Friday, March 09, 2007

Fox out

Its about time a "news" organization with nothing but disdain for facts finally came face to face with one fact: lying and distorting coverage to promote crude simplifications and conservative dogmas WILL cost you your reputation even if it does gain you a particular market segment. As one of the netroots folks who wrote senator Ried, the national and Nevada state Democratic leaders to quit kidding themselves about the utility of broadcasting a Democratic candidate's debate on Fox, I am delighted to note that sometime before 6pm today, the Nevada Democratic party wised up.

MoveOn provided its members a link to the NV Democratic party inbox, I used it:

The eyes of the nation are upon you, Democratic party leaders. In myDD, I read that you "don't know who" make the choice to fox up your debate. Yeah, Right.

My eyes are never upon Fox news and you ought to know that by now. Drop them for the lies they have told [or do you too think Mark Foley was a democrat?] drop them for the lies they will tell. They need Democrats for credibility and market share a heck of a lot more than you need them for exposure to Bill O'Reilly's audience. Wise up. Don't Fox up.

myDD provided contact for Sen Reid and the Democratic hopefuls who would have debated on Fox. I used that contact:
I admire Sen. Reid's responses to Bush war mongering, especially in the heat of the recent congressional elections. I grew up in Reno and have been watching Ried since he lost to Laxalt in '74 by 600 votes. That left an impression on me that grass roots and voter turnout have always been the heart of politics. But Fox considers politics a spectator sport manipulated for its effects on ratings, exactly the opposite of grassroots. Fox needs legitimacy way more than Dem candidates need exposure to Bill O'Reilly's audience. I am puzzled and troubled that he would consent to using Fox for anything. That network has stretched scant facts and sources to tar the Senator. That network broadcast images of Mark Foley labeled as a Democrat. Why is the Senator giving any aid at all to a network that is hardly more than a big cog in the right wing media machine?
Edwards set what finally was the trend by refusing to lend legitimacy to Murdoch's contingent of the right wing noise machine: he refused to debate if Fox was the broadcaster and Fox was staging the debate and providing the panel who would ask questions of the candidates. It is very much to Edwards credit...either he is one candidate who really has the courage of his convictions or is actually very shrewd and sees how much the Fox News network needs the stamp of legitimacy for its brand of propaganda to staunch its declining ratings. Fox, in my opinion had much more to gain than did any Democratic candidate. By 10:00 PM the Edwards campaign had emailed its netroots supporters to describe the first shots of a Fox backlash
You may have heard by now that John Edwards was the first candidate to officially say no to the Fox News debate in Nevada—and because of the hard work of so many grassroots and netroots Democrats, news is breaking tonight that Fox is out.

Fox has already started striking back at John for saying no. (There's a surprise—Fox attacking a Democrat.) Last night, Roger Ailes—the life-long Republican operative who is now Chairman of Fox News Channel—said that any candidate "who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake" and "runs a real risk of losing the voters."
Really. What can Fox do? Make up more miscaptioned videos? Have O'Reilly say something outrageous, distorted or slanderous about a Democratic candidate? They do all that already and have got their just dessert. They are out of ammo. If I could tell my cable company to unbundle Fox from its basic package, I'd never see a minute of their tripe again.

The original justification held out by Tom Collins of the Nevada Dem party was the intent to "reach a wider audience" and he cited backing by labor unions who approved of Fox. By now it should be clear that there are some unions with rank and file who listen to Limbaugh and vote Republican...why didn't Collins know the likely hood of gaining many votes for Democrats among the Fox audience was vanishingly small? Fortunately, Fox itself, in the person of its new President Roger Ailes, entirely in character for the network provided some fresh offenses against Obama that gave Collins a way to scuttle his former position without losing face.

There is justice. Let Fox go for a year without repeating Republican lies, just report the stuff that actually gets said by news makers, then offer to broadcast a political event where media neutrality is an absolute requirement. Go ahead Fox, your move. Keep lying or start being what you claim you are, a news network. As of midnight, Google news can't find this story but by tomorrow, the papers will finally mention the netroots in some way or other.

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