February 10, 2004


Fletcher Crossman on Fox News, and some limp tax-funded British network you may also have heard about:

It is disconcerting to think that American opinion is being informed by such unpredictable forces. Yet in a typically American way, the political bias of its news stations is open, brash and strangely addictive. The British bias is subtle, covert and shielded by the myth of objectivity. There is no such thing. When Fox News claims to be fair and balanced, we're all in on the joke. When the BBC makes the same claim, they seem to actually believe it.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 10, 2004 11:37 PM

I would rather sit in Margo Kingston's fart cloud than be made to watch BBC News.

Posted by: Lawrence at February 11, 2004 at 12:01 AM

This point also applies to the British print media. Although the Guardian and the Independent are in turns annoying and amusing in their bias, all readers know where they're coming from, and can compensate accordingly.

A far cry from a broadcasting service that is legally required to be balanced.

I recently read a post from an American asking "who cares about the BBC, anyway."

The Corporation is of course important, because its broadcasts shape the views of listeners and viewers all over the world - including transnational attitudes about America and Americans.

Unfortunately, these opinion-shaping broadcasts are given extra legitimacy by a decades-old reputation for impartiality that's now being systematically dismantled by the agenda-driven left wing cadre now in power.

Posted by: Scott Burgess (The Daily Ablution) at February 11, 2004 at 12:08 AM

This article actually moderately pisses me off. If Fox news is biased, even openly biased as Mr. Crossman states, and even if open bias is preferential to bias cloaked in a claim of objectivity, then it should be easy to produce examples of where FNC has allowed ideology to dictate their news gathering, like BBC's Gilligan debacles (plural), their claim that Pvt. Jessica Lynch's rescue was staged (with rescuing soldiers firing blanks for the benefit of the camera), or like CNN's admission that they deliberately tailored their news so as not to offend their Iraqi handlers during the run-up to war.

Posted by: Jeepster at February 11, 2004 at 12:24 AM

Hear, hear.... Jeepster.

This is the BLOGOSPHERE!! Surely there has to be more than one blog dedicated to the appalling mis-reporting of Fox News. With those long lists of all the facts they have gotten wrong or deliberately skewed. Run by pure hearts who only want to bring America the truth by uncovering Fox's lies, and who have an endless supply of Fox's lies to work with.

Hell, there must be enough for ten different such blogs, right? So get to work!

Hello? Hello? Anyone there?

Is this thing on?

Posted by: Andrew X at February 11, 2004 at 01:03 AM

If you haven't seen it check out this video of Fox News' John Gibson laying the lumber to the BBC in an editorial piece.

There's no question that Fox News has a conservative, pro-Bush bias and I'm fine with that. There's obviously a market for it as people have grown tired of the liberal bias of the major news networks and newspapers. What's funny though is that liberals seem to be absolutely obsessed with Fox News in a way that seems far out of proportion to its relatively low cable ratings (although higher than CNN and MSNBC).

The left is losing control of the media and they know it and its driving them nuts. Many actually believe that the only reason many Americans disagree with them is because they are brainwashed by conservative talk radio and Fox News. The real truth is that those entities merely found an audience that was always there.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at February 11, 2004 at 02:13 AM

I grew up thinking that CBS (the American network) stood for Communist Broadcasting Station. Liberal bias in the news has been around for a VERY long time. I don't really mind liberal bias or conservative bias -- so long as both are available and the biases are known.

Posted by: rabidfox at February 11, 2004 at 02:59 AM

While I would admit that most FoxNews personnel are conservative, there are numerous examples of liberal regulars and contributors on the network (Alan Colmes, Greta, Juan Williams, Moira Liasson, Cece Connelly, etc.) and shows that specifically always show both sides (Hannity and Colmes, FoxNewsWatch, Special Report always has two on the panel). None of the other networks have anything other than a token couple of conservatives on their shows.

Posted by: RonB at February 11, 2004 at 03:44 AM

Fox news has a conservative editorial slant, and you see this in the many host's OpEd's, but the news they present is more evenly brought to the viewers than any other major news network I've seen. Instead of saying "the job report came in low and spells trouble for Bush", Fox will say "the job report was lower than expected." Let the pundits and spin doctors spell doom and gloom for the various politicians and ideologies; all I want in my news is the facts without bias and distortion. Fox News also has a much smaller accessto total viewers when compared to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Fox comes the closest to my ideal when compared to the others imho, but it has a slant and is far, far from perfect. Is it too much to ask for a no-spin 24-hour news network?

Posted by: mateo_g at February 11, 2004 at 08:18 AM

If you don't watch the editorial and "discussion" shows (and O'Reilly in particular), I think you'll find that the prime time FNC is usually "fair and balanced".

Also, as previous posters have noted, it's pretty obvious to tell the difference between their "opinion pieces" and their straight reporting. On most other US news programs, I have trouble finding where one ends and the other begins...

Posted by: Siergen at February 11, 2004 at 10:27 AM

trying to Bring America's Premier News source down to the
level of the "mother of all lies" broadcasting corporation.
Shame on you Fletch.

Keith Rupert Murdoch is what happens when an Aussie is let loose on an even playing field.

Posted by: papertiger at February 11, 2004 at 04:50 PM

Good grief, it sounds as if Fletcher Crossman is actually calling regular BBC News viewers and listeners stupid unthinking dolts. Well hell's bells whoda thunk it? Although in fairness almost all of the Democratic Underground's participants are either drooling brainless imbeciles or just plain crazy, or both. Go figure.

Posted by: Fat Cracker at February 11, 2004 at 05:21 PM

When Fox is reporting the news, I find it much less biased than many other stations. They are not perfect, but of all the networks where I can watch news, they are the LEAST likely to interpret it for me and tell me what I should think.

Their talk shows, etc. are a different matter. You expect these sorts of shows to have a bias. I do give them credit though for trying to balance a very smart lefty-liberal with an equally smart conservative .. that is when they have the 'opposing views' segments on.

Many other networks obtain the best and brightest lefty-liberal and pair him/her with a dimb-bulb conservative.

I guess FOX's audience share has really surprised the news people. Most have also not understood why Fox is beating them for ratings. It's not because people want to hear the news from a conservative slant. No. It's because we'd like to hear the news with little or no slant. Let us think for ourselves what the stories mean. Tell me what happened. Don't digest it and interpret it for me.

As Joe Friday said: "Just the facts. Just the facts."

Posted by: Chris Josepshon at February 11, 2004 at 09:29 PM