President Obama critical of Fox News but so what?

Ok.  I understand what President Obama is trying to say here:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/obama-fox-news-is-destructive-to-america/

I think he’s trying to say that the professional choices that Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation and Fox News have decided to make do not line up with his expectations of the media.  That’s fair.  That’s appropriate.

What President Obama forgot to mention was that the American people know better.

We know Fox News and we get it.  In the short quotes featured in the CNN post above, Obama seems to be telling most Americans what we already know.  Fox News is biased and if you’re looking for objective reporting, you must watch with care and attention.

I know I’m going to get a bunch of comments from people who do one of two things: 1). Belittle the viewers of Fox News by implying that they cannot tell the difference between The O’Reilly Factor and a “breaking news” story on the BP oil spill or 2). Imply that because Fox News is biased it should not be allowed on television or in the national political conversation.  I disagree.

If Obama is implying either of those, he would be wrong.  And for the record, I don’t think he is doing that.  He is merely engaging his power as President to try to influence anyone out there who may not already have an opinion on Fox News or proper journalism.

But taking Obama’s comments at face value.  So what?  Believe or not, Fox News has every right to be “destructive for the long-term growth” of the country.  This is the country we live in.  It’s no different from MTV being destructive to the conception of New Jersey’s ocean front communities or the YES Network being destructive for Yankees’ fans conception of their team’s importance.

Why isn’t Obama’s response more competitive and less accusatorial? Where is the Left’s Fox News? A quick Google search revealed News Hounds which appears to be an organization designed to monitor Fox News and report on anything they feel proves bias or unprofessional stories.  Let’s celebrate that.  These people are viewing Fox News in an effort to react and respond.  But they’re still viewing Fox News.  Isn’t that the point?

I think that many of the opinion shows on Fox promote an agenda that encourages bitterness, fear and divisiveness.  But what am I really doing about it?  Other than posting my thoughts here, I just skip over channel 61 and rarely watch it.  Isn’t that enough? Other people (people who I love and respect) enjoy Fox News for both news and opinion and watch it often.  And I love talking to them about Fox News and politics.  I try to convince them to read other sources or balance what Glenn Beck says against common sense.  I think that’s about all President Obama could ask for.

Let’s ridicule fear and manipulation but celebrate the debate.

I always kinda thought that Fox News, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck (on one side) and Michael Moore, MoveOn.org and Keith Olbermann (on the other) were the fun of living in America.  Do some of these people drive me nuts? Of course.  Do some of these people or organizations attempt to pass themselves off as objective when their not? Occasionally. But we can see through them.  And if some people don’t see through them, there’s an opportunity in the market.  We can handle it.

I’ve always believed that the responsibility is on the viewer.  I believe people who watch Fox News believing they are getting the objective news with no bias are few and far between.  I’d say most viewers either watch because they want to get Right’s perspective on the news or they believe all news is bias so they might as well watch a source they agree with beforehand.

When the responsibility is no longer on the view (much like where consumer protection is needed) are cases of deceit, fraud, etc.  Is that what Obama is accusing Fox News of taking part in?

I doubt it.

He’s merely letting everyone know where he stands on his news and television preferences.  He went a little further by calling them “destructive.”  But ultimately, it’s not the President’s job to protect me from shady journalists with agendas.  I can handle that myself.

Former President Bush (41) had to endue the ridicule of broccoli farmers, Canadian doctors and embattled mothers of young boys who don’t eat vegetables when he announced he didn’t like broccoli.  On the other hand, President Reagan is responsible for sparking a national jelly bean craze when he described his affinity for Jelly Belly.

Is that all Obama was doing here?  Letting us know that he finds Fox News to be inferior and dangerous? His language seemed so much stronger and bordered on accusing Fox News of something improper, yet I think it’s clear that Fox News is simply a player in the marketplace and will be easily overcome if someone could figure out how to attack them on substance instead of opinion.

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3 responses to “President Obama critical of Fox News but so what?

  1. IMO, it’s an unreasonable concern from a President who has far bigger issues to deal with than pointing fingers at news agencies. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman sweat the other side and are full of alarming leftist propaganda, but for some reason, the WH doesn’t speak out against that. If anything, these interviews and positions BO takes towards Fox are proof the news organization is necessary. I don’t want to be force fed my news as its slanted in either way…and when someone so high proclaims one side or the other to be ‘wrong’ or in this case (dramaqueen) “destructive to [America’s] long-term growth”, I know it’s my job to listen even harder to what Fox News says. The next (albeit big) step in BO’s slippery slope of a judgment is to eliminate disagreement of any kind with the missions of the current political state by news organizations, and I don’t live the Soviet Union.

  2. For the record, I enjoyed your article. I’m not all piss and vinegar by any stretch. 🙂

  3. This isn’t a tyrannical dictatorship where you get to throw your politcol enemies in jail. At least not yet. Thank goodness we have opposing sides. Obama never mentions the rest of the news outlets and their bias. We have people like Chris Matthews that gets a tingleing sensation running up his leg when Obama speaks, but he is not biased like Fox News? Can you image if a Republican President came out and said similar things about CNN or MSNBC. The left would never let it go. Freedom of speech and the opposition that is allows for is one of the most basic checks and balances that our country has.

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