Misinformation Isn't A 'Side'

Jon Stewart was on Fox News Sunday yesterday and just ripped into Fox News Channel and the fact that its viewers are the most misinformed of all the cable news networks:

Wallace tried to say that Fox News presents the other side of the news. Not true. It presents a patently false view of the news -- and, sorry, but mendacity isn't a "side." If they actually decided to air a reasonable view of conservatism, that would be one thing. But they just make shit up on a daily if not hourly basis. By design.

  • Lexamich

    Nothing more to be said after that apt heading, Bob.

    Well…you know. There’s a little bit more.

    Anyway, FNC gets away with so much chicanery beyond its primetime lineup, and Wallace is one of the most smug interviewers out there. Not thoughtful at all like his pops. More like a scripted jabbermonkey asking the expected queries that may already be on the viewers’ minds. In other words, he’s par for the course regarding the Sunday morning wasteland.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I don’t know what is more hilarious: That Chris Wallace is trying to deny that Fox is biased while simultaneously saying it “shows the other side”, or that he thinks that Fox is the counterbalance to Comedy Central.

  • cybercolonel

    Sat through that thinking “Does Wallace actually think he’s scoring points here with those clips?” Pretty weak sauce, and the Pam Anderson Comedy Central clip at the end was just a lame cheap shot.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I’m still trying to figure out why Fox News and its most avid viewers try so hard to believe that FNC is -not- the propaganda arm of the GOP. So what if it is? Why deny that it is or pretend that it isn’t? There is no reason whatsoever why Fox, or any other cable network, should -not- be the propaganda arm of the GOP. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a cable network being the propaganda outlet of a political party, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a political party having its own propaganda outlet on cable TV.

    And there’s nothing wrong with watching Fox News -because- it is the GOP’s propaganda outlet, because it validates the GOP worldview, validates one’s choice and/or desire to vote Republican­, validates one’s affinity for the GOP and validates one’s belief in GOP policies and principles­.

    This is especially true if the GOP is as self-evide­ntly superior and right about everything­, currently and historical­ly, as Fox presents it to be and Fox viewers typically believe that it is and has always been.

    Without reference to any other news outlet, or “the liberal/ma­instream media” at large, can anyone explain why it’s so important for Fox and its viewers to deny (or pretend otherwise) that it functions as GOP propaganda­, and that its viewers deliberate­ly watch it for that reason?

    • Alex0001

      My guess would be that to acknowledge it would probably make it feel like it invalidates their opinions that come from the network. Once your favorite “news” station starts admitting “well we’re not actually news, we just make shit up to make people feel secure about themselves” then those viewers can’t really back up their beliefs anymore claiming it as news and facts. It’s like a metaphorical island to them. With an us against the world mentality, to eliminate one of their most vocal line of support in FOX, I’m guessing it’d would feel pretty deflating.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        A good answer.

        However, I think that “being the propaganda arm of the GOP” is separate from “making shit up.” In short, it is possible to be the former without doing the latter.

        I think everyone would agree, that, empirically, it’s not OK to “make shit up” and call it news. However that’s not really what I’m talking about. Granted, propaganda does require a degree of distortion and exaggeration, but I think it at least should be possible to promote the GOP and advocate for the election of its candidates without manufacturing and presenting fiction as “news.”

        • nellcote

          But we’re talking about republicans here. Making shit up is what they do.

        • mrbrink

          They have to manufacture fear, division, and revisionist bullshit because they’re hard selling a power structure that uses the religious right and their off-to-glory-faced Reaganite kin as a human moat for the continued robbing of national wealth and political disenfranchisement.

          There really is no contemporary rival or equivalent to FOX News — going all the way back to Hearst Publishing.

          If I was president, I’d order it shut down, liquidated, abolished, and its subsidiaries and employees deported to the tar pits of humanity.

          But I would hope someone would stop me.

  • incredulous72

    When did the news develop ‘sides’? Did I miss something? I thought the news was about facts and not opinion (sides).

    This is why the MSM is so screwed up; this bullshit about ‘sides’. It’s about the facts, stupid.

    • Grant Beaudette

      I think stories often do have sides, but that doesn’t preclude facts. Plus journalists shouldn’t be taking sides, let alone defining themselves as the champion of a particular side.

  • FigNewShoes

    Well, and I find it sad/hilarious that Wallace wants to compare FOX to Comedy Central as a defense – as if they are airing the same type of programming. Oh wait…

    But seriously, CC is a COMEDY network. FOX is supposed to be a news network. So why is Wallace comparing his network to CC?

    • Grant Beaudette

      Wallace is either painfully obtuse with the way he sees the media or he’s actively making a false equivalency. The fact that he tried to tie Stewart to South Park gives that impression that Wallace is just pandering to his viewers and their scorn for shows they’ve never even seen.

  • Grant Beaudette

    Stewart’s bashing on Fox gets a lot more attention because it has a political angle compared to when he bashes on CNN or MSNBC for just generally being terrible at their jobs.

    I wish there was more in-depth talk like this on how the American people are being informed, but that obviously won’t happen.

  • Corebela

    I’m really getting sick of the interviewer trying to talk more than the person they are interviewing. And I’m talking news and talk shows on pretty much every network. Sometimes I just want to yell at screen “shut up and let them talk I was interested!” Then a new topic begins and it starts over. *sigh* Mini rant over.

    • Joshua Solomon

      Could be worse, could be David Gregory.