[internetworkers] Editorial vs. News as it applies to Fox News

James Dasher jdasher at ibiblio.org
Thu Oct 7 23:29:11 EDT 2004

On Oct 7, 2004, at 3:34 PM, Evan Zimmerman wrote:

> In the NYT, an editorial is clearly labelled that
> way just as they are at the N&O or any other traditional paper.

Except, for example, when R. W. "Johnny" Apple writes a "News 
Analysis".  Or Howell Raines "flooded the zone".  Or Jayson Blair had a 
byline.  Or should I stop there?

>  I have not ever watched Fox and not seen editorializing, even from
> the most "respected" newsman on the channel, Brit Hume. It's
> everywhere. I should say that I have watched quite a bit of Fox even
> recently, because I like to see contrasting views, even if I don't
> expect to like them -- sometimes I get surprised and it's worth it for
> that.

Like Mr. Zimmerman, I've noticed editorializing on Fox News.

I've also seen it on the pages of the NYT, WaPo, LAT, N&O; and on CBS, 
CNN, ABC, CNBC; heard it on NPR, WPTF, WRDU; read it in books, 
magazines, poems and pamphlets; recognized it in paintings, sculpture, 
and architecture.

Hey, it's popular to make snide remarks about Fox News.  But it's not 
any easier to make snide remarks about Fox than it is to make snide 
remarks about CBS, or ABC, or CNN.

A partisan press is natural.  What was UNnatural was the 50-or-so-year 
delusion that the press *shouldn't* be, let alone *wouldn't* be 
partisan.  (Insert long essay on the influence of FDR, the rise of 
television and the broadcast networks, the FCC's regulatory impact, and 
the competitive drive to emulate the new medium.)

Fox News has, I suspect, served to point out the obvious: that the 
emperor had no clothes; that news media have always been biased.  
That's bound to upset a lot of people who had a lot of their sense of 
self staked to the idea that they were impartial bearers of Truth - 
"speaking truth to power", "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the 
comfortable", and such nonsense.

"Grinding axes" would be just as appropriate, and would describe folks 
in all wavelengths of the political spectrum.  But that's what's good 
about diversity: nobody has a monopoly on truth.  Our political and 
legal systems are predicated on that notion.  That's why they're 
structured as adversarial systems: the recognition that argument is the 
only way to discover truth.

Cheers --

James Dasher
misterdasher dot com
IM misterdasher

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