I’ve been thinking about how most liberals tend to perceive Fox News, and it still puzzles me. I try to catch “Special Report” — at least with my ears — but, for the most part, I don’t pay much attention to Fox. My problems with it are twofold: one, they tend to focus way, way too much attention on Fox Television programs (their coverage of “American Idol” is downright embarrassing, for example, and their hyping of “24” was over the top); and secondly, they are far too sensationalistic — I once saw them spend over half an hour exclusively on a car chase in LA, dumping any and all other news.
I know there’s a laundry list of complaints about their errors, misstatements, and other examples of “bias” that the Left loves to pass around, like teenage girls with their cryptic notes, but I find myself looking at the bigger picture. Do any of Fox News’ sins rise to the level of those committed by some of their rivals in the media?
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1) Freely admitted that they covered up some of Saddam Hussein’s most horrific crimes in exchange for “access.”
2) Co-produced a piece on “Operation Tailwind” from the Viet Nam war, during which they alleged that the US used poison gas.
3) Accused the US military of “targeting” journalists for killing in Iraq.
1) Rigged a GMC pickup to explode, using model rocket engines, to support their story that the trucks could explode in a routine crash.
Keith Olbermann. ‘Nuff said.
1) Aired a documentary on the suffering of Viet Nam veterans without disclosing (or, even noticing) that five of the six veterans profiled had never actually served in Viet Nam.
2) Aired a piece on George W. Bush’s National Guard service using fraudulent documents and describing the accuser as an “Air National Guard veteran,” instead of “an Army National Guard veteran with a long-standing grudge against Bush and a history of mental problems.”
New York Times:
(Far, far, far too many to mention, starting with the white wash of Stalin’s atrocities in the Soviet Union and including publishing identifying information on CIA aircraft, and other highly classified information. Toss in their hypocrisy in championing the “leaking” of information when it suits their purpose, but demanding the heads of whoever “outed” Valerie Plame by any means necessary except actually asking journalists who told them what.)
I could go on, but that ought to be more than enough.
Compared to that, what the hell has Fox News done that merits such vitriol? I know it’s usually a bad idea to — as Bill O’Reilly likes to say — “justify bad behavior by citing other bad behavior,” but in this case it seems that Fox is being punished for sins that pale in comparison to others’ misdeeds.
There has to be an explanation for this apart from the fact that Fox is a bit more conservative than the rest of the mainstream media. But I can’t seem to find it.