understand that if this is possible to do to Fox News, it could be them who is targeted next.  Once the biggest enemy is dealt with, a new enemy must take their place and I don’t think any of the other news organizations wanted to be next on that list.

In the end it is a good thing that they seem to have failed at this point.  While the followers of the left are so in the tank, much like those of the right with their political leaders, that they refuse to accept that this is an area that government should not be involved in in any way,  perhaps this will allow some negative feedback into that Echo Chamber and spin it crashing down upon itself, as should be the case.  We need the other side in these discussions to hold back the excesses of the ruling party.  The administration must be held in check, even if you agree with their agenda.  This is a fact that was true during the Bush years with wiretapping, torture and the Patriot Act as is still true today.  Which side of the equation you are on should not be making that fact invalid, if it is perhaps you should think about watching Fox News yourself and allowing some negative feedback into YOUR Echo Chamber.

Posted by Rhinehold at October 26, 2009 1:23 AM
Comments
Comment #289759

BTW, if anyone is curious as to why there appears to be fewer and fewer ‘dissenting’ voices on a blog that is designed to highlight differing opinions about the topics of the day, this post might offer some insight.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 26, 2009 1:28 AM
Comment #289761

RH
There is some difference between Bushco handling of the press and BHO. There are some important situations that need to be dealt with will by definition upset the powers that be. Fox news by blatantly representing the Rep Party which in turn blatantly represents vested interest,in particular, Big Oil, should be marginalized. Its quite fair for the administration to attempt to do so by Constitutional means. Not having administration spokesmen appear on Fox is fair. Not allowing talking heads that appear on it invitations to Whitehouse dinners etc. is fair. Its not like the stations are likely to be raided or the personnel arrested. That is until we can finally get solid proof of what I have always suspected,that the right wing media has developed a secret ray that turns peoples brains to oatmeal.

Posted by: bills at October 26, 2009 8:01 AM
Comment #289762

When Libertarians defend Faux News, not only do their denials of Republican kinship ring hollow, but, so does their entire platform. To defend Faux News is to defend propaganda in lieu of facts, data, and reality by empirically observable consensus.

The adversaries of the GOP are the adversaries of many of the Libertarian Party constituency, as this article attests.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 26, 2009 8:33 AM
Comment #289766

I don’t watch Fux or MSNBC very often. They apparently exist to irritate eachother. I watch CNN occasionally, and they are actually a public nuissance much of the time, and have been for many years, reference balloon boy. I’m getting my news from CBS NewsRadio right now. They have advertisements from advocacy groups like http://www.stopbankgreed.org/, which is having a number of events protesting the American Bankers Association (ABA) conference in Chicago. They’re also apparently planning on giving my brother a headache somewhere else today.

The best news program is the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, and the local news programs are pretty good. The national networks all spend a lot of time promoting themselves and their other programs, which doesn’t seem to me to be part of the deal to provide news in exchange for the airwaves, but I seriously doubt that the FCC is going to take away any licenses. Jon Stewart’s fake news show is also a good source for news, or whatever people are going to be talking about anyway.

Off to work.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 26, 2009 9:53 AM
Comment #289768

FOX built their audience, and now to satisfy the ever increasing demand for red meat, they not so subtely link obama to being racist, or like Hitler, or Mao. A lot like ER ratched up their storylines when you thought they couldn’t get any more incredible.

And in the name of journalistic integrity, Rhinegold is outraged anyone should try to call them on it, all while still masquerading as independent of the GOP mission. Criticism and protest are fine as long as it’s not directed at Fox News.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 26, 2009 11:17 AM
Comment #289770

Anyone? No. The White House? Yes.

Apparently you didn’t read the article where I said

I am decidedly not a Fox News watcher. The opinion shows are dreadful to listen, let alone watch and what they pass off as news is appallingly stomach turning at best.

It usually hurts your ‘case’ when you can’t even read what is being presented to you in the second paragraph of an article.

According to your ‘analysis’ of what I wrote, you are saying that I should be outraged at my own criticism of Fox News?

Oh, and it’s Rhinehold…

In fact, have you gotten anything right at all in your critique of what I’ve written?

You even got in the tired liberal talking point, hidden racism.

By far a good representation of the Echo Chamber that the left is constructing for itself! It will soon rival the one on the right and then we can have two groups of people shouting to themselves about the other in bell jars while the rest of us just begs that they all shut the hell up.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 26, 2009 11:25 AM
Comment #289771


I do not think the Administration should have applied the sanctions on Fox. It stinks of the same crap the Bush Adminsitration was doing by denying WH reporter credentials to certain reporters because the BA didn’t like what they were writing.

