13 July 2007

Fairness Doctrine & Fox News

We may not agree with Senator McCain about campaign finance or immigration or a number of other things, but we admire his stalwart support of the current surge in Iraq. McCain gets it. He understands that retreat and loss in Iraq would result in hundreds of thousands maybe millions of deaths there and a huge setback in the War on Terror. McCain is willing to lose a Presidential election because of his unpopular yet principled stand. That's what leaders do. It's unfortunate some of his fellow Republican Senators aren't willing to take the same risk with their elected position. Senator Gordon Smith, we're talking about you. Just because the Democrats are willing to play politics with the war, doesn't mean you or Senator Domenici or anyone has to. Senator Lieberman's win last fall is proof that elected officials can want to win in Iraq and persuade their constituents to re-elect them. We're embarrassed to share our alma mater with Senator Smith.

Meanwhile over at the Seattle PI, their liberal readership is debating a "fairness doctrine for media." It seems control of CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post and the overwhelming majority of newspaper editorial boards is not enough for them. They want to legislate fairness in the one bastion of conservative thought--talk radio. It's telling that this legislation targets only one segment of the media. And such legislation begs way too many questions for us to even raise in this paragraph. Suffice it to say that we agree with Bruce Chapman, author of the op-ed that started the debate. If they want a "fairness doctrine," let them apply it to broadcast and print media as well as talk radio. Or they could just let free speech rule and permit the market to do its job.

One follow up item: if you read the first couple dozen comments, you'll read a lot of blather about how horrible Fox News and Rupert Murdoch are--you know, how they "distort" the news. They're afraid Murdoch and other "conservative billionaires" will control all media and give it their personal spin. Can anyone name another politically influential conservative billionaire? We can name a bunch of liberal ones--George Soros, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett--the list goes on. It's all part of another favorite liberal trope, that the rich are all conservative, white, and male. Right, and John Edwards--$400 haircuts and all--is a man of the people. We guess that's 2 out of 3.

But back to Murdoch and Fox News. The loony-left--especially those of the nutroots variety--love to bash Fox News. Not all liberals feel this way, many of them watch it, as evidenced by the fact that it regularly trounces its competition. What are we to conclude from this? That conservatism is popular despite the famously low ratings of Republicans and their leader, President Bush? Come on libs, think harder and try again. Fox News is popular because they peddle a particular brand of politics that appeals to elements in both parties--it's called populism. This explains why a true conservative outlet, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, is so insistent on editorial autonomy if Murdoch's Newscorp is successfull in its bid to purchase Dow Jones, the parent company of the WSJ. If Murdoch and Fox News were the conservative spin machine the loony left claims, you would think that the partisans over at the WSJ would positively love to be owned by Murdoch's Newscorp. But they're not. In fact, since the Newscorp offer was announced, Dow Jones ownership has been actively searching for other offers while simultaneously negotiating editorial independence in the event of a sale to Newscorp.

Another point about the wildly out of touch theory that all conservatives are rich or maybe that the rich are all conservative. The founding conservative publication, National Review, with William F. Buckley Jr. conservatism's founding father, have almost never turned a profit (homer nods: thanks Morgan) in their more than 50 years of publication. They regularly have to engage in drives to raise the funds necessary to support the magazine. Which of John Edwards' "two Americas" subscribes to National Review?

A footnote to the point about the WSJ. You'll note that we said the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. It's important and worth pointing out that their editorial bias, unlike the New York Times, does not bleed into their news reporting. That is to say, that like the rest of the mainstream media, the average beat reporter at the Wall Street Journal has about a 70% chance of voting for John Kerry in the last Presidential election. It's a fact of life that the profession is dominated by people with left leaning political beliefs.

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1 comment:

Morgan said...

the national review has never turned a prophet? how about a seer? or a revelator? is that ye olde english spelling?

i love being the spelling police. it gives me so much satisfaction to elevate myself above my peers. look at me. look at me.