While the Obama administration continues its war against its media critics, well-known liberal journalists — instead of defending freedom of the press — are joining the attack on a news network they despise as much as does the administration. Gone is any seeming concern for the right of commentators to voice their own opinion, because mainstream liberal editorial writers are sure their opponents are both extremists and wrong.
Take, as our first example, Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of The Slate Group. Writing in last week’s Newsweek, Weisberg explained at the start that anyone who watches Fox News knows immediately that Anita Dunn’s charge that Fox has a “right-wing bias” is correct, since Fox always confirms “it with its coverage.” Referring to Fox’s own reporting on the administration’s attacks on the network, he notes that Fox showed what he calls a “textbook example of a biased journalism.” If it is true, it is hardly surprising, since the very network under attack might be expected to come to its own defense.
Next, he refers to its commentators as “platinum pundettes and anchor androids.” He offers no names. Could he be referring to Chris Wallace, whose weekly Sunday broadcast is widely acclaimed as one of TV’s best weekend programs, and who publicly complained that never in his decades of broadcasting has he come across more of a bunch of “whiners” than he has seen in the Obama administration? Is he referring to Megan Kelly, who did a yeoman’s job questioning ACORN founder Wade Rathke in a long and exclusive interview? Wouldn’t he want a defender of ACORN to speak on the one network that reported on its scandals? Is he upset, perhaps, that Kelly came off better than Rathke did?
He thinks it is a silly comparison to their charge that the war on Fox is similar to Nixon’s enemies list. Of course, he gives no reason why the analogy is false — perhaps because to most observers, it isn’t.
Next, he attributes the success of the many “tea parties” as due to Fox’s sponsorship of them — ignoring the fact that it was an internet created phenomenon that Fox alone chose to cover when others ignored them. Evidently, Weisberg can’t distinguish between paying attention to events it finds newsworthy and sponsoring them. [I acknowledge that Glenn Beck anchored his show’s special coverage of the Washington DC tea party, which he supported.] Weisberg’s fear is that now “ideologically distorted news” drives ratings up, and that others will soon imitate them in order to gain more viewers.