If the Administration felt it had to do this, they should have applied the same sanctions to MSNBC which is basically the opposite of Fox, a cheerleading squad for Obama.

I agree with orealy, watch The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.

Posted by: jlw at October 26, 2009 12:32 PM
Comment #289773

Rhinehold wrote; “They appear to understand that if this is possible to do to Fox News, it could be them who is targeted next. Once the biggest enemy is dealt with, a new enemy must take their place…”

I find Rhinehold’s statement here to be apropos of promoting collective rights over individual rights.

It is certainly true that one person’s news is another person’s propaganda. Fox News and conservative radio shows are attacked continuously by the left and that’s OK…why not attack the political views of those with which you disagree? Providing all an opportunity to express their freedom of speech is cherished in our Republic.

Underlying all the angst by the left is a common human emotion…ENVY. How can it possibly be that Fox continues to attract new viewers and remains the undisputed leader in Network News and commentary? Why are Rush, Beck, Hannity, Savage, Levin and others so popular with such a huge national following?

If the left is unwilling to admit that their political and social views are not the most popular, by virtue of the numbers of viewers and listeners, they must rationalize this by attacking those who deliver the most popular message. This is a very common ploy, attack the messenger to destroy the message.

Since the inception of the newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, successful tyrants all over the world have recognized that success requires dominance of the source of news. Control what people read and hear and one can more easily control what the populace thinks. Today, with internet access it is more difficult for the tyrant to hide facts. There are just too many places for the truth to leak out.

The Obama administration and their willing lemmings have failed to silence their opponents with such crude and ignorant strategies. Fox News has it right when they often state…

WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE.

Shouldn’t that be the goal of any news organization? It seems that the Obama juggernaut has instead adopted for its slogan;

WE’VE DECIDED…HERE’S THE REPORT

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 26, 2009 1:18 PM
Comment #289798

This is an awful article. The author swallows a GOP talking point hook, line, and sinker.

First, Nixon’s ‘Enemies List’ was compiled to target people, using the power of the federal government to harm them. The harm was to take the form of IRS audits, lawsuits, contract awards, and so on, and that was just for starters. No one- and I mean no one- is suggesting the Obama administration is intending to target Fox News and others with harmful actions or any form of harrassment whatsoever. It is pure propaganda, plain and simple. Frankly, I am embarrassed the author, a supposedly independent Libertarian, has become unwittingly ensnared in GOP spin.

Furthermore, it would be more accurate to identify this “Enemies List” as an “Enemy List”, as in the singular, except of course there is no dark intention of sending the Fox News staff to an internment camp, or whatever.

Fox News can continue doing what is doing today in perpetuity. No one is stopping them. No one is even telling them to stop. However, just because they call what they are doing ‘news’ does not make it ‘news’. Fox News (and I’m talking about the so-called news portion, NOT the pundits; the author of this article seems woefully uninformed about the difference between pundits and reporters, and even uses pundit Keith O as an example of biased journalism, although Olbermann is clearly not a reporter or journalist)- Fox News does not meet the criteria of a news organization. New organizations do not have anchors who refer to the meeting of hands between Obama and his wife as “a terrorist fist bump”. News organizations do not repeatedly show pictures of GOP sex offenders and subjects of other scandals, and put a (D) under the picture. News organziations do not organize, coach, and incite protestors at tea party events. News organziations do not report inaccurate attendance at such events in order to boost GOP prospects.

Real news organizations do not skip rare presidential addresses of joint meetings of Congress because such events are supposedly not newsworthy.

Fox News is a propaganda arm for the GOP. That’s fine. It is welcome to continue doing that. No one, and I repeat, no one, is silencing Fox News.

Just don’t expect help in manufacturing the lies.

Jlw,
Search MSNBC and Fox. See if MSNBC does negative articles on the Obama administration. They do. See if Fox does any positive articles on the Obama adminsitration. They do not.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2009 6:52 PM
Comment #289802

Isn’t the National Inquirer the group that brought John Edwards to our attention. Now there is a news orgaization. Why did they catch it and no one else? Fox and Acorn, Fox and Van Jones, aren’t these classic examples of news reporting. Can one argue with the results. The results are a resignation and investigation, oops sorry an internal audit.

What existed before Fox? Totally objective media? This article from msnbc.com is what bugs me more than Fox. That the media is predominantly liberal.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19113485/

Finally, can someone point to where news reports and not commentators have proven Fox is 24/7 unprofessional? And are there similar stories on MSNBC?

