Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is This Fair or Balanced?

Two of the key lies told by attendees of the astro-turf protests of late is that nobody is telling them what to do.  This makes it clear that they were professionally directed.

Fox-sheep On Friday, Media Matters released a video showing a Fox News producer stage-managing a 9/12 protest crowd.

The video --  which shows a producer waving her arms in the air, encouraging a crowd of 9/12 protesters to make noise for a live shot -- provides some of the clearest evidence yet of Fox's central role in manufacturing anti-Obama dissent.

The video isn't really a surprise: anyone whose watched coverage of protests can see that Fox is sympathetic to the protesters, but this video offered a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Fox actually fueling the fire of the very same crowds they claim to be covering.

By any sort of journalistic standards, the producer's behavior was unethical in the extreme, yet Fox has refused to fire her. To mitigate any potential damage from the tape's release, Fox did claim that the producer had been "disciplined" [If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you]-- but she still has a job… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here’s the video:

Note that while she’s leading the protest, she’s talking on her cell phone.  I have no doubt that on the other end of that call was a Faux Noise executive, telling her to whip up the crowd.  What do you want to bet that her ‘discipline’ was a bonus?

Although Faux Noise, the official Reichsministry of Propaganda for the GOP is the worst, other networks aren’t fair and balanced either.  Do you remember when Dan Rather dug up the dirt on GW ChickenHawk’s bogus Guard service, and CBS News effectively canned him for it?  He just got some good news.

DanRather A New York judge on Monday rejected CBS Corp's (CBS.N) bid to dismiss former TV news anchor Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit claiming he was fired over a controversial election-year report on former President George W. Bush's Vietnam War-era military service.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman set a Dec. 22 hearing in the case and directed that testimony be taken from witnesses including Sumner Redstone, the 86-year-old chairman of Viacom Inc (VIAb.N), which once controlled CBS.

"Let's get this case moving," Gammerman said. "I would really like to get this case ready for trial."

Rather, 77, sued CBS in 2007 and has filed a separate fraud case against CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward over his firing from the network, his home for more than four decades.

CBS has acknowledged it could not authenticate documents used in the Sept. 8, 2004, report on Bush's National Guard service, which aired two months before Bush won a second term in the White House.

Rather accused the network in his lawsuit of breaching his contract in part by not giving him enough on-air assignments following his March 2005 removal as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," a job he held for 24 years…

Inserted from <Reuters>

I hope he gets every penny.  The media, as a whole, has a decided right wing slant, because they depend on corporate advertising for their business.  Furthermore Republicans support and Democrats oppose further concentration of the media into fewer and fewer hands.  The vast majority of what you see, hear, and read (Internet excepted) is controlled by a small cartel of giant corporations, and they want to grab the rest without regulatory hurdles.  In very rare cases, a few editorial writers, Keith and Rachel on MSNBC, Bill Moyers on PBS, and a few more, integrity trumps corporate interest. These few are arrayed against a hoard of right wing ideologies.  And thank goodness for those few.

Now who is going to sue Faux Noise?  Rupert Murdoch has deep pockets. :-)


Jack Jodell said...

What a great shot at the top, of the sheep's ass together with that big horse's ass up on the screen! That one picture is worth a thousand words. Fox spews out one propaganda piece and lie after another, and every conservative Republican and ill-informed moron in the country follows them as though being shepherded.

Fox has even less journalistic integrity than the National Enquirer. They don't want to present the news; they want to control it. So they constantly slant, lie, and feed the public a steady diet of spectacle and confrontation instead of factually accurate and analytical reports. And that Reuters report nailed it perfectly: the corporatist "mainstream" media isn't much better than Fox. Thank God for Link TV, PBS, MSNBC (most of the time), and the BBC!

Stimpson said...

That Fox News producer is just another Young Republican who will do anything to get ahead. For whatever reason, integrity seems to be in short supply among 20-somethings. Or maybe I'm just feeling a bit down today.

TomCat said...

Thanks Jack, but you'd best be careful. You really insulted the National Enquirer by mentioning then in the same sentence with Faux. They might sue you for libel. ;-)

Stimson, I know a few folks in that age range that I consider high integrity, but on the right, integrity is often Orwellian, regardless of age.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm not a fan of Fox News...however, MSNBC and CNN are just as bad when it comes to their "journalistic integrity", IMO. There is also video out there where a CNN journalist is doing interviews and only speaking to those who had signs up that showed Obama as Hitler (which I agree, is really stupid). But there were plenty more signs and people demonstrating who had legitimate complaints about Obama...and they weren't all Republicans.

Right now, I see very little quality journalism, especially on TV. And it's not going to get any better until we start demanding that we actually get "fair and balanced". So far...I see none of that from CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News.

Hope this isn't' going to get me kicked off your blog...but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

(So good to see you back, TomCat! I blogrolled ya right back.)

Jolly Roger said...

But there were plenty more signs and people demonstrating who had legitimate complaints about Obama...and they weren't all Republicans.

There weren't "plenty more." The "teabaggers" are basically racist McVeigh admirers. Any viewing of any cross-section of them couldn't make that clearer.

Anyone who associates him or herself with those dirtbags deserves to be labeled as one of them.

Mary Ellen said...

Jolly Roger- That's right...keep calling anyone who doesn't agree with you a racist and a terrorist. It's too bad that this is what the Democratic party has turned into, not much different than the "right wing lunatics" you all decried during the Bush years who called anyone who didn't agree with them, "terrorists and un-American". Such a pity...really.

TomCat said...

Welcome, Nunly. Gee. I hope you know me better than that. You're opinions are your own, and all opinions are welcome. Of course reporters are going to choose the most controversial scene to present. Conflict sells more soap that smiles. However, the Faux Noise employee actually directing the crowd is a wholly different thing. Media ought to report the news, not help to make it. There may have been a scattering of Democrats in the crowds, but I'd be surprised if any of them were progressives.

