Fox News: It’s fair to say their unbalanced

April 17, 2009

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It pains me to say this, especially as someone who was glued to Fox News his freshman year, but I recently have come to the conclusion that much of the political commentary on the cable news channel is biased. Or at the very least, not fair and balanced.

Fox News initially was created by Roger Ailes, a Republican political strategist for the Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr. campaigns, in order to seize on a market that traditionally catered to political stances left of the center. It often receives some of the highest ratings on cable because it gives a voice to conservatives who often feel slighted by the “liberal media.”

Before Fox News, viewers were subjected to the rantings of on-air personalities like Keith Olbermann, who actually blogs on the far left Web site, dailykos.com. Anyone who has seen his show, Countdown, might be confused as to whether he was discussing the United States’ public policy or the atrocities committed by the Nazi party or communist Russia. Now they have the option to listen to the likes of Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck if they want to see rants of the conservative variety (sorry, “libertarian” rants if you are talking about Beck).

For years, Fox was able to point to Hannity and Colmes as an example of fair and balanced reporting. The issues of the day were discussed by a conservative on the right and a liberal on the left. Even that premise had flaws. The show featured the charismatic, jovial and telegenic Sean Hannity, who resembled someone you might see at your church family picnic opposite the crypt keeper. Now the crypt keeper has passed, it is just Hannity. Not exactly fair or balanced.

Along with the show formerly known as Hannity and Colmes, few shows have bolstered Fox’s ratings more than the O’Reilly Factor. Although Bill O’Reilly’s political stance is debatable (and he will debate you on it), his guest hosts’ political positions are not. First there is frequent guest host Laura Ingram, former Reagan speechwriter and prominent conservative talk radio host. The late Tony Snow, former White House Press Secretary under George Bush and regular guest host to the Rush Limbaugh Show, became a permanent fill-in host for the O’Reilly Factor in early 2008.

However, Tony Snow was not the only former member of the Bush administration to frequently appear on the O’Reilly Factor and Fox News. Karl Rove, infamous Republican strategist and Deputy Chief of Staff under George W. Bush, is now a prominent contributor to the Fox News Channel.

Of course there is also Mike Huckabee, who after running for the Republican nomination for president found his own hour-long primetime show on the news network. Have you noticed a pattern? They are all conservative. Do not worry though, there is always Alan Colmes to balance it out…oh wait, never mind.

It is impossible to argue that any news organization can be completely “fair and balanced.” Every journalist, despite his or her best intentions, has some level of bias. But it seems as if Fox News is not even trying, but do not tell Bill O’Reilly that; he might cut off your microphone.

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One Response to “Fox News: It’s fair to say their unbalanced”


  1. Fox News bias? NO!!!! Surely not?


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