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Author Topic: Those Liars at Fox News
Seneca
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Good piece by OSC. I'm not necessarily a huge fan of Fox News, however I find them to be the most tolerable of all the major media outlets.

I live in a very blue state and know quite a few people that are indoctrinated just as the person he described. They take it for granted that Fox is biased and always wrong and always lying, without any attempt to examine or question their beliefs. When you ask them for an example they tend to go into hyper-partisan ideologue mode and start ad-hominem attacks against you because you dare to think that Fox might be anything OTHER than the spawn of Satan.

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G3
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Another excellent article by OSC.
quote:
Fox News bills itself as "fair and balanced." "We report, you decide," they say to their viewers. These slogans infuriate the Left, and no one more than the Leftist media -- which happens to be everybody else in television news.

However, independent evaluators repeatedly come up with the same answers, when they compare all the broadcast news media. MSNBC is so far to the Left that if you watch them, you'll be living in a complete Leftist bubble. But the other major networks aren't far behind.

Fox News, however, hovers right around the middle of the spectrum, covering stories that favor or disfavor either side, without any significant pattern of bias.

<snip>

Even the more impartial commentators tend to lean to the Right, but perhaps that's because the American "intellectual" elite are so far to the Left that taking a thoughtful, moderate position sounds right-wing by comparison.

I've made this point several times before. FOX is straight up the middle on news reporting but that's so far to the right on what all the other outlets do that is makes it seem like FOX News is a right wing news outlet.
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Lyrhawn
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I think that the actual news parts of Fox News aren't so bad. But I think the actual NEWS parts of all the major companies are pretty much the same.

And that means they're all pretty equally awful.

The only news agency doing real investigative journalism that avoids sensationalistic gossip mongering is Al-Jazeera America.

No one else even comes close.

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hobsen
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To quote Wikipedia,
quote:
FNC presents a variety of programming, with up to 15 hours of live broadcasting per day in addition to programming and content for the Fox Broadcasting Company. Most programs are broadcast from Fox News headquarters in New York City (at 1211 Avenue of the Americas), in its streetside studio on Sixth Avenue in the west wing of Rockefeller Center, sharing its headquarters with sister channel Fox Business Network. Fox News Channel has seven studios at its New York City headquarters that are used for its and Fox Business' programming: Studio B (used for Fox Business programming), Studio D (which has an area for studio audiences; and is used by The Five and Huckabee), Studio E (used for Fox & Friends, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld, and certain editions of America's News HQ), Studio G (which houses Fox Business shows and FNC's Justice with Judge Jeanine), Studio H (used for Fox & Friends First, Happening Now, Studio B and the Fox Report), Studio J (used for America's Newsroom, America Live with Megyn Kelly, Hannity and Fox Business' Money with Melissa Francis) and the Web Studio (used for Fox News Live internet shows).
The situation is much the same as if one tried to counter the accusation that the New York Times is liberal by saying its obituaries are unbiased. Since Fox itself uses Fox News to stand for much more than its news coverage, critics should be free to do the same.

As an example, note that foxnews.com lists The O'Reilly Factor on its home page.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think that the actual news parts of Fox News aren't so bad. But I think the actual NEWS parts of all the major companies are pretty much the same.

And that means they're all pretty equally awful.

The only news agency doing real investigative journalism that avoids sensationalistic gossip mongering is Al-Jazeera America.

No one else even comes close.

You're joking right? One of Al-Jazeera America's first major interviews was an anti semitic professor who raged on about how Israel needs to be destroyed.
I know a lot of people in my area who tried telling me that the American version is so different from the middle east parent company but it's not, and I've seen that first hand.
http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=14&x_article=2569

[ March 25, 2014, 02:00 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Pete at Home
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I don't think Faux is necessarily less honest than other stations. But their constant panic porn and outrage porn bores the hell out of me. Last time I was at a house where it was on constantly, Faux News had Miley Cyrus' bad sexual antics playing nearly 24/7 with short breaks for commercials and "other" news. It's constant titillation, tweaking and twerking with people's emotions.

I used to like MSNBC but they've become more manipulative over the years, following the Faux example. They aren't so much liars as pimps.

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hobsen
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As a former Boston resident, I take a lot of political news from the Christian Science Monitor. The newspaper is naturally biased on issues of importance to Christian Scientists, but it does not particularly favor Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, other than that its Boston headquarters is in a heavily Democratic state.

