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Today's Poll: Is Fox News 'Fair and Balanced'?

By Howard B. Owens
Bea McManis

It will be no surprise when Fox News gets a high rating on this site.
Funny, how people who "trust" Fox News will overlook when Fox News used faked footage. Is that fair and balanced?

Sean Hannity to Jon Stewart: You're right, we faked footage

Comedian Jon Stewart outed Fox News on his show last night after the network appeared to use archived footage of a well-attended rally, passing it off as clips from a recent health care protest.

Rep. Michele Bachman, R-Minn., who spoke at the Thursday rally, said on "Hannity" that it was estimated that anywhere from 20,000 to 45,000 demonstrators gathered to protest then-pending health care reform legislation in the House.

The Washington Post reported 10,000 attended the rally.

Stewart says in the clip that the network used archived footage from a better-attended rally on Sept. 12 (with green trees, cloudy skies) to show thousands of protesters taking to the streets in Washington, D.C, on Thursday (with fall trees, sunny skies).…

Feb 4, 2010, 8:22am Permalink
Sean Valdes

Fox balances out CNN and CBS. I think Howard says something like - all news is biased because the writers are biased because the writers are human - or something like that but much more eloquent.

Feb 4, 2010, 8:29am Permalink
Bea McManis

Even the president of Fox News states that he is "not in the news business, he is in the ratings business" then everyone who lives and breathes Fox News is being bilked.

FEBRUARY 3, 2010 10:06PM
President of Fox News Lies Twice on ABC

Rodger Ailes, President of Fox News, appeared recently on ABC's "This Week" and was at long last confronted on his recent condoning of the most intense fear-mongering and incitement toward violence ever seen in modern U.S. politics & punditry via Glenn Beck of Fox News.

Ailes proceeded to make two non-factual statements and then attempted to dismiss the issue when confronted by Ariana Huffington. Two more pieces of misinformation to throw on the great pile of growing nonsense that is News Corp and Fox News. (And kudos to Ariana for bringing this topic to the table, as it is a very serious matter going mainly ignored.)

Ailes said that he believed it "accurate" to compare to this administration to that of Stalin or Hitler, or his words leave the question hanging as it is obvious to anyone that Beck was not speaking in a past tense of historical nature but in a wild-eyed screaming call to the present situation. Rodger Ailes lied on ABC airwaves in saying that Beck was talking about "Stalin and Hitler" when he spoke of "leading people to the slaughter."

I could by the same tokens that Glenn Beck tosses around say that Rodger Ailes & Fox News are leading us to slaughter. Slaughter of the truth, slaughter of free speech, slaughter of ethical journalism. If Rodger Ailes truly supports the insane logic of Glenn Beck then surely he still understands the need to balance out perspective and provide everyone the opinion of people who think that they are the ones destroying America and intentionally creating fear and hate for the sake of sheer greed. Would that not be "fair and balanced"?

Ailes also created a false apology from Glenn Beck, that never happened. Glenn Beck never apologized for spreading racist lies about an elected leader of the United States of America, he only apologized for his phrasing and inserted literally the exact wording I used when mocking him here on the internet; almost verbatim.

Glenn Beck: "It is a serious question that I think needs serious discussion."

Eric Lightborn: "I'm saying that we should discuss this seriously as a nation"

Beck never apologized for what offended so many on many sides of politics, and we are supposed to believe that begging the same race baiting line of questioning is some kind of "apology"!?! Rodger Ailes lied once again, in a very tight time constraint, to defend Glenn Beck from facing the truth and the light of day. This would be very much like if I called it an "apology" to just repost "Did Glenn Beck Commit a Murder-Rape in 1990?" & links to and at the top of the post just inserted: "I phrased myself poorly before but this issue is very important and I think needs a serious discussion."

One matter was settled though: Fox News is not a news agency.

When the president of an outfit states that he is "not in the news business, he is in the ratings business" then it proves case-and-point exactly what I, and many others, have said for a very long time: Fox "News" is not news, it's just pure entertainment from every last inch of it right down to the news tickers.

It's like a window into what it's like to be a conservative for the sake of pure entertainment, and nothing more.

Like an episode of "Lost" or watching "Family Guy" it is just a big bunch of fun ... but when you really get down to it, it's pure fiction just built to get ratings. I'm glad that Rodger Ailes was honest to this regard, at least.

Because he most certainly is not in the news business.…

Feb 4, 2010, 8:45am Permalink
Lorie Longhany

What about the most recent cutaway when Fox Exec's must have decided that President Obama's sound drubbing of the Republican lawmaker's on their home turf was not quite fair and balanced enough to show their audience?

Feb 4, 2010, 8:44am Permalink
Tony Ferrando

"In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

""Fox" argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre's claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so."


Is an organization that sued for, and won, the right to lie trustworthy? Certainly the First Amendment is great and all... but it isn't absolute. I can't run into a crowded building and yell "fire" without breaking the law...

Feb 4, 2010, 9:14am Permalink
Peter O'Brien

Bea, name one news company that isn't in it for the ratings. There is not one. Why? because without ratings you won't have advertisers.

But, look at all the independent polls that are out there saying Fox has the most balanced news. Thats NEWS not SHOWS like Hannity's Get a clue.

Feb 4, 2010, 9:16am Permalink
Karen Miconi

Fox News along with a few others "Sensationalize" the news for ratings. Its your choice if you get "Sucked Into It". They are Overdramatized, Exagerated, versions of the real deal. It doesn't matter, if what they are reporting is fact, its about ratings. They are the Jerry Springers of World News. After not having cable for 5 years, we're not missing much. Its funny because my husband used to come home from work, and if Fox, Nancy Grace,MSNBC, ect. were on, he would turn it off. He prefers Local News and World News Tonight. Fair and informative news, you can trust. Oh and lets not forget "THE BATAVIAN" (<:

Feb 4, 2010, 9:24am Permalink
Dennis Jay

Study after study by independent researchers found that people who rely primarily on Fox News for news and information have a very skewed view of the world that doesn't track with reality. That says it all for me.

