Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama's thoughts on FoxNews: Are they accurate?

Here's a rare political post by me. However, this take is more on a practical/philosophical level than a political leve.

In an 8,000 word interview, Rolling Stone magazine, Obama complains of an anti-democrat slant in the Fox News media:

"You had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition – it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view," Obama told the magazine..... Fox News pushes "a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world," Obama said.

Here's a few of my takes on this. 
1.) Obama is right that there is a slant to Fox News. It is biased. I don't see how it can advertise itself as "fair and balanced." There is a reason why those on the political right tend to watch Fox News.

2.) But I think Obama also needs to realize that while Fox News isn't "fair and balanced," neither is CNN or MSNBC. News streams are not impartial. They cannot report 100% of what happens. They have to edit stuff. Guess which stuff they are going to include? The stuff which is consistent with their ideologies and worldview. Nietzsche, and later Foucault, expressed such sentiments and I think they are exactly right. CNN is just as biased as Fox News.

3.) I would imagine that Rolling Stone wasn't the only magazine which requested such an interview. One can probably take a wild guess at who its audience is probably going to side with. So Obama, it appears, wisely chose the right media to push his agenda through such an interview. It was a medium that is going to appeal to those sympathizing with the left. The door swings both ways.

4.) I'm not suggesting there is such a bias that we cannot know anything, or that CNN or FOXNEWS are tantamount to communistic yellow journalism. I am simply saying that we ought to at least be aware of our own biases, AND the biases of our preferred news media in our quest to apply the gospel to all of our lives: even politics.

5.) FOXNEWS folks shouldn't be appalled that he believes the news station is detrimental to the success of this country. He simply believes that the democratic ideology is helpful and the republican ideology is hurtful. Anyone confident Republican would say similar things. 


Jeremy Bias said...

It looks like that politics conference really influenced you! What's next...posts about how Glenn Beck is the Christian's only hope!

Just kidding. Very insightful post and along the same line of thought I have myself concerning news media bias.


Anonymous said...

You gave a fair and balanced critique.

Geoffsnook said...


That will probably be my last political post in a while! But again, thanks man.


Thanks. I definitely have my biases, but admitting them up front, does seem to help limit them!