Mar 3, 2011

A pattern of deception at Fox News

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Fox News as an idea. The conservative cable television station has a place, there is nothing at all wrong with news from a particular viewpoint. In Europe news sources have traditionally reported from a point of view with great success and their readers were no worse off because of it.

I am uncomfortable with Fox News calling themselves 'Fair and Balanced' when they are clearly conservative, pro-Republican and right-wing. The slogan "We report, you decide" smacks of arrogance that the relatively young news source has not yet earned.

If they keep up their recent history of convenient 'errors' that all for some reason end up favoring right-wing candidates and Republicans, they'll cease to be a source of journalism altogether.

In recent years, Fox News has inflated the numbers of people attending political rallies and book signings for conservative politicos.

There are multiple examples of Fox News broadcasting misleading and erroneous graphs that are not reflective of reality. For some reason these errors always seem to favor Republican points of view - whether disparaging President Obama's policies or inflating public response to GOP proposals.

It might not be fair to say all Fox News mistakes are because of their bias and desire to see liberal policies fail. Some are just plain ignorant.

When the network decides to reverse the results of polls to make it seem like Americans favor Republican governors' attempts to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers, or post polling results that are utterly irrational, one begins to question their motives.

The problem with Fox is that they are now responsible for a generation of misinformed people who are willing to accept falsehoods as truth, all in the name of their political ideology. That should be a crime against the intellect. How can a democracy function if the media is telling people bald-faced lies and spinning important issues in an unethical manner to prevent honest debate? Fox is the most watched news network in the country, and its viewers are the most misinformed people in the country.

In the worst cases, Fox's editorial mistakes appear to be both racially and politically motivated.

Our neighbors to the north have prevented organizations like NewsCorp from dominating their airwaves by making it illegal to lie in a news broadcast. Perhaps we should do the same here, in the name of preserving the craft and profession of journalism and keeping it separate from entertainment.

Every time Fox writes or broadcasts an error, they damage our democracy as well as their credibility. We have a whole legion of politically motivated but terribly misinformed Fox News viewers out there who insist that they must be right because the 'mainstream media' has a liberal bias, and Fox does not. If Fox is purposefully lying to these folks, then there are dangerously ignorant people out there with the power to vote.


  1. Fox news is a joke and everyone knows it!

  2. This post struck a chord with me since I just recently read an article in the Globe and Mail concerning the CRTC's ruling to continue to disallow false reporting. While many appropriately hailed the decision as a win for real news and for fair and informed democracy, I was somewhat surprised by the amount of right-wing posters decrying this as a violation of free speech. These types of posts were far more prolific on the (American) Huffington Post than the (Canadian) G&M. That's why I suspect Fox will continue its propaganda unabated. From what I've experienced, freedom of speech is very guarded in the U.S., even to the point where inflammatory speech by public figures (O'Reilly's "Tiller the Baby Killer") is perfectly tolerable and outright lies (Obama's fist-bump = terrorist fist jab) are simply masked as a different perspective. I'd be interested in finding out why you think this is.

    Very entertaining and informative blog overall, by the way. +Followed


Keep it civil and pg-13, please.