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6/04/2004

Some fraternal editorializing on the LAT and Fox "News"

Regarding the LA Times/Fox "News" imbroglio, Roger Ailes response to John Carroll's LA Times article is completely consistent with every criticism of Carroll's.

I honestly never watch Fox "News", not even for news entertainment purposes, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of it. That number on the cable dial is like a deadly poison where I will be killed or at least rendered incompetent and fit for the presidency if I linger too long on it, so I physically turn my head or close my eyes if I accidentally land on it.

But if I didn't know better I would have sworn that the Ailes article was written as a caricature of what somebody at Fox "News" would have said. He first accuses the LAT of calling Americans stupid, then he blusters about how cool Fox "News" is (First into Baghdad, video requested by whole world), tries to cloak his organization in the love of all Americans (Congressional Black Caucus praises us), then attacks the LA times on the spurious grounds that Fox is better than the LAT because Fox "News" is TV and the LAT is print. Finally, he aligns the LAT with Terrorists!

Ailes never addresses the issue of corrections. He never addresses the issue of the poll results indicating that Fox "News" misinformulates their viewers. The only thing he does do is EXACTLY what Carroll said he would: Attack.

This goes beyond caricature. It is a direct and significant threat to the stability of our nation. Witness how NYT's bad reporting on WMD in Iraq led to support for war on false grounds? But also watch them run corrections on it.

The LAT, NYT and other respectable organizations are the ones you turn to when the chips are down and you're in a crisis. How many more (mis)adventures underpinned by bad reporting before irrevocable damage is done? Hmm... I'd say that irrevocable damage has already been done, so the question then becomes how much more damage is this country willing to accept? Decent people on the left and right have to call this for what it is and compel Fox "News" and other like them to clean up their act.

 

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