I am not trying to ask someone to do my research. I just find the critical posts on WatchBlog to be statements not supported by articles or reference. They are just feelings until supported.

I watch Fox, MSNBC, and CNN interchangeably. I get most aggravated with MSNBC and I feel less so with Fox. It is unfortunate that that now diminishes me in the eyes of others.

Thankfully what I have learned from WatchBlog is that dialog and debate facilitates my understanding my position. Improving it, modifying it, or changing it. Not dismissal and presumption based on party talking points and political positions.

I watch it to expand my point of view, I read it here to expand my point of view.

Posted by: Edge at October 26, 2009 8:33 PM
Comment #289815

Re the Obama attacks on the media and Fox. I think you have to remember the old saying -

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Posted by: Christine at October 26, 2009 9:45 PM
Comment #289817
The author swallows a GOP talking point hook, line, and sinker.

Ah, the old ‘GOP Talking Point’ BS. I can guess the next ‘retorts’ on the list, let’s see if we get to them later on…

First, Nixon’s ‘Enemies List’ was compiled to target people, using the power of the federal government to harm them. The harm was to take the form of IRS audits, lawsuits, contract awards, and so on, and that was just for starters.

Yup, and at least one those targeted was a reporter, there was a definite disdain for reporters and news agencies that the Nixon administration wanted to silence through intimidation.

No one- and I mean no one- is suggesting the Obama administration is intending to target Fox News and others with harmful actions or any form of harrassment whatsoever.

You are correct. Including myself. NOTHING in my article even suggests such a thing. The introduction about the Enemies List was there to illustrate the dangers that can come from the political class trying to be involved in what is and isn’t journalism. There should be a line there that isn’t crossed, not by Republicans, not by Democrats.

It is pure propaganda, plain and simple. Frankly, I am embarrassed the author, a supposedly independent Libertarian, has become unwittingly ensnared in GOP spin.

You, you mean the point I *DIDN’T* make that you have tried to attribute to me? That Straw Man propaganda?

Furthermore, it would be more accurate to identify this “Enemies List” as an “Enemy List”, as in the singular, except of course there is no dark intention of sending the Fox News staff to an internment camp, or whatever.

Again, you would do yourself a service by actually reading what is being written, not what you want to have been written… Perhaps this is part of why you find this an AWFUL ARTICLE? That’s just my thought based on your obvious inability to comprehend what was written, but by all means you are free to your opinion, I never claimed to be infallible as a writer in any regard.

However, just because they call what they are doing ‘news’ does not make it ‘news’.

Again, I never once said any such thing. It’s almost like you are arguing someone else’s article? Did you write this in the wrong comments section? I’m sure you read where I stated that I thought that the ‘news’ that Fox broadcasts were stomach turning, right? You didn’t? Oh yeah, that’s right, I had forgotten.

Fox News (and I’m talking about the so-called news portion, NOT the pundits; the author of this article seems woefully uninformed about the difference between pundits and reporters, and even uses pundit Keith O as an example of biased journalism, although Olbermann is clearly not a reporter or journalist)

Interesting, because didn’t Media Matters and other detractors from Fox News start their attacks on Fox by slamming O’Reily and Hannity?

Apparently the commenter missed that the mention of Olbermann was in regard to the hypocrisy of talking about ‘attack’ news with Olbermann. I never suggested that Olbermann was a news anchor.

Fox News does not meet the criteria of a news organization.

And that would be YOUR definition or some definition that is held somewhere? Where is that definition again?

New organizations do not have anchors who refer to the meeting of hands between Obama and his wife as “a terrorist fist bump”. News organizations do not repeatedly show pictures of GOP sex offenders and subjects of other scandals, and put a (D) under the picture. News organziations do not organize, coach, and incite protestors at tea party events. News organziations do not report inaccurate attendance at such events in order to boost GOP prospects.

So news organization DO have their reporters get into arguments and shout down interviewees (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2H170pf3a8), report inaccurate attendance at events to lower GOP prospects, IGNORE events that were pushed by the commentators on a rival network, read emails from the White House on the air to correct their analysis(http://storyballoon.org/videos/morning-joe-gets-email-from-the-white-house-correcting-jake-tapper-story/), call a sitting president a despicable human being, misreport polling information and call states for one candidate before that state’s polls close, edit stories showing one candidate in favorable light while mocking another (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjBnRxidMvQ), say ‘we’ when referring to the Democratic Party (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOoAcDJiedw)…

I could go on. Trust me, the things you find abhorant with Fox News I can find similar or even worse things that MSNBC & CNN have done. They all suck because they are after ratings and sensationalism, not journalism. That is the goal, how do we get more people watching. This has been a problem with news media for decades.