Fox is the worst violator of good journalism, but the others are not far behind. It's all hurting our country and the prospects of a lasting democracy, which will not survive without an informed and engaged citizenry.

The advice that Obama gave to Senate democrats is wise counsel we should all heed:

"Last point I would make about this. You know what I think would actually make a difference . . . if everybody here turned off your CNN, your Fox, your -- just turn off the TV -- MSNBC, blogs -- and just go talk to folks out there, instead of being in this echo chamber where the topic is constantly politics -- the topic is politics. It is much more difficult to get a conversation focused on how are we going to help people than a conversation about how is this going to help or hurt somebody politically."

Feb 4, 2010, 9:37am Permalink
Tony Ferrando

Honestly, if you want "fair and balanced" news... without the bias... then you should probably be watching the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. It has its critics, but what doesn't?

Feb 4, 2010, 9:47am Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Peter O'Brien on February 4, 2010 - 9:16am
But, look at all the independent polls that are out there saying Fox has the most balanced news. Thats NEWS not SHOWS like Hannity's Get a clue.

Posted by Dennis Jay on February 4, 2010 - 9:37am
Study after study by independent researchers found that people who rely primarily on Fox News for news and information have a very skewed view of the world that doesn't track with reality. That says it all for me.

Me too, Dennis. I guess if you only read the polls that favor Fox, you will get the results you want.

Feb 4, 2010, 9:52am Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by John Roach on February 4, 2010 - 9:17am
Except for "Morning Joe", do you think MSNBC, especially after 5 PM is fair and balanced?

My television goes on automatically at 6am every morning. Monday through Friday, Morning Joe is the only MSNBC program I watch/listen to all the way through.
Over and above that it gets the blood flowing in the morning, I think the news is straight forward. His guests run the spectrum from far left to far right. He doesn't sugar coat how he feels about today's political scene.
I may not always agree with him, but I'll give him credit for bringing many views to the table.

Feb 4, 2010, 9:51am Permalink
Kelly Hansen

I watch Fox quite often and what many people seem to fail to realize is that Hannity and Beck do not claim to be news reporters. They are strictly reporting and expanding upon their own opinions. I don't watch those shows as once you hear their spiel, you know it and it gets pretty redundant. When I turn to the Rachel Maddow show, which is rarely, she is spending her time reporting on how Fox News failed Americans somehow. I turn the channel because she is obviously not reporting but opining. Same for Chris Matthews, Keith O., etc. - not news reporters yet many who comment on The Batavian rely on them for news. I could quote the silly things those folks have 'reported' but won't waste my time.

Fox News does have news shows and they must be too boring for lefties to watch. Is Major Garrett offensive? How about Shepard Smith? If you want to give Fox a fair and balanced look - skip the opinion shows - just as I do with other networks. I know the difference between opinion and fact and accept and discard information accordingly. Glenn Beck is as much as a reporter as Joy Behar. I skip them both.

Feb 4, 2010, 9:58am Permalink
Dennis Jay

Kelly - You may be astute enough to distinguish news from opinion, but I sense more Americans do not. A recent survey found a majority of people who say they are Republicans think Obama was not born in the U.S. and is an avowed Socialist. They are getting these impressions mostly from Fox News.

Feb 4, 2010, 10:05am Permalink
Doug Yeomans

New outlets are all biased which makes them "unfair and unbalanced." I've never seen a news outlet simply report on what happens because that would be boring. Embellishment and sensationalism is what sells the news, not the news itself. Unfortunately that's just how it is.

It's the same way for listening to talk show hosts. I'm a registered Republican but I can't stand listening to Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, so I don't.

Ah well, I guess trying to use "fair and balanced" in the same sentence as "any network news" is laughable all by itself.

Feb 4, 2010, 10:44am Permalink
Bob Harker

Bea? Other then Fox, can you name a news outlet that is NOT slanted (and mostly WAY slanted) to the left?

I love the people you cite: Huffington, Obama, and Stewart to name a few. They are - all 3 - so far to the left they can't even SEE the right.

Are you so blinded by you liberal/progressive thinking that you believe the other major news outlets simply present facts? I think back to a debate Howard and I had about blogging vs. reporting. I submit to you there are VERY few news reporting outlets remaining in America.

Yes, I mostly watch Fox, but also tune into msnbc to get the left's take on the news - their opinions if you will. I cannot stomach the rantings of cnn and the network news.

And lastly, why is it that 6 Fox shows blow away ALL other news channels in the ratings. Is it because all their viewers are mindless sheep being led by the evil empire? Or is it possible that a great many of us thirst for more balanced reporting?

With all due respect, I suggest my above statement holds true. You are blind to the facts of what is truly happening in our country today.

Feb 4, 2010, 10:54am Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Bob Harker on February 4, 2010 - 10:54am
Are you so blinded by you liberal/progressive thinking...

And lastly, why is it that 6 Fox shows blow away ALL other news channels in the ratings. Is it because all their viewers are mindless sheep being led by the evil empire? Or is it possible that a great many of us thirst for more balanced reporting?
How was your thirst satisfied by seeing a crowd shot at a DC rally that showed an overcast day with green leaves on the trees and then a crowd shot with trees in full autumn color? Did you really believe that the trees went through a transformation in the course of that one rally? Is that the thirst satisfaction you crave?