Otherwise I get a lot of US news from newspapers in England. Those usually do not care who wins US elections, or whether liberals or conservatives prevail.

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Pete at Home
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The euro peons are more invested than one might think in who wins our elections ... French would have been in Iraq if it had.happened.under Clinton or Obama while a socialist sat on the french throne. [Razz]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think that the actual news parts of Fox News aren't so bad. But I think the actual NEWS parts of all the major companies are pretty much the same.

And that means they're all pretty equally awful.

The only news agency doing real investigative journalism that avoids sensationalistic gossip mongering is Al-Jazeera America.

No one else even comes close.

You're joking right? One of Al-Jazeera America's first major interviews was an anti semitic professor who raged on about how Israel needs to be destroyed.
I know a lot of people in my area who tried telling me that the American version is so different from the middle east parent company but it's not, and I've seen that first hand.
http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=14&x_article=2569

You'll have to do better than what looks like an Israeli apologist mouthpiece as proof. But I watch and read AJA on a fairly regular basis and it's solid coverage on a wide array of issues.

I'm positive I can go article for article on Fox News as a mouth piece for Israel is that's how you want to do it. But it's interesting that anything that shows the Palestinian side of the equation counts as being anti-Israel.

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Seneca
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It's not that its pro-Palestinian, it's that it's unabashedly anti-Israel and anti-semitic hate.
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Lyrhawn
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Three or four segments out of almost a year of 24/7 programming? All of which happened within I think a week of each other?

How am I supposed to take that seriously?

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Greg Davidson
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I have heard OSC speak several times in person, and in those gatherings I have found him to be very reasonable. But his approach to making an argument on a topic over which people have very strong and differing opinions is weak:

quote:
But the reportage on Fox News -- fact rather than opinion -- is even-handed, regardless of whose ox is being gored.

I didn't need a study to tell me this.

He then follows with a whole bunch of assertions with no proof. He may be literally correct - he doesn't need a study to tell him what he believes, because he believes it. A more credible argument would be to address specific assertions about Fox News and show why they are wrong. There's plenty of specifics to address - even a simple search of Ornery threads can come up with a few:

Fox News paid staff members to pretend to be members of the general public and defend Fox link

Or this list of 14 specific disingenuous tactics all employed on Fox News link

The specific examples he uses are easily refutable, for example

quote:
So if there's a huge demonstration for a liberal cause -- pro-abortion, for instance -- everybody reports it; but if there's an even bigger one for the conservative view, only Fox reports it
It turns out that in 2009-2011, by far the most coverage of political demonstrations was for Tea Party rallies. This was not only on Fox News, but on all of the mainstream media. It also happens that over that time period, the political demonstrations with that included the largest number of American citizens were for immigration reform. If he wants to be convincing, he needs to make a compelling data-based case that addresses the most challenging arguments against his position.
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Wayward Son
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Here is another very interesting little article on how Fox News manipulates their charts to lead the viewer to their predetermined conclusions.

This is not to say that other news organizations do not use similar techniques. But the fact that Fox does play with their charts demonstrates that, while you may not be well-informed without watching Fox News, you can't be well-informed by only watching Fox News.

They are at least as manipulative as the rest of the MSM.

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Seneca
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Ah MediaMatters! Nothing like nesting an absurdly-partisan hitjob media source within another source to bring out the humor in the irony of attaking... media sources! [LOL]

Truncating the Y axis was necessary on that chart because if they didn't do it it likely wouldn't fit on an average TV screen or be too small to make out! Darn those evil FoxNews people for trying to accommodate TV viewers!

As for the numbers not adding up, that was FoxNews reposting a poll from Rasmussen... It wasn't their poll...

And as for multiple option polls, those exist all over the place. So what? Yeesh...

"Changing the units of comparison" isn't so much as a logical fallacy as a way of also being able to fit large sets of data on one screen. And in that particular example with 2008, 2009 and then averaging Obama's years all by himself were fairly legit considering the size constraints.

I'd go on but the rest are much like this. Nothing to see here, and given that it's mediamatters hiding behind another website, it's not a surprise either.

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NobleHunter
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Too small to make out. Exactly.

Also note when showing the unemployment rate making changes too small to see wasn't that much of a concern.

