Monday, March 14, 2005

SHOCKER: Study finds FOX News Opinionated; Also: Gravity Causes Things to Fall Down go Boom

From Howard Kurtz's Media Notes in The Washington Post:
In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says.

By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists' own views.

These findings -- the figures were similar for coverage of other stories -- "seem to challenge" Fox's slogan of "we report, you decide," says the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Is anyone surprised by these findings? I encourage you to read the report at - not all 600+ pages, simply whatever interests you.

Expect a few things in the conservative blogger world, and possibly on FOX news:
[I'm actually watching FOX news tonight - to see if it is mentioned. Nothing yet, I'll update this if it is mentioned. If not, see #4]

1. An attack of the organizations releasing the study. Some of them are from prominent universities - and we all know universities are liberally biased and only want to push a liberal agenda. (ugh.)

2. They will jump on the "36 percent of stories about President Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Sen. Kerry. Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry." statistic.

This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Bush was president at the time, and negative stories about him could relate directly to legislation that he was pushing. Kerry - while still in the Senate at the time - didn't have nearly as big of a media reach legislatively.

3. A claim that CNN bias lies in what it doesn't cover. I think you'll find that what CNN doesn't cover is the opinions of its reporters. I've already seen this spin on the internet.

4. Study? What Study? Shut up, you pinhead!
As for the most popular prime-time shows, nearly every story -- 97 percent -- contained opinion on Fox's "O'Reilly Factor"; 24 percent on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews"; and 0.9 percent on CNN's "Larry King Live."
For my international readers I should point out that the O'Reilly Factor is hosted by Bill O'Reilly, an American entertainer.

I don't blame people for flocking to FOX news. It's easier and entertaining to get the news from people that insert their opinions - or the popular opinions of their audience - into their reports.

News - unfiltered news - is boring. There are exceptions, say, when Anderson Cooper is reporting it (I could watch him report on pond scum), but otherwise, "just the facts, ma'am" is "just boring, ma'am."

What you won't see occur due to this report is an honest change in FOX News' slogan. From "We Report, You Decide." to "We Report, You Shut Up!"


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