FOX News ISN’T News; It’s So Much More

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angryComplaining that Fox News isn’t news is like complaining that a lemonade stand isn’t a bar. It’s not supposed to be. That’s not its purpose.

The purpose of Fox News (or certainly of the Fox News “personalities” and commentators) isn’t to present “fair and balanced” anything. The purpose of Fox News is to mirror and affirm the anger so many people carry around with them.

You generally feel powerless and victimized; you’re furious; you’re just looking for a way to focus and justify that anger. And there’s Glenn Beck, railing and crying over the gross injustices of all the people in power who are immoral idiots bent on destroying everything that’s decent and good.

Or there’s Keith Olbermann, doing exactly the same thing.

And there are the CEO’s of both of their companies, happily counting their money, secure in the knowledge that anger is always the gift that keeps on giving.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    What do you think of Matt Drudge? : )

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Is it deliberate that the kid in the pic looks just like Hannity? Amazing resemblance!

  • http://www.joybistro.blogspot.com becky johnson

    Love it!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, sure, Dallas: just show up here and know what you're talking about, why doncha? Bastard! You don't see me showing up at your film blog talking about camera angles and proper lighting, do you? No. I wouldn't know what I was talking about if I did—but still, I have the class not to do it. And don't you forget it.

    Oh, all right, fine. Fine. You're right. I shouldn't have lumped together Fox News and Fox P.U.'s. (Get it? Cuz of the smell? Get it? Didya get it?) I went back and modified what I wrote to reflect that mildly hyperbolic oversight.

    But I won't forget this, famous film director Dallas Jenkins. I'm gonna get you for it. Oh yes I will.

  • ginamarie33

    Preach it!

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Did anyone catch O'Reilly, in the run-up to the election, blather on about the love affair with mainstream media with Obama? I don't disagree that there was a cult-of-personality thing going on for a time, but then O'Reilly pulls out this intellectual pop-foul:

    He cited how Fox 'News' scrupulously analyzed media coverage of Obama showing that the other networks did more Obama-favorable pieces ["look! He can string sentences together!!"] than Obama-unfavorable pieces. He then showed how Fox had just about a 50-50 favorable/unfavorable split as decidedly fair and balanced…."so there you pinheads!".

    So, to meet Fox's high journalistic standards, we should demand that we see a 50/50 split on stories that give us the the fair and balanced coverage of, let's say, genocide in Darfur. We should demand to see the pro-genocide stories right along with the anti-genocide stories. …what a pinhead.

    [Gotta say, though, I have been impressed with Shepard Smith on the rare occasion I catch him]

  • Lauri

    Hey now. Equal time for equal crime!

    If not the right-bent camp selling anger, the left-bent camp is always there to pick up the slack & sell artist-elitist/tree-hugging/pollyanna-ishness to the other half of the masses who like to sit over their green tea & soy milk and scoff at how the Fox Watchers just don’t get it.

    • Rainne

      Sorry, you must have missed the part where it says Olbermann is just as guilty of the same things as Beck, etc.

      The difference, of course, John and Lauri both, is that Beck, Hannity and their ilk are not just taking our leaders to task for their failures but also promoting hatred, bigotry, sexism and similar disgusting behaviors, while Olbermann, Maddow and the like are actively pushing for a better America.

      You don't see Olbermann talking about how much racial harmony there was back when all the black people were slaves, do you? And yet Glenn Beck said that very thing today on his show.

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

        Do you know what Beck actually said? You know what? I don't even want to know. Whatever it was, I'm sorry you had to hear it. (But … do you watch/listen to his show?)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Lauri: Soooooo you missed the line about Keith Olbermann.

    Whaddam I gonna DO with you people?

    : – )

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    “Complaining that Fox News isn’t news is like complaining that a lemonade stand isn’t a bar. It’s not supposed to be. That’s not its purpose.”

    Dang … Right after I wrote my Fox/Obama piece, I read THIS. I wish I’d written it. Rest assured, I’ll be ripping it off.

  • Pingback: Obama vs. Fox « A True Believer's Blog

  • texastee

    Who’s the kid?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Skerrib had it almost right: it’s a picture not of Sean Hannity when he was young, but rather Sean’s 5-year-old son, little Adolph.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Kidding! It’s a stock photo.)

  • http://dallasandamanda.blogspot.com Dallas Jenkins

    There’s a difference between Fox News’s news division and their personality division. Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly aren’t meant to be news, that’s correct. But Shepherd Smith IS meant to be news, and it is fair and balanced, at least according to most media watchdog groups during election seasons.

    The difference between Fox News and the other networks is that Fox News doesn’t claim to be something it’s not. Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly don’t claim to be moderates, just like John Stossel never claimed to be anything but a libertarian on 20/20. At least they’re up front about it, unlike the 80% of the media that votes democrat every election but claims to always practice journalistic objectivity.

    You also have to remember the reason that people are angry–one of the reasons Fox News became so popular so quickly is that conservatives couldn’t find balance at the other networks. Their anger came from not getting what they wanted from media– I’m not talking about a conservative bias, I’m talking about balance. When every pop culture outlet (entertainment magazines and shows, MTV, movies, network TV, etc.) leans to the left, it starts to piss you off, and you’ll take what you can get. Fox offered something different even before it went brazenly conservative in prime time.

    I’m a libertarian, so I get my fix from South Park!

    • Rainne

      "The difference between Fox News and the other networks is that Fox News doesn’t claim to be something it’s not."

      I'm sorry, have you missed the Faux News tagline? "Fair and balanced." I do believe that IS in fact a false claim. They also claim to be "news."

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      I get mine from John Stewart's The Daily Show…that is when I bother to pull it up on my computer. My television is only on so the grand can watch one of her princess movies when she is visiting.

      I only read headlines on occasion from a variety of sources…note that the highly touted Rapture hasn't occurred yet and go back to life. I see enough idiocy there, some of which I create myself to bother with what some over confident ,over paid, opinion emitter has to say.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Well said, John. Very well said, actually.

  • http://www.sharpiron..org Christian

    I also think that many people don't want to think for themselves so they let others (sort of) do the thinking for them. In this way the brain has much more room for things like righteous outrage and vindictiveness. Not to mention reality television and the E! channel. Since most people only read one book a year and that is usually at the beach (correct me if I'm wrong Mr. Author) what more can you expect from Fox or their alpha-competitors. The people at PBS understand this – they know they could never survive on advertising and still be thorough (and before the conservatives start slamming PBS don't forget that it was they who put Bill Buckley on the air for nearly 30 years).

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      I read more then one book a year.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Okay, you guys need to stop now. I’m going to leave the comments to this post open in case anyone else has anything to say here, but (and no offense to either of you, please), you guys need to take your exchange elsewhere. Feel free to arrange here where that is–but that’s it, please. Thanks for understanding. (It’s a good exchange; I’m sure people will be interested in following it.)

  • Kenneth

    This article is right on the mark. These news networks are nothing more than propaganda machines. Whenever a new network tell you what you think, instead of simply telling you what events occurred, it is nothing more than propaganda. America has mastered it better than Nazi Germany and it is amusing that a lot of people don't realize the extent of propaganda.

    Someone also stated that there is a separation between personalities and the news. I have to say that such a statement is ridiculous. If your are called a "News Network", then you should be airing balanced news. You should not be airing personalities who are full of propaganda, ranting, and extremism who present bias commentary as news. That is what these so called news personalities do, they look as if they are presenting news when they are really just brainwashing people. This includes both FOX and MSNBC.

    Someone also stated that the personalities on FOX present themselves as conservatives, and not moderates who are trying to coverup their leftward lean. I would have to respond to that by saying that political leaning in the media is not the problem. The misrepresentation of issues, purposely so, is the problem. I remember FOX calling President Obama a terrorist, Muslim, and impersonator. I don't consider that a political leaning, I consider that baseless propaganda.

  • Kenneth

    Our media has more propaganda than any other country, except maybe North Korea. Just like many North Koreans, many Americans don't realize that they are being brainwashed.

  • http://jenkins-entertainment.com Dallas Jenkins

    "I remember FOX calling President Obama a terrorist, Muslim, and impersonator."

    Really? Fox called President Obama a terrorist, Muslim, and impersonator? If you can find me one instance where FOX called President Obama any of those things, I'll send you $10,000.

    "The difference, of course, John and Lauri both, is that Beck, Hannity and their ilk are not just taking our leaders to task for their failures but also promoting hatred, bigotry, sexism and similar disgusting behaviors, while Olbermann, Maddow and the like are actively pushing for a better America."

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! (deep breath inward) AAAAHHHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (gasp, gasp, pant pant) teehee…heehee…tee hee hee hee hee ha ha ha ha HAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA…

    Whew…thanks for that.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Maybe Kenneth just took that out of context; as we know they like to imply on FOXNews that Barack Obama is pretty much terrible at everything, perhaps they were just saying that as a impersonator of a Muslim terrorist, Mr. Obama would in fact do a *terrible* job!


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