JR, I cannot speak about the crowds. I was not there to see or to talk to any of them. I cannot attribute that level of malevolence to them. If my feeling is correct, they are more ignorant, misled and brainwashed than anything else. If you make the same statement about the malevolence of the leadership that organized and directed the events, I agree fully.

Let's remember, please, that here we discuss ideas and argue positions. I hope everyone will respect that, please.

Annette said...

Come look at the video I just put up.. it will show you a pretty good cross section of people who were there.. I don't believe you will see any Dems...and NO progressives at all. Not sure I saw any Hitler signs but plenty of bad ones. This was independently done, so no bias from anyone.

I do agree that every network does have a little integrity problem.. some more than others. I don't call Fox a news organization because they do not report the news.. I call them Noise.. because that's most of what they do..just make noise..

For the most part that's all CNN is.. and MSNBC.. well most of the time they are the same.. especially day light hours.

Annette said...

I have always thought.. (sorry, I did it again...lol forgot to answer the second part of this) Dan Rather got shafted by CBS and by the Bush/Rove/Cheney Administration. He should get every dime he has asked for and then some. They basically ruined his career and his life for a while, and they tried to black list him. Only his ability to hold his head high kept him going and able to stand tall.

He is a great man and could have been another Cronkite.. but for this.. I have always felt it was a set up and a bad one at that.

Stimpson said...

Annette, there's a Hitler sign about 12 seconds in on the video at your blog.

I wonder what Mary Ellen meant by "legitimate complaints" ...

Annette said...

I don't know.. I wondered that too.. I couldn't remember.. it had been more than 10 seconds since I watched the video...lol my memory is terrible.

I thought that video was great.. very representative of the stupid that is a Fox viewer.

Mary Ellen said...

. Media ought to report the news, not help to make it. There may have been a scattering of Democrats in the crowds, but I'd be surprised if any of them were progressives.

TomCat- Of course I wasn't trying to put down your post, I think it was well written. I also agree with you that the media should report news, not write it. Unfortunately, that is not the case with, from what I can see, most of the cable network news stations.

And yes, there were Democrats (probably more than you realize) at that demonstration but you are right, I doubt very much if any of them were "progressives". I imagine that it's difficult for some of those who call themselves "progressives" these days realizes that they are not the majority of the Democratic party...they fit more into the left wing of the Democratic party, I believe.

To answer Stimpson- what do I think are legitimate complaints of the Obama administration. From what I know of those who attended that rally, there were complaints about T.A.R.P.--the bank bailouts, complaints about current arguments over the health care bill (there are pieces of that in which many people disagree, everyone has their own problem with that bill in progress), there were also people who were protesting the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, and the lack of transparency that Obama had promised. I'm sure there were more, but these are the points that I've seen written on blogs of those who are NOT Republicans, but from those who are Independents and Democrats who didn't vote for Obama.

I guess I feel that it's wrong to throw out labels or paint a group of people with a broad brush just because they are out demonstrating in public for issues that they feel are important. I realize that in any demonstration, there will be the "kooks" who go too far.

Let's not forget all the Hitler signs and monkey pictures that were being seen when Democrats were demonstrating in the streets during the Bush administration. I think it's a bit hypocritical for anyone to start pointing fingers now that the situation is reversed. See what I mean?

I'm not slamming anyone else on this blog for their opinion, and certainly not putting down this post written by one of my favorite bloggers. I may not agree with TomCat 100% on politics, but I do think he's a stand up guy and I have a lot of respect for him and his blog.

That said....have a nice day, everyone. Try not to call anyone a racist just because they differ politically, it will make you a better person in the end. (Just my nunly advice). ;-)

Hill said...

I hope CBS *cough* News gets renamed "Dan Rather News".

Go, Dan!


leftdog said...

Tom! Excellent post ... so good I need to share some of this with Canadians!

TomCat said...

Thanks Annette. I just took a peek at your video. I was surprised that most of the people were well behaved most of the time. However, what stood out to me most was the level of ignorance. Communism, they said is just a branch of National Socialism, so Obama is both. Czars, one said, are Russians working in the White House. Glen Beck, several said, is an intellectual giant. Hello? Earth to tea party. Is anyone home?

Stimson, I saw at least three signs comparing Obama to Hitler.

Nunly, I didn't think you were putting me down. You can't bmame TARP on the Democrats, though. Bush wanted money to give to the banks. Democrats passed a bill designed to buy up toxic assets. Bush took the money and gave it to the banks anyway. I found the bank bailouts completely repugnant. But the way primarily Republicans, but Democrats too, have allowed them to dominate our economy, total collapse was the only alternative to the bailout. To follow up, we need to break them up. Too big to fail = too big to exist. Afghanistan is a real problem, but it's a Bush/GOP problem he inherited. I do try not to paint people in groups. When I talk about the Republicans, I am referring to the officials and talking heads. I do admit to comparing Bush to Hitler, but every time I did so, I was illustrating a policy that diminished our human rights in a manner similar to what Hitler did. I could support it with facts. Today's comparisons between Obama and Hitler are supported only with lies. I didn't compare Bush to a monkey, outb of respect for monkeys. However, Bush is white. When you compare a black guy to a monkey, that stirsn up generations of such comparisons being made in racist circles. It gives rise to a wholly different perception. Thanks for the compliment, and just so you know. I support Obama, but he does not own me. If you go through the earlier articles here, I have criticized him on several occasions, and I'm sure I will again. I call them as I see them. Have a great one.

Thanks, Hill. great idea.

Thanks Dawg! Feel free to use anything here. However, I always appreciate a hat-tip. :-)