Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Media and Politics: Chris Wallace and Fox News

The US liberal media and blogosphere are giving Chris Wallace well-deserved credit for criticizing his Fox News colleagues for their ceaseless barrage of invective against Barack Obama for his relationship with Reverend Wright and his church. Here’s an example, complete with the YouTube link.

Mr. Wallace is known to liberals, who otherwise tend not to watch Fox News, for his run-in with President Clinton in this interview. The good part (or bad part, depending on your political point of view). Personally, I think that Mr. Wallace comes out looking better. Mr. Clinton makes a good argument for himself on what he did to go after Osama bin Laden, but he basically dismisses the 9-11 Report and says, read Richard Clark’s book and believe everything in it. Mr. Clinton’s dark, obsessive side comes out, the side that came out in the South Carolina primary.

More importantly, does a substantial part of the US public really get the news solely from Fox News and conservative radio talk shows? And how different are they from people who rely on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and Keith Olberman?


gvance said...

I believe that most of us Americans are some where’s in the middle. We tend to take most things as they say with a grain of salt. We don’t shoot the messenger, but we wonder who sent him and who told him what to say and how to say it.

Everyone puts their spin on their side of any story. Your own words pose good questions, but your own choice of words convey your own personal views, your spin. We Americans whom have been blessed and cursed with the free press for a longer time then most other nations, we have had to evolve to become skeptics.

When you listen to the news or any other bit of information meant to inform or persuade you, we must all question whom the messenger is and examine how the information is being delivered, what type of spin is put on it.

As for American news networks, you must first question, is the program your watching delivering the news or are they trying to entertain you with a group of people providing commentary on a range of topics including the news. Most people confuse the two types of programming. The news should be delivered cold and factually. If you can tell anything about the personal views of the news deliverer then you have detected their personal spin being put on the news article being provide to you.

I for one find that FOX News does a better job overall then the other networks. I watch other networks and use several other types of resources to get information all the while keeping an open mind and all the while trying not to be to gullible.

The beauty of America’s many news networks is that they are so competitive, and they must be to survive. That competitiveness does more than any governmental oversight could do to keep them honest and accurate.

The Colbert Report and other programming of its type are designed to entertain, poke fun at the news items of the day. Saturday Night Live is one of the more favorite programs to poke fun at the news and the news media itself. It matters little what view on politics or other matters are held by the producers of these programs, for the most part we Americans enjoy a good laugh aimed at ourselves as long as there is no pure malice intended we just enjoy them as they are offered.

I would grant you that the younger audience maybe swayed by the programming, but no more than that of the personal views of their favorite teacher, movie star or some other celebrity that they currently favor. We all give more weight to the views of those we respect, rightly so or not. It is only with time that we start to question the views of others that we once held so high.

Devour all the information you can, stay a little skeptical of everything and everyone, question the motives of all. But somehow keep a since of humor about it all…..

Jun Okumura said...

Thank you, Gvance, whever you are, for an extensive and well-considered comment. I disagree with you with regard to Fox News, which I believe has a much larger share of political advocates on its team than CNN, its main rival, does, but otherwise, I find your views hard to fault. As a member of the rest of the world that does not have a say, I only hope that the US public takes as much care as you do.