Thursday, March 25, 2004

Well, we always knew that Fox News would be fair and balanced. The question now, however, is who are they fair to and how do they balance their ethics with their agenda?
Josh Marshall caught a report on Fox News that demonstrates, rather clearly, that there is certainly a protectiveness when it comes to comments that may hurt the administration. I have to say that I was watching the 9/11 hearings on CSPAN yesterday and I heard both of these conversations. They were separate conversations and dealt with questions from two different committee members, yet the Fox News writer combined two separate series of questions, from two different questioners, in order to create a negative image of Clarke. There is no other way to interpret this passage. It's not simply a matter of laziness, the whole transcript is available to anyone who wants it.
Obviously, anyone who puts a few minutes into it will see the discrepancy between the Fox interpretation of it, and the actual testimony. This not only tries to put a negative spin on Clarke's testimony, but it insults Fox's viewers. If any other network made this type of characterization of an administration official's testimony, there would be an outpouring of protestation from the administrations supporters.
Should those who question the administrations handling of the terrorism issue, who question the decision to invade Iraq, who, regardless of party, have often given the administration a great deal of room in which to explain their case, really stand for this? Most of the public individuals who have raised questions are not known as partisan figures. Yet if you publicly protest the administration's policy you are an, "active partisan," to quote Former Secretary of the Navy Jim Lehman.
If there are particular objections a reporter or editor wants to bring up regarding an individuals testimony before a congressional panel, they should raise the objection, not simply mis-represent that person's testimony. It's dishonest and even more so, it is bad journalism.

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