Fox Outed by The New York Times
by Timothy Gatto, Mon Jul 07, 2008 at 09:12:01 AM EDT
This morning I was pleasantly surprised to read an article that had Fox TV News as the subject. In this particular article by David Carr, "When Fox News is the Story" (New York Times, July 7, 2008), I read how Fox News responds to bad press from other news outlets. The way that Fox responds to what it deems as damaging to its image, was a real eye-opener. Since I do not write very many articles that would capture the attention of Fox TV, reading about how other journalists deal with Fox when they circle their wagons, so to speak, was fascinating.
I had always thought that the best way to stop calling attention to a situation that could be damaging to one's reputation was to ignore whatever drew attention to you in the first place. The logic behind this was that once you called attention to whatever damaged you in the first place; you gave that particular bit of information credibility, and at the same time keeping people's attention on the damage to your reputation by the very act of defending yourself. It appears that Fox does not subscribe to that view of how to defend your credibility. In a very well written piece, Carr describes how Fox goes on the offensive as soon as a threat to their integrity surfaces. I can understand why Fox is so particular about maintaining their credibility; they are so biased towards the right wing of the political spectrum, their objectivity is indeed suspect much of the time.
One particular example of Fox slanting the news is how they defended themselves from an article that they believed was biased towards the news channel. Jacques Steinberg wrote a piece about how CNN was catching up to Fox in the ratings. Mr. Steinberg tried to reach Fox for a comment and they ignored him, while at the same time complaining to his bosses that he hadn't tried to call them for a comment on his story. This apparently was an attempt to discredit him as a journalist by not allowing Fox to comment. They also ran a story of their own, calling Steinberg an "attack dog" for his boss, Steven V. Reddicliffe, and running a picture of Steinberg that had been altered to make Steinberg appear in Carr's words; "In a technique familiar to students of vintage German propaganda, his ears were pulled out, his teeth splayed apart, his forehead lowered and his nose was widened and enlarged in a way that made him look more like Fagin than the guy I work with." Carr also described how the German's often used this technique during World War II in photos. "Media Matters" in a critique of Fox, ran two photos, one real and the one that was altered of Mr. Steinberg, this is one reason that I subscribe to their newsletters.
I had always thought that Fox was underhanded when reporting the news. Sadly, many Americans believe anything that they hear on TV and consider that anything that they see on the tube has been properly researched as to authenticity. It should be a crime to report anything that is known to be false on TV News. Apparently Fox feels that their audience is not worth the truth. This is an observation that I made a long time ago.
I'm sure that Fox News will do it's best to discredit Mr. Carr and his article on the duplicity of Fox News. Since Carr will most likely be vilified by Fox, one good thing that can come out of this would be to show that Fox is not to be trusted as a "fair and balanced" news source. It would be fitting if Mr. Carr's article was copied and sent to those you know that watch Fox for their news. This is a great time to be pro-active.