Is that a fact, LR? The question would be....why is that the only real story?
No, it isn't a fact -- it's the 'opinion' of the editors of newspapers and television news organizations who have to decide every day what is news and what isn't. As if we haven't discussed this as many times as Glenn Beck cries.
"If it bleeds -- it leads"
That's the axiom that rules the 'news' world.
Now, if you want to talk about the issue of punditry -- there is a different arena altogether for what makes fodder for cable.
The real question you have to ask Mike is why was Beck
talking lying about Van Jones for weeks before Faux news even ran a 'story' on what it passes for objective journalism on September 2?
There is a reason why Fox News is the most watched news station in the country. People go there for BOTH sides of the news, not only what mainstream media and the White House wants to spoonfeed them. You may not like that fact but it doen't make it a non-fact. That is why network news is in the sorry state it's in today and has such low approval ratings from the general populace.....and that's why Fox News stands out as one of the only venues where one can get complete facts presented, hence it's popularity.
Do you really want to play the 'Fox is Fair and Balanced' game?
The Ratings Mirage
Why Fox has higher ratings--when CNN has more viewers
By Steve Rendall
Reporting on the ratings rivalry between the Fox News Channel (FNC) and CNN is often misleading--and almost always over-hyped.
"Fox Tops CNN as Choice for Cable News," declared one typical headline (Chicago Tribune , 3/24/03). "Fox News Channel Continues to Crush CNN ," reported Knight Ridder (Dallas Morning News , 2/3/04) in a column comparing the rivalry to a party primary: "Fox News Channel is winning the Nielsen caucuses." Last summer (8/17/03), the New York Times Magazine declared, looking back at the period of the Iraq invasion, "Fox was--and still is--trouncing CNN in the ratings."
After exposure to countless similar stories published since January 2002, when Fox was reported to have surpassed CNN in the Nielsen ratings, one might naturally conclude that Fox has more viewers than CNN .
But it's not true. On any given day, more people typically tune to CNN than to Fox .
So what are the media reports talking about? With few exceptions, stories about the media business report a single number for ratings (often expressed two different ways--as "points" or "share"). This number is often presented as if it were the result of a popularity contest or a democratic vote. But it is actually the average number of viewers watching a station or a show in a typical minute, based on Nielsen Media Research's monitoring of thousands of households.
The average is arrived at by counting viewers every minute. Heavy viewers--those who tune in to a station and linger there--have a greater impact, as they can be counted multiple times as they watch throughout the day.
When an outlet reports that CNN is trailing Fox , they are almost invariably using this average tally, which Fox has been winning for the past two years. For the year 2003, Nielsen's average daily ratings show Fox beating CNN 1.02 million viewers to 665,000.
But there is another important number collected by Nielsen (though only made available to the firm's clients) that tells another story. This is the "cume," the cumulative total number of viewers who watch a channel for at least six minutes during a given day. Unlike the average ratings number the media usually report, this number gives the same weight to the light viewer, who tunes in for a brief time, as it does to the heavy viewer.
Journalists who publish Nielsen numbers ought to explain that the data are not simply measures of popularity, and they are not produced as a service to journalists or the public. The figures are gathered to provide advertisers with complex data about viewer habits. It pays to remember that neither cable news stations nor Nielsen Media Research are primarily in the business of serving the public interest--both are in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers.
Advertisers would rather see larger numbers of viewers see each ad a few times than have a smaller number watch the ad over and over again. But having a large number of viewers tune in for so short a period of time that they see very few ads is not desirable either. As Sherrill Maine, CNN 's senior vice president of marketing, was quoted in the Cablefax (1/26/03): "We'd like Fox 's [average] ratings; Fox would like our cume."
But it is a logical fallacy to assume that Fox is 'fair' because more people watch it -- if we're to assume that the volume of people watching is the measure of objectivity then we must assume that Fox is the least objective because more people in aggregate get their news from other sources Mike.
It is, however, factual to say that news viewership has become more polarized and a predictor of politics:
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Fox News viewers say they are likely to vote for John McCain, while those who watch CNN and MSNBC plan to support Barack Obama in November by more than two to one.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of CNN voters plan to vote for the Democratic candidate versus 26% who intend to go for the Republican. Similarly, MSNBC watchers plan to vote for Obama over McCain 63% to 30%.
Only nine percent of those who watch Fox News say they will vote for Obama
Despite tumultuous events abroad, the public's news habits have been relatively stable over the past two years. Yet modest growth has continued in two important areas online news and cable news. Regarding the latter, the expanding audience for the Fox News Channel stands out. Since 2000, the number of Americans who regularly watch Fox News has increased by nearly half from 17% to 25% while audiences for other cable outlets have been flat at best.
Fox's vitality comes as a consequence of another significant change in the media landscape. Political polarization is increasingly reflected in the public's news viewing habits. Since 2000, the Fox News Channel's gains have been greatest among political conservatives and Republicans. More than half of regular Fox viewers describe themselves as politically conservative (52%), up from 40% four years ago. At the same time, CNN, Fox's principal rival, has a more Democrat-leaning audience than in the past.
The public's evaluations of media credibility also are more divided along ideological and partisan lines. Republicans have become more distrustful of virtually all major media outlets over the past four years, while Democratic evaluations of the news media have been mostly unchanged. As a result, only about half as many Republicans as Democrats rate a variety of well-known news outlets as credible a list that includes ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, NPR, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report.
CNN's once dominant credibility ratings have slumped in recent years, mostly among Republicans and independents. By comparison, the Fox News Channel's believability ratings have remained steady both overall and within partisan groups. Nonetheless, among those able to rate the networks, more continue to say they can believe all or most of what they hear on CNN than say
that about Fox News Channel (32% vs. 25%).
The partisan nature of these ratings is underscored by the fact that, while roughly the same proportion of Republicans and Democrats view Fox News as credible, Fox ranks as the most trusted news source among Republicans but is among the least trusted by Democrats.
Rasmussen Reports survey found that voters see an entirely different picture. Generally speaking, they believe ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, and the Fox News Channel are biased to help one campaign or the other.
Between 33% and 39% of Americans believe that each of the five major broadcast news outlets is unbiased. On balance, four of the five are believed to be helping the Kerry campaign. One, Fox News, is believed to be helping the Bush campaign.
CBS is seen as the most biased--37% believe that network news team is trying to help the Kerry campaign. Only 33% believe it presents the news in an unbiased manner. This may be a reaction to the recent flap over memos aired by CBS--38% believe that Dan Rather used his broadcasts to help the Kerry campaign.
I am, however, inclined to agree that anyone who only gets their news from one source, or one type of source, isn't likely to find out much more than the sizzle.
Who are the people who only get their news from Television? (including Fox)
The older, less educated, less affluent traditionalist -- 46% of the country in 2008:
The 2008 biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press was conducted by telephone - including both landline phones and cell phones - from April 30 to June 1 among 3,612 adults nationwide. It finds four distinct segments in today's news audience: Integrators, who comprise 23% of the public; the less populous Net-Newsers (13%); Traditionalists - the oldest (median age: 52) and largest news segment (46% of the public); and the Disengaged (14%) who stand out for their low levels of interest in the news and news consumption.
Also interesting is how many Republicans get their news exclusively from Fox:
The poll finds that among GOPers, 24% think Fox is “extremely reliable,” and 41% think Fox is “reliable.” That’s a total of 65% of Republicans who see Fox as reliable or very much so.
Meanwhile, only 20% of Republicans think CNN is reliable.
Even more interesting, perhaps, is how many Republicans only get their info from Fox, as compared to the other cable networks. A surprising 74% of GOPers “never” watch CNN, and an even higher amount, 89%, never watch MSNBC. http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/poll-huge-majority-of-republicans-say-fox-news-is-reliable/
Is there a reason for this bias among Republicans and conservatives toward Faux
I'll report, you'll decide (based upon your bias):
Norvell is London bureau chief for Fox News, and on May 20 he let the mask slip in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. So far, the damage has been contained, because Norvell's comments—in an op-ed he wrote decrying left-wing bias at the BBC—appeared only in the Journal's European edition. But Chatterbox's agents are everywhere.
Here is what Norvell fessed up to in the May 20 Wall Street Journal Europe:
Even we at Fox News manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally, and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly. And those who hate us can take solace in the fact that they aren't subsidizing Bill's bombast; we payers of the BBC license fee don't enjoy that peace of mind.
Fox News is, after all, a private channel and our presenters are quite open about where they stand on particular stories. That's our appeal. People watch us because they know what they are getting. The Beeb's institutionalized leftism would be easier to tolerate if the corporation was a little more honest about it.
Norvell never says the word "conservative" in describing "where [Fox's anchorpeople] stand on particular stories," or what Fox's viewers "know … they are getting." But in context, Norvell clearly is using the example of Fox News to argue that political bias is acceptable when it isn't subsidized by the public (as his op-ed's target, the leftish BBC, is), and when the bias is acknowledged. Norvell's little joke about clubbing lefties to death should satisfy even the most literal-minded that the bias Norvell describes is a conservative one. (Lord only knows where Norvell acquired the erroneous belief that Fox News is "honest" about its conservative slant; perhaps he's so used to Fox's protestations of objectivity being ignored that he literally forgot that they continue to be uttered.)
On Fox News Watch, the panel was discussing the Democrats' reasons for pulling out of the Nevada presidential debate, which was to be hosted by Fox. Panelist Neal Gabler simply said that Fox News is to conservatives as Air America Radio is to liberals. Therefore, just as conservatives do not appear on Air America Radio, liberals have little reason to appear on Fox. Gabler used Fox's use of the word "extreme" when referring to bloggers as more proof of the network's bias. http://www.thebluestate.com/2007/03/video_fox_news_.html
While talking about CNN's alleged bias, Fox's own panel admits the irony in accusing another network of bias, causing a storm of laughter and embarrassing the host! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7bMUalkOvw
Look, I think liberals have reasonable gripes with Fox News. It does lean to the right, primarily in its opinion programming but also in its story selection (which is fine by me) and elsewhere. But it's worth remembering that Fox is less a bastion of ideological conservatism and more a populist, tabloidy network. It often does very good hard journalism, but it gets mixed up with a lot of other stuff, and the Fox-haters are hardly inclined to be discriminating viewers when it comes to separating the wheat from the pure, concentrated evil. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/03/fox_john_edwards_and_the_two_a.html
Fox News' Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade dismissed protesters at the Group of Eight (G8) economic summit as "morons without jobs." Later in the same program, Kilmeade said former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg's newest book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37) (HarperCollins, 2005) is not ideologically skewed, even though Goldberg's list includes numerous people who are Democrats, liberals, progressives, and feminist activists, and only a handful of known conservative figures.
Protesters From Hell
Demonstrators Invade D.C.
The protesters invaded Washington over the weekend.
From stem cell research advocates to Cindy Sheehan (search) sympathizers, protesters of all shapes, sizes, colors and odors found a cause.
Unfortunately for me — since I was traveling by train — a whole lot of them originated from or passed through New York's Penn Station, and a train delay made matters worse.
A steel girder collapsed on the tracks just outside of the station, and it was just what the doctor ordered for a bunch of anxious, ready-to-protest-just-about-anything, jobless folks — err, demonstrators — who gathered with their anti-Bush cardboard signs and their 1967-era wardrobe.
As if the tie-dyed clothes weren't stereotypically Grrring enough, they just couldn't help but to break into song. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170465,00.html
In the days leading up to the supposedly grassroots event, the New York Times' Paul Krugman noted, "a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News."
The involvement of a news channel in promoting a partisan event has caused many to give the political tilt of Fox News a second look.
In the lead-up to the event, Fox News featured 9 segments and 40 promos over just two days, according to the watchdog website Media Matters. Over a one week period, 10 in-show promos were given by Fox presenter Sean Hannity, while Neil Cavuto and Glen Beck delivered 5 each. Cavuto did seven news segments on the event. All Fox News shows featured commercials advertising the protests during that time, and they were regularly described as "FNC [Fox News Channel] Tax Day Tea Parties" by on-air personalities.
In addition, Fox News contributors were listed as "Tea Party Sponsor[s]" on the website promoting the event, while appearances by Fox personalities were used to promote individual rallies.
Fox News anchor Cody Willard, reporting from one of the protests, even went so far as to say on the air, "Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?"
In yet another tea-bag day controversy, Fox anchor Neil Cavuto was captured on an open mic discussing the crowd numbers with an on-location producer, estimating the turnout at 5,000 people, but minutes later Cavuto told viewers that "They were expecting 5,000 here, it's got to be easily double, if not triple that." http://www.vancouversun.com/news/News+sponsored+parties+fail+ignite+popular+uprising+among+conservatives/1499732/story.html
FOX NEWS INTERNAL MEMO: "Be On The Lookout For Any Statements From The Iraqi Insurgents...Thrilled At The Prospect Of A Dem Controlled Congress"...