Thursday, April 03, 2003

Media Bias? What Media Bias?

Once again, you only have to let journalists speak and they'll out themselves every time.

In this story by Paul Farhi, from the American Journalism Review no less, examining the differences between CNN and FoxNews, his own words damn him:
While that may sound like excuse-making for CNN's failure to keep pace with Fox, there's no question both networks have tried to define themselves as something the other guy isn't. The stylistic gulf between the two is evident in their signature programs: "Larry King Live" on CNN, and "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News, hosted by the peppery Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly displaced King as the most popular personality in cable news more than two years ago by being the anti-King. Where King is nonconfrontational, O'Reilly emphasizes verbal combat; where King is nonideological, O'Reilly showers his viewers with opinions. Where King is blandly respectful to all comers, O'Reilly is predictably sulfurous. "No one watches Larry King to find out what he thinks about the issues," says Isaacson.

The same spirit pervades the rest of the networks' prime-time lineups. Other than the histrionics of "Crossfire," CNN's programs feature the sedate Lou Dobbs, Connie Chung and Aaron Brown. Fox consciously counter-programs with the breezier, noisier and more combative O'Reilly, "Hannity & Colmes" and Greta Van Susteren.

Even then, it's more about packaging than politics. In reviewing a week of programming on the three cable networks last year, ADT found that CNN, Fox and MSNBC all invited similar numbers of left- and right-wing guests to their chat and interview shows. The major difference was that Fox's hosts offered more of their own opinions, and interrupted guests more frequently, than CNN's interviewers.
Look again at the words he uses to describe each network and their people. Note that Greta Van Sustern used to be CNN; notice that Donahue is missing.

The whole thing just pisses me off, but you should read it for yourself. I'll guarantee you that if you tried to point anything out to Farhi, he'd argue every point before dismissing you.

No comments: