Fox and Friends?

I’ve been reading comments lately about how all the TV news media are alike, that there’s no difference at all no matter which news you watch. While I know that all TV news is focused on ratings, and some decisions are going to be based on what people “want” to hear about [egregious examples—Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan], I still believe there is one very big distinction that can be made. Only one news company—Fox News—pays attention to some of the most significant stories that the others ignore.

Back during the 2008 campaign, every one of the other sources—CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC—practically coronated Barack Obama before the election had taken place. In some instances, they were his personal cheerleaders. In almost every instance, they neglected his background, his associations, and all the warning signs that were blatantly obvious. What did they choose to focus on?

It was as if they couldn’t stand the idea that an average “Joe,” so to speak, had challenged the new messiah.

Currently, nearly all of those same organizations have avoided all in-depth analysis, or even any mention, of the following stories:

  • Elena Kagan’s radicalism
  • NASA’s new “mission” to make Muslims feel good
  • The pro-rationing beliefs of the recently appointed Medicare and Medicaid administrator Donald Berwick
  • How the Department of Justice allowed the New Black Panthers off the hook legally even though they intimidated voters at a polling station in Philadelphia

Those are only the first few that come to mind. Yet Fox has covered all of these very important developments. Anyone depending on those other news organizations for information will be ignorant of these happenings.

But what about Fox’s penchant for hiring blonde bombshells? That’s another criticism I’ve heard. First, it’s simply a fact of life that viewers will be more inclined to look at people who are easier on the eyes. Yes, it is true that hiring good-looking people may help ratings. That’s human nature, and everyone in TV who makes hiring decisions will take that into account.

Yet that criticism makes a judgment about a person based solely on outward appearances. All factors must be taken into consideration. If the good-looking news anchor or reporter is a dimwit, then the accusation has merit. If, however, that person is someone like Megyn Kelly of Fox News, the accusation is without credibility. Kelly is a lawyer, and anyone who has ever watched her program with any sense of fairness would have to admit she has a sharp mind and tackles all subjects and interviews with an eye toward getting the truth.

The criticism also loses ground even more when one considers Fox’s evening lineup of programs. Who are the “stars”? Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity pull the biggest ratings. Not a blonde bombshell amongst them. People watch those programs because they believe they will get a perspective that is sorely missing from those other networks.

Now, does this mean I like everything Fox News does? Of course not. No news organization gets an A from this professor on every exam. But the difference between Fox and all those other networks is startling—in the ways I have outlined above. Without Fox, there would be no TV news that provides a distinct voice. All the others melt into each other.

You want fair and balanced? Fox comes closer to it than any of its competitors.

Anticipating some degree of disagreement over my analysis, I find it necessary to say: I am in no way connected with Fox and receive no financial compensation for saying these things. I’m also not a blonde bombshell.