As if to prove the point of my previous post, Fox News had this lovely story that Google’s aggregator caught about supposed increased costs due to immigration. But once again, we have to consider the source, and in this case, the source of their story is an advocacy group called FAIR (The Federation for American Immigration Reform). Their “researchers” are advocates. A hint that something is wrong with this story is already present in the article, when you read that the “research” was released exclusively to Fox. Oops! That’s not fair research. Real research is open to all to inspect and challenge.
People often say, “Oh the left is just as bad.” I find no such equivalence. A good right wing lightning rod, The New York Times, features today an expose on a Democrat Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, where he claims to have served in Vietnam, but didn’t. The Right does that same sort of investigation of the Right, right? Wrong.
And so I wonder, oh Conservative friends of mine, what value is Fox News when they lie to you?
A while back, I went on a tear about Fox News and just how bad they are at actually delivering news, and how people who listen to them need to hold themselves accountable. Since then, I think someone defriended me on FaceBook for the note. I suppose I had one too many friend. Fox is part of a right wing media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, where his goal is to control the message, and thereby have a strong say in our government. And he’s very successful through truly deceitful means. Even the name of the conglomerate is deceitful- News Corp. It’s not. It’s lies with a bit of truth sprinkled in to help people suspend disbelief about the lies. He’s not the first to do it, but seemingly he’s the most effective. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to the master, however, William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate.
Is there a good honest news source? My preferred news sources these days are as follows:
This is perhaps the most popular news aggregator there is. Google doesn’t actually do any of the reporting but just groups together related stories, and I can compare points of view based on the source of the story. Say, Fox versus The Guardian.
NPR remains a strong source of news with stories that one can listen to on the radio that are more than just sound bites. They have in depth interviews with key political players as well as scientists. I have always found their business reporting to be somewhat limiting. This leads to a more controversial preference.
The Journal is the paper of record for business news, even though they are part of News Corp. It is rare that you read a retraction on a story that matters (I can’t remember one, actually). But they are a relatively recent addition to the conglomerate, and so the impact has been limited to what stories they choose to report, headlines, and their editorial staff. Hosting a shady character like Karl Rove immediately disqualifies what was already a colored view, even prior to the takeover.
Note that nowhere in my list are any of the major television networks. That’s largely due to several factors:
I live outside the United States and so my access to network programming is somewhat limited;
Their stories tend to be short and lack depth, except for news magazines, which I don’t have access to.
Some time ago, now Senator Al Franken wrote a book called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. I read the book, and found it to be a lousy read as petty, spiteful, and true. You may not agree with his politics or his style, but the one thing you can say about Senator Franken is that he has always valued the truth. On the other hand, I don’t know why anyone actually believes Fox News at all. Because they and their chief liar Bill O’Reilly are at it again! This time, it’s a railroad job against Senator Coburn, who had the audacity to call my Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, a nice lady, and who said, when talking abut the insane notion of putting people in prison for buying insurance, that “The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on FOX but that isn’t the intention.”
Bill O’Reilly can’t have that, so he claimed, “We researched on Fox News if anybody had ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. Nobody’s ever said it.” Guess what? The New York Times did some investigating and found at least six instances where someone on Fox News did say it.
When reporter at the New York Times was caught some months ago for plagiarizing, he was forced to resign and the entire newspaper was shamed. Not so for Fox when they just make stuff up, as apparently they have no shame! And so I think they deserve a new name: The Republican Liars Network (RCN). Not all Republicans are liars, and not all liars are Republicans, but those who choose to believe what they know to be lies, aren’t much better than the liars themselves, especially when they act on that information in the voting booth.
All I can ask is please, Senator Franken, don’t update your book. There’s just too much material.