June 6th, 2006


Here's what I mean (re: Fox "News")

93, all!

I know, I know...I'm preaching to the choir here, like usual. But in case some brave lurker needed a clear example of what I mean about Fox "News" being a propaganda, rather than a news, outlet, here's what would appear* to be a good one:

On Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto complained that "the media is all over" the alleged Haditha killings but that there has been "virtually no coverage of the daily savage attacks by insurgents on Iraqi civilians and our troops." Onscreen text during the segment read: "Blatant Bias?" But Cavuto has previously alleged that "all you see in the media out of Iraq are the insurgent activity, our soldiers getting killed or hurt." In fact, he recently asked if "beheadings and roadside bombs, suicide attacks" in Iraq are "being blown out of proportion by the media." Onscreen text during this segment read: "Media Bias?"

See the problem? "The media is so biased! They cover all the insurgent attacks!" "The media is so biased! Why don't they cover the insurgent attacks?!"

True, Cavuto cannot honestly believe both of these contradictory assertions**; but he's not in the business of stating his honest beliefs: he's a propagandist, working on a propaganda outlet, which makes the contradictory assertions perfectly understandable -- "consistent," even, at least with his actual purpose. He wishes there was no coverage of the insurgency, so Shrubby's policies would look better -- until word comes along of an apparent massacre, at which point he wishes they'd emphasize the horrors of the insurgency, so Shrubby's policies would look better. He's really not being inconsistent: he's consistently trying to make Shrubby's policies look better, which is his, and Fox's, one and only job.

Look, rightwing propaganda czar Rupert Murdock hired GOP strategist Roger Ailes to set Fox "News" up in the first place. This is like, say, Hugh Hefner hiring Aleister Crowley to run the abstinence-only program at Bikini Cheerleader Summer Camp. In each instance, the known purposes of the men involved are in flat contradiction to the stated goal: in Fox's case, the presentation of "News, Fair and Balanced."

I could go on -- e.g., no actual news organization gives out a daily position paper of talking points, as Fox does: political campaigns do that, not news-gatherers. Plenty of details on display in Robert Greenwald's film OutFOXed, available on DVD for peanuts, on Schmamazon and elsewhere.

Hope this helps, if help were needed. :D

93 93/93 -- AJ

* From http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/6/5/155513/0114
I say "appear" in the interests of strict accuracy; I didn't see these clips myself. That's the sort of distinction those trying to engage in objective reporting make. ;)
** That is, that the media both should, and should not, cover insurgent activity...not that the amount of such coverage can't possibly change. It can, and has -- largely, in fact, thanks to the "bias" complaints of people like Cavuto himself. :/