[ April 17, 2014, 01:40 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Ah MediaMatters! Nothing like nesting an absurdly-partisan hitjob media source within another source to bring out the humor in the irony of attaking... media sources!
What does that have to do with my link? According to their About page, SimplyStatistics is run by "three biostatistics professors (Jeff Leek, Roger Peng, and Rafa Irizarry) who are fired up about the new era where data are abundant and statisticians are scientists." As far as I can tell, they have no relationship with Media Matters.

Or were you referring to links on Greg's post?

Maybe not. "Nothing to see here, and given that it's mediamatters hiding behind another website, it's not a surprise either."

Do you have any evidence of this, or is this simply a conjecture?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Truncating the Y axis was necessary on that chart because if they didn't do it it likely wouldn't fit on an average TV screen or be too small to make out! Darn those evil FoxNews people for trying to accommodate TV viewers!
And yet it still had the effect of making the difference seems much larger than it was.

quote:
As for the numbers not adding up, that was FoxNews reposting a poll from Rasmussen... It wasn't their poll...
And yet it still had the effect of making the numbers seem much larger than they were.

quote:
"Changing the units of comparison" isn't so much as a logical fallacy as a way of also being able to fit large sets of data on one screen. And in that particular example with 2008, 2009 and then averaging Obama's years all by himself were fairly legit considering the size constraints.
And yet it still made Obama's years seem much worse than they were.

Do you notice a pattern here? [Smile]

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Ah MediaMatters! Nothing like nesting an absurdly-partisan hitjob media source within another source to bring out the humor in the irony of attaking... media sources!
What does that have to do with my link? According to their About page, SimplyStatistics is run by "three biostatistics professors (Jeff Leek, Roger Peng, and Rafa Irizarry) who are fired up about the new era where data are abundant and statisticians are scientists." As far as I can tell, they have no relationship with Media Matters.

Or were you referring to links on Greg's post?

Maybe not. "Nothing to see here, and given that it's mediamatters hiding behind another website, it's not a surprise either."

Do you have any evidence of this, or is this simply a conjecture?

Go to the link you posted.

Then when it loads, click the link where they are pulling their info from, they list it as a hyperlink with the text "via" underneath each point in parentheses.

Then come back and tell us which website actually originated the content.

[Smile]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Then come back and tell us which website actually originated the content.
OK. [Smile]

The first graph came from Media Matters.

The second from Forbes.

The third from Badgraphs (a tumblr account).

The fourth from Flowing Data (which used a Think Progress picture).

The fifth from Media Matters again.

The sixth and seventh from Freethoughtblogs.

The eighth and ninth from something called Onlinestatbook.com.

And, ultimately, all of them came from Fox News. [Smile]

Which, of course, brings up the point that it doesn't really matter if these charts came from Media Matters or whoever, as long as they accurately reported what Fox broadcast. Which they apparently did.

And all the charts do point to Fox skewing the charts so as to lead the viewer to come to their predetermined conclusions.

Fox spins, sometimes somewhat subtly. To expect fair, balanced and complete reporting from them is naive. You have to check their reporting just as much as with any other news source. Or you're liable to come up with a list of "facts" like these.

Ask yourself: where did our esteemed host learn about these indisputable "facts?" Who told him them?

Dollars to donuts: Fox News. [Frown]

[ April 17, 2014, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Seneca
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quote:
And, ultimately, all of them came from Fox News. [Smile]
How about the analysis and spin on them?

quote:
Which, of course, brings up the point that it doesn't really matter if these charts came from Media Matters or whoever, as long as they accurately reported what Fox broadcast. Which they apparently did.
Was the subjective analysis of them reported by Fox too? Nope. See my above comment.


quote:
And all the charts do point to Fox skewing the charts so as to lead the viewer to come to their predetermined conclusions.
"Skewing" seems to be a subjective and not universally agreed on term here...

quote:
Fox spins, sometimes somewhat subtly. To expect fair, balanced and complete reporting from them is naive. You have to check their reporting just as much as with any other news source.
Says who? God? The Pope? Or competitors and rivals who have a partisan and ideological bias?
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Wayward Son
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quote:
How about the analysis and spin on them?
Does that matter? The only question is, is the analysis legitimate or not.

quote:
"Skewing" seems to be a subjective and not universally agreed on term here...
It rarely is. But you must admit, the way the charts are arranged, and the lack of commentary on the percentages, does lead to predetermined conclusions.

