Consider this my blood curdling scream or whatever. Tom Blumer, our favorite wingnut lunatic faux financial blogger hailing from the southwest corner of the state, has what he thinks is a compelling post up that claims he’s settled once and for all the issue of whether Fox News is fair and balanced or not. He claims they are and he can prove it. Surprise!
Aside: I once called Tom a motherfucker to make a rhetorical point. One he has not been able to defend as yet. He took it personally having thought I was actually calling him names and hasn’t forgiven me, despite my continued reminders that it was a rhetorical point. Tom can be kinda thick that way.
Anyway, so Tom’s big evidence that settles the fair and balanced question? An article in Forbes by S. Robert Lichter. Yes the initial as first name was your first clue. Blumer, surely knowing he’d get called out, even points out that SourceWatch lists Lichter and his organization that conducted the “study” (CMPA) as being far from unbiased. Founded in the mid-80s, CMPA got it’s original seed money from solicitations by Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson. Since founding, the organization has been very secretive about it’s funding, which should raise several warning flags (as Sarah Palin would call them).
It’s very clear that right-wing foundations and organizations are who are funding CMPA’s work. The list of organizations that CMPA funders fund reads like a who’s who of wingnuttery: AEI, PNAC, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute. Politically, attacks on PBS in 1992 and the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 should tell you pretty much where they stand. Tom can dismiss using the work of SourceWatch as “paranoia”, but I’d argue the only paranoia is his in hoping readers won’t connect the dots. Normally when there are this many dots to connect Tom is bizzy in the basement trying to figure out who the terrorist is.
Lichter does give fair disclosure in his article that he once worked for Fox News (warning flag!). He doesn’t, oddly, give fair disclosure that he is the freaking President of the organization that did the study! It’s mentioned in his bio at the end of the article, but not disclosed as he pimps the CMPA study. This is something Blumer would jump all over if he had his media accountability hat on. He tends to take that off when he’s going wingnut.
There are a few things wrong with this “study”. First, it only compares ABC, NBC, and CBS evening news program to the first 30 minutes of Fox News’ Special Report. Ever hear of Fox News Special Report with Brett Baier?
To compare a small fraction of the content on the “Fox News Channel” and then claim that “Fox News” is fair and balanced is a complete joke. It ignores the fact that the shows that every HAS heard of like Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity are what gives the network it’s decidedly conservative bias. How do you ignore 90% of a channels programming in your “analysis” and go on to claim to have generated conclusions about bias? Seriously. It’s laughable on it’s face. Not only that, but it gives Fox huge cover – and as a former employee Lichter may well know this – to toss softballs for 30 minutes a day in order to be consider fair and balanced overall.
It’s a total sham. Add it all up and you get a wingnut funded media monitoring organization providing cover to a wingnut media outlet. And as Eric Boehlert at Media Matters points out, Lichter actually even concedes that Fox News is more biased against Obama in it’s “straight news” coverage. Any thinking person wouldn’t need Media Matters to tell them Fox News is not legit, but they do it any way.
Game. Set. Match.
Newsbusters ahoy! Boo Hoo. Ouch.
PS: Whenever BizzyBlog Boy Wonder Tom Blumer says things like “Using a methodology that would be difficult to refute” you already know how easy it’s going to be to refute.