Fox ‘News’? NOT!

From AlterNet: “Eight Reasons Fox is Not a news Organization.

Even before Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, Rupert Murdoch had declared war on him via the personalities of Fox News Channel, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s media conglomerate, News Corp.

Since Obama’s election, the cable channel’s hosts and paid analysts have launched a full frontal assault on the president, smearing his nominees, calling him a racist and suggesting that his administration was trying to persuade disabled veterans to off themselves.

Now the fearmongers at Fox are crying foul since the president and his aides declared Fox not to be a news organization. Earlier this month, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn called Fox an “arm” of the Republican Party. Obama went even further, suggesting this week that Fox “is operating basically as a talk-radio format,” and we know what that means: A format in which the most provocative opinions dominate the discourse and facts are optional.

Yet that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Setting Fox apart from the two other cable news networks is its ownership by a corporation whose CEO and major shareholder is a mogul with an ideological agenda — who operates his News Channel as a propaganda machine for his anti-government cause.

He even has his own community organizer, a fellow named Glenn Beck, who can turn out a mob on a dime at your local town-hall meeting. His big ratings-getter, Bill O’Reilly, is a professional bully, handsomely paid to physically intimidate progressive commentators — on video — and to vilify others.

Murdoch’s agenda is simple: He’s against regulation of any kind. Famous for smashing the unions at his U.K. properties, Murdoch also has a pronounced disdain for labor.

In essence, Murdoch’s agenda tracks closely with that of the current GOP, that far-right rump of a party that once claimed to embrace a range of views under the canvas of a big tent. So he uses the Fox airwaves to raise funds for Republican political action committees…

Why Fox News is not a news operation:

1. Glenn Beck, the community organizer — No other news operation in memory has ever hired its own community organizer, at least not one tasked with the mission of organizing paranoid people to march through the streets of the nation’s capital with signs depicting the president of the United States as a mass murderer.

Through his 9-12 Project, which he promotes on his Fox News Channel program, that’s exactly what Beck did, organizing with other right-wing organizations the 9-12/Tea Party march on Washington — AlterNet reported marchers sported signs comparing Obama to Hitler and Stalin.

Beck was also instrumental in turning out angry mobs to disrupt this summer’s town hall meetings, where members of Congress attempted to discuss health care reform with their constituents. After participants in a scuffle at a Tampa, Fla., town hall named their local 9-12 Project site as their inspiration, the national 9-12 Project site stopped accepting comments.

Despite the loss of some 80 advertisers from The Glenn Beck Show, thanks to a campaign by Color of Change, which targeted the show’s sponsors after Beck claimed the president had “a deep-seated hatred for white people and white culture,” Beck remains on the air at Fox. Could that be because he’s more valuable to his boss-daddy as an organizer than as a conduit for advertising dollars?..

2. Fox’s alliance with the corporate-funded astroturf group Americans for Prosperity — We’ve scratched our heads trying to come up with an analogous relationship between a cable news channel and a corporate-funded group that organizes fearful people to disrupt public meetings, but we came up empty.

Americans For Prosperity, a group that received funding from Koch Industries, an oil-and-energy company and major polluter, also organized this summer’s town hall disrupters. Although they kicked off their rabble-rousing campaign by galvanizing opposition to health care reform, their real target appears to be energy reform, especially the cap-and-trade provision that will make dirty industries pay a pretty penny to pollute.

3. On-air fundraising for Republican PACs — Fox News personalities encourage viewers to contribute money to, and visit the Web sites of, specific Republican-affiliated political action committees. We can’t find a single instance of either CNN or MSNBC doing anything of the kind for Democratic causes.

Oh, sure, Keith Olbermann raised money for free health clinics for the uninsured, but it’s our understanding that there are uninsured Republicans. And Rachel Maddow raised money for jerseys for an Iraqi baseball team (who learned the game from American troops), but last time we looked, baseball was the Great American Bipartisan Pastime.

4. Bill O’Reilly, stalker of those whose opinions he doesn’t like — We exhausted all avenues of research trying to find a news show host at another cable news channel who pays his producer to stalk people whose opinions he or she doesn’t like. Came up with bupkus. Nor could we find one who locked the media out of remarks she or he was delivering in acceptance of an award from a nonprofit group.

At the annual conference of the religious-right political group, Family Research Council Action, O’Reilly received an award for his vilification of Dr. George Tiller. Tiller was an abortion provider who was gunned down in his church by a man who obviously took to heart references by O’Reilly and others, “Tiller the baby-killer.”

5. Sunday talk-show host who promotes Republican falsehoods — Once upon a time, Chris Wallace, son of the aforementioned Mike, was a real journalist, just like his dad. Then he joined the Fox team, as host of Fox News Sunday, which airs on the Fox’s broadcast network.

6. Fox News anchors, show hosts and pundits parrot GOP press releases, or just make up stuff — Promoting the notion that their organization is on some sort of Nixonian White House “enemies list,” Fox News personalities first trotted out the “enemies list” theme in August, when they suggested that the White House, asking for Americans to send the administration any unsolicited e-mails they received that promoted false information about health care reform legislation, was actually compiling an “enemies list.”

7. Fox News hosts urge viewers to join a particular political group — During the run-up to the big right-wing 9-12/Tea Party march on Washington, Fox News entities and personalities repeatedly flogged viewers to join the Tea Party Express, a bus tour of anti-Obama activists.

Advising viewers on “how you can join” the tour, Fox and Friends hosted Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams, vice chairman of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, who is a part of the birther conspiracy movement of people who contend that Obama wasn’t born in America. At the Fox Nation Web site, viewers were treated to a promotional piece that asked, “Will You Join the Tea Party Express?” We don’t see the other cable news outlets soliciting members for, say,

8. Glenn Beck, deranged inventor of paranoid conspiracies — Here’s a Beck exclusive you won’t hear on any of the other cable news networks: OnStar, the GPS/emergency-alert system available in General Motors cars, is being indirectly funded by the auto-industry bailout so the government can spy on you.

To be fair, Beck said this on his radio program, which is not a Fox News product, which is also where he compared the situation of Fox News to that of Jews during the Holocaust (with other news outlets acting as silent bystanders). In the same segment, he cast Obama as a “brutal dictator.”

But statements such as these seem to serve no detriment to his Fox News career. (Compare this to MSNBC, where David Shuster got sidelined for a month during the height of campaign season for a bad choice of words regarding Chelsea Clinton stumping for her mom.) And there’s no shortage of outrageous and paranoid material to choose from from Beck’s television show, much of it reported, blogged or cataloged by AlterNet.”


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