If you, as I pointed out, want to keep ramping up your own Echo Chamber, by all means go ahead. You may get your way one day, a world where dissention is just not done. I just hope you never find anything yourself that you disagree with anyone in power on… Because if this were to go further (thankfully the other news organizations are not biting like the partisan liberals here)it won’t be long before the tables are turned and we’ll hear your whining about being called unamerican again, only next time I am not going to stand up and defend you again after doing a 180 when you got into power…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 26, 2009 10:59 PM
Comment #289819

It seems clear the government is excited by the uptick in rhetoric on talk radio and the Internet. First there was the ‘fairness doctrine’ and last week there were hearings on ‘Internet Neutrality’. I’ve not heard about the outcome. Word is that the administration will begin some kind of bailout or subsidy for the failing newspapers. Leads one to believe the government is looking to get the hooks into the media. Can’t remember when I’ve been for something the government was/is doing. Today I went with my daughter to get a couple of estimates on insulating her home. Find out that between the state and fed she can claim a subsidy of about$3600. I’m against that. Why should I help pay to insulate millions of homes across the country? Socialism to a hi degree I say. That stuff should be done thru local charities, volunteerism, etc and not through the Republic, IMO.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 26, 2009 11:24 PM
Comment #289821

Referencing Nixon specifically, I remember that people were generally optimistic when he was elected, thinking that he would bring Vietnam to an end. It didn’t happen, and people began to have the same disdain for him that they did for his predecessor. I remember watching him on tv and saying “that’s a lie, that’s another lie…”, just as with the current President recently.

The major media groups are all in the business of making a product that they can sell to advertisers. Fux and others are trying to come up with something that gets them a market share, and are trying to find a formula that will do that.

Contrary to what many think, the Town Hall Yell Meetings were pretty much the same before the cameras went there, only the volume has been increased a little. The only new thing is people waving pieces of paper, which was imitated when more people saw it on the news. People were complaining about the same things, immigrants, social security, medicare and paying taxes.

As far as the media, it’s like the Jerry Springer show, except it’s about politics instead of “who’s the daddy?”.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 26, 2009 11:32 PM
Comment #289822
last week there were hearings on ‘Internet Neutrality’

That phrase does not mean what you (and Glenn Beck) think it means. It deals with internet providers not prioritizing different kinds of traffic across the network, it has NOTHING to do with a ‘fairness’ of what is presented on the internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

Listen to Beck if you want, but as with anyone else on the TV or radio, check what they say for accuracy…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 26, 2009 11:41 PM
Comment #289830

Rhinegold,
Is there one president ever who treated every member of the press equally regardless of how the press treated them?
Of course not. Bush certainly disliked a few.

Did you ever suggest those presidents had an enemies list for retribution actions similar to Nixon? Doubtful.

That is why it is hard for some on this site to buy into your independence from the FOX and GOP influence of public opinion.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 27, 2009 9:19 AM
Comment #289835

In a bit of synergy, I was just rereading Kissinger’s “Years of Upheaval”. It’s funny, this time around I noticed how much he seemed to admire totalitarian rule. I’m not sure how commenting on Fox’s obvious Republican slant can be equated to Nixon’s enemy list. Is Obama doing IRS audits on Fox? Didn’t think so.

Fox does do occasionally straight news, if you can find it, between the propaganda pieces. CNN occasionally does news in between the infotainment. MSNBC seems to fluctuate between subtle right wing rants, and liberal screeds, interspersed with true crime/prison pieces. I like Rachel Maddow.

The internet has changed my news gathering. I now read from multiple sources that was either too expensive or inconvenient in prior years.

Posted by: gergle at October 27, 2009 10:05 AM
Comment #289836

Christine,

Yes, they are placing Fox news people in concentration camps. You win the race to Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Posted by: gergle at October 27, 2009 10:11 AM
Comment #289875

This is a joke, and a bad one at that. Nothing at MSNBC even comes close to the hothouse flower atmosphere at Fox. Roger Ailes, the founder, is Bush Senior’s former political operative.

Why should we take this rabid equivalence seriously? It bears all the marks of somebody who only acknowledges what the Republicans do in order to accuse Democrats of the same thing. But that doesn’t wash. There’s no substance to your equivalence. It’s just free-floating partisanship.