With all due respect, I suggest my above statement holds true. You are blind to the facts of what is truly happening in our country today.

We may have different views on what is right for our country, but that doesn't make one's opinion totally "true" and one totally wrong. That is why I like "Morning Joe". It gives a well rounded view of the opinions from all sides. How does getting various opinions make me "blind to the facts of what is truly happening in our country today."?

Feb 4, 2010, 11:23am Permalink
bud prevost

I thoroughly enjoy watching the McLaughlin Group on PBS as well as Jim Lerher. I also watch a good amount of CNN in addition to the Fox news channel. Guess what? It doesn't matter who you watch, there is bias in all reporting. BHO's 427 appearances in the last year were well monitored by all networks.
And Lorie, I watched the entire GOP retreat on Fox, so I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Feb 4, 2010, 11:34am Permalink
Lorie Longhany

Bud, you apparently didn't watch it on FOX -- because they cut away to split screen with a commentator with 20 minutes left.

<table style='font:11px arial; color:#333; background-color:#f5f5f5' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='360' height='353'><tbody><tr style='background-color:#e5e5e5' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;'><a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href=''>The Daily Show With Jon Stewart</a></td><td style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; text-align:right; font-weight:bold;'>Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c</td></tr><tr style='height:14px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'<a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href=''>Q & O<a></td></tr><tr style='height:14px; background-color:#353535' valign='middle'><td colspan='2' style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; width:360px; overflow:hidden; text-align:right'><a target='_blank' style='color:#96deff; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href=''></a></td></tr><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><embed style='display:block' src='…; width='360' height='301' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' wmode='window' allowFullscreen='true' flashvars='autoPlay=false' allowscriptaccess='always' allownetworking='all' bgcolor='#000000'></embed></td></tr><tr style='height:18px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><table style='margin:0px; text-align:center' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='100%' height='100%'><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href=''>Daily Show<br/> Full Episodes</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href=''>Political Humor</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href=''>Health Care Crisis</a></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table>

Feb 4, 2010, 11:53am Permalink
C. M. Barons

I see no difference between televised news programming (with the exception of C-SPAN). When it comes to digesting news- I do NOT need a "balanced field" of so-called experts, a screaming match between two, testosterone-addled "pros," or ad nauseum loops of the same video to get the picture. Primarily, television news compresses reality to the point it nolonger resembles reality. Television is about television; not the substance of what it represents. It has to be entertaining despite the pretense. Television has its own language and symbology; not mine. I cannot tolerate commercials; I lack libidinous attraction to the dullards who parrot the news-script.
I have satellite television via DirecTV, but I only watch movie channels. I did monitor CNN during Operation Clamdip (or whatever they called the Iraq invasion), but only after reporters were allowed to independently seek-out news. It's embarrassing to admit that "news" organizations submitted to that embedded crap!
Television stopped producing news when Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Huntley/Brinkley signed off.

Feb 4, 2010, 12:10pm Permalink
Bob Harker

Bea. Your lack of a rational response to my viewpoint is so indicative of the liberal/progressive way of answering questions - they don't. Instead of answering they (you) respond to a question with a question, and some finger pointing at some barely pertinent circumstance. Unless a left biased reporter is asking a question to further espouse the left's agenda, the question is ignored.

I ask you again, point blank. Can you name any TV news outlet (with the POSSIBLE exception of cspan) that is objective and not completely and totally biased to the left?

Feb 4, 2010, 1:57pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Quite frankly, and I've already stated, I watch Morning Joe first thing in the day.
If I need to watch anything related to the government, I will turn to CSpan. Ergo, I can't answer your question because i don't watch network news.

Feb 4, 2010, 2:26pm Permalink
Tony Ferrando

Can you name any TV news outlet (with the POSSIBLE exception of cspan) that is objective and not completely and totally biased to the left?

You do realize that labelling the media "liberal" was a strategy for Republicans, right? They've admitted as much... There's no such thing as liberal media. While maybe one has developed since the Conservative Media went to the extreme right-wing, after effectively shifting the Overton window to the right, it's only in response to that. So yes, it's very easy to name "any" TV news outlet that isn't "totally" biased to the left... here we go... every single TV news outlet is not totally biased to the left.

More appropriately, it's the *corporate* media. After all, they're all reliant upon advertising dollars from corporations, aka conservative advertisers.

Feb 4, 2010, 2:34pm Permalink
Bob Harker

Tony, I followed the link you provided. The latest dated entry I saw was 2002, with most being in the 90's, so I cannot consider it to be a relevant source.

And do you HONESTLY believe that the network nes outlets and msnbc and cnn don't have a liberal bias? Your posts reflect intelligence. One would hate to think that you have been snowed like Bea - another intelligent, albeit misguided, poster.


Feb 4, 2010, 2:40pm Permalink
Tony Ferrando

Bob - I believe I firmly addressed exactly what you ask in this latest rant, knowing full well the date the myth of liberal media bias was debunked. "While <b>maybe one has developed since the Conservative Media went to the extreme right-wing</b>, after effectively shifting the Overton window to the right, it's only in response to that. [snip] every single TV news outlet is not totally biased to the left."

Frankly, the reason why watching "other" channels seems so off the wall for you, is because they aren't telling you precisely what you're looking to hear. When was the last time you disagreed with anything any of those "6" *opinion providers* that are so great in the ratings have said? And since all these other channels are sooooooooo liberal... maybe those 6 win the ratings because there's so many other choices for the rest of America. Since you're so conveniently lumping them together, using your logic, combined they blow away all ratings on Fox News. So as opposed to them being mindless sheep, your term, actually having a choice has led them to seek out the shows they prefer, which happen to be on different channels. In pop culture, Fox News is akin to The Borg. Assimilate, resistance is futile.

Feb 4, 2010, 2:56pm Permalink
Richard Gahagan

Why do the so called progressives want this country to be like all the european countries. Those people live like animals compared to us.

Feb 4, 2010, 3:12pm Permalink
John Roach

I watched both FOX and MSNBC around 2 PM.

They both reported the raising of the National Debt Ceiling.

Fox gave the vote totals and showed in the House that no Republicans voted for the debt increase, along with 36 Democrats. It passed by 5 votes, all Democrat. In the Senate, it was all Democrats.

MSNBC reported it passed, but failed to mention it was passed by only Democrats, and gave no other details.

Maybe that is one reason Fox does better in the polls than MSNBC.

Feb 4, 2010, 4:39pm Permalink
Bob Harker

Tony! Please show me where I said that watching other channels is off the wall. I also watch msnbc.

And for you say that I rant, is, well, extremely defensive. I suppose you don't rant - you simply inform?

Third, you are doing exactly as Bea did and what liberals/progressives are famous for. Please see the below.

"Bea. Your lack of a rational response to my viewpoint is so indicative of the liberal/progressive way of answering questions - they don't. Instead of answering they (you) respond to a question with a question, and some finger pointing at some barely pertinent circumstance. Unless a left biased reporter is asking a question to further espouse the left's agenda, the question is ignored.

I ask you again, point blank. Can you name any TV news outlet (with the POSSIBLE exception of cspan) that is objective and not completely and totally biased to the left?"

Now, Tony, I ask you once more: Are you saying that msnbc, cnn, and the networks provide objective news coverage with no political slant?

Further personal attacks are unneeded and will be, rightly, ignored. A simple and direct question, though not expected, will be refreshing.

Feb 4, 2010, 5:24pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Bob Harker on February 4, 2010 - 5:24pm

Further personal attacks are unneeded and will be, rightly, ignored. A simple and direct question, though not expected, will be refreshing.

Just so we get this right. You are allowed to make personal attacks, but you feel they are unneeded and will be rightly ignored if you feel that they are directed at you.
got it.

Feb 4, 2010, 5:44pm Permalink
Bob Harker

Bea, please point out any personal attacks I have made. If you interpreted any of my postings as an attack, I apologize, and it was totally unintentional. I am simply frustrated that I can't seem to get a direct answer to any question I have posed to you or Tony.


Feb 4, 2010, 6:36pm Permalink
doug smith

fair and balanced .......i used to hate cnn....but started to watch to see how they reported events.....suprised they are some what fair and fox news is.......i think one side promotes less goverment,less taxes,keeping marriage between man and woman,less welfare,strong defense..
pro life......we all know where dems and republicans fall on these issues....fair and balanced
what would you want for you kids , more goverment on welfare occupied by china cause of our weak defense.... having an abortion because her husban left her for another man, who is getting married to his male partner....

Feb 4, 2010, 6:59pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

To the point made a couple of times that "the liberal media is a myth."

I've worked in and around newspapers for 25 years. I've been active in professional organizations that included newspaper, radio and television journalists.

I'm hear to tell you, "the liberal media" is no myth. It's rock solid fact and gospel truth.

I've known very few conservative or libertarian reporters or editors. I've known many, many openly liberal and Democratic journalists. Less common than conservative journalists are the completely non-partisan journalists.

I've watched reporters knowingly and unknowingly shade their coverage to a liberal point of view.

As I've said before, and as Sean alluded to, there is no such thing as objective reporting. Except for stories of a pure factual nature (say, the weather), objective reporting is impossible. Every reporter shades stories either consciously or unconsciously toward his or her viewpoint. It's impossible to do otherwise.

I think Fox News is mostly staffed by a bunch of right wing crack pots who are not above lies and deception. But then that doesn't differ much from the left-wing CBS Evening News I've known most of my life. I think CNN has a liberal bias, but in recent years it's been less evident (since Fox came along) and CNN has generally made an honest effort to get its facts straight and not withhold facts to push an agenda. It's liberal bias is more unconscious than conscious. I applaud MSNBC consciously moving to the left as an answer to Fox, and generally consider MSNBC more trustworthy in its reporting than Fox, even though my politics wouldn't hue to MSNBC's viewpoint.

None of them beat Jon Stewart for honest reporting.

(As an aside, it was interesting that in the survey we did, I was equally accused by those who made such comments of being both too liberal and too conservative).

Feb 4, 2010, 7:12pm Permalink
Dave Olsen

Bob Harker, Tony already named a news outlet that is unbiased: PBS. The news hour with Jim Lehrer is the only network news I ever watch. PBS is funded mostly by the Corp for Public Broadcasting, a Non Profit Organization funded, me, Bea McManis, Richard Gahagan and every other US taxpayer. Also, the local stations receive pledges from private individuals and groups. No corporate masters, no advertisers to please, just you & me. If you think they are biased, you can write to them, someone will actually read it, you can complain to your congressman. People don't watch it much (including me, I admit) because it's kinda boring. OOPs gotta go, Jeopardy is on.

Feb 4, 2010, 7:36pm Permalink

I don't believe any of them are fair and balanced. They are interested in ratings and the corresponding advertisers that go along with that.

Fox is against the left and CNN & MSNBC is against the right. The reason why people can watch different stations throughout the day is because most of the commentators are the same. It's 10% news, 90% opinion.

Feb 4, 2010, 7:36pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

PBS is very much in the liberal-bias camp.

Phil, it's not 90 percent opinion. It's 90 percent entertainment. Even as opinion journalism goes, it's not very good journalism, especially on Fox.

