Fox News Fail: Are Viewers Getting Smarter?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Yesterday, the cable news ratings showed that Fox News -- that bastion of conservative bias and lies -- is losing viewers.

Thus far, their viewership has decreased by 21 percent and their top shows all posted double digit losses, while MSNBC’s shows grew and the network attracted more younger viewers.

So, maybe people are actually interested in getting the truth?

Personally, I am thrilled.

This summer, I was involved in a story about the Pledge of Allegiance that Fox News blew up. I broke it and they ran with it. Career-wise, it was great as it bumped up the numbers for the site I was editing, but it was the first time I saw the Fox News spin at work. And it was disturbing.

They twisted the words I'd said to make them sound worse (and in some cases downright lied about what happened) and then incited the goons.The people involved in the story -- volunteer school committee with young children -- got death threats, received hate mail, and watched their email boxes fill with spam.

Commenters on The Stir often call what we do "journalism." It really is not. It is blogging. We offer opinions, which you tear down, sometimes nicely and sometimes not. There is a slant, a bias if you will. Fox News is supposed to be impartial. They are supposed to offer the news. They are supposed to be journalists, not bloggers.

The "liberal media bias" is a fallacy when we consider the way Fox News twists and changes things and they do it so easily. This summer all they did was change a few words, the word "ban" instead of "question," and they set off a firestorm. It is smart. It gets ratings. It has lit the careers of people like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. But it is not journalism.

If you get your news from Fox, you are not getting the news. You are getting their slant on it.

I have seen it firsthand, but don't believe me? Here are three examples from Media Matters -- "a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.":

  • Fox News' Martha MacCallum showed a clip of Vice President Joe Biden in which he said: "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." It was implied that the quote was from March 2010. In fact, the clip came from the 2008 campaign and Biden was quoting John McCain.
  • Fox News' Wendell Goler cropped a comment by President Obama and took it out of context to falsely suggest that he supports creating a health care system "like the European countries." In fact, Obama was paraphrasing the town hall question he had been asked before explaining why he opposed such a system.
  • Fox News takes Republican "talking points" and claims it as "news." Fox News' Jon Scott referenced seven dates, used on-screen graphics, and claimed they came from different news sources when they actually all came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release.

It is gratifying to see that maybe the younger generation is leaving Faux News and maybe getting their news from reputable news sources.

Do you believe what you see on Fox News?


Image via


Read More