Confront the Republicans. They’re the people who lost the last two elections and still think this country is on their side. That’s who’s in the bubble.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2009 4:39 PM
Comment #289885

Mr. Daugherty…are you a little tired? I found your last post a bit rambling when normally you are very easy to follow.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 27, 2009 5:35 PM
Comment #289892
Confront the Republicans. They’re the people who lost the last two elections and still think this country is on their side. That’s who’s in the bubble.

Sooo, you didn’t see when I wrote

By far a good representation of the Echo Chamber that the left is constructing for itself! It will soon rival the one on the right and then we can have two groups of people shouting to themselves about the other in bell jars while the rest of us just begs that they all shut the hell up.

Or are you just unable to accept that while the Bush administration went after individual journalists, they never approached the level of trying to declare a whole news organization as ‘invalid’?

Or do you really not see how the changes at MSNBC to the point that they are now reading their talking points directly from the White House on the air is a bad thing?

I’m still not sure why you want to keep defending behavior that is bad by saying it isn’t as bad as it was in previous administrations, that just seems like a pretty lame tact to take and directly contrary to what you SAY you represent…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 27, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #289894

Gergle

When Bush was in office you would have thought it was some kind of police state to hear all the liberals loudly claiming to be muzzled.

It is a funny thing that when you are in power certain tactics can be used against you and you can no longer use some that worked so well. Democrats are completely in charge of the country, or at least as completely in charge as anyone can be. They can no longer play the victim. When you are the perpetrator of policy it is much harder, isn’t it?

Posted by: Christine at October 27, 2009 7:43 PM
Comment #289929

Christine,

Hmmm, So when did liberals accuse Bush’s preference for Fox as Hitler like again? I don’t recall that one.

But, thanks for pointing out your own hypocrisy.

Posted by: gergle at October 28, 2009 9:35 AM
Comment #289931

RF, S. Daugherty’s last comment could not be clearer. Yes, MSNBC has its Ed Schultz show, partisanly prejudiced and biased as they come, complete with a blowing off of facts and data that don’t comport with Ed’s partisan views. I have seen him do this several times.

But, MSNBC as an organization does not have a partisan agenda. They give equal time to conservatives like Joe Scarborough with his host of conservative and liberal guests, as well as Larry Kudlow and Santorum of clear conservative bents in reporting and debating economic and financial news, respectively. Counterbalanced by the likes of Maddow and the Obermann.

There is no equivalence in degree of partisan agenda between Fox and MSNBC, was S. Daugherty’s well made argument. And he is right. There isn’t. All Fox News reporting is either neutral or Republican/Conservative slanted. MSNBC provides bi-partisan slants depending on the host, as well as neutral news reporting.

Which means, Fox News is designed for consumption by conservative and Republican audiences who also have a need for factual news on the markets and the some of the day’s breaking stories, whereas, MSNBC is designed for consumption by a far wider audience spanning the political spectrum. In this regard, there is no equivalence.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 28, 2009 9:50 AM
Comment #289945

David R. Remer-
Thank you. You explained that well.

Rhinehold-
I’m a bit on the autistic side, so when somebody makes an equivalence, I expect it to be a literal equivalence, or else I’m just going to reject it as fancy rhetoric.

Somebody on this site commented that both Liberals and Conservatives were using scorched earth politics. I rebutted that with objective evidence that Republican Obstructionism and partisanship was literally of another order of magnitude.

People often claim equivalence when they’re trying to stop somebody cold from taking advantage of a lapse on the part of their opponent. Perhaps they want people to rationalize their failings as a general failing of the system that would be futile to address mainly with the target. Or maybe they just want to cut short the march onwards of a political cause they find objectionable, but don’t really have an independent beef they can play on to do this.

FOXNews deserves to be exposed for what it is. It’s not merely conservative journalism that otherwise moderates itself with good journalistic practice. It’s conservative journalism that plays advocate, that gives prime-time space to a line-up of hard-line partisans that espouse a litany of far-right opinions, all packaged to appeal to people’s fears and uncertainties.

It’s also part of a system that unfortunately keeps conservatives out of touch with the rest of America’s political reality, atrophying their sense of how to relate to those outside the movements and the parties of the right, and enabling those who use the advocacy-centered journalism of those organizations to avoid accountability for their mistakes and their malfeasances.

A news organization should enlighten, not mislead, check their facts before running them rather than push an agenda with whatever’s convenient to making the argument.

