Jon Stewart Rips Right-Wingers A New One

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    No Wrongdoing With Benghazi

    Right-Wingers Fuel Racism And Paranoia

Monday, August 2, 2010


Lindaman writes:

Politico reports that there is a debate brewing within the White House Correspondents' Association over who should be allowed to occupy the seat once held by Helen Thomas. The contenders: Fox News and National Public Radio. As can be expected, people have varying opinions on who should get the seat, as do I, but I'll share mine in a bit.

First, let's take a look at Fox News. Supporters say it is one of the most fair and balanced cable news networks out there, and it can be argued on both sides as to the veracity of that idea. Critics tend to fall into two categories: those who think Fox News is nothing more than right wing propaganda, and those who think Fox News isn't a real news organization. It should be pointed out, however, that for many years, Helen Thomas was allowed to sit in her vaunted seat without being a reporter. Yes, my friends, for a good chunk of her later career, she was...an opinion columnist. For those who bash Fox News as right wing propaganda, the problem is that the WHCA has set the precedent for Fox News to take the seat, and complaining about their slant now doesn't justify their silence on Thomas' slant for 20+ years.

Next, there's National Public Radio. Supporters say that they are one of the best news organizations out there and without much of a bias. Critics point to the fact that for many years NPR was taxpayer funded (although more recently, they've become much more publicly funded). I've listened to NPR for a number of years, and they do a good job in reporting. However, they do show a leftward bias in subtle ways, from what stories they cover to the way those stories are covered. They're not as bad as MSNBC, but they do occasionally let their personal opinions get in the way of straight reporting.

Is that why people who listen to NPR consistently poll as more informed than people who get their news from Fox?

People who listen to NPR, generally get news from many sources. Odds are if you're listening to NPR, you already have most of the information from other sources. If Fox is your sole source, your likely not getting a lot of information cause the fact to fluff (whether thats opinion or gossip crap) ratio is pretty low.

As for MSNBC, is there anything to back that up? Besides coming up with cutesy anagrams (ripped off from Michael Savage)?

This leads to the heart of the debate: what constitutes a news organization in today's environment? NPR still reports using old school journalism while Fox News relies more on flash. On the other hand, Fox News has made a bigger impact on journalism in recent years than has NPR. (Whether that impact has been positive or negative is subject to debate, but their impact is undeniable.) Should the seat go to a left-leaning old school journalism outlet or a right-leaning new journalism outlet?

I say neither of them deserve the seat.

The journalism game has changed so much that few people are actual journalists anymore. What they've become is PR agents for a side or a cause, merely repeating what they or their editors believe. And why? So they can get invited to the Washington parties. Reporting the facts has taken a back seat to hobnobbing with the elites, and journalism as a whole has suffered. When a venerable newspaper like the Washington Post has to do a mea culpa for not covering the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation story for over a year, and another venerable newspaper like the New York Times not even doing that much, it's clear that the journalism profession is seriously broken.

They didn't cover it because the New Black Panther Party dicks didn't threaten anybody. It was a non-issue.

So, I don't think NPR or Fox News deserve Helen Thomas' seat, but that's only because I don't think the majority of so-called journalists deserve a seat in the White House Press Room.

Helen Thomas had the front-row seat because she used to be a real news reporter for UPI when it used to be a real news wire service. It was based on the fact that her reporting was disseminated to an enormous number of readers. She kept the seat after she became an opinion columnist to honor her unmatched seniority in the White House press corps, although an opinion columnist would not otherwise have been seated in the front. Now that Thomas is retired, front row seats should again be assigned to straight-news reporters based on the number of eyeballs or ears they reach. Cable news does not reach nearly as many people as network news, big-city local news, radio news, or wire services, so I don't think Fox News gets it.

Fox News is a right-wing propaganda outlet, not a legitimate news agency. In recent weeks the network has turned the volume up on its race-baiting political agenda. The media assault on Shirley Sherrod is just a latest in a series of racist and politically motivated attacks on targets like Van Jones, ACORN, and Eric Holder's Department of Justice. But they are "Fair and Balanced"...you wouldn't be constantly hearing that reference from them unless it was true. Right?

Reality has a liberal bias. That's why right-wingers hate facts (AGW, for example). We have facts on our side, and the news is supposed to report the facts. So to conservatives, any organization that states facts instead of right-wing noise, is "left leaning."

Meh, give it to Fox; so I can find out once and for all which condiments the president actually prefers.

Why would Fox want the seat in the first place? Fox can write opinion from anywhere, and they don't need to actually ask questions. Their pundits may say, "I am only asking questions" but it is to cover a logical fallacy rather than to get an answer.

On second thought... Why not give it to the Christian Science Monitor? They're pretty unbiased, and the name will confuse Teabaggers.