Fox News Fact-Checking Unfit for Blogs

Josh Marshall has a string of posts that hit at the heart of the grotesquely anti-Kerry Faux News, and the bottomless pit that Fox managed to scrape the bottom of yesterday. However, Fox News is not done yet. Atrios has another classic from America's worst news source:Of course, there were some Kerry supporters in attendance who had no doubts whatever about their candidate.

"We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler George Bush out of office," said 17-year-old Komoselutes Rob of Communists for Kerry.

"Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values more than President Bush," Rob said, before assuring that his organization was not a parody group. When asked his thoughts on Washington's policy toward Communist holdout North Korea, Rob said:

"The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too."

It is unclear whether the Kerry campaign has welcomed the Communists' endorsement.

Being assured it was not a parody was good enough for Fox? Unclear whether or not a man who killed twenty Communists welcomed the endorsement? They couldn't even be bothered to click the About Us page on the website they link?"Communists for Kerry" is a campaign of the Hellgate Republican Club, a tax exempt non-partisan public advocacy "527" organization that exists for the purpose of;

"Informing voters with satire and irony, how political candidates make decisions based on the failed social economic principles of socialism that punish the individual by preventing them from becoming their dream through proven ideas of entrepreneurship and freedom."

Our members help elect candidates who support economic growth through Entrepreneurship, limited government and lower taxes. Communists For Kerry is separate and distinct from the Communist party of America and any of its organization. None of it's members are members of any communist organizations.

Some people find Blogosphere level-fact checking unprofessional. However, no self-respecting blog would have published this floater, since the group is so obviously a parody. Most importantly, no blog would have published this because it was so easy to find out that it was a parody.

I guess this means that Jane Roh will also be "reprimanded," whatever that entails for Fox (read here: probably promoted). It is times like these that I am relieved Dailykos receives more than twice as much web traffic as I can't wait until around twenty other liberal blogs pass them as well.

A Big Win By The Numbers

Lat night the TV ratings were very strong: FLASH: FIRST DEBATE 37.7 RATING/45 SHARE: PRELIM NUMBERS OVERNIGHTS: NBC WINS COVERAGE WITH 12.2 RATING/17 SHARE, CBS 8.7/12, ABC 8.2/1, FOX 3.6/5... [CABLE RELEASED AT 3 PM ET]... In 2000, NIELSEN estimated live, tape-delayed telecasts of first debate on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC averaged 31.7 rating/49 share, seen by avg 46.6 million viewers... That is a clear imporvement from 2000. And the Gallup poll, despite still heavily over-sampling Republicans, shows that Kerry scored the biggest debate victory since Ross Perot in 1992 (that's right, Perot decisively won the 1992 debates):
More Favorable Opinion of Candidate After the Debate
      Bush  Kerry
9/30   21    46

      Bush  Gore
10/17  31    29
10/11  40    24
10/3   34    27

      Clinton Bush Perot
10/19	27     29    63
10/11	29     13    62
Big audience plus a big win equals a real Kerry gain. That will be short-lived if the punditry suddenly changes its mind about who won, or if the two debates next week don't go well. However, it is a good start, and if Bush's two or three point pre-debate lead even still exists, it just became very soft.

Email The Media Thread

Post your emails about the deabte to the media here. The extended section contains an extensive list of addresses where you can send your emails.

There's more...

The Dangers of Objectivity

There has been a lot of navel gazing among lefty political blogs lately. There is nothing particularly uncommon about this. We tend to look inward in our continuing attempt to develop a language of interiority, which inevitably results in a significant amount of reflexivity and self-commentary. However, excepting the habitual "liberal bias" columns from prominent, well-established, conservative pundits, it is actually quite rare for prominent, well-respected members of the established national news media to turn their gaze inward. It is thus quite interesting that David Broder did just that in a recent broadside: We don't yet know who will win the 2004 election, but we know who has lost it. The American news media have been clobbered.

In a year when war in Iraq, the threat of terrorism and looming problems with the federal budget and the nation's health care system cry out for serious debate, the news organizations on which people should be able to depend have been diverted into chasing sham events: a scurrilous and largely inaccurate attack on the Vietnam service of John Kerry and a forged document charging President Bush with disobeying an order for an Air National Guard physical.

With these events coming after the editors of two respected national newspapers, the New York Times and USA Today, were forced to resign because their organizations were duped by lying staff reporters, it is hard to overcome the sense that the professional practices and code of responsibility in journalism have suffered a body blow.(...)

The common feature -- and the disturbing fact -- is that none of these damaging failures would have occurred had senior journalists not been blind to the fact that the standards in their organizations were being fatally compromised.

We need to be asking why this collapse has taken place.

My suspicion is that it stems from a widespread loss of confidence in both the values of journalism and the economic viability of the news business.

Broder goes on to take a bizarre swipe at political blogs for having no journalistic standards whatsoever. Aargh. How long do blogs have to keep organizing volunteers, raising money for candidates, and coordinating with groups interested in direct action before people like Broder finally realize that we don't have their standards because we are not trying either to replace journalists or be journalists. We serve a different function altogether.

The other thing I find very frustrating about Broder's otherwise accurate assessment of the national news media during this campaign season is that while he identifies economic concerns as the primary source of the problem, he does not identify the legislation that caused an acceleration of those economic concerns within news journalism and, inevitably, a concurrent acceleration of the decline in journalistic standards. The 1996 Telecommunications Act, a piece of legislation that in retrospect Clinton must regret not vetoing, sold out American news journalism to the highest bidder--literally. If there is ever going to be a significant improvement in the state of American news journalism, the federal government must step in and pass laws that restrict corporate media consolidation and ease the economic pressure on the industry to produce a profit.

Ironically, what is preventing Broder from making the case against laws that allowed for massive media conglomeration and calling for legislative reform of the media and telecommunications industries is that he prides himself too much on adhering to the journalistic standards, including "objectivity," that he praises in his piece and that were dealt such severe blow by previous legislation. He could never bring himself to loudly proclaim the heinous nature of such a major piece of legislation. My God, that would be an act of partisanship! It would almost make him one of those horrible creatures breeding on the Internet! If we lose our objectivity, we are ruined!

However, much more than our overt partisanship, it is his inability, and the inability of many others in his profession, to be overtly subjective on specific legislation that has helped bring about the ever-quickening death of the American news media. To paraphrase what Christiana Amanpour once said when she was being bloodied in the national press for not being "objective" about attempted--and partially successful--genocide in Bosnia, there is nothing unfair or unprincipled about calling a thug a thug. Fortunately, and significantly due to Amanpour's reporting, we finally stepped in and helped France stop what was happening in the former Yugoslavia. Hopefully, for the sake of the public interest and his profession, Broder and his ilk won't stay silent when future telecommunications bills are presented before Congress. There is nothing wrong with calling a threat to the American public's access to information a threat to the American public's access to information.


Yes, yes, yes!

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