FOXNews should not be given credit where it’s not due. If they had actually served their conservative audiences well, they would have helped clean up the party and expose those who undermine it’s authority. It would have questioned the policies, rather than cheerleaded them.

Without them acting as a check on such bad behavior and bad assumptions, all FOX could do was be deafeningly silent on the problems of these issues when they mattered.

It’s not a news organization, its a propaganda outlet, and one that serves the GOP leadership better than its audience.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2009 1:21 PM
Comment #289965


Phx8, although I do not like the man and disagree with most of what he has to say, there is one commentator on Fox that most often critizes but does on occasion defend the Obama Administration against some of the more reactionary guests on his program. Bill O’Reilly.

MSMBC occasionally has liberals and conservatives who are disappointed in Obama’s liberal agenda but, it seldom has progressives on who are extremely disappointed with the liberals agenda in reguards to selling out the American workers for a bigger piece of the wealth pie.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2009 6:22 PM
Comment #289998

Anchor Shep Smith has moments of decency too.

O’Reilly doesn’t really do news. He is a pundit. I have not seen anyone say any of the Fox pundits should be restricted in any way. It’s about what Fox presents as ‘news.’

It’s all a moot point anyway, since the White House and Fox have supposedly met and called a truce. So much for this article! Just another talking repeated by a conservative that shortly afterwards turns out to be wrong.

Posted by: phx8 at October 29, 2009 11:01 AM
Comment #290004

Mr. Remer wrote; “MSNBC is designed for consumption by a far wider audience spanning the political spectrum.”

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “It’s not a news organization, its a propaganda outlet, and one that serves the GOP leadership better than its audience.”

These comments smell like “sour grapes” to me. I wonder how either of these writers would account for the huge success of Fox over their counterparts. Why is Fox able to attract such a huge viewership, larger than the combined audience of most of their competitors, if it is merely propaganda designed to serve the GOP leadership?

Many who bash conservative talk radio use the same arguments being used against Fox. That it’s just a medium to bash liberals. Well…perhaps that’s true, and since their bashing of liberals seems to attract the greatest viewer and listeningship…of any in their respective media, wouldn’t that by itself tell us something about the viewers and listeners?

Mr. Daugherty frequently talks about “objective evidence” being lacking in some posts. Is it not evidence, in the first degree, that more voters are attracted to the Fox, Hannity, Linbaugh, etc. message than to the opposing message? Viewership and listeningship bear this out.

So…what do the two referenced writers (Remer and Daugherty) say to counteract this evidence. Why they attack the viewers and listeners as being dumb, uninformed, lackeys, and such. Since neither Remer or Daugherty accept the validity of conservative talking points they refuse to accept that others freely and intelligently might find those views attractive. In this case…rather than attacking the message, they attack the messenger and reader or viewer.

At the same time these same two writers will hail the results of the last election as verification of their liberalism being overwhelming in popularity. How do they arrive at their deduction…simple, because their political party won. Winning means that they beat the competition. Using this same logic and discounting the many other factors that constitute a winning vote, they will tell us that the numbers of those voting for their party mean adherence to that party’s philosophy.

If numbers tell the whole story in elections, then one can conclude that numbers tell the whole story in media success. And, by extension, the media with the biggest number of viewers and listeners wins because by having a larger audience, theirs must be the accepted philosophy.

Mr. Remer and Mr. Daugherty can’t have it both ways. To assert that winning an election by having more votes is confirming of political philosophy, it must also follow that having more viewers and listeners of political views is confirming of political philosophy. Otherwise could it not be said that those who voted for Dems are just dumb, uninformed, lackeys, and such?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2009 12:55 PM
Comment #290085

Royal Flush:

Why is Fox able to attract such a huge viewership, larger than the combined audience of most of their competitors, if it is merely propaganda designed to serve the GOP leadership?

Jerry Springer comes to mind, or how about wrestling?

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2009 11:51 PM
Comment #290095


The primary difference between Fox News fans and wrestling fans is that most of the wrestling fans know that it is fake and they don’t care. Fox News fans have a hard time making the connection between the reality and the nonreality because the latter matches their world view so well.

Posted by: jlw at October 31, 2009 1:10 PM
Comment #314019

I disagree, the president may give his opinion on news sources, especially if they have been proven to be FALSE and MISLEADING. The way you try to compare obama bashing fox, to nixon’s top 20 list is disturbing. People over exaggerating is part of the problem.

Posted by: goatonastik at November 25, 2010 5:26 PM
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