Wednesday, June 06, 2007

(Un)fair, (Un)balanced

I've complained once before about the ludicrousness of the Fox News Channel, particularly its claim that it is a "Fair and Balanced" look at what is happening in the world. Everyone may be biased, but Fox wears its bias on its sleeve, which is why it is appalling that it would use such a tag-line.

Recently, Fox did a story on Rep. William J. Jefferson being indicted on bribery charges. But, they ran a tape of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. "Both congressmen are black," (Associated Press). "Fox blamed the mistake on a 22-year-old production assistant hurriedly grabbing a wrong videotape."

Claiming to be mortified, the network apologized on-air through news anchor Martha MacCallum.

Conyers, however, was not appeased and did not accept the apology. "'Fox News has a history of inappropriate on-air mistakes that are neither fair, nor balanced,'" said Conyers according to the AP. I personally am glad to hear him say that, and glad to hear him fly so directly in the network's face. I envy his fortitude, and am jealous of his being in a position to say such a thing in the public eye, in such a manner that the network can actually hear it.

Fox News is an appalling institution, and although this particular situation Conyers is using it to express distaste for the network's theoretical racism, I want it to be seen that this is just a narrow case in the broad field of cases in which Fox has blatantly made a mistake. In the past it has referred to Republican senator Ted Stevens as a Democrat, among other disgraceful and blatantly biased errors.

If I had the power, I'd shut Fox News (and Rupert Murdoch) right the hell down.

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