For years now, I’ve felt that the real FoxNEWS slogan should be, “We distort, you decide.” Now there’s proof that it’s probably the truest thing that FoxNEWS could say about itself, if only the network would “man-up”.
Now there’s proof that my gut (and a lot of well-informed guts out there in the news-reporting and -consuming public) were Delphic in their prognosticatory accuracy.
As always, I encourage you to read the original full articles linked in this post, rather than rely on my poor synoptic abilities, but here is a summary as I understand it.
MediaMatters.org published an article on December 15, 2010 (FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science) in which they alleged, based on evidence they suggest that they themselves have seen and verified, that they’d had access to some official internal email from Bill Sammon, the Fox News Washington managing editor. In that email, Bill Sammon gave instructions (” marching orders”, as it were) to his ‘troops’ that they were to toe the ideological line when using politically loaded phrases and words.
He instructed his on-air talent to balance climate change stories with comments to the effect that these “are based upon data that critics have called into question.”
In a follow-up piece MediaMatters.org published on December 18, 2010 (FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science), they expand on some of the journalistic improprieties mentioned earlier, as well as new ones.
In another area of great public import, Sammon reportedly sent another email instructing Fox journalists to avoid using the term “public option”, and instead use the term “government option.”
After you’ve read the stories, there are some interesting videos on the subject embedded in the stories themselves, demonstrating the points made in the MediaMatters articles.
So, I’m curious … What line would FoxNEWS particularly, and NewsCorp generally, have to cross before they could legally be accused of being a propaganda arm of a political movement. Because there are laws against those sorts of thing, unless you proclaim yourselves as an official organ of the party.
Just asking. ;)
Again, the MediaMatters.org articles in question can be found here (Fox News’ Media Criticism Show Ignores Exec’s Leaked Climate Email) and here (Fox News’ Media Criticism Show Ignores Exec’s Leaked Climate Email). Judge for yourself.
As a piece of additional interest, guest host Chris Hayes of The NATION of also did a segment on this story while sitting in for Keith Olbermann Friday on Countdown on MSNBC.