Opinion: Fox & Friends Obama 'Attack' Ad Sums up Cable News

Friday, June 01, 2012 - 10:29 AM

Those who watch the media to look for examples of bias don't have a very hard time coming up with examples. Both make it out to be worse than it is for them, but people being people... bias is going to get through. But even with the nakedly liberal MSNBC, and blatantly conservative Fox News, you rarely hear about segments that go as far as a recent segment on Fox and Friends that is getting some deserved attention.

Besides the occasional clip that someone shares on Twitter, Facebook or email, I haven't watched much cable news in the last several years. I stopped throwing my money away on cable television a long time ago, but the real breaking point for me on cable news was during the 2008 campaign, when I saw a transition scene between segments on on MSNBC.

First you saw a dour looking McCain with dark colors and graphics around him, before a bright colored background and messianic looking Obama came on screen, coupled with inspirational music. I was still an Obama supporter back then, and even I was disgusted by how blatant a supposed news organization was displaying such obvious bias. From my understanding, it's only gotten worse since, most notably with the rise and fall of people like Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann. At least those two jokers are off the air.

But this new four minute segment, which aired on the network's morning show Fox & Friends is pretty bad. Those who are calling it a four minute long attack ad, the sort of thing that a shadowy conservative Super PAC might make, are spot on. The Fox & Friends website took it down, and a senior Fox executive has called it 'unauthorized.'


See it for yourself here:

But... my reaction to seeing this was a bit different that what I could find other people talking about. Sure, this is a new low for a morning news-ish show, even for Fox, but it's not a low for cable news in general. The substance of the segment is standard material for the sort of shows that are on prime time on both MSNBC and Fox. They selectively look at the history of a candidate, pick the worst things, spin them in the worst way they think their audience will digest and then gin it up with some entertainment factor

The only real difference here is packaging. It's a produced like an advertisement, rather than some blowhard like Ed Schultz or Sean Hannity blathering the same garbage at a camera.

Are people really shocked at how bad this is? Have they not seen the nutty things that Maddow, O'Reilly, Hannity or Schultz (especially the last two) say from time to time? Should anything shock you coming from a station that would give a lowlife like Al Sharpton a show, or a station that would give give Glenn Beck a platform for a few years?

People are treating this latest low as if it were some kind of jumping the shark moment, where they finally broke the camel's back with the log above. I don't see how people don't see that as having happened years ago. This doesn't shock me at all. Very little does coming from the hacks who run MSNBC and Fox News.

In a way it sort of surprises me that millions of people still watch that infotainment junk, but really it just depresses me a little. If there is any consolation, it is in the little reported fact that broadcast nightly news viewership actually went up last year for the first time in ages, and still positively dwarfs that of cable news. The kind of network news, NBC Nightly News, for instance, averaged about five times as many viewers as Fox News does in prime time (and Fox has more than CNN and MSNBC does in prime time, put together). At least there's that.


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Comments [8]

Sharon Duerbeck

Fox News is the only station that gives the facts. I was a democrat at one time, but having a muslim terrorist living in Washington sure changed my mind. Democrats are so scared and upset about the upcoming election, they resort to saying and doing anything they can out of fear. I do feel sorry for all of you.

Oct. 24 2012 03:10 PM
Solomon Kleinsmith from Omaha, NE

"Yes, once again, FoxNews does it, and MSNBC does it, so they're the same!"

Typical lesser evilism vomit. I didn't say they're the same.

I neither see enough of them to know if that is the case, nor do I care enough to spend the time to. I do get enough segments from prime time cable news shows (including those on MSNBC) to know that the sort of CONTENT that is in this video segment is standard pablum for people like Maddow, Schultz, Olbermann and Sharpton, as well as O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, etc. I can't speak to other shows, as I haven't seen much of their material.

"Please... post some demonstrably false stories that MSNBC has carried."

I've seen dozens of posts on news sites I read fact checking Maddow, Olbermann when he was still on, Schultz and Sharpton. You're capable of using Google. Hop on there and look for yourself, or have a gander at Politifact.

Jun. 05 2012 08:58 PM

Commentary shows - O'Reilly, Schultz, Hannity, Maddow, Matthews, et alia - ARE NOT news shows.

FoxNews is a propaganda channel that functionally airs a GOP line. When is the last time that Karl Rove disagreed with them publicly?

MSNBC's commentary CAN be just as tilted...just as biased but MSNBC doesn't bend facts to suit their point of view. They are too good at their jobs. FoxNews' on camera talent - especially the females - are chosen for their looks.

It would be funny except for the fact that so many Americans watch, listen and accept what they hear on FoxNews.

Jun. 05 2012 09:46 AM

O'Reilly is the biggest hypocrite. No Spin Zone? The Spin Stops Here? Bill, your nose grows a bit longer every night.

Jun. 04 2012 11:46 AM

Yes, once again, FoxNews does it, and MSNBC does it, so they're the same!

Sorry, but show me where MSNBC has fabricated news stories, or has taken stories that are patently false, from websites such as Breitbarts, and carried it as if it were news.

Please... post some demonstrably false stories that MSNBC has carried.

While MSNBC certainly does lean left, they do have Joe Scarbourogh on in the morning, they have Michael Steele as a commentator often, along with other right wing commentators, but more importantly, they don't FABRICATE stories out of whole cloth!

Jun. 04 2012 10:24 AM
Gary from Connecticut

What gets me is that FoxNews will do this sort of trash to a Democrat, but let's say either CNN or MSNBC did this sort of thing to a Republican, FoxNews would have a fit!! They would be complaining about cable news bias. FoxNews is the most hypocritical, biased, Republican butt kissing network on air

Jun. 03 2012 03:24 PM

The major difference between Fox news and msnbc is that Fox represents wall-street/large corporations and msnbc looks out for the poor and middle class.

Jun. 02 2012 11:30 AM
Nick from NJ

There has always been opinion in newspapers. It was just a matter of time before networks picked up on it. The problem is that they purposefully blend the news and opinion, so basically any event is biased. That is why you hear of Fox News viewers being hopeless ignorant on current events. MSNBC was created as a response to Fox News, but unfortunately has cowered to similar lows. Alot of the MSNBC folk went over to Current TV, which was great before, airing a lot of documentaries and Vanguard, which was excellent investigative reporting. Now it seems alot like MSNBC. At least Cenk will voice his disagreement with Obama, and not sheepishly ok everything he does. I really wish I had RT, so I could watch the Julian Assange show. I saw the one with Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah. That was pretty good. He really got into him about Syria.

Jun. 01 2012 07:10 PM

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