I got into a little tiff with radio host Nancy Skinner right here on the blog a couple of days ago. My only real problem with her as a media personality is her FOX "News" connection. First, I do not consider FOX "News" to be a legitimate news organization (hence the quotation marks). For all the hand-wringing over MSNBC's liberal shift in its prime-time opinion shows, they have nothing on FOX for full-time, full-on partisan bias.
Bizarrely, fans of FOX will vehemently protest any accusation that the network is tilted extremely to the right, like a teeter-totter with a 220-lb. weight on one end. Forget that anyone with eyes, ears and a brain can plainly see the bias. The fact that nearly every FOX defender is a right-winger ought to be enough. Yet, they will deny it (perhaps with an acknowledgement of a slight bias), and insist that it only applies to the "commentary" shows like The O'Reilly Factor (allegedly libertarian or independent) and Hannity. All the rest is straight news, don't you know?
To buy this theory, you'd have to ignore FOX's in-house advertising of practically anything, not the least of which their aggressive push for the non-partisan (ha!) "tea parties." You'd also have to ignore the practice of two-, three- and four-on-one ratios of conservatives to liberals on panel discussions. This is Nancy Skinner's claim to fame, as the "token" liberal in a sea of conservatives. I do not know her level of success in this milieu, having no distinct memory of her on television. But often--in my experience--the token liberal is not only outnumbered, but fairly moderate, and not terribly forceful.
Today, out of curiosity (and because of my discussion with Skinner), I decided to check out a stretch of FOX "News." I watched a program that is designated in the listings as news, not opinion. The program was Live Desk with Trace Gallagher. I found the program to be as skewed, and as obvious about it as anything on Hannity.
The ongoing "torture memos" controversy was always framed as "interrogation." Popularity polls of the President were picked apart into the minutia to prove Obama is really not that popular. And the three-on-one conservatives vs. liberal was in evidence, if you count the FOX "Newsbot" female host (and I do). Token Bob Beckel gave it a game try, explaining what was so important in this "interrogation" controversy. But he was outgunned by sheer numbers. On FOX "News," not only is it unsettled whether or not water boarding is torture, apparently it doesn't matter. Torture keeps us safe! OK. . .