Feb 4, 2010, 7:59pm Permalink
Tony Ferrando

Actually Howard, The News Hour is very much in the Conservative Camp for news. However, it accurately reflects where the Overton window lies on a true Left/Right scale in American politics, it will be interesting to see if it shifts with a different party in power, and is solely reflective of that. There's been many studies calling out the News Hour for putting more conservatives on air than liberals. The AP, long a conservative bastian for news in print, even called it out as such. But unlike other news organizations, it works extremely hard to bring diversity to the table. As far as your statement on the bias aspect, I'm wondering what medium you're referring to. Certainly writers at newspapers are liberal, but they also have the conservative editors as their filter. I don't think it would be fair to project ones personal view on what they produce as an apples to apples item.

Bob - I fail to understand how calling something a rant is a personal attack. Nor do I see calling out the fact that people seek out the things they want to hear, and tune out others as an attack. Other than diffusing the ratings game you introduced, that's all I stated. Ratings by no shape or form indicate what's correct, or more appropriately fair and balanced; which is the question posed. I have directly answered your simple question on several instances, the question being if I could name ANY tv news outlet that is objective and <b>not completely and totally biased to the left</b>. The answer is that no TV news outlet is totally biased to the left, it's actually rather simple. I also offered PBS' The News Hour, which is by far the most objective program on television. Your refusal to accept the direct answers given is a bit asinine and reeks of a need to have the last word. As such, I will no longer respond beyond this... because frankly, the reality of it is you're attempting to argue with me over a television channel.

Feb 4, 2010, 8:56pm Permalink
Tony Ferrando


As a matter of clarification; I think on the PBS side, some may be referring to PBS as a whole entity... where I'm merely speaking only to The News Hour.

Feb 4, 2010, 8:55pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Tony wrote, "Certainly writers at newspapers are liberal, but they also have the conservative editors as their filter."

Not in my experience.

Editors were at one time reporters, you know. The same culture that fosters liberal views in newsrooms rewards those views with admiration/recognition, which leads to promotions.

One thing I meant to address in my previous comment is that I'm familiar with the work of groups like F.A.I.R. (in my more liberal days, I was a member). The F.A.I.R. premise is that conservative corporations own most media so therefore there is a conservative bias to news.

That's just not true.

The typical corporate owner cares only about profit. The newsroom, both by tradition and lack of interest from the suits, is fairly insulated from executive influence on news coverage. The only tme this is an exception is on those rare stories that might have direct impact on the corporate parent, but even then, the smart suits understand that its in the best interest of the God of Profit not to interfere with news reporting.

Prior to the rise of radio and Fox, though, conservatives were not without a voice in liberal media. Most of the syndicated columnists, such as George Will and William F. Buckley, were conservatives, but that has more to do with the ebb and flow of the history of politics -- the conservative movement that gave rise to Goldwater and Reagan began as a conservative movement spurred on by Buckley and Russell Kirk in the 1950s. That conservative opinion philosophicalcreated a number of conservative columnists. Because newspaper editorial pages tended to be liberal in the 1960s, the conservative "op-ed" columnists had much opportunity to find audiences.

It's a shame that the Rush Limbaughs and Sarah Palins of the world have made anti-intellectualism a virtue, completely swamping the intellectual vigor of people like Kirk, Will and Buckley.

Feb 4, 2010, 9:43pm Permalink
Dennis Jay

Howard -

I, too, worked many years in journalism and agree with much of what you said. I don't think it's as much bias as it is orientation or world view. When I was in journalism school, it was the norm for liberal students to go into journalism. The conservative kids went into the business school. I've known many reporters and their political leanings, but you could never tell from their stories. Others, on the other hand ...

Some of the posters on here seem to be saying that if a reporter doesn't agree with my view, he or she is biased or an idiot. Very sad.

Feb 4, 2010, 10:42pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Dennis, what I'm saying is I've seen the work of liberals who are reporters who would swear up and down that their reporting is unbiased. They just report the facts. But yet, the abortion-rights spokesperson always seemed to get the first quote in the story, or the quote was a little more rational, and the anti-abortion activist always seemed to wide up with the little more outlandish quote.

The reporting was 100 percent factual and accurate, and the reporter could make a credible case for just presenting the facts in their logical order, and what not. But knowing the reporter and knowing his or her position on relevant topics, the report was clearly slanted to that persons POV.

And with absolutely no malicious intent on the reporter's part. The reporter honestly thought he or she was playing the news straight.

(I use abortion as an example because that was a typical hot button issue in my young reporting days that reporters struggled with trying ot keep their opinions out of the reporting, but they all hated the Operation Rescue types).

What I'm saying is newsrooms are mostly populated by liberals (surveys usually show in the 70 percent range), and that slant can't help but color the news. Further, newsrooms become a self-fulfilling echo chamber -- my POV must be objectively arrived at because everybody I know agrees with me. Even today, I know journalists who view any conservative opinion as suspect because no "intelligent" person they know holds those views.

That said, in a world in which Sarah Palin is a conservative icon, it's hard to convince left-leaning journalists that are any intelligent conservatives left.

Feb 4, 2010, 10:58pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Dennis Jay on February 4, 2010 - 10:42pm

Some of the posters on here seem to be saying that if a reporter doesn't agree with my view, he or she is biased or an idiot. Very sad.

Equally sad is that those people will label a reporter/political analyst an "idiot" because they and their staff took the time to research and then debunk obvious mis-statements or outright fabrications.
If they prefer to believe the fabrications then that is their right. However, repeating that fabrication as fact even after it has been debunked and labeling those who took the time to prove it untrue as idiots, is a sign of a very closed mind.

