Accuracy in Media

Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was recently paid $20,000 by Virginia Tech to tell the students that there aren’t two sides to the global warming debate and that the problem with the media today is that we don’t have a fairness doctrine. Those positions, which sound contradictory, betray the modern liberal agenda. They want to bring back the fairness doctrine not to ensure true fairness and balance in journalism but to intimidate and censor those expressing a view contrary to their own. 

“The decline in the American journalism began in 1988 when Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine,” Kennedy said, according to the student paper, the Collegiate Times. The paper said Kennedy had complained about the American people being exposed to “right-winged news.” Here, he said, man-made global warming is referred to by the media as a “theory” when he claimed it is established fact. In foreign countries, he suggested, there is only one point of view—the truth, as he sees it. One can only conclude that Kennedy wants the Fairness Doctrine back to prevent right-wingers on talk radio and in cable news from voicing any doubts about the theory. 

With these comments, Kennedy exposed the real agenda of the radical left. They don’t want the media to present both sides. They want the media to report their point of view, and only their point of view. Despite his complaints, it is a fact that Kennedy’s viewpoint is so widely accepted by the media that even the “conservative” Fox News Channel hired him as a special correspondent to do a November 2005 special program on global warming. It was completely one-sided in favor of the Kennedy position, and conservatives, including those from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, led the criticism. Kennedy said that he personally convinced Fox News chairman Roger Ailes to air the program and that they had been friends for years. Eventually, Fox aired another program expressing some doubts about the man-made global warming theory.

Blasting Roger Ailes

If you recently heard the news that the Democratic Party had pulled out of a planned political debate sponsored by Fox News because Fox News is too “conservative,” then you have some inkling about the game that is being played by the political left in this country. Their complaints have nothing to do with what actually gets on the air. It is all about intimidating journalists and news organizations into treating the left and the Democrats more sympathetically. In the case of the debate, the stated reason for pulling out was a joke made by Fox News chairman Ailes that was said to have compared Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden. In fact, Ailes’ joke was at the expense of President Bush.

The Ailes joke was, “?it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don’t know if it’s true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, ‘Why can’t we catch this guy.’” It was delivered while Ailes was accepting a First Amendment Leadership Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation. Obviously, it was intended to make fun of Bush for confusing Obama with Osama. Only a dishonest interpretation of the joke would conclude it was a sinister attempt to compare the Illinois Senator to the al-Qaeda terrorist leader. But this was the trigger that prompted the Democrats to pull out of the Fox-sponsored debate. Clearly, the pull-out was a political stunt designed to send the message to Fox that it had better produce “fairer” coverage of their party and candidates. Their definition of “fair” means one-sided in their favor. It will be hard for Fox News to accommodate the left without losing its conservative viewers. But the channel is already feeling tremendous pressure from the left. 

Murdoch Likes Dems, Too

Another one of the left’s recent complaints about Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who contributed to Senator Hillary Clinton’s re-election campaign, is that some of its news personalities cited a report from Insightmag.com that a researcher connected to Hillary’s presidential campaign was investigating whether Obama had attended a radical Islamic school as a boy in Indonesia. This report, based on anonymous sources, was denounced as false and a smear of Obama. Some journalists insisted the report had been debunked by reporters from CNN and ABC who had visited the school which Obama had attended and concluded that it wasn’t teaching radical Islamic doctrine. Clearly, however, these reporters couldn’t completely verify what the school was teaching 30 years ago when Obama attended it. Insightmag.com stood behind its report, which was that the Hillary researcher was looking into the matter. It came to no conclusions about the nature of the school. 

Considering the controversy that subsequently developed between the Hillary and Obama campaigns over Hollywood figure David Geffen’s charge that the Clintons are notorious liars, is it that difficult to believe that Hillary’s campaign was doing opposition research on Obama’s background in Islam?

