BY EDWIN E. VINEYARD
The television cable channel which goes by the title of “Fox News” is popular in our city. It must be. Everywhere one goes in public places, one must endure the diatribe that channel calls “News.”
If one goes to the fitness center, sure enough somebody has turned to Fox News, and then hidden the remote control. If one is in the hospital waiting room, there’s Fox News. When one goes to the doctor, there again one must not only endure waiting while ill but also be tormented by Fox News. Restaurants may at least mix sports in with Fox.
The Militant Moderate has begun telling proprietors that he is offended by Fox News. One would do that if their locked channel featured naked people chasing around cursing. Why not be offended by trash delivered in the name of news?
Indeed such malfeasance in the journalism profession should be offensive to all intelligent, sensitive people. To have such television trash forced upon us at every beck and turn begins to make some of us cross and irritable. One might guess that about one-third of the people in our town are repeatedly irritated by having Fox thrust on them while captive in public rooms.
No self respecting newspaper journalist would ever practice the obvious slanting of the news as is practiced at Fox. Editorial pages are the place for opinion as such, and we are pleased that our newspapers respect this difference.
Perhaps it would not be so bad if Mr. Murdock and his crowd just openly announced at least once in every program that their coverage is slanted to the conservative right, that all reports will be from that perspective, and that all staff are hired to represent conservative right views. At least that would be honest.
Their old slogan was: “Fair and balanced.” Do they take us all for a bunch of dummies? Don’t answer that. It is obvious that they do.
What about the other news networks?
During the evening hours MSNBC makes it pretty clear that they are coming at the day’s events from the left. They say so. They use that dreaded word “liberal” in describing themselves. That is honesty. No slogans there about being fair and balanced.
The major network news programs, NBC, CBS, and ABC make a special effort to be either impartial or balanced. This is obvious to the discerning viewer. They will alternate putting political parties in a positive light. They seldom report negatives about only one party, unless it is just driven that way by the day’s news.
CNN is a deliberately balanced news network by policy and practice. They try so hard to be balanced that they have air time for loud-mouth bullies from the right appearing regularly in their line-up of political pundits. They do so even when these people distract from the news event or message itself. That can be annoying. But at least it is fair and balanced.
CNBC is heavily business oriented in its coverage. That is fine, as long as they stay with business and not politics. Of late, that network has regularly featured business commentators attacking the government and attacking President Obama’s economic policies and programs. It clearly comes forth from a big business, conservative bias. This is offensive. Such a network’s presentations are not to be trusted.
The re-imposition of the old “fairness doctrine” seems to be a nightmare for those broadcasting folk. One can understand why. What would the radio business do without Rush Limbaugh and all their right wing talk shows? What if they really had to honor fairness on an equal time basis as was once the case?
We hear a lot about “the liberal media.” Does that really make sense? The owners are big business and the program sponsors are big business. There is no logic to that allegation.
A requirement for good, clean, fair operations might well drive Clear Channel and some of these radio talk shows out of business. Too bad? No. Good riddance!
– Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate, lives in Enid, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer