“Mainstream” media (MSM) were the only media. Broadcast news had four sources: ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. They were all liberal. Wm. F. Buckley’s “Firing Line,” which was broadcast only irregularly, at the mercy and whim of liberal PBS affiliates, was the only exception. You may not remember it.
Four events changed that regime of distortion and censorship:
Ronald Reagan‘s landslides (which had been considered impossible – he was “too extreme to be viable”) which emboldened other candidates and the GOP base,
Rush Limbaugh’s radio program (which dominated the ratings in every market it invaded, literally inventing talk radio by proving conservatism to be “mainstream” and profitable) shortly following the Reagan Revolution,
The emergence of the Internet (that would eventually break the stranglehold the old media monopoly held on public access to information), shortly following the Rush Revolution, and
FOX News that kicked off in October, 1996, from New York City, and quickly became the dominant single source of news in America.
Fox’s CEO was Roger Ailes, who had produced Rush Limbaugh’s New-York-based TV show… and had, earlier, worked for Rudy Giuliani’s very first campaign team.
Fox laid claim to news objectivity… and their slogans, “Fair and Balanced” and “We report, you decide” were a shot across the bow of the old liberal-controlled media. While most talk radio stations gave up trying to do both sides (as soon as their liberal shows came on they lost their listeners), Fox stayed with the idea of giving both liberal and conservative viewpoints. They had both conservative and liberal commentators and most of their newscasters, (like Shepard Smith, who once announced that “all religions” were somewhat evil) leaned to “mainstream” moderate mindlessness.
Simply because they did not conform to the old “liberal only” mindset that has long controlled the MSM, they were attacked as having a “conservative” bias. It’s never been true. There has never been ANY conservative broadcast news in the same sense that ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, CNN and most daily newspapers are emphatically liberal, or in the sense that conservative talk radio is unapologetically conservative.
But during the race to the 2008 Presidential nominations, Fox has begun to act like the old Mainstream Media. They have engaged in demonstrable censorship to sandbag the conservative candidates they knew could become a problem to their apparent homeboy favorite candidate, Rudy Giuliani, and their favorite liberal issue, Comprehensive Amnesty for Illegals. [as the New York Times pointed out: “Mr. Giuliani, as mayor, officiated at [CEO Roger] Ailes’s wedding and intervened on his behalf when Mr. Ailes’s company, Fox News Channel, was blocked from securing a cable station in the city. This year, they were tablemates at the White House correspondents dinner, which Mr. Giuliani attended as a guest of Fox’s parent company, the ‘News Corporation.'” The NYT also noted, earlier this year, that “So far this year… Mr. Giuliani has logged more time on Fox interview programs than any other candidate.”]
The favoritism began in subtle ways early on, giving lavish attention to the “mainstream” candidates, “Rudy McRomney,” while largely ignoring the conservatives. It increased as they rubber-stamped as “valid” the transparently propagandistic attacks on Fred Thompson, once he entered the race, asserting: that he was inadequate because he wore Gucci loafers to the Iowa state Fair, that he was “lazy” (a total fabrication) and that his campaign was “lackluster” (ignoring it’s detailed and radically Constitutional substance and Red State grassroots style).
They had always covered the other Conservatives (every single candidate that had a shred of anti-illegal immigration credibility) as “fringe,” if they covered them at all: Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Ron Paul. It became apparent in all of their coverage that they leaned towards Comprehensive Amnesty and away from Ronald Reagan Constitutionalism.
The most recent symptom of “Mad Fox Disease,” removing every single candidate from their New Hampshire forum who isn’t favored by the Council on Foreign Relations, as noted here on www.TheReaganWing.com: Fair and Balanced, will probably be overlooked because most people have felt that the field is too large and want candidates to be eliminated (except their own). But it is by no means the most egregious or obvious example of Fox anti-conservative bias.
Media bias employs several methodologies:
Censorship of news events: simply not covering newsworthy items that exemplify facts inconvenient to the prevailing liberal ideology. (This happens every year when the annual and enormous National March for Life is minimized or wholly ignored by the MSM, despite their willingness to cover demonstrations a tiny fraction of that size for left-wing causes.)
One-sided coverage of issues: giving only one side of an argument. (This was the story of the Terri Schiavo controversy, the MSM consistently repeating, without rebuttal, the demonstrable lie that Terri was “brain-dead.”)
The “Straw Man”: mis-stating or distorting a position that is out of favor with the MSM. (The recent assertions that Ron Paul “blamed America” for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination are a perfect example.)
But rarely does a news network go so far as to actually cover a factual event and surgically alter it to misrepresent the facts. Fox did that this year in their drive to alter the outcome of the GOP nomination process. That act, in retrospect, may have been the single biggest factor determining the early withdrawl of Tom Tancredo from the race. We covered it at the time, but the evidence, that it was neither isolated, nor an aberration, has mounted, steadily. Here, then, for your edification, is the article we published, exposing it back in August, 2007:
FOX NEWS CENSORS STRAW POLL RESULTS
Cross posted with Chris Brunner.com
If you don’t already know, the Iowa Straw Poll, seen as a first test of organizational strength by news media and party insiders, took place Saturday. The results weren’t too surprising, considering that McCain, Fred Thompson, and Giuliani all boycotted the event. What was surprising, however, is that Fox News blatantly cut certain candidates out of the results they reported.
Here are the uncensored results from the Iowa Straw Poll:
|11||John H. Cox||41||0.1%|
Here are the results that Fox News reported:
Notice that positions four and five were completely skipped. While it’s a commonly-held opinion that Fox News seems to avoid mentioning Ron Paul, I’ve never seen an example of such blatant censorship from them before. In case you were wondering, they weren’t mentioned in the audio of the show, either.