Geffen, who staged a fundraiser for Obama, was publicly attacked by a Hillary operative, Howard Wolfson, who demanded that Obama personally denounce Geffen’s charge. This harsh reaction, which made the Insight report look mild by comparison, demonstrated that the Clinton presidential campaign recognizes Obama as a serious threat to Hillary’s presidential ambitions. Yet the Insight report had been rejected by Democrats and the media out of hand, as if the on-line magazine had committed a cardinal sin by even indirectly discussing the matter of Obama’s Muslim past. This, it turns out, is one of those taboo topics for the left. But it is not the only one. 

Censoring Fox News 

What the organized left wants to accomplish is the intimidation of the media, especially Fox News, into not reporting on news items embarrassing to the Democrats. They desperately want to keep Fox News in line because the channel has been, on occasion, a source of news and information that people can’t find anywhere else. The pressure worked in this case. After first defending the coverage of the Insight story, Fox News vice president Bill Shine said that his channel “gave too much credence” to it and “spent far too long discussing its premise on the air.” The left-wing critics of Fox News had smelled blood. They soon went for the kill, in regard to the Nevada debate.

To counteract this kind of pressure from the radical left, conservatives need to exert their own pressure on the media to remain fair and balanced and do the kind of research into the backgrounds of the Democratic candidates that is so clearly required.   

Obama, a first-term Senator, still remains a mystery, and Hillary’s transformation from Goldwater girl to radical feminist activist is still a matter of controversy, as columnist Robert Novak found out when he wondered in print how Hillary could have become a fan of Martin Luther King, Jr., an advocate of civil rights during the same time period she was supposed to have been a political conservative. He accused Senator Clinton of “re-inventing her past.” It was almost as curious as Hillary developing a fake black accent in talking about civil rights at a black church in Selma, Alabama. 

In the Obama case, this means that we deserve the complete and honest truth about his upbringing in the largely Muslim Indonesia, where he admittedly studied the Koran in school, and his subsequent conversion to Christianity, at a time and place that is still a mystery. Except for Fox News, there has been no coverage of Obama’s membership in a black nationalist church. His church, notes even the Obama-sympathetic Rolling Stone, looks like a “left-over vision from the Sixties of what a black nationalist future might look like.” Has Obama gone from Muslim militant to black nationalist? Is this the kind of candidate we want for president? 

Mitt Romney’s membership in the Mormon Church has received extensive coverage. What about Obama’s religious affiliation?

A Taboo Topic About Hillary

In regard to Hillary, it is not reassuring to reflect upon the fact that Fox News, before Murdoch decided that Hillary not only deserved his financial support but the endorsement of his New York Post newspaper, gave little attention to the explosive book, The Truth About Hillary, by Edward Klein. The controversial book raised questions about Senator Clinton’s “sexual preference,” or lifestyle, as the left calls it. 

Mrs. Clinton, when first asked about General Peter Pace’s comment that homosexuality is immoral, refused to give her opinion. She said it was for “others to conclude.” Then she came out with a statement flatly rejecting Pace’s view after being pressured by the likes of Jo Wyrick, the lesbian Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats, an organization named after a homosexual riot in New York City. Is the response a capitulation to pressure or political blackmail of some kind? 

Which brings up one of Roger Ailes’ other jokes. “It is true that just in the last two weeks Hillary Clinton has had over 200 phone calls telling her in order to win the presidency she must stay on the road for the next two years,” cracked Ailes. “It is not true they were all from Bill.”

This is no laughing matter for the left. Anybody who raises any question about the relationship between the Clintons, even in a joking manner, has to be attacked and demonized. Will the media, including Fox News, be intimidated? One tip-off will be whether the channel avoids the tough personal issues involving the candidates on the Democratic side. Another indicator will be whether we see more liberals like Robert F. Kennedy surfacing on the channel either as correspondents, guests, or analysts. 

The battle for Fox News is on. The left is playing for keeps. The presidency hangs in the balance.




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