Feb 5, 2010, 8:01am Permalink
terry paine

Bea, In the first sentence of your first post you predicted a Fox News majority among Batavian readers and I thought that would be far from the case. To my disbelief there are still a lot of people that are sucked into the fear-mongering and lies of Fox News. Choosing a news source is difficult unless you have a lot of time to verify their reports. I'd like to see an opinion poll on some of the others, like Keith O'Reilly Olbermann and Ed Hannity Schultz. I listen to NPR every day, but still have to keep in mind that the taxpayers fund 20% of the channel so a big government bias will exist.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:02am Permalink
Kim Schildwaster

Did any of you ever read this study. You might find it interesting based on the way these posts are going. It states that Conservatives are generally happier than liberals.

Europeans do not live like animals. They have a different way of life not better or worse as a whole. Would I love to balance the life I had in Italy with life here, absolutly. Do I want their healthcare system, no they can keep it any day of the week. The experience I had was enough to last a life time.

The point was made that a conservative will try to back up their views with fact. Liberals will back up their view with feelings and have a hard time defending their view without saying I'm smarter,more educated,thats why. Conservatives try to predict what will happen like cause and effect. Liberals want the change now and will deal with the consequences later. I liken it to a first born vs. the baby of the family.
At the end of the day, we need to compromise for the good of the US. It can't be all happy happy, but we should try to ensure that change represents the feelings of the majority, without blaming, pointing fingers, and calling names. Liberal media feels they are the majority, apparently ratings are proving otherwise. Fox news is no more fair and balanced than any other new station, I do however tend to agree with more than half of their views.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:19am Permalink
Kim Schildwaster

"That said, in a world in which Sarah Palin is a conservative icon, it's hard to convince left-leaning journalists that are any intelligent conservatives left."

That is exactly the problem. Why is the preception out there that she isn't intelligent or that people who admire her in any way aren't either? Why are the liberal media the intelligence police? This is why I can only watch Morning Joe on MSNBC. Every other show only says how stupid you must be to have voted for McCain or to not want the healthcare bill passed. Its a ploy. I'm smart, I'll vote for Obama. Obama is the beauty queen that wished for world peace and won.
Everybody pees their pants. All the cool kids are doing it.

Feb 5, 2010, 3:43pm Permalink
Chris Charvella

"That is exactly the problem. Why is the perception out there that she isn't intelligent?"

The perception is there because it's true. She was a simply a bone thrown to the ultra-conservative religious right. The Republicans have been using evangelicals as tools in their power game for years and Ms. Palin was a perfect example. McCain wasn't polling well with evangelicals and she was the fix.

She turned out to be even more superficial and dimwitted than she originally appeared to be, which is a real feat when I look back on it.

Feb 5, 2010, 3:52pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

Outside of the Tea Party gathering photo switch, which Fox News readily and openly admitted to, can someone provide fact based evidence of all these lies that Fox News is reporting?

Feb 5, 2010, 4:00pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Chris already gave the answer I would give about Sarah Palin being a blathering idiot (there we go again, Chris, agreeing on something), but if you haven't had enough of the cringe worthy idiot moments of Sarah Palin, here's a montage:


I can't even get through the first 30 seconds. What an embarrassment she is to this country, to be on the national stage, getting attention, having some people actually take her seriously.

Also, here's <a href="… of Jon Stewart's appearance on O'Reilly that was cut by Fox</a>.

Feb 5, 2010, 5:30pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

Video #1 the "problem" was sourcing" the facts were accurate.
Video #2 definitely right slanted reporting on the story, lies, no. Captured the essence of liberal attitudes towards the Patriot Act...yes
Video #3 I read the entire original text of the "Your Life, Your Choices" and didn't find any falsehoods in the Fox report.
Video #4 was culled from an opinion show, it was an opinion of the host, not news reporting and Fox dumped the show shortly after.
Video #5 Fox is accurate. claim was made on submitted budget not actual budget. My
Video #6 Yes, Fox News promoted the Tea Party is that a lie? Already addressed the photo switch.
Video #7 If you are comfortable with the facts of the incident and the argument of "grey" reporting mandates, then I don't know what to say to that one.
Video #8 Yep, the Biden clip was a misrepresentation but all the others were right on the money and supported the story's assertion.
Video #9 No lie there, Obama has always been a strong proponent of universal healthcare. The "cropping" of the video did not misrepresent his well documented goals for healthcare in America.
Video #10 Sotomayors remark speaks for itself. Megyn Kellys statement is not a lie. It is an accurate rephrasing of the quote.

Is Fox News right slanted...yes, but stating that Fox News blatently spews lies is an assertion that does not hold up and the 10 videos from the Huffington Post do nothing to back it up either.

Feb 5, 2010, 5:38pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

As long as we all enjoy the video gaffes of the unemployed ex-governor who was almost second-in-command, let's offset it with the gaffes of the guy who IS in charge. and this doesn't include his latest Navy "corpseman" gaffe.
*note, I do not support some of the commentary between clips on video #2, but the clips speak for themselves.

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Feb 5, 2010, 5:54pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Sarah Palin statements were not gaffes. They were evidence of deep seated ignorance of issues that anybody running for VP should know.

Misspeaking about 57 states, for example, is clearly a gaffe.

Saying you're qualified on foreign policy because you can see Russia from your front porch is just plain ignorant. Not understanding what the "Bush Doctrine" means is a gap of knowledge that inexcusable for a candidate for VP.

Pretty much everything that supposedly shows some fault of Obama in those videos is either partisan spin or stretching the norms of common sense for the kinds of mistakes we all make. Nothing there compares to the kind of idiocy Palin has spouted; further, Obama has a track record of being clearly a well educated, articulate person. Palin has no such pedigree. She's never demonstrated any serious aspiration to intelligence.

There's simply no comparison between Obama and Palin.

And I'm by no means defending Obama. I didn't vote for him and wouldn't change my vote. This is purely an non-partisan take.

Feb 5, 2010, 6:20pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

Remember when Bush made those gaffes? I don't recall them being passed off as "mistakes we all make". Bush misspeaks = he is stupid; Obama misspeaks = mistakes we all make. Trent Lott makes a toast to Strom Thurmond = he's a racist and is drummed out of his job; Harry Reid uses Negro dialect and light skinned black man = "what's all the fuss about?". Anything Fox News says that is anti-Obama and they are "racist"; Chris Matthews says "I almost forgot he was was black for about an hour tonight" and he was just "caught up in the moment"
I'm not comparing Palin to Obama or Bush to Obama.
I'm comparing the slimmest of margins the right gets for gaffes, mispoken statements, and errors and the wide chasm the left gives itself.
We need to apply the same standards...period.

Feb 5, 2010, 7:08pm Permalink
kevin kretschmer

Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her front porch.


"I can see Russia from my house." This line wasn't delivered by Sarah Palin or any other politician during the 2008 presidential election. Instead, it came from comedian (and Palin look-alike) Tina Fey, who on "Saturday Night Live" made fun of a Palin comment about Alaska's proximity to Russia. "[Russians are] our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska," Palin told ABC in Sept. 2008. Fey's impressions of Palin on "SNL" cemented a perception that Palin wasn't a serious, qualified VP candidate.

From ABC - The exact exchange with Charlie Gibson;

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I'm giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along."

Feb 5, 2010, 8:35pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

"Not understanding what the "Bush Doctrine" means is a gap of knowledge that inexcusable for a candidate for VP."
Some would say not understanding the difference between a corpsman and "corpseman" as well as the difference
between the Medal of Honor and the Medal of Freedom and that one does not "win" the Medal of Honor, they earn it, is a gap of knowledge that is inexcusable for the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:11pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Jeff, you're bringing totally irrelevant points to the issue of Sarah Palin. Just because somebody gave crap to Bush for something he said or didn't say, or didn't, or whatever has absolutely nothing to do with judging statements made by Sarah Palin. None of that excuses Sarah Palin's carelessness. It's completely, totally, 100 percent irrelevant.

Sarah Palin is judged by her own words and her own activities, not George Bush's, and/or how the media reacted to George Bush's misstatements.

But while we're on the topic, Trent Lott's inexcusable statements about Storm Thurmond deserved every word of criticism he got over such stupid, stupid, racist backing of Thurmond's campaign.

Kevin, spin all you want, but Palin's answers to Gibson is as stupid as they come. Regardless of the mythology, which I'm well aware if, the mythology invented by SNL is 100 percent accurate to Palin's completely clueless answer to Gibson's questioning. The actual words are just as stupid as the way SNL boiled them down to fit into a memorable comedy routine. There was nothing unfair in Tina Fey's rendition of Sarah Palin.

It's not so much that Palin is stupid, it's that she's incurious, which bugs me even more. If you're not willing to learn, not willing to pay attention to the events of your time (such as not knowing the "Bush Doctrine") then you have no business on the national stage. Palin's answer to Gibson is great proof of Palin's monstrous incuriousness.

To whatever degree John McCain is a national hero for his military service, he completely soiled his legacy by introducing Palin to the national stage.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:15pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Jeff, what the hell does anything Obama has said or done have anything to do with proving or disproving that Sarah Palin is an idiot.

When it comes to discussing Sarah Palin's complete lack of qualifications for being named a VP candidate, or for remaining in the national spotlight as a national political figure, anything Obama has said or done, or anything George Bush has said or done, or anything that John McCain has said or done, or anything that Soupy Sales has said or done is completely, totally and 100 percent irrelevant to Sarah Palin. She is judged by her own words and activities, which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is completely unfit as a national leader.

And I think the fact that you keep bringing in irrelevant people to distract from Sarah Palin's well documented stupidity pretty much proves her stupidity is completely indefensible. Rather than try to address her obvious stupidity, you keep bringing up Obama and Bush. Face it, Sarah Palin is in over her head.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:25pm Permalink
kevin kretschmer

I didn't "spin" anything. In fact, I made no personal comment on the matter what so ever but merely posted sourced quotes that accurately portray what the Governor really said, and the context it was in.

Feb 5, 2010, 9:39pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

YOU brought up Sarah Palin in a blog about whether Fox News is fair and balanced, and she really pushes your buttons for somebody who is currently an unemployed author. I have made myself clear in previous blogs that I am not a fan of Palin. I'm also not a fan of people being wrongly slandered. What exactly is she in over her head in? Author? Commentator? Mother? What is she a national leader of?...nothing. I find it amusing how vitriolic you get with her when YOU brought her into this discussion. I was merely countering the "let's laugh at Sarah Palin" crap. You use terms like idiot and stupid to describe someone who actually had a fairly decent record as Governor of one of our 50 states. Is she national leadership material? NO! And I've never indicated otherwise, but I think your over the top attacks on her are out of character for someone with whom I don't always agree but often see as a voice of reason.

Feb 5, 2010, 10:08pm Permalink
Chris Charvella

OK, I'm curious here. What exactly was decent in her record as Governor? Was it the police scandals? The boatloads of money spent on securing pork projects (which she later objected to)? Could it have been the misappropriated 'travel' money she used to cart her family around the state on unofficial business? Never mind all that though, she was very successful at quitting early; that was probably the smartest thing she's done in her entire life.

