The Fox And The Pander
Readers of this blog know that I tend to watch the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt most evenings. What readers may not know is that I have never watched Fox News and I have given up on MSNBC and CNN. I watch none of these cable channels because the news on all of them is very biased and the commentary by the talking heads even more so. In other words, they are all “fake news.” All three are echo chambers for their viewers.
I find Lester tries to be objective although his producers sometimes slip to the left.
The attached piece from TheNew York Times of March 14 is part of an on-going weekly conversation between two Times columnists, the liberal Gail Collins and the conservative Bret Stephens. These have been true conversations that have illuminated both sides of many issues over the weeks. This week, they led their column with Tucker Carlson and the rest of the Fox News crew who have been shown to be essentially lying to their viewers about their true beliefs. Presumably they were backing the “Trump won” nonsense for ratings and, as far as I can tell, it worked. Not only did it enhance their viewership, it perpetuated the lie that somehow Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Carlson also is trying to make the case that the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill was just a normal tourist day in the people’s house. In other words, the Fox News team is a bunch of hypocrites.
Now, why does this even matter?
It matters because the network passes itself off as a news organization when it is a propaganda machine. Now, don’t get me wrong. That MSNBC has Al Sharpton on its host list while the good reverend is making news while he reports it is even worse. Thus, I have ceased watching MSNBC and find CNN little better.
We will see if Dominion Voting Systems is successful in its suit against Fox for blaming the company for Trump’s loss, but there can be little doubt that Fox, being the most watched cable news network, has done a major disservice to its viewers by pandering to their beliefs rather than expressing those of the commentators and the head of the network all of whom knew that Trump had lost. Rather than going for news, they were going for ratings and I seriously doubt it is any different at MSNBC or CNN.
It is indeed getting hard to know where to get your news from. I read three newspapers and two of them, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are clearly published on different planets, even though I have been to the headquarters of both and assure you they are located in midtown Manhattan.
The on-air talent on Fox had a responsibility to tell its viewers the truth and surely not to lie when they knew the truth simply to pander to the mob that gave birth to January 6.
In the newspaper, the editorial section is separate from the news. I think that on television, the two have become dangerously homogenized and this goes for both sides of the political spectrum.
But even when a television journalist is expressing his or her opinion, it ought to reflect the truth as he or she knows that truth to be. Clearly, many of the Fox talking heads decided otherwise.
I suggest that all of you Fox watchers out there, and you CNN and MSNBC watchers really think hard about how you get your news. I am not sure what the best way is, but this surely isn’t it.
Did you know? Dr. Zwelling’s new book “Conflict of Interest” becomes available Spring 2023. Check LenZwelling.com for the latest on this book and information on how you can purchase a copy. (Now available at BarnesandNoble.com)