Apropos, Mr. Stewart.
At the very moment I sit down to write a few paragraphs about Jon Stewart’s sit down with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” sends up the enthusiastic title selection of bloggers.
It’s always noteworthy when Stewart exits his own fake-news bubble to enter FNC‘s. His trip to O’Reilly’s “No Spin Zone” was not to “destroy” the propaganda outlet. Rather, it was an opportunity for O’Reilly to defend his network, often featured in Stewart’s satire. In this task, the host of “The Factor” came up short.
PoliticusUSA blogger jmeasley put it well within his Feb. 3 post — appropriately titled, in my opinion, “Jon Stewart Blows Away Bill O’Reilly’s Defense of Fox News“:
Of course, FNC doesn’t clearly label their news and opinion, because the two intermix on a daily basis. It’s impossible to believe that a network that has an overarching ideology is able to run an objective news division. This argument does not hold water.
I won’t say much about the interview, except to encourage you to view it. The interview was pre-taped and aired over two broadcasts; however, these were heavily edited before broadcast. To O’Reilly’s and FNC’s credit, the interview is posted in its entirety at FoxNews.com, which is almost certainly burning up the traffic meters with a crush of O’Reilly fans (/s).
More interesting, however, is how O’Reilly chose to rationalize why “liberals” like Stewart hold FNC in such contempt. “Finally, conservatives get a break on the tube,” O’Reilly declared at the conclusion of his Feb. 4 “Talking Points Commentary” segment. “And if you disagree with that, you’re not fair and balanced.”
Again, he completely misses the point. Certainly, FNC‘s conservative slant is frustrating, but what raises the ire of the networks’ critics is its consistent factual misrepresentations and misleading, propagandistic style.
I’ll include some examples below, well aware that regular viewers of FNC – “Traditional Americans,” according to O’Reilly, whatever that means — will completely disregard them; a fact which, in itself, serves as a multiplier for critics’ contempt for O’Reilly’s employer.
As for the occasionally over-the-top title language highlighted by Stewart, keep in mind that the vast majority of bloggers are but tiny fish within an ocean. In many ways they are similar to how Stewart described newspapers to O’Reilly:
…newspapers are a passive piece of paper that you go to and you know where the opinion is. Television doesn’t function that way…
Indeed, the cable television platforms of both, The Daily Show and FNC, are much more direct. Bloggers title posts the way they do because their passive audiences seldom read beyond the headlines. Furthermore, blogs, like Stewart’s Comedy Central program, can’t be mistaken for anything other than opinion, for the most part, grounded in news. And unlike Fox, they make no claims to the contrary.
Visit Media Matters for America’s research regarding Fox News Channel. Here, the non-profit media watchdog has compiled THOUSANDS of examples FNC malfeasance, most with video.
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