Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fox News, GOP propaganda organ

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Not that we need more evidence that Fox News is in bed with the Republican Party, that the former is one of the latter's key media outlets, a sort of GOP Pravda, but this is hilarious:

During the February 10 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott claimed that "the Senate is expected to pass the $838 billion stimulus plan -- its version of it, anyway. We thought we'd take a look back at the bill, how it was born, and how it grew, and grew, and grew." In tracking how and when the bill purportedly "grew," Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods. However, all of the sources and cost figures Scott cited, as well as the accompanying on-screen text, were also contained in a February 10 press release issued by the Senate Republican Communications Center. One on-screen graphic during the segment even repeated a typo from the GOP document, further confirming that Scott was simply reading from a Republican press release. The Fox News graphic and the GOP press release both claimed that a Wall Street Journal report that the stimulus package could reach "$775 billion over two years" was published on December 19, 2009.

Check out the Media Matters report, linked above, for the graphics.

As Steve Benen notes, it's not like Fox News has any "journalistic credibility," let alone integrity, so this should hardly come as any surprise, as blatant as it is. Plus, it's not just "ridiculously partisan," it's "unethical":

Fox News led viewers to believe the Republican talking points were actually the result of network research. If Fox News is going to pull a stunt like this, it should at least have the honesty to disclose the source. Sure, viewers should assume that if Fox News is running it, the content came from the Republican Party, but if they're going to at least pretend to have standards, the least the network can do is make an effort to keep up the charade.

It may not matter to us, who know full well how Fox News operates, but of course many (most?) viewers don't know the difference between independent reporting and Republican Party propaganda, and may not care. They may be in on it, to an extent, but Fox News is lying even to its own true believers, passing itself off as "fair" and "balanced" even while regurgitating, verbatim, GOP propaganda.

Shameful? Yes. Predictable? Absolutely.

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