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Estimated Prophet
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
-Thomas Jefferson
 
4.14.2003

 
Thanks to Hammerdown I caught a couple references to FOX news, I'll give you some quotations from the LA Times article because I know not everyone takes the time to register.
Fox News has solidified its lead over all-news competitors CNN and MSNBC, racking up the largest audiences in its six-year history. And on a day when history was made in Baghdad, a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse showed why the channel that some media critics have dismissed as a right-wing mouthpiece has become such a success.

Patriotic Fervor

On one level, Fox News executives reacted the same way those at other networks did Wednesday morning as Baghdad fell. They scrambled to get reporters in place, rushed experts onto the set and assembled TV feeds from around the world to fill up a 24-hour news day.

Yet Fox's formula -- which sets it apart -- also was on full display.


Anchors made no bones about their patriotic fervor and some ridiculed war critics; field reporters gushed that "liberty" was sweeping through Baghdad; flashy graphics underscored the images and a steady drumbeat of martial music linked the news segments. The overall presentation was provocative and livelier than a more button-down television news broadcast. It was, above all, entertaining.


The entertainment is often political. In a recent dispatch, retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, now a Fox News correspondent, said he was moved by the sight of Iraqi children handing flowers to Marines, and then noted: "Notwithstanding all the prognosticators of gloom and doom back there at the New York Times and some of those other places, we're not seeing that over here."


The on-air commentary also can be unexpectedly bold. After noting President Bush's statement that Hussein's fingers were loosening around the throat of Iraq, bit by bit, anchor Shepard Smith suddenly asked: "Is that propaganda or truth? We'll analyze that, coming up."


All of these factors may help explain why Fox News has built its ratings lead. During the first 19 days of the war, for example, the network averaged 3.3 million viewers; CNN attracted 2.7 million viewers and MSNBC drew an average of 1.4 million, according to Nielsen Media Research ratings.


Some observers say that Fox News Channel, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., owes much of its success to a conservative audience that prefers the channel's coverage and commentary. Bill Kovach, chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, said Fox News "has the most visibly ideological and politicized coverage that you'll find on cable TV news."


Fox News founder and Chief Executive Roger Ailes acknowledges that there are differences between his channel and competitors. Yet he dismisses the charge that his claims of "fair and balanced" journalism are simply code words for conservative bias.


"This is not about conservative or liberal, it's about the presumption of innocence," he said in an interview.


"In this country, we say that a person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty, and I think our nation deserves the same courtesy. That's what Fox News is all about; it's what we try to do every day."


I just don't understand the "presumption of innocence" thing he is talking about... Sounds one sided, don't you think? Our government couldn't prove Saddam Hussein guilty, going to the great length of making up evidence and misleading the US citizenry. But you know that.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX , has a cozy arrangement that keeps the news "inline" as in "party line" with China- to gain access and influence why wouldn't he do that here. Seems hard to believe he would gain sudden integrirty when it comes to dealing with the US public.
‘Kowtow’ is a Chinese word derived from the Mandarin ‘kou’ – to knock – and ‘tou’ – the head. Rupert Murdoch learned to Chinese kowtow when President Jiang Zemin received him for an audience in December 1998. Jiang expressed his ‘appreciation for the efforts made by Mr Murdoch’s media empire to present China objectively and to co-operate with the Chinese press’, while Mr Murdoch voiced his admiration for ‘China’s tremendous achievements in every respect over the last two decades’.

A few paragraphs later:
In 1993 he had sowed fear in Zhongnanhai – the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party – when he prophesied that satellite TV was ‘an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere’. In retrospect, he had underestimated the importance of fostering guanxi (connections) with Beijing. Surprising, given Murdoch’s foxy dealings with British Tories and US Republicans. It did not take him long, however, to get his fox-trotting in tune with the Beijing band. After all, as Murdoch has since pointed out: ‘The truth is that authoritarian countries can work.’

A bit further down:
The biggest challenge will be how to balance between appealing to the general public without offending government authorities.’


Which is not so much of a challenge for Rupert Murdoch, who summed up his simple formula in a speech at the Entertainment and Media in Asia Conference in Los Angeles. This time he did not speculate on the wonder of global communications leading to the overthrow of authoritarian rule. He told a packed house in his Fox Studios, the venue of the conference: ‘If a TV program covers forbidden ground, we will have no choice but to delete it from our broadcast.’

For entire article go to New Internationalist and Search "Rupert Murdoch" the article is called "the Dragon and Phoenix", April 2001.

Now read this article that really sheds some light on FOX News lack of subjectivity. Like you hadn't noticed.

Disclaimer: I watch no TV.
But I used to like the Simpsons. Go figure, eh? So what's this I read about Tony Blair being on a segment. The Simpsons are on FOX tv. I guess at least it's not Donald Rumsfeld...

4/14/2003
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I found out that another person I hold as a hero has died. Baba Olatunji died April 6 at 7:30 in the morning.

A man of beauty and light, a sort of ambassador of the Orisha's and the Drum to the west, pulling folks together with rhythm born of Love.


Ashe Ashe

4/14/2003
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