Sarah Palin is a vapid, insipid caricature of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. There are many bright and capable members of that particular group and while I don't agree with them philosophically, I can find ways to respect them. What bugs me about this is that Ms. Palin doesn't deserve a spot at the adult table during Conservative Christmas Dinner but they gave her one anyway. Did that wing of the Republican Party really think that the American public would accept her as she was or were they in such a hurry to trot out a VP candidate with evangelical cred that they really didn't care if she was qualified? Either way, the conservative base was treated like a bunch of rubes at the local carnival and they should be pissed.

Feb 5, 2010, 11:02pm Permalink
C. M. Barons

Maybe I should elaborate on my previous statement. I doubt very much that the media is either liberal or conservative. Their ownership is corporate, and their conscience is revenue draw: corporate advertisers. The networks aim to generate viewers to satisfy numbers that sell advertising. It matters not, the essense of what people like Palin, O'Reilly, Lehrer or Limbaugh have to say (or think). That they foment controversy is all that matters, because controversy attracts viewers and it's all a numbers game. The bottom line is not location on the political spectrum; it's Nielsen ranking.
As a Green Party member and progressive, I chuckle when the media is dubbed "liberal." When all is said and done, the media is as MOR as Jimmy Buffett (no relation to Warren). When the networks source national news, they don't go to Madison, Wisconsin. They interview the party leadership in Washington, D.C. Party has only two flavors, and neither is Cherry Garcia.

Feb 6, 2010, 12:03am Permalink
Jeff Allen

I'm not going to argue specifics of Palins track record because quite frankly I'm not a fan. Her quitting is a large part of why I'm not on her bandwagon. However the numbers speak for themselves, She held approval ratings in the 80's and 90's which only slipped to the upper 60's after what has to be the most vicious attack on any candidate for public office in modern times. She was slammed from her clothes, to her kids, to her husband, to her ability to field dress a moose and on and on. It was childish. And all this was prompted by the simple fact that a shortsighted John McCain picked her as a VP candidate. If this woman was as evil a force in public office as the left has made her, then where were the cries to have her ousted as governor?
Now unless you're willing to denegrate the entire population of Alaska as a bunch uneducated rubes or say that Alaska doesn't count as a real state, then her poll numbers support the assertion that she had a fairly decent record as a governor.

Feb 6, 2010, 6:18am Permalink
Chris Charvella

Jeff, with all due respect, I gave you some of the specifics of her record as Governor and they weren't flattering. There's a difference between likable and effective.

Her poll numbers started to drop when the truth about her came to the surface. Now I'll agree with you that the jokes about moose dressing and hockey moms should have been left out of the picture, but there were some real issues that came out having to do with her integrity and her qualifications for the office of VP. The skeletons in her closet were what hurt her numbers. Alaskans aren't stupid, they were just uninformed. When they started to learn about Ms. Palin and what she was really all about, they began to dislike her.

Feb 6, 2010, 8:42am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Jeff, as a person who believes in limited government and free markets and free minds, which are philosophies that fall more to the right of the spectrum, I see Palin and the movement she seems to be taking a leadership role in as a threat to promoting those ideals. She opens to ridicule the limited government positions, giving aide and comfort to those who would push for continued expansion of government. She undermines serious discussion of important issues facing the country. She isn't just some ex-governor/author. She's clearly positioning herself for a run at the presidency, and according to one poll I saw recently, leading among likely Republican voters for the nomination. That's why she gets under my skin.

As for her record as governor of Alaska, she was governor during a pretty non-challenging time and merely needed to be a good administrator. And she can be very likable. I wanted to like her when she first came on the scene. I thought she might share some localist values and reacted negatively to the sort of urban/liberal/elite sneering at her moose hunting ways. This was before the Katie Couric interviews. Even after the Katie Couric interviews, her popularity remained high in Alaska. It wasn't until the truth began to come out about the scandals she was involved in came out that her numbers slipped. It wasn't the national media coverage of Palin that hurt her in Alaska. It was her own ethical conduct in office that hurt her.

And you're right, I shouldn't toss around words like idiot. It undermines my actual point, because she must have some degree of intelligence to get where she got. Rather, she strikes me as incurious. She seems to lack the facility that I personally value in a person I consider intelligent to pay attention to the world around her and learn. I just don't find her of the caliber of serious mindedness that I think a person with national aspirations should have. I would categorize her about two steps below even George W. in this regard, which is pretty low. There is a world of difference between Bush's lack of geopolitical knowledge in regard to Pakistan in context of the time, vs. Palin's complete and utter lack of any foreign policy knowledge while running for VP. That is just inexcusable for a person at that level in a post 9/11 world, especially.

And Chris makes good points above.

Feb 6, 2010, 9:39am Permalink
Chris Charvella

I always wondered why if the McCain campaign wanted a proven conservative female on the ticket who had legislative experience and credibility with the religious right why they didn't go with Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

If Hutchinson was on the ticket I still would have voted Obama/Biden, but I wouldn't have been as terrified about what could happen if my side didn't win.

Feb 6, 2010, 10:04am Permalink
C. M. Barons

Dave- MOR is a radio term for Middle Of the Road, the music format also known as easy-listening.

As for Palin being judged by non-issues... Well, that was what she brought to the table. Depth on meatier topics was non-existent. She swaddled herself in generalities and vaguery. She described herself as a maverick reformer without elucidating the reforms she planned to undertake. Her policies were summed up in broad strokes that alluded to team-McCain without qualification or quantification. Her philosophy was likewise devoid of anything substantive.
Her handlers dressed her up in apple-pie values and forgot to turn on her brain. She was a cliche of neo-Biblical visions of addlepated womanhood- except she was allowed shoes, wasn't visibly pregnant and no Suzie Homemaker oven.

Feb 6, 2010, 10:24am Permalink

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