Or do you think Fox could have made their points using other, less-biased charts?

quote:
Says who? God? The Pope? Or competitors and rivals who have a partisan and ideological bias?
Who says they don't? Similar sources, from the sounds of it. [Wink]
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Seneca
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At the worst you have the pot calling kettle black. At best there's no proof the kettle is black, especially when it's the pot saying so...

Why don't we ask the public? Which network has the highest viewership? Which is rated as the most trustworthy?

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NobleHunter
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Which one has the least informed viewers?
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Which one has the least informed viewers?

By whose standard? That seems an absurdly subjective measurement. Why not go by pure ratings or a simple poll for the trustworthy part?
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Wayward Son
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quote:
At the worst you have the pot calling kettle black. At best there's no proof the kettle is black, especially when it's the pot saying so...
What you appear to neglect is that conservatives are as much "the pot" as liberals. So who is criticizing whom? [Big Grin]

quote:
Why don't we ask the public? Which network has the highest viewership? Which is rated as the most trustworthy?
So you believe that public opinion is the "gold standard" for judging spin? I thought that spin was aimed at influencing public opinion, especially on a subliminal level that most people wouldn't notice.

So basically you are saying that we should declare that the one who spins best is the one who spins least. [LOL]

Also, remember that most conservatives speak about Fox News vs the rest of the MSM. When you talk about "highest viewership" or "rated most trustworthy," are you comparing the Fox network to each of the other, MSM, "liberal" networks, or against all the other MSM, "liberal" networks?

Because for liberals, we get to split our vote among a handful of major contenders: MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and CNN. Conservatives basically have Fox.

So, by that criteria, which is the most trusted news source by the public? The conservative Fox network, or the liberal MSM? [Wink]

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Seneca
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I actually wouldn't list ALL of those networks as "liberal" or all "equally liberal." I'd say there are probably shades and degrees involved, so it's not as clear cut.

Also worth pointing out that some of what you listed are free public channels and some are pay channels. Why would fox news, a paid premium channel, have higher viewership than a free public channel?

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Wayward Son
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True, it is not clear cut. But you are using the public to judge whether a particular network is "spinning" the data, by viewership or trustworthiness polling.

But if viewership can be affected by factors other than lack of spin, and trustworthiness can be effected by skill of spin, then neither of those criteria are useful in judging amount of spin.

A better way, IMHO, would be to examine techniques of spin--the ways in which data can be presented to manipulate the viewer (especially without his necessarily realizing it) into coming to a conclusion that may not be evident in the data. Those that use these techniques obviously are less reliable than those that don't.

I'm sure you'd agree that the MSM uses these spin techniques. I'm just pointing out that Fox uses them, too. Perhaps they are not as bad as I've portrayed them, but they are there. And they are manipulating the audience's perception of the facts.

Which is why you can't trust Fox News any more than the MSM. Which is why you won't be better informed by watching Fox in exclusion to any other news organization. They present their news according to their bias. And their bias is at least as skewed as anyone else's.

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hobsen
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quote:
We asked Michael Dimock, Pew’s associate director for research, what he thought Pew’s data meant for Stewart’s claim. He said it’s crucial to understand that different news sources appeal to different types of people -- and that highly political programming of any type attracts regular readers and viewers "who are, most likely, already highly knowledgeable prior to their exposure to those particular sources. Separating what knowledge they bring with them from what they learn while reading or watching is virtually impossible."
The man has a point. Politifact Monday June 20, 2011 discussion of Jon Stewart's claim Fox viewers are less informed. Stewart concluded he had been wrong, which is good evidence he was.
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Greg Davidson
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Seneca,

It appears that your argument is that there is no objective standard for truth or accuracy (except perhaps viewership), and that all media corporations are morally equivalent with respect to lying. Those are remarkable claims, and deserve a stronger defense.

For example, would you argue that the television stations with the highest viewership in Russia right are implicitly the most accurate because of their viewership? If not, could you explain how your viewership = truth theory works? Also, if you assert that other news stations are as manipulative as Fox News, can you provide equivalent examples? For example, what other network provided the same amount of promotional airtime to a left wing cause as Fox did for the Tea Party movement? What network has hired the same number of people who were candidates for President of a major political party within a few years of their paid television position?

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