Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fox hates the facts


The right-wing anti-union thugs in Wisconsin are losing, with public opinion solidly against Gov. Scott Walker's efforts, but that isn't stopping Fox News from pressing its ideological case with reckless abandon -- indeed, it's only encouraging the network of Beck and Hannity and O'Reilly to distort the facts in a way that makes "fair and balanced" even more of a bullshit slogan. Actually, this isn't just distortion, it's out-and-out disregard, turning the facts on their head so as to advance the network's cause:

[On Tuesday], USA Today and Gallup released a new poll that found that a whopping 61 percent of Americans oppose efforts like those of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) to strip public sector unions of collective bargaining rights. The poll also found that only a third of Americans support such a policy, indicating that Walker is pandering to the far-right of the American electorate and is hardly representative of mainstream political thought in this country.

This morning, during a debate about the situation in Wisconsin and collective bargaining rights in general, the Fox News show Fox & Friends referenced the USA Today/Gallup poll. With incredible brazenness, the Fox hosts actually reversed the results of the poll in order to claim that two-thirds of Americans supported Wisconsin-style laws rather than opposed them.

A simple mistake, one that anyone could make? More like wishful thinking, but certainly much worse than that, because what we have here is Fox making a "mistake" that oh-so-conveniently backs up its partisan, ideological agenda. It may not have been the dimwitted hosts of that dimwitted show, but it was someone there, and it makes you wonder just how things work at this unabashed organ of Republican propaganda.

As Colbert noted last night, Brian Kilmeade, one of the dimwitted hosts, corrected himself, which was the responsible thing to do, but the damage had been done, embarrassment was at hand, and Fox News had proven once again that its priorities lie not with reporting the facts, or reporting and commenting on the news in any genuinely fair and balanced way, but in lying to advance its own political agenda.

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