Fox News and a Conservative Bias
Fox News and the Conservative Bias
Among the most frequent and loudest argument that I hear and read from members of the liberal wing of the political spectrum, is that Fox News is the most biased network on the air and has a conservative tilt. I happen to be a voracious news watcher myself and disagree partially with that assessment. In terms of its opinion programming, then yes it does lean right. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity are among the opinion-oriented lineup that Fox has. Regarding the factual reporting, Fox News is fair in my opinion.
There is no doubt about it, Fox News, has a conservative tilt when it comes to its opinion based programming. My question is: so what? Whenever experts and average folks rant about Fox News being biased, they always reference the opinion based talents. Beck, Hannity, and O’Reilly are not only famous men, but they are conservative superstars. They are the faces of the network, but that does not mean the news itself is biased. Opinion based programming is exactly that, based on ones OPINION. It would be unfair of me to base my impression of a channel based on what types of opinion shows they have. If anyone seriously turns on the news and thinks one of those conservative commentators is actually reporting them the news and it is meant to be unbiased, then they are either lacking intelligence or is completely new to the world of television journalism.
Fox News’ regular programming presents the facts clearly and without bias. Whenever a political pundit is on, typically both sides are presented in the discussion. I honestly believe that people make two mistakes when it comes to predetermining whether or not Fox is biased. They either only watch the opinion shows, which I already address, or they mistaken good reporting for being biased. Take the coverage of President Obama. Fox News has been at the forefront of asking the President tough questions that no one else is asking and that need to be asked. The public is used to the soft ball questions that Mr. Obama receives and when a Fox reporter asks a question about healthcare or Iraq or the economy, it is viewed as a sign of bias. It has gotten to the point that President Obama called Fox News bias in an interview with another network, but that was just to keep the focus that Fox is against the Democrats or the liberal cause. By doing that, any tough questions that are asked of Obama or the Democrats by the network will be interpreted as being unfair, while the easy questions will be viewed in a better light. This is very smart political strategy. Demonizing Fox News, which is asking fair, yet tough questions, the Democrats can reinforce the notion of bias while getting to slide by with easy questions.
The reason that I watch the Fox News Channel is because I feel that the other networks are biased against Republicans or for Democrats. It is seldom argued that MSNBC is biased, which it clearly is. That network’s entire prime time schedule is devoted to liberal commentators. Now I do not have a problem with that, except when Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews are anchoring the State of the Union or a presidential address, which puts opinion news in with the facts. Fox News never does that, which is why they are fairer. The other networks are not as blatantly obvious with how they feel, but watching a press conference that President Obama has and one that President Bush had, the difference is remarkable. Granted both are different men, with different styles, and who came across differently on the television; but the types of questions Mr. Obama gets compared to Mr. Bush are laughable. I am not trying to hate on the media, because they have an important role to fill. All that I am asking, and millions of other people are asking, is some fairness please. Making Fox News into a boogeyman and pretending the other networks are fair just does not fly. I want my leaders accountable, regardless of ideology, and if the media will not do it, then I will and other people like me. I get my news from a variety of sources, so I can be the judge of what is real and what opinion is. If the media will not correct itself soon, then anyone interested in fair news and facts will be forced to do the same.
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