Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stay Classy, Fox News.

The New York Times publishes a story that Fox News doesn't like (surprise, surprise). How do they respond? By requesting a correction? Publishing a denial? Discussing the factual problems with the article? No.

Instead, they photoshop pictures of the author and editor of the piece by yellowing teeth, adding dark eye rings, stretching the photo etc (you can play find the differences at right).

Real Classy.

You can watch the video below (from Media Matters for America)

Why didn't they do something about the article (other than the above mature reactions)? Because there was nothing to do. The only crime of the New York Times was that it was off-message for the Fox News Team. Fox News came in with the top ratings of the quarter and that is what they wanted reported; which some publications did (LA times). Instead, the New York Times chose to focus not necessarily on Fox's success, but on the audience growth at both CNN and MSNBC. Specifically, they pointed out that:
But the back-and-forth these last few months masks a more ominous trend for Fox News, particularly as its gears up to cover the general election campaign. The most dominant cable news channel for nearly a decade and a political force in its own right, Fox has seen its once formidable advantage over CNN erode in this presidential election year, as both CNN and MSNBC have added viewers at far more dramatic rates.

This seems like a perfectly valid story angle. I have not heard of any factual problems with the article and all the stories seem to be using the same numbers, just with different story angles. The media is well known for its bias towards conflict, and if anything this story is guilty of playing up conflicts between the networks, which most journalists would describe as playing up the interesting story angle.
This was cross-posted at Poli-Think

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