Skip to comments.Nothing to fear—yet (Fox News is not a news organization)
Posted on 10/29/2009 7:33:12 AM PDT by DCBryan1
Nothing to fearyet
Nobody should be surprised to see the nations esteemed celebrity news media align with FOX News against the White House, although even a cynical observer like me found the unanimity mildly shocking.
Dont they remember what journalism was supposed to be? Supposedly, the press regulates its own behavior. In reality, thats been a joke for two decades. Claiming the moral authority of a code of professional ethics it idealizes in the abstract but repudiates in practice, I wrote in 2003, todays Washington press corps has grown as decadent and self-protective as any politician or interest group whose behavior it purports to monitor.
Today, even the fig leaf has been removed. A journalist, so-called, is anybody paid by a media organization to enact the role on TV. Otherwise, anything goes.
The Obama administrations claim about the FOX News Channel is undeniably true: It functions as the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. It openly organizes and promotes partisan political events such as Aprils FOX News Tea Party. Its coverage of congressional town-hall meetings reflected not a single individual supporting health care reform, as documented by Media Matters for America. Not one. It portrays every perceived setback for the Obama White House as a victory for FOX Nation.
The point is neither complex nor subtle. In this country, journalists dont sponsor or participate in partisan political events. Maybe in Venezuela or China, but the U.S., no. Explaining the administrations position to The New York Times, deputy White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said, We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction, which is aided and abetted by the mainstream press, that FOX is a traditional news organization.
Yet neither the Times nor most mainstream pundits whose work I read evaluated the claim on its merits. Most pretended not to grasp the White Houses point and then went straight to the aiding and abetting. Many invoked the ghost of Richard Nixon. Why, to criticize FOX, claimed The Washington Posts Ruth Marcus and Charles Krauthammer, was downright Nixonian.
NPRs Ken Rudin recalled what Nixon and [Spiro] Agnew did with their enemies list. So did CNNs Anderson Cooper. Rudin subsequently apologized for the boneheaded comparison; Cooper didnt.
Excuse me, but Nixons enemies list was secret. Journalists and others got subjected to illegal FBI wiretaps, black-bag break-ins and IRS audits. White House officials even discussed murdering columnist Jack Anderson.
Meanwhile, Nixons Oval Office tapes are the gift that keeps giving to historians like Rick Pearlstein, author of Nixonland.
Bob, please get me the names of the Jews, you know the big Jewish contributors of the Democrats, Nixon begged aide H.R. Haldeman. Could we please investigate some of these [bleepbleepers]?
Now thats what I call an enemies list.
Meanwhile, poor little FOX got publicly criticized. Oh, the horror!
Look, heres the deal. Where Democrats are concerned, journalisms ethical norms quit functioning as anything but camouflage during Bill Clintons first term. Out of scores of examples that Joe Conason and I documented in The Hunting of the President, the easiest to explain briefly may be a 1995 ABC Nightline broadcast in which a creatively edited video clip was used to insinuate that Hillary Clinton lied about Whitewater legal work.
After excising the words I was what we called the billing attorney from the first ladys remarks, ABCs Jeff Greenfield suggested that concealing that very fact explained why the White House was so worried about what was in Vince Fosters office when he killed himself.
The abbreviated quote then showed up everywhere: on CNN, in New York Times editorials, etc. William Safire used it to predict her indictment. After all, as Newsweeks Michael Isikoff wrote, [I]t is Fosters suicide that lends Whitewater its air of menace.
Ancient history? Maybe so. But there was Jeff Greenfield on CBS News last weekhes worked for everybodymaking the obligatory Nixon comparison and assuring Katie Couric that if FOX is feeling any pain from the White Houses stance, its crying all the way to the bank.
As do they all.
See, while FOX News acolytes remain convinced of liberal media bias, the reality is that celebrity journalists rarely, if ever, get hurt for abusing Democrats.
Mistreat a name-brand Republican, however, andwell, remember Dan Rather?
Democrats complain, Republicans get even; hence, mainstream political journalists who cower like beaten dogs for fear of ending up on FOX boss (and Nixon alumnus) Roger Ailes own enemies list havent had to fear the Obama White House. Last weeks collective cringe makes it clear how badly theyd like to keep it that way.
Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Houston, Ark., author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ROGER HARVELL
The sky is red in this person’s word. And rain falls up.
This Fox thing has really flushed the f'n loonies out.
The libs used to call them “Faux News...now they call them Foe News...what’s the old saying, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”...Ghandi was a sly FOX...
Ummmm, they don't "hurt" democrats - liberal journalists give dems passes.
Look how they handled ACORN - liberal journalists stuck their heads in the sand... I can see why they guy who wrote this is a nobody. Even kissing liberal journalists butt won't move him up...
Journalism used to be a bunch of guys drinking with the President and yucking it up, not reporting anything embarrassing. Gee, weren’t we well served then?
Never mind the regurgitation of Obama’s lies by most of the networks, never mind that they shill for the DNC, Fox must be the bad guys.
OMG! This guy has no grip on reality.
“This Fox thing has really flushed the f’n loonies out.”
Got ‘em on the run now...
Got em on the run now...
“A journalist, so-called, is anybody paid by a media organization to enact the role on TV. Otherwise, anything goes. “
And as proof, we have this article.
“Gene Lyons is a Kool-Aid drinking leftist who earned his kneepads when Billy-Jeff Clinton was just governor of Arkansas.”
Ditto that, I was going to say consider the source, but I think you made my point more accurately.
I don’t think Gene is a Kool-Aid drinker, I think Gene is the Kool-Aid Man.
“Fox News is NOT a real news organization”? Well I find that statement amusing since Obama is NOT a real President.