There was a time in television news when the only sources were CBS, NBC, and ABC. We were all subjected to essentially the same “newsworthy” stories, deemed so by the powers-that-were at those networks. They still march in lockstep, but they’ve had to deal with competition with the burgeoning of alternative sources, particularly on the internet. The cable news outlets that have arisen—CNN and MSNBC principally—are no different than the original three networks, with MSNBC merely an outgrowth of NBC.
Only one cable network has dared to be different, and it ties the others up in fits. Fox News hasn’t followed the same drummer; it allows for a significant conservative voice to be heard while also having on-air commentators from the liberal perspective. Studies show time and again that its catch-phrase—Fair and Balanced—is close to the reality, certainly much closer than what can be found on the other networks. Its primetime programs trample CNN and MSNBC continually; overall, Fox has been the highest-rated cable news network for over a decade.
This hasn’t gone over well with the mainstream media. If you listen closely, you can hear the perpetual whine:
It’s a little silly, but that doesn’t stop them from complaining that there is someone not marching with them. Many genuine news stories that Fox covers are hardly even mentioned on those other sources. Of course, the same can be said in reverse. How about a little cartoon montage to illustrate the kinds of things that merit serious treatment in the mainstream media? One example?
How could Fox not consider this to be important? Perhaps it has something to do with a different worldview—one that comports more nearly with reality.