I’ve always felt that there was something not quite right with Fox News. They’re biased, sure, like every other news network these days. Maybe its the fact that they’ve been known to twist articles to their opinion in ways that take them so far from the truth that they’re not even recognizable. What’s even worse than Fox News is a hardcore Fox News viewer, don’t ever get into an argument with them, it’s impossible to win. You could have all the facts, put up a convincing argument, and be entirely right and they’ll still insist you’re wrong. This is even the case with topics that can’t be opinionated, your argument could be based on pure fact and they’ll still say you’re wrong. They simply, flat out, refuse to believe that anyone else’s opinion could be right, why would Fox lie to them.
How could Fox possibly have an agenda? Isn’t the purpose of the news networks to give you the news, unbiased and truthfully? Well, it seems like they do have an agenda, an agenda that leans heavily to the political right. While Fox News has publicly denied these accusations its quite clear that, just by looking at their history, they are in fact biased. Take healthcare reform for example, a leaked memo from Fox vice president Bill Sammon, during the healthcare reform debates, showed quite clearly where they stood. They wanted to ensure that any mentioning of the “public option” was changed to “government option” or “government-run health insurance” simply because studies had shown that calling it the latter instead of the former increased the number of people that were against it significantly. Now why would that matter to a news network? Need further proof? How about during the coverage of the war in Iraq in 2005, a 2010 study found that, during that time, Fox repeatedly down-played bad news whenever it was possible that it could make the current, Republican, administration look bad. In 2010, News Corporation gave $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce which, at the time, was working to elect Republicans.
If taking things out of context were an all-you-can eat buffet, Fox would have pulled their chair up to the bar a long time ago. Fox News has turned taking things out of context into an art form. A dirty, dirty art form. Fox has repeatedly taken quotes from speeches out of context in an effort to alter their meaning. At one point they changed the meaning of a question Barack Obama asked in regards to healthcare so that it sounded as if he supported a European style system. In reality Obama was simply responding to a question from an audience member at a town hall meeting. Fox deliberately cut the beginning and end of the conversation out to change its meaning, if it had been left intact you would have heard Obama continue his conversation by stating why he didn’t believe a universal healthcare system was the right thing to do. Shortly after the Bachmann rally in D.C., during an interview with Michele Bachmann, Fox’s Sean Hannity interspersed video surveying the crowd of Bachmann’s rally with a similar survey of the crowd at the 9-12 rally without indicating a difference. Fox claimed that the rally attracted more than 20,000 people while three separate Capital Hill police officers all guessed the attendance being closer to around 4,000. The 9-12 rally, reportedly attracted around 70,000 people. Hmm, do you suppose Fox was trying to make the Bachmann rally appear as though it had a better turn out than it truly did? During the G-20 protests, Glenn Beck displayed a photo showing a sickle and hammer symbol with the words “Capitalism Will Fail” beneath it and indicating that it was a sign being held by someone during the protests, only it wasn’t. The photo was taken of a mosaic painted by eighth-graders on tiles outside of a Berkeley, California school. In 2009, during a book signing by Sarah Palin in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Fox indicated a large turnout while showing photos, that had apparently just come in, with large groups of people surrounding Sarah Palin. The video ended up actually being from a 2008 McCain/Palin campaign rally. Fox ended up apologizing for what they called a “production error,” sure you apologized, but only after you got caught.
These gripes only scratch the very surface of the BS that Fox spins. They spew false information at such an incredible rate that it would be impossible to catch it all. They display misleading graphs, use quotes out of context, chop up video, and use completely unrelated photos. It now makes perfect sense! Viewers of Fox are being deliberately misled at every turn. The Republicans have recently benefited from Fox’s power over their viewers, as evidenced by their recent wins in the elections. How can our country’s citizens make informed decisions about who they vote for when the only news network they’re willing to watch regularly and purposefully lies to them. A recent study, by the University of Maryland, of American voters revealed that the regular Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. If you want proof of their study simply browse to Fox News’ forums, you’ll realize the truth relatively quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the other news networks aren’t without blame, but Fox News ranked in the top position. They should all be held accountable for the news they produce or, in some cases, manufacture.
This all goes back to my argument in my post, Leveling The Playing Field, while there are things that can be done to ensure the best candidates are getting into office, it all starts with us, the voters. As citizens of a country where we are given the privilage to vote, we are obligated to make smart voting decisions, not doing so is wasting that privelage. If you’re not getting your news from various sources and taking each with a grain of salt you aren’t doing your country any favors. In fact, you might as well just stop voting, you’re no longer making your own decisions, someone else is making them for you. Do your research, check the facts, and make your own decision about who should be running this country.