Monday, March 14, 2005

Fair and Balanced, from a certain point of view: A new study about the media was released today. Researchers have found that Fox News is the most opinionated of all the cable and network news programs, and that other news organizations tend to print negative stories about President Bush.

And in other news, the sky is blue and the sun tends to set in the West.

For better or worse, the media will continue to do what it has always done (you go to war with the media you have ...). It generally doesn't bother me that Fox has more opinionated shows because the hosts, like Bill O'Reilly, are up front about their views. But according to the study, Fox is tainting much of its news footage with opinions.

When asked to defend its broadcasts, Fox's executive daytime producer Jerry Burke said he encourages anchors to be themselves. Then he said this, "They're number one, Americans, and number two, human beings, as well as journalists."

First American then human? I have trouble with some reporters who try so hard to be journalists first then American that they come across as anti-American (that First Amendment protection of your job is in the Constitution of the United States, buddy). But it bothers me more when people place their citizenship above their very existence.

I think we can all recognize that the mainstream media has been flawed for some time. Don't expect it to correct itself anytime soon. While we're justified to criticize journalists for their mistakes, we shouldn't dismiss any news resource altogether. We just have to get our news from a diverse selection of sources. Read some liberal newspapers, watch some conservative television, and surf around a few blogs. This country is polarized enough as it is. Ignoring